Odyssey of the 8th Fire is the true tale
of an epic pilgrimage for the Earth
across North America

by people of all colors and faiths.

  - A creative non-fiction book in online evolution - ◊
© - 2007 by Steven McFadden

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audio recording of
Odyssey of the 8th Fire,
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“…Now the greed is always working against our Mother Earth, and Mother Earth is suffering. We've been hearing a lot about tornadoes and earthquakes. A lot of these warnings have been going on. That's Her breath, because she is suffering and her breath is giving us warnings…”

- Roberta Blackgoat

Day 181 – Wednesday, December 20, 1995 – Joe called on the phone from base camp at the Sunset Crater National Monument near Flagstaff, Arizona. He told me that that Roberta Blackgoat, 77, and another elder, came to visit with the walk today.

Grandmother Blackgoat is a Diné (Navajo) elder who has lived all her life on Big Mountain. on the very land where she was born. She was born to the Todichinii (Bitter Water) Clan in a home with no running water, electricity, or other modern conveniences. For her integrity and her steadfastness, for her dignity and her gracious nature, and for the importance of the issues she represnts, she has become internationally famous.

The Sunbow 5 walkers were honored to receive her visit, to hear her story, and to share their story with her.


Grandmother Roberta Blackgoat

Roberta Blackgoat was one of 12,000 Navajo people caught in the biggest forced relocation of human beings by the U.S. government since the World War II internment of Japanese Americans.

In the case of the native people, the Navajo, the government moved the people off Black Mesa and Big Mountain so corporations could dig up the earth for coal and other minerals. But Grandmother Blackgoat would not go. She stood like a mountain, and resisted. Since 1979, she has defied eviction from her home,

By traveling around the world to talk about this situation, and about the relevant spiritual questions, Grandmother put Black Mesa and Big Mountain on the map for many thousands of people. She helped bring to world attention the ecological and spiritual importance of special sites upon our Earth.


“I have heard of the White man's story," Grandmother has said. "How Creator made the first man, and He saw that he was lonely and so He created a woman for him, and He told them that all the things they could see were for them. But they must not eat the apple on the tree. So it is for us Diné people. The Creator has told us that we must look after the land in between the four sacred mountains.”

"This land is our altar. We can't give up. We can't sell it. We can't buy it. We just have to take care of it.”


Grandmother Blackgoat was very happy to hear all about our Sunbow 5 Walk for the Earth. It pleased her to know about the sacrifice we are making, and the intentions we are carrying under the teaching of the Seven Fires.

She mentioned that her grandparents used to tell her about the Long Walk in 1863, another infamous episode. At that time most of the Navajo people were rounded up and marched in wintertime over 300 miles from Arizona to Bosque Redondo in New Mexico. Along the way many Navajo died from exposure and rough treatment.

Grandmother Blackgoat was happy to know that our Sunbow walk was being undertaken willingly, in peace, and that we had adequate shelter and food to support our spiritual purpose. She said she would pray for the walk, and the walkers said they would pray for her and for Big Mountain.


Note: Roberta Blackgoat died April 23, 2002 at age 84. 

Within view - The San Francisco Peaks, marking the west direction of the Four Corners, are visible from Sunset Crater National Park where the Sunbow 5 pilgrims are encamped.


Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden

Read Day 182 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire

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  With thanksgiving — Steven McFadden


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Odyssey of the 8th Fire Copyright © 2006-2008 by Steven McFadden