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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"We try to follow the footsteps of our elders, who cleared the way for us with their clean mind, heart, and body. They walked clean land, drank clean water, breathed clean air and ate clean food provided by Mother Earth. This is what our children and grandchildren deserve. This is walking the Red Road." - Anonymous

Day 33 - Tuesday, July 25, 1995 - Grandfather Commanda settled into his Washington visit, enjoying the company of the pilgrims. Together they hatched a plan to walk near the White House tomorrow to offer a pipe ceremony.

While visiting and talking, Grandfather encouraged the walkers to strive to stay on the Red Road as they travel. He was not being literal.

Red Road is a metaphor used widely among native peoples in the Americas. The term raises appreciation for a path, a way a human being may live out his or her time on Mother Earth—not dominating or attempting to control nature or other people, but engaging in respectful balance. As I have come to understand it, Red Road refers to living consciously and powerfully, yet gently, with all Creation. It implies a fundamental reverence for all that is.

When Grandfather Commanda or many other native elders speak of walking the Red Road, they generally mean living a life of truth, respect, caring, sharing, friendship, and spiritual understanding.

The wisdom pathway of the Red Road, some say, runs north to south. Considering things in that light, its noteworthy that our walk began in the North, the direction many associate with elders, snowy owl, tall pines, white buffalo, the Aurora Borealis, and the clear, cold, winds that can blow dust and cobwebs from the mind. Other native observers regard South, the direction our walk has been heading for the last month, as associated with mouse and coyote, with youth, growth, innocence, and also with both trust and tricks. Be who you are. 


From phone conversations with Grandfather Commanda and Tom, I learned that before we started our pilgrimage the Reebok Corporation had generously committed to funding the whole Sunbow 5 walk, and to providing financial and corporate support throughout.

Tom consulted with Grandfather to see what he should do. Grandfather said: “I’m sending them out there to learn how to love. They don’t need outside funding for that.”

Tom contacted Rebook and respectfully declined the offer. Our walk set off thirty three days ago without corporate support, but with trust that we would somehow find the food, water, shoes, shelter, and fortitude we would need to complete the journey.


 Copyright 2006 by Steven McFadden

Read Day 34 -- Odyssey of the 8th Fire

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Please support the telling of Odyssey of the 8th Fire. I freely offer the teachings of this true saga to readers. They are not for sale. That is the tradition. Still, I bear expenses to publish, and my labor has been long. I am a human being, not a non-profit corporation; thus expressions of reciprocity and support are welcome and appreciated, but not tax-deductible.

  With thanksgiving — Steven McFadden


| Author's Note | Dedication | Acknowledgements | Donors
Invocation | Prologue | Contents

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