When the Maori Elders placed in my basket the hidden knowledge of the Waitaha Nation, I was carried into ancient Polynesian seaways and the lore of the navigation stars, propelled along the mountain trails of the sacred stone, sent into remarkable gardens in the ocean and on the shore, wrapped in the cloak of secret histories and given access to the highest Houses of Learning.

That astonishing pool of knowledge grew deeper as Hawaiian lore and that of the Hopi of Arizona, the Haida of the North West Pacific and the Chumash of California was also placed in my basket. This incredible store of priceless indigenous wisdom has been my guide and my joy.

After thirty years devoted to driving my computer back through ancient knowledge I was called to share, I realise it’s time to help it move with the aid of the latest internet technologies.

So here I am, excited about starting up my own website; offering more on Facebook and You-tube, creating blog sites to answer frequently asked questions and planning to have ten of my books available as E books within a year.

I share my writing, my thoughts on my latest ventures, how they are unfolding. While it’s my story, I hope it touches your story and opens doors into realms where heart, mind and spirit meet.

‘Awakening the tides of remembrance’ means accessing the gifts sent forward by our ancestors, understanding you are the sum of all that’s ever been of your line. It’s seeking to understand your journey, discovering the truth of who you are. And in that uniqueness walking your truth not another’s. It’s about freedom.

We are more than we see and more than we think. We are joined to the past, the present and the future, connected with all that is and might be. We are kin to all.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Update Song of the Cirle

I am very sorry to have to end the posting of Song of the Circle so
abruptly. I was hoping to make it available chapter by chapter for a few
months. However, it¹s been processed as an eBook  much faster then expected.
So this first chapter is now a sample of the book which is available as an
ebook with Amazon and also Smashwords. In the New Year I will see what else
I might offer.

Meanwhile, I wish you well wherever you are on this fabulous planet.



Saturday, 17 November 2012

"Moving with the times"

Only a Hut in the Mountains is now available as an eBook on Amazon and Smashwords. I'm very sorry some readers might be left adrift by its removal from this site. It's been here for 6 months and I was thrilled to have so many readers visit and share their feedback. I loved letting Koro tell his stories, which connect us with the wisdom of our many ancestors. Although they are born of the Maori realm they are founded in universal truths that have no boundaries.  Hut has gone to the great computer in the sky and is joined by Where the Octopus Waits, my latest Koro novel. Song of the Stone is already there if you want follow my journey after the elders called me to bring forth their sacred lore.

Now I am posting Song of the Circle, the first of five novels in the Chronicles of the Stone series, on this site. I've recovered from  my injuries so will be active on site again. Circle will arrive chapter  by chapter once a week. Any delays will be because I can't hook up  as we travel in our camper van. 

Meanwhile, remember you can track down Koro anytime and invite him into your home. He's not an expensive guest, is easy to have around and one you can keep as close as you wish. That's the beauty of eBooks.

     'Only a Hut in the Mountains'

'Where the Octopus Waits'

'Song of the Stone'

Also if you are interested

What is wisdom? Who were Waitaha? What evidence supports their story? Polynesian origins. Did they reach the Americas? Polynesian voyaging secrets. How the Moon influences our lives. Finding your People: be they Stone People, Bird People, Fire People, Water People or Tree People or one of the many other Peoples. Healing the past. The power of Pounamu. Opening the Peace Trail of the Pounamu. Maori trails. Maori sea gardens Our spirit guardians.

Now go to www.barry-brailsford-indigenous-knowledge.blogspot.co.nz

Friday, 9 November 2012

Song of the Circle

Chapter 1

The CRY of the CHILD

‘Gather close if you would hear my words,’ whispered the Story Teller. ‘Listen to the voices of the ancestors. Feel the touch of the Sacred Winds of Time and know all that has gone before us is not lost.’

Few travelled this trail. Down through the centuries it knew only the weary tread of women heavy with a new life within. It opened to them because their journey to this sacred mountain was written in the stars.

The hot sun beat down on Awi adding another burden to her aching body. Fear, flamed by exhaustion, whispered again and again that they would not reach the birthing stone in time. Three days had passed since leaving her village in the green valley far below. Each dawn asked more as they climbed ever higher towards peaks covered with snow.

Her unborn was a gift to the people, the first child, the one created of seed joined by the wisdom of the old ones. In a distant past, long lost to memory, the Ancients saw the virtue of ensuring the first child was seeded by a young man chosen by the elders. When Awi was but a girl of five years, it was decided Tu, who was the same age, would be the companion to share her journey into the realms of women.

Families gathered from the distant reaches of the land to celebrate the promises made in that betrothal. Many children stood before the people for the dedications. Little ones who were impatient to be gone, eager to visit the cooking fires, to race to the tumbling stream, climb the tall trees, swing on the vines and plunge laughing into the deep pools. Yet when Omanu, the village elder, clothed in a robe of many colours, took up the sacred talking stick and stepped forward, everyone and everything fell silent. Even the birds seemed to watch, wait and listen.

Each little couple shyly joined hands and shuffled forward to stand in a half moon before Omanu, who said in a strong, kind voice, ‘Two great rivers meet in the lives of these children. We gift them to each other for the birthing of one child. Thereafter, they are free to continue to walk together if that is their dream, or to seek other companions for their life trails. This is the way and the wisdom of the ancestors.’

Then old Grandmother Ula was helped to her feet and a murmur of excitement rippled through the children. A quiet word of command stilled their hushed words but did not remove their smiles. All knew it was time to receive their stone. Even those too young to understand the wonder of this moment felt its power when the old one stood beside Omanu. Every child knew the smile that played across the face of this wise elder, the oldest of the mothers. It spoke of laughter and gifts to be treasured.

All remembered the words of those who prepared them for this day… When Grandmother Ula stands she will give to each of you a sacred stone. Be still, for she only sees children who wait quietly for the gift. Noisy and impatient little ones are invisible to her old eyes.

Another said… It is not just any stone. It has been gathered from a special mountain by those who hear its song and know its ways. And it has been shaped to hold its spirit strong to guide you day-by-day. Learn to listen to your stone.

The third teacher had added even greater mystery. She spoke of the coloured cord that held each stone. With excitement, stored deep in her memory, she said… When Grandmother holds your stones before you they will twirl in the Sun and you will see a beautiful colour appear for a few moments. Watch for it when the cords spin and hold it in your mind forever.

That colour was born of the joining of two others. It was a product of the revolving cords, of the wonder of the source where two tides meet to create a third, something unique that was of them and beyond them. If held deep in memory, understanding would grow to give it meaning in later years.

Grandmother Ula beckoned for a couple to stand before her. Tu pulled Awi forward so they might be the first. She remembered every shade and shimmer of what she felt from that instant, recalled her intense grip upon his hand, her need for an anchor as she spun into a whirlpool of surging excitement…

‘I need to rest,’ murmured Awi. ‘My mind travels back to days long gone. And there is joy in that. But exhaustion stops me in my tracks. The trail to the sacred birthing stone seems so long.’

She was helped to sit on a smooth rock ledge that had comforted many women over the generations. Here, where the path was very steep, rest was always needed. To ease her pain Awi sent her mind back to the betrothal day again… she saw the old one, with grace and whispered words of power, open the way to draw two stones from her beautifully woven basket… watched her lift them clear and knew the thrill of expectation as grandmother held the ends of both cords in one hand, let the stones fall with a skill that saw them spin around each other… in an instant… the two cords, one red and one yellow… twisted together to create a stunning blur of a magical orange colour… Awi sighed as she remembered how their stones slowed, to finally stop and separate.

There was design and power in the twirl of the cords. Now Awi knew the wonder of it. The child within was of that moment of new light, the flash of orange and the colour beyond theirs. It was created by ancient tides that carried all that had ever been into the closeness of their joining. It had touched and awakened the excitement and joy of every part of her being at the crest of their embrace. It was yesterday, today and tomorrow. The timeless space of knowing. It was Creation.

‘Are you ready to move on?’ one of the woman asked.

‘Not yet, I still need time with my memories. The joy of the past lightens the burdens of this day.’

Awi would never forget how Grandmother Ula then took a cord in each hand and raised them to greet the Sun. It was only then that she saw the shapes carved there for their journey of life. Each was a circle, Sun and Moon, the curving path of wisdom that was without beginning or end. Each was marked as no other to honour the gifts of the one asked to carry it and carved with finely graved symbols that spoke of mysteries beyond the mysteries.

A shaft of pain stabbed her. When it passed she grasped the cord of her stone and drew it. The words the old one spoke that day echoed through Awi’s mind… the cord passes through a circle drilled in the centre of the disk of stone. That opening is of the balance, the place where we are nothing and everything, where we touch nothing yet are bound to all.

Awi remembered how Grandmother Ula then spoke, with laughter in her voice, to join them in companionship with the stone and each other. She could not recall the exact words as she walked this mountain trail, but still felt the magic of the cord passing over her head and the stone coming to rest on her chest. She stroked its smooth surface again, was drawn into its depths and thrilled to hear the song within. ‘Bright stone of power, you are a wonderful friend. One forever bound to my journey and the son I carry.’ she whispered.

Before she gathered her strength to travel on, Awi saw the moment that truly bound her to Tu… At that time she understood little. It was enough that the stone sang to her. The child accepted the moment then sent it deep and broke free of the ritual to play and dance with the other children.

Someone intruded on her thoughts, said something… Awi nodded not fully taking in the meaning of the words and was startled when cool water was slowly poured over her head and neck. Another memory was triggered… yes, water had splashed over my head… had startled me out of a timeless realm... had run down my chest to wet the stone and seal the promises made that day in the sacredness of the blessing… now I understand my path… see it carved into the ancient trails of the stone… trails that reach back to the birthing of the stars and forward to the mystery of all that is and all that will be.

Eight years later, when Awi's body first bled with the seed, her mother and grandmother took her to the sacred cave to open her life to the ways of women. Only then did she begin to catch glimpses of the long journey that was to bring her to this moment on this mountain.

As Awi toiled higher on that steep trail she wrapped her cloak of weariness ever closer and let her mind escape to the excitement and wonder of her days in the cave of learning. With gentle words the women prepared her for the beautiful days and nights she was to know with Tu, her betrothed.

Tu was born to a distant village but in his sixteenth year he came to Awi's home to help the hunters harvest the eels that left the lakes to journey to the ocean. It was early in the season of long hot days and warm nights. Since their betrothal they met at least every two years for one turning of the Moon. Sometimes his people came to her village with its little round huts built entirely of wood. The surrounding forests and the rivers and lakes brought great bounty into their lives. They always arrived with gifts of finely worked stone tools.

When they travelled to Tu’s people they carried gifts of sun-dried fish and berries. Awi found their stone round houses intriguing. Awi had struggled to see how the stone roof did not fall in and bury everyone. When Tu explained the whole roof depended on the power of one keystone to hold it together, she was very impressed but still a little confused. His village was high in the mountains, located above the tree line and knew deep snow in winter. Sturdy homes that withstood fierce winds, and warm furs were essential for their survival. Stone quarries bound them to these heights and offered the core that gave meaning to their lives. They were of the Stone People.

Awi and Tu did everything together for there was no distinction between male and female children. All the life trails were open to them. Women and men shaped stone, worked the fishing nets, cared for babies and were keepers of the sacred lore.

This visit was different. Awi and Tu were now provided with their own sleeping shelter. They had their food with the family, and enjoyed the company of all, but found they yearned more and more for the seclusion of their own dwelling. It was a haven set aside from all others. None could approach it without invitation. Even the young ones, who loved to spend their idle moments with Awi, understood the boundaries set before them.

Within its walls they told stories of their childhood, shared the inner journey of the spirit and their secret thoughts. And all the time they felt the need for a closeness that went beyond anything they had ever known. Yet they knew, with an understanding far beyond their years, that step was best approached with gentleness and patience.

Both had been taught the lore of the seed tides, the lessons of the loving way, but knowing and being were realms apart. They understood there would be blood in the sharing and for some days walked anxiously around their growing need. It was Awi who drew the moment upon them. She knew they were being swept along by flood tides that could not be denied and opened the way for Tu. Their joyous excitement reached far into the night and touched depths beyond all imagining. Knowing and being found completion as they explored the wonder of two beautiful bodies that sang as one.

Thereafter every moment together was filled with an all-consuming fire. Tu went daily to the nets with Awi. Together they cleaned the catch and hung the prepared fish on the drying racks. And when the evening meal was finished they slipped away to share the remainder of the day in the sanctuary that was but a simple shelter.

Then, when the season of long hot days began to merge into the time of the falling leaves, the seed tide failed to show for Awi. She waited seven days then shared her excitement with Tu. They talked of nothing else in the next five days. The wonder of a new life intruded on all they did. Its music surrounded them in whispered words in the company of others, in joyous laughter beneath the waterfall and in the gentleness of their loving in the night.

Everything turned upon the seed alive within. Their lives contracted to embrace the small spark of life they had created by their love. The tiny one housed within the womb. And their lives expanded to touch a universe of immensity and power as their world joined to the ancestral realms with an awesome knowing, reached out to embrace the stars with a sense of completeness, and travelled on to fathom the beyond where all tides meet.

On the twelfth night without a flow they shared their excitement with Awi's family. Her mother smiled and said, ‘This news appeared in your smile days ago. Two great rivers join as one to awaken the miracle of life. We are filled with great joy. Your son journeys far to join us. May we nurture him on the long trail to his birthing day.’

As Awi crested another rise she looked back over the land they had traversed in recent days and reflected on her journey. She thought… There are many trails woven into our lives. My child will this night ride the heavens to gather his spirit from a shooting star. That is the way of the world without end. And the spirit that returns to enter this quickening one within my womb will carry the dream of the Ancients and be open to all they have woven into the Song of the Ages. His journey has been carved in stone and sung into the waters and the skies above. He is of the orange blur of light that flashed from the twirling cords on our betrothal day. He will walk the mystery and the magic of the Great One. He is very special. Few are born to know the wisdom that allows them to hold a Stone and a Star in the same hand.

Awi knew she had slowed to a shuffle as her mind drifted in and out of the past. She gathered her strength again. Urgency sounded and grew. A new hurt now surged through her with a rhythm all its own. The little one within awakened to its passage. Each step was now a burden that reached deeper and deeper into unknown caverns of pain. Her hand reached again and again for the comfort of her companion stone. Its song lifted her spirit to the mountain tops. It said she had the courage to come to the journey's end in time to open her body on the birthing rock.

Strong arms guided each step and helped her along the narrow mountain trail. Rocks that had fallen across the path were eased aside by those who went ahead to clear the way. Words of comfort helped her find the commitment to the next step and the one beyond. Each a victory.

Rest. Awi was eased down to sit on a low rock. Then smoked eel meat was given in small pieces. Juicy oil ran down her fingers. It was delicious food and provided the strength to surmount the rising slopes ahead. Its power to sustain and nurture is well known to those trained in the lore of the high trails. Few people reach the peaks standing so tall and fewer still know eels climb to those places when the winter-melt begins.

Anui, the grandmother of this trail, sat with her arm around Awi. Sensing the need for diversion she whispered to a woman who then clambered down to a nearby stream. She returned, after a little time, with her hand closed tightly. Chuckling and dancing with delight she cried, ‘You wriggle so. Such strength in a little body. Be still my beauty and I will show you to Awi.’ She brought both hands together and cupped them to reveal a tiny black eel. It rested motionless in the light then jerked to life to curl and uncurl and snake up her arm with ease.

‘Enough!’ said Anui, who still held Awi close, ‘return the one called Tuna to the stream, gather everyone to me and I will tell the story of that little eel’s journey.’

And so Anui began. ‘The little one we have taken back to the waters climbs to the snow to feed. It is so. In the spring that baby, born of Tuna, answers the call of the mountains and leaves the river to climb a small stream that flows from the snowfields. It wriggles and squirms up the trickling waters to surmount rock faces that threaten to deny its way. Even when there is no water it curls its small body to find the grip that allows it to cross rough surfaces and reach ever higher. Weeks pass and it still strives to attain the snows. Then the night arrives when a bright Moon greets the tiny tuna in the waters at the edge of the great snowfields. There it rests triumphant, for it knows with a wisdom buried deep in memory that the struggle to reach the peaks is honoured by a feast.

‘Awi, this is the wonder of it. Little tuna has come to the snow to harvest a crop sown by the blizzards of late autumn. Great clouds of insects lie frozen there. Abundant and free in the warm days of summer they rode the winds to grow fat upon the land. When the coldness arrived, as it must always do, those who stayed too long were covered by the white cloak of winter. Baby tuna knows this, for what is has always been.’

Anui paused to see if Awi was recovering from the last steep climb, then placing her arm around her again, she continued, ‘What the winter freezes the Sun releases. Tuna waits and the thaw provides. Everything is as it should be. Out of life, death, and out of death, life. This is the great circle of knowing woven into the land. Within it tuna grows stronger and longer until the wide waters of the river call and the descent to valley begins.’

They resumed their journey. Awi moved slowly but was stronger after the rest and food. She thought of tuna and said to herself, ‘I walk in the strength of the little one who has climbed to the snow. Such heights achieved, such understanding in one so small it cannot see beyond the next rock. So much trust in the knowing that carries it ever higher. Tuna, friend of the high trails, I thank you for the gift you give me.’

The day lengthened and the path at last descended. It was done. The great river was now but a small stream at her feet. They had come at last to the source of the waters. Her son’s first cry would echo through this valley to greet these mountains and the blood of his birthing would flow to these waters. One journey was over and another would soon begin.

Awi lay resting on a woven mat spread over a carpet of yellowed grasses and gazed at wisps of hazy red cloud lit by the setting Sun. Her eyes closed as she absorbed the next wave of pain, going into it, accepting it, riding the crest and relaxing into the retreat. The Sun surrendered the heavens to the power of the rising Moon. It filled her world. A brilliant globe of light. Full. Now she knew the circle was complete.

Her son would enter this realm surrounded by wondrous white light. That was the prophecy and that was the way. Water was brought to Awi and she drank it quickly. The climb and the dry air had sapped the juices from her. Then loving hands softly massaged scented oils into the fullness of her beautiful body and gently caressed the aching muscles of her arms and legs. The women who nurtured her with their touch had been her constant companions over many months. She gave herself into their hands. A warm, feathered cloak fell across her to ward off the growing chill of the night. All would be as the ancestors planned. In this she trusted.

Awi did not see the star that fell from the heavens to bring the spirit of her son into her womb. She barely had the strength to acknowledge the joy of the women. The birthing tide now grew so strong she was lost within it.

Comforting words. Then gentle hands circled the mat that was her bed and carefully carried her from the grass to the birthing rock. Those who placed her on the stone knew exactly where her body would rest upon it in greatest ease. It held her in warm caress, for the Sun's heat had explored its depths and now returned to greet the night. The stars embraced her, covered her nakedness but could not yet set her free.

Time folded over time. Awi became lost in a curtain of torment. Someone was crying at the night. Screaming. The veil of pain eased aside but the distant voice continued to rail against the gods. Keening broken words of anguish. Into the long silence sobbing weary words of longing, ‘Tu! Tu! Tu! Help me… Tuuuu!’

Such a long journey through that night. Yet there were markers. Words of encouragement. Then the sacred chant for the breaking of the waters. Ancient words filled with the love of the Mother. Words of majesty to welcome the first glimpse of the head of the little one. Words of gratitude when he slipped into caring hands and gave his first cry. Words of rejoicing when the afterbirth swiftly followed. And words of healing to cleanse the blade that severed the cord joining mother and child. Separation.

They placed her son in her arms. Awi held him close and gave thanks for the wonder of his creation. He had come on the day foretold to greet the fullness of the Moon and answer the appointed stars. The dream unfolded. It was done. She murmured, ‘Tu will be proud of his little son and speak often of his love for me. My boy will know and remember.’

Awi fell into a deep sleep. She never stirred when her comforters lifted her gently from the stone and placed her in the covered shelter raised nearby. She did not see them wash her blood from the birthing stone and guide it down timeworn channels that sent it drifting into the stream far below. She did not know it had begun its long journey to the ocean. She went deeper and deeper into darkness as the rising Sun sent its light to touch the snows. She was not aware of the soft voices that sang to her of the journey back to the stars.

There was one last brief shaft of understanding. A moment of awesome majesty when Awi saw she held within her hand her precious companion stone and a beautiful star. Few are born to know such wisdom.

All mourned the loss of Awi. Many families gathered to honour her courage with words both beautiful and brave. And all the while Karu, the brightest star of the stone, stood overhead. And Utini, her companion star, rode the High Trails to draw close.

Grandmother Ula sat beside Awi. Holding the cold hand of the girl she knew from birth and loved so deeply… she talked quietly of the naming of her newborn and listened for reply… looking to the stars she asked if the name Utini might be gifted to her babe… found no hindrance for all knew the child was of the stars and the stone.

Ula untied the thong of the carved circle stone that rested upon Awi's breast. The one who had gifted it to Awi years before now moved it on. Thus was the power that gave a young mother the strength to honour the birth of life placed in Utini's tiny hands. He clutched it tightly as water was sprinkled over his face.
 Then the baby was wrapped in a blanket for his journey to the village of the Stone People.
When sleep claimed him, Awi departed
To join the realm of the stars.
She was now of the Wonder
Of the Silence that embraces All.


The Story Teller returned from the ancient days, bowed his head, sighed and sat quietly.

‘Could Awi be my great, great grandmother far removed?’ asked a quiet voice.

He thoughtfully stroked his silver-grey beard in silence, looked around those who gathered to hear his stories and said, ’That’s possible. She was the mother of so much we hold so dear, but remember she left us many, many centuries ago. I speak of ancient days and sacred journeys. Some say this is of the time before the Buddha and the Christ and some say it is after.'

‘Thank you, grandfather! My blood tie to Awi may be very distant but the story touches something that moves me deeply. This is my journey too.’

‘Then let's continue along this ancient trail of wisdom,’ he said with a smile. ‘Perhaps we will discover there the secret of your story.’

Gathering in the others with his eyes, he whispered, ‘And yours too, for all wisdom is of the circle.’