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Preserving simple and sacred first to last breaths.

SMS Grannys hand.jpg

What does it mean to be Walking On? 

We live in a world that has lost the sanctity of birth and death. We live in a world that is re-creating traditions, ceremonies and rituals of healing for these great portal passages and living in between. 


Our community has seen generations be born, grow and die. Aging is happening and it’s happening to us!  So we decided to tackle the subject. Here’s a glimpse of some of the wisdom, details, descriptions, demonstrations, and action plans discovered through these invaluable dialogues. To read the documents in full visit the blog page and search for Radiant Aging.


A focus on decline

The mental shift towards “getting old” vs “positive aging”

Increased risk of dying if loss of partner/pet

Going to bed early before nightfall

Getting up early before sunrise

Disrupted patterns of sleep

Lack of time outdoors

Isolation - feeling exposed/embarrassed/fearing a loss of independence 

See Blog for more…




Shuffling gate

Shorter steps

The lateral arch of the foot rolls under

Shallower breath



See Blog for more…



Wisdom… hopefully

Maturity… hopefully

Wise Elder… hopefully

Increased life experience

Role model

Kids grow up

Kids move out… hopefully

Kids become self-sufficient… hopefully


See Blog for more



Daily Anti-Aging Actions


Soften the face. Especially when listening or talking

Yoga or stretching

Down ups:  get up and down from the floor  

Kegels/mula bandha/Jade Egg

Breathe:  breath creates space in the body/time/mind

Soft slow deep breath/pause/relax/breathe in more… at least three times

Breathe if worried or anxious

Slow breaths before sleep and upon awakening

Three minute meditation

See Blog for more


Walk with your pack

Footcare:  Keep toenails clipped and cuticles pushed back.

Handcare: clip fingernails and push cuticles back.


Merge our own self-images/identities and become more transparent

Become more transparent with the right people

Avoid poor bargains

Avoid over committing

Know thyself

Be around vibrant older people

Be around vibrant younger people

See Blog for more


As a community committed to simple and sacred first and last breaths it is equally important to honor our departing and departed loved ones. This includes preserving home death and home burial.


Although we are an eclectic community, it is the Cherokee way to have burial grounds. We wanted one. Here’s a glimpse of that journey by one of our Bear Council members whom we call YoNv (He Bear in Cherokee).

A stream of miracles led to the creation for MorningStar Burial Grounds. We had walked the HolyLand and were drawn to a walnut grove and meadow near the living waters of Bear Creek. We dug into statutes and regulations related to attending to the dead.  Relations were formed and nurtured. Communications opened with our County Commission, local funeral home, local coroner and local surveyor. Sister MorningStar donated this beautiful site to be deeded as a Burial Ground. On the tenth day of the tenth month at 10 o’clock in 2014, the County Commission declared recognition of the MorningStar Burial Ground.  


Hundreds of volunteer hours and enthusiastic collaboration over the next 5 years turned a waste land of thistles, thorns, locust trees and trash into our beautiful, cherished, burial sanctuary. Whenever we work on the burial ground we tend a sacred fire. We have created fire circles for making prayers, grieving loss, honoring our ancestors, the living and the dead. We’ve preserved walnut trees, blackberry bushes, dogwood and redbud trees and created a wildflower nursery. Each corner is marked by a cedar totem pole. The central totem pole is made of cedar topped with a walnut star flanked by rose gardens.

I am becoming elder. To labor in love upon this land is a gift. On occasion I push aside grass and dirt to reveal a small silver disc with the inscription 7.7. This particular marker notes the spot where I have chosen to one day enter into the Earth.  With my back to a walnut tree, I sit in contemplative silence and survey the beauty that surrounds and pervades. I have felt her transformed as I have been transformed. I am deeply grateful to have been a part of this sacred journey. ~ YoNv




simple and sacred

Pets are people. They are part of our family. Some of them teach us how to love, how to be loving, how to accept love and how to be our best selves in ways that often escape our human to human relationships.

Because of their closeness and fierce trust in their own instinctual nature, they can teach us how to be raw and real when it comes our time to walk on. The following intimate story by Kalista regarding her pet dog, whom she considered as her first daughter, has wisdom that applies to the care of all dying..


I called Molly my doggie-daughter! The gift of being the close one who walks a death path with someone requires an immense amount of love and empathy and compassion. It takes physical strength and emotional vulnerability mixed with steel, to walk and often carry the dying. It takes putting yourself in that one’s shoes to give you the inner strength to do all the messy and exhausting parts of caring for the dying. There are a lot of liquids and they can come from, smell like and look like nothing you may have experienced before. A support system of trusted capable persons to do a tag team rotation and overlap is highly suggested to avoid burnout and negative comments around the dying one.


Let instincts, mostly of the one dying, be a guide for what to do next. Molly loved to be outside. Even though she couldn’t walk, we made a bed out on the porch and carried her there. I started having a candle alter near her at night. Molly would sometimes want to be in our bedroom, sometimes by the children’s door, sometimes in the living room. Her joys were hours in the sun on the porch and the frequent wagon rides Trace and I would take her on. Even in her last days, she got to see the neighborhood, smell the roses and watch the bunnies and squirrels. On her last night of life Trace and I carried her to our bed where she slept in between us all night. 


I learned more than how to write a manual on caring for the dying when I cared for Molly.  Molly taught me how to die.  ~ Kalista

We visit the confined, the sick and we sit with the dying of our community. We do our best to create close circles to support one another in times of great need or great loss. Birth and death are two of the most intense times of need or loss in our journey on this earth. Although we cannot be all things to all people at all time, we often say, “we are here for you”. Each night we light a candle at the foot of the Great Mother global community. Feel us.


If we live long enough, we are called to sit bedside with death. It is a privilege to love so fully and experience so deeply the transcendent journey of another. May the simple and sacred guide you wisely through the journey of first and last breaths – your own and those you love.

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