Guiding Light

The guiding light behind the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge is Grandmother Twylah, Elder and founder of the Seneca Indian Historical Society. Many decades ago, Grandmother was designated to preserve the Wolf Clan teachings by her maternal grandfather, Moses Shongo, who was a practicing Seneca Medicine Men. Grandmother Twylah is an advocate of the need to preserve the traditions and wisdom of Native people and has been the subject of numerous articles, both here and abroad. She was a world renowned author and teacher, and wrote with a dedication and passion that truly befits her name: Yehwehnode, She whose voice rides the Wind.…In the early 1970s, native spiritual leaders were divided over teaching non-native people their philosophy. Twylah Hurd Nitsch, a Seneca elder, was one of the first to begin sharing the profound and beautiful philosophy of the ancient Seneca people. Following a tradition reaching back to her seventh generation grandfather…Twylah brought forth the original concepts and transformed them into modern terms, “so the teachings may live”.

On August 21st 2007 at 7:12 am our beloved Grandmother Twylah Hurd Nitsch sang her song and made her Skywalk back to the world beyond the Skydome. The way made clear by Skywoman for all human kind to follow. Her spirit is very much alive and we send her all the gratitude and love that our hearts can engender. She was our Guiding Light, our Mentor, our Teacher, our Friend, our Star, our Grandmother, our Sister, our Beloved One, Counselor, Advisor, Wisdom Keeper, Sacred Elder of the Wolf Clan of the Seneca Nation…

 

Wisdom Keeper
By Margaret Wolff
Author of "In Sweet Company:
Conversations with Extraordinary Women About Living A Spiritual Life."

…It's been several years since I interviewed Grandmother Twyla Hurd Nitsch for my last book, IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE, yet I find myself thinking a lot about her. Gram, as she liked to be called, was the Lineage Holder of Seneca wisdom and the leader of the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge. …Hers was an inherited position, one she was trained for as child by her grandfather; one she, in turn, trained her son, Bob, and his wife, Lee, to carry on after her passing in 2007.

Gram knew how to be a Wisdom Keeper not just in her role as a spiritual leader, but in how she moved through her life. It wasn't what she did, but who she was. Being smart, or wise or "right" was not important to her. She tried simply to be, as she said in our interview, "a good example." She was so comfortable in her own skin, so at peace with how the Universe worked and her place in it, that her smile spoke volumes.

Gram was not separate from the world. She did not lead an ivory tower life. She raised five kids, suffered tragic losses, had more than her share of hard times. But she used everything that happened to her as a stepping stone to bring her closer to Great Mystery. "Everything that happened to me was just like going to school. Even [for a period] when I couldn't hear or see...I felt like I was being gifted because of what I was learning through the experience.

"When I was a child, my elders taught me it was up to me to make myself happy, and when I go to each night I should thank Great Mystery for my happiness. Most people don't take responsibility for their own happiness—it doesn't even enter their heads to do that! And at the end of the day, they're grateful for the good things that happen to them."

Personal responsibility and gratitude are not intellectual or esoteric concepts known to a privileged few. Gram took these concepts, and all the teachings she so deeply believed in, and made them her own. She lived them in her daily life. It was beautiful to see. It taught me so much…

http://blog.beliefnet.com/insweetcompany.2012/03/wisdom-keeper.html

 

Addendum:

Hello,
I have been rereading the many teachings that Grandmother Twylah gave me during my Homestudy with her in the early 1990's…At that time, folks who wanted to be a teacher had to spend 6 months living with Twylah, and unfortunately for me life circumstances did not permit me to do so. But the teachings have stayed in my heart. I did come to a women's circle, and also spent some time with her at her home…I am now in my 50's, and look forward to rereading her teachings from the perspective of a woman 20 years older. I spoke with Grandma Twylah on the phone one time, and told her how troubled I was that as an endangered species biologist, I was asked to take the lives of animals in the course of my work, and that I could not in good conscience continue to do so. She gave me words of wisdom, and helped me to look at this in a different way, and shared with me to say these words when one of our relations cross over, "I return your body to the Earth and release your Spirit to the Sky." I have said that prayer a thousand times since then, and will continue until the day I travel on.
Barb Barton-LIFE WAYS INSTITUTE, USA

 

Contributions:

…In the early 1970s, native spiritual leaders were divided over teaching non­native people their philosophy. Twylah Hurd Nitsch, a Seneca elder, was one of the first to begin sharing the profound and beautiful philosophy of the ancient Seneca people. Following a tradition reaching back to her seventh generation grandfather…Twylah brought forth the original concepts and transformed them into modern terms, "so the teachings may live".…Grandmother Twylah's Seneca name is Ye-weh-node. It means: She Whose Voice Rides the Wind. By her name and heritage she took the responsibility of presenting the teachings of her ancestors in a way that is understandable to people of all races, colors and faiths. She is the Echo; reverberating the teachings that will help us Walk in Balance on our Earthmother. Though I grew up a short distance from Grandmother Twylah's home on the Cattaraugus Reservation, it (took) Brad Steiger's book, Medicine Talk, to reveal the richness of the Seneca philosophy. From his book I found the foundation of truth that was my path. In 1975 when I returned home to study with Twylah, she named me: Oh-yeas-seh-noh-ne gi-wa-gwen-i-yoh; it means: She Who Restores Truth. Twylah told me that I would be one of the walls that reflect the sound of her voice that others may benefit, as I have, from this Great Mystery of the Seneca.
-Lynn Abbott – THE BLUE FLOWER LODGE, USA

…Grandmother Twylah’s Seneca name is Ye-weh-node. It means: She Whose Voice Rides the Wind. By her name and heritage she took the responsibility of presenting the teachings of her ancestors in a way that is understandable to people of all races, colors and faiths. She is the Echo; reverberating the teachings that will help us Walk in Balance on our Earthmother.…As you know, my love for Gram is always. Her wisdom and lessons were transformational for me. I must say that I was so happy that you phrased her passing as that she sang her song and made her Skywalk back to the world beyond the Sky dome. Thank you for that. Sweet Love!
-Nancy Longwalker Achin, USA

…I am so truly sorry to hear about your Mom!! My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family at this time. I wish you peace thru this time of mourning. Please know that we in the community are all thinking of you and giving thanks for the times we had with Twylah. Thru her stories and teachings she will live forever!!! Thank you for being a part of our lives. Many Blessings and all good things…
-Shelly Aiken, USA

Grandmother Twylah...I am grateful for who you are and for the sharing of your wisdom.  Thank you…Thank you grandma, my heart sings you much love!
-Cindra Androe, USA

Dearest grandmother Twylah…After years of searching to find your book Language of the Stones, a friend from Connecticut…sent me a copy. I thank her but most of all I want to thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with those who need to know. The stone people have been a part of my life since I was tiny. Even when moving some have asked what's in this heavy box of course it was a box of rocks. I heard you speak many years ago and the part about stones so moved me that I kept those notes all these years.  Interesting for me how many holy, whole stones I find. I just returned from four months of hospitalization and 14 surgeries for some unknown disease. My Medicine Bag hung, tied to my bed with four holy stones in it. Was in a coma for six weeks but here I am, a job still to accomplish….You are in my heart and in my prayers…
-Mary Attu, USA

Grandmother Twylah, I have learned Joy in relationship, patience, community, sharing, caring and a new way of being in truth…Thank you!
-Angie Austin, USA

…may her soul rest in peace, I’m sure her spirit and work will continue to guide all the people who are searching for the path of light. Yours…
-Hagit Baldar, USA

Bob and Lee
I send my prayers to you both over the loss of Gram. She leaves a huge pair of shoes behind and it only seems right that she should go with the Hurricane! Thank you for all the care and loving attention you have given her and her work. TerraLynn and several of us will be sharing a pipe and sending our prayers to you tomorrow evening. Love and Blessings…
-Catherine Balka, USA

Thank you once again for all the wise teachings you gave us. We think about you all the time with gratitude and love…Many blessings and hundreds of love and hugs...
-Heather and George Bakazias, Canada

I know Gramma Twylah is with Creator and is watching over all of us now.…Much love and blessings…
-Dorothy Bartosch, Smiling Butterfly, USA

Grandmother Twylah...I feel all tender inside when I think of you, and I also feel a puzzling longing.  I send you a very fond hug; I wish I had dared give you one when I met you (in the Jerusalem Forest).
-Alegria Benamier, ISRAEL

 …I know that she was a Grandmother to many and a teacher to thousands. I wish that I had had the opportunity to meet her. I know that I will get to know her through you and others who have valued her words and actions. I wish her joy and beauty in her new life. I hope too that she and Jim can give each other a great big hug. I know your heart is hurting, but as she told you in your vision, you will be “hearing” from her. I am so glad that Lee shared with you that Grandmother was asking for you. May you find peace in her love for you. Love…
-Jean Berube, USA

…I was initiated into the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge on June lst 1985. 12199 Brant Reservation Rd was my home from October of 1984-June of 1986. Through genealogical research, that Yehwenode helped me with, we were able to establish that my great, great, great grand-aunt was a Shongo, related to Moses. My heart aches as I am sure yours is. How I wish I could be there. Love and blessings to all...
-Geih’ Oowa Victoria A. Bodine, USA

…We only know the Twylah by the legacy of the love and respect from the legions of those she touched.  Blessings and balance,
-Bob and Lee Boisvert, USA

Dear Bob and Lee
…I only managed to meet Gram for a short while whilst at coronation Hall. The time I did spend with her is remembered with cherished affection. Gram gave me a lot of good advice on how to raise my children. About the way I would be interacting with them, and how to guide them. This has really helped me, especially with Cameron. Gram said I would know what he was thinking before he even thought -- and she was right!  …I am very honored to have had this contact with Gram, and enjoyed her company, wisdom, and humor. I have sent her my thanks.  …I send my best to Gram on the start of her new adventures.  Thank you for bringing Gram's teachings, and rich Seneca beliefs to England. They have added a quality and perspective to my life that I take great joy in every day…
-Phil Bolt, UK

…She was 94 and lived a wonderful life of family and purpose. She touched so many of us in such meaningful ways. Love…
-Beth Bontley, USA

Dear Twylah…What a blessing, what an inspiration you are to all of us!
-Doris Bowden, Yon-den-non-don-uoh, [One who carries her song], USA

Dear Twylah,
Happy Birthday! And I do remember that you were born on your mom's birthday... Blue Flower did a great thing when she had you...I got up and sat on my couch and thought about you. It snowed this morning and I could see you standing in the big window in your ancestral home, jumping up and down, saying "Nyah weh" out loud, to the Great Mystery for the gift...There really isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about you and say thank you to the Mystery for being you and for landing me on your doorstep back in 1987. Your choice to walk forward in your grandfather's prophecies has benefited so many on a very personal level...I love you Twylah. I also love it when you talk to me in Dreamtime…My children are all jumping up and down with joy because now it is really snowing and school has been cancelled. Hurrah!! Snow!! It's snowing. for Twylah and whispering happy happy birthday!
-Elizabeth Burns, USA

I'm one of the ones who didn't get to meet Grandmother Twylah. Her books had called to me for a long while and I had tried to find them online. How delighted I was one day to discover a mailing address here in my own town! Lee found a copy of the out-of-print ‘Language of the Trees’ for me and we even set a date for Lee and Bob to come to my Montessori class in the Fall. This past March I was walking the boardwalk in a park along a lake in Florala, Alabama, and one of the many cedar trees called to me. He asked if I could remove the vines covering his trunk. I put my hands through the vines to touch him and said, "I can't do that". I was puzzled by this highly unusual, automatic response from me to a tree, so I asked Weylin Lighteagle, the man I had come to see, about it. He explained that these vines were poison ivy, that if I pulled them off the tree, rattle snakes would most likely fall on my head, and that if I lay down on the boardwalk to cut the vines (my second plan), alligators could easily come up and get me. At least now that explained my instinctive response to not yanking them off with my bare hands when first asked. But I was determined to find a way; a tree had asked for help! Three weeks later I was back. Early morning, hoping few people would be around, long sleeves, plastic gloves, my long clippers part way hidden in my beach bag, and a hat (which I forgot to put on). As I nervously made my way along the boardwalk, a young tree spoke and asked if I would clip his vines. "No," I shrieked, hurrying along, "I cannot do all trees; there are hundreds of you here." But he was young and would not survive the vines, he was closer to the railing, I could practice with him first.... This was a lot of words coming from a tree so I stopped in my tracks. He was correct; he was young, there were an awful lot of vines on him, and he was very close to the railing. And he was right; it did take a bit of practice to get the cutting angle just so.

I got to "my tree" and started work. It took a while but I did it, only stopping twice to hide my clippers from passers-by. This tree was very wide and very tall and the vines were very long and kind of tricky to grip with the clippers and yank down after cutting them loose. I didn't get all of them off but the tree let me know when I had done enough. I sort of understood, that because of this help, this tree would now be able to help other trees deal with their vines. I remembered to talk with the poison ivy vines and reassured them that they weren't bad; just not growing in the best place. I suggested that the wooden railing might be a nicer place to grow and that this was a tree place (because "I said so") and because the trees had come here first. I let the vines know that I would be very displeased if I came back and found them growing back up the trunk of this tree. I sat down on the boardwalk across from the tree, to calm my racing heart. I had been so concerned that people might come along to stop me that I had even forgotten about gators and snakes. I pulled a book out of my bag and started to read. The tree wanted to know what I was reading. This was not said in a casual, polite kind of way! I stopped and looked at the book, and saw it was Twylah's ‘Language of the Trees’. The tree wanted to hear it! So I started reading again, but they made me start from the beginning and I had to read out loud! So I sat on the boardwalk in Florala, Alabama at 7 o'clock in the morning and read Twylah's book to the cedar trees. I heard lots of deep, humming, approval sounds coming from the trees. As soon as I got to a part that wasn't about trees, they cut me off. They were done! The understanding I was given was that the trees were interested in knowing what the latest group of people on the planet thought of them. I was left with a feeling that they are so old and we are so puny and little, and have been here such a short time.

I wanted to email or call Lee and thank her again for finding the book for me. I keep feeling that Grandmother Twylah would like this story, but I put it off. They don't know me. I don't know her. It's not important. In June I took off for a trip around the US, without getting the note sent. All 10 weeks and 16,000 miles of what my guides called part one of a two summer "Native American tour" I felt the need to email my little story, but I just never had time. I got home and finally had a real excuse; school started the next day. I'll just tell Bob & Lee when they come to my class in September, I thought. And then it was too late for the story to get to Twylah. I did not go to the service in Florida, even though it would have been an easy drive for me. It was not right for me to go when I had not even taken time to send my thanks and my story.

Tonight after reading the letters and notes posted on the web site, I looked up and saw her standing there in front of me. Her laughing face and twinkling eyes matched the photographs I had seen. I felt a pang of guilt that I had not communicated in time, but she reassured me in this no nonsense yet gentle voice that it was okay. So, thank you, Gram Twylah. I hope you like the story. The trees sure liked yours!  Blessings always!
-Naomi Fairchild Bradford, USA

Grandmother Twylah, Thank you for all you have done for us….Love…
-Robyn Bridges, USA

…I know she lived a good, full and rewarding life here on earth and I know she has left her mark here and will be remembered for many generations. Now she will be reunited with all her friends and relatives and be able to reminisce with them. I still remember very clearly our good times visiting at your home in Brant, I had a lot of fun with Janice and Dianne. It's VERY strange because for the last two weeks I had been thinking about her most every day!! I had been meaning to drop an e-mail to you but have been very busy getting everything ready and in place as my wife left this AM for her trip back to Spore to see her family and friends. I'll be leaving on Oct. 15 to join her and we will both be returning on Dec. 12.…Once again my sincere condolences on you and your family’s loss, but I know she's smiling down on us!
-Norm Buchbinder, USA

Dear Grandmother-Twylah,

I was so glad that you were strong enough to join us so much. You radiate such love and wisdom, it is an honor to sit in your presence.…During your teaching on Sunday, you mentioned that in this 5th world of Illumination there was a new race of 1st world people who had agreed to return for the Changes. When you said that these people would be called the "Crystallites", I felt as if there was a knotted rope attached to my vibral core, and that someone had given it a sharp tug. It was so strong that I was literally moved several inches toward you, nearly pulling me off the mat I was sitting upon!….I guess Spirit knows that some people need a little more convincing! Thank you Great Mystery!  Thank you for your teachings, Grandmother. They are full of love and wisdom and healing…Peace and Love…
-Michelle Buhite, USA

“… We know her continuing sky walk is being filled with all the goodness and beauty she shared during her earth walk. Jaimie at 89 and I at 73 remember her well. It was my extreme pleasure to care for her during the 21 days or so you had to leave Jacksonville for a gathering … some years ago. Just being in her presence was a joy for me. I asked her when I was with her if she would teach me this or that. She said, "Oh no, I don't teach anymore." An hour or so later I asked another question and she promptly launched into a teaching! She just sailed into one. It was so natural to her. Every now...and…then she would say to me, "Point your targets." I knew exactly what she meant by that. How I laughed!

I loved her dearly. Her aura was so white like the crystal at the center of my personal color wheel that she led me through so many years ago. We "Two Old Wolves" continue to walk in the very same way she taught. We walk in beauty as she did all her life. She did so much good in this world so my eldest daughter, Iktomi, who lives in Seattle , WA remarked when I told her of Gram's entering her sky walk. We will miss her and remember her all the days of our lives however long or short that may be.  Lovingly…
-Marlene Cameron and Jaimie Whittum , USA

Receive a big loving hug from my heart.
I knew through Sita about Gram Twylah passing to the Spiritual World, we had a ceremony planned for that Sunday morning so she was in our prayers, of course.  Its happiness for me receiving an email from you; my heart is full of joy and of course to honor her with a gathering. I have so much to say about her and the quality time we spent together even when we slept in the same bedroom, and our dreams were the same, is a lot. Receive the Love from my heart always…
- Grandmother Forest Bird, Ayleen Carrion, Borike Sacred Island ( PUERTO RICO )

… She was such a supreme soul, so very close to mother Earth.  She taught so many true appreciation for God's creation I will never forget her, she gave me so much that is dear to my soul and will be a part of me forever…In love and honor,
-Donna Cathcart, USA

Gram…Thank you for helping me remember the Great Mystery everyday in every way…Thank you for loving me…Love you too,
-Glendora Cecil, Cornspirit, USA

Dear Lee and Family,
My heart goes out to you all at the passing of our dear sweet Grandmother Twylah. I heard this morning, from Jane Sorbi at ST. John's in Texas . I understand that she passed softly and quietly in her bed, which is the way I'm sure she would have wanted. Her loving spirit and ways will be missed by all who loved her, though I feel she's not far from us, even now…
-Glenda Champagne (Standing Tree), USA

Dearest grandma Twy…Whenever I'm outdoors, my thoughts turn to you and what a blessing you and the teachings have been in my life. They continue, through me to impact the lives of others. The circle goes on but I'm miss you and your kitchen table...As the garden and I prepare for a winter’s rest and recuperation; a winter’s dreaming and planning know you are …in my heart and prayers…
-Susan Chartier, Your little bird up north, USA

…Honoring Grandmother Young in Years in the Spirit world One Voice who rides in the wind.

From one elder to another for many years I have seen our elders go to the spirit world but have also seen them come back in our time of need. One very important lesson that I have learned from all the elders is wisdom. Wisdom only comes when you learn how to honor. Then the spirit will walk with you in your heart. For then you see the true spirit and you can hear them as they talk in the wind but you must have faith in your heart. And then you will have unconditional love and you will then learn to feel the spirit. It is the world of the great spirit, it is the work that we do with spirit. Then we will see both sides and then we can have the strength to go forward. This is the time to let spirit take you and you do not take the spirit. For whenever you want to see the Grandmother all you have to do is look within your heart and what you seek the rest will follow. It is a time to be humble and have much gratitude and time for respect. To remember all the hours and days she gave up to teach all the people that wanted to learn the sacred red road on our earth path. It seems only yesterday that we talked about the white spirit Buffalo’s in the clouds. For those people that know what I mean now she is with them free in the clouds. I could talk all day about the beautiful memories but I would rather dream about them now. It will give me something to talk to her about when I get there. The most important thing that you all should remember is the message she had around her house. And it was if you can not say anything good then you do not speak at all.

For her family, yes Bob I got the news late but it is never too late to talk about the people you care for. When I look at the date in August it is the month of feelings of the Medicine wheel in other words it is 8:00 the number 8 to me represents the four directions of the earth and the four directions of the spirit world. And the 21 represents the creators wheel of protection so we have our 12 emotions around the wheel. Then in the sacred North we have the sacred Grandmothers & Grandfathers. Then in the east we have the sacred Grandmothers & Grandfathers. Then in the south we have sacred Grandmothers & Grandfathers. Then in the west we have the sacred Grandmothers & Grandfathers. And in the middle we have the creator who brought her to the spirit world. And the year 2007 to me represents the 9 Warriors that protected her on her journey. The two 0’s represent the circles of our life upon the earth and the second circle represents the Creator. Thetime she crossed over is 7:12 AM to me the 7 represents the sacred north the sacred south the sacred west and the sacred east. Then mother earth and Grandmother and the Creator that is the sacred 7 to me. The sacred 12 is the wheel that protected her on her journey to the white lights. Just remember we all are between Grandfather mountain and many waters and we are small like the ant. We must carry a heavy load on our back. I am Spotted Wolf One Who Leaves a Trail Where Ever He Goes. We send our prayers to you for all the ones that are crying in their heart and the ones who are crying like gentle rain. Her most important thing was to teach people around the world from the smallest child to the oldest person. And I would say she has done her job. I have spoken.
-Spotted Wolf (Champney) One Who Leaves a Trail Wherever He Goes & Grandmother Yellow Laughing Coyote Keeper of The Animals, USA

…The gathering at Yeva's was blessed with sunshine and light. We had a ceremony outside, during which we sang the Wolf song, the Sun song, and finally, the Moon song -- at the end of which was a distinct and extraordinary breeze, a single, very gentle gust of wind, which struck several of us as noteworthy…We consider ourselves very blessed to have been influenced by Gram Twylah's wisdom, teaching and vitality, both in person and in your (Bob & Lee) own wonderful workshops. We think of you all with gratitude and joy in our hearts. We have fond memories of grandma Twylah's visit to Brighton, and I (Kirsten) particularly remember the importance she gave to using each of our senses to the full and from sniffing out the truth of something to really hearing, as there is only fear when you don't hear. Also the twinkle in her eye, and her famous butt -- kicking skills! We thank Twylah for bringing the Seneca teachings to life for us, in a way that is relevant to us, and we thank you both (Bob & Lee) for the part you have played and continue to play. We wish Twylah love, peace and exciting journeys in the beyond. And we wish you more of the love, light and strength which we already associate you with.
-Andy and Kirsten Chick, UK

hello
I’d like to add my prayers, thoughts and appreciation for the wisdom and light that Grams shared with us all and especially with you - Bob, Lee and Yeva for bringing her teachings to us and indeed in meeting her the last time. They are truly special and will light the way for generations to come. All my love goes with you, may all love surround you and the light of Angels shine on you…
-Anne Collingwood, SANCTUARY OF ENLIGHTENMENT, UK

… Gram has visited me many times over the last few days and nights, filling me with many teachings while also activating my heart and soul with her humor, grace, dignity, love and wisdom. She has brought me tears of grief and joy over and over again with her shining presence. Everyone here at Still Meadows Retreat Center has felt her presence and many have received messages from Gram. I must share with you some of the magic that occurred on the morning of her passing. Around 4 am west coast time I awoke with a start and began to vibrate as if electricity was running through my body. I had the distinct feeling that someone or something was calling me to go outside and walk down a path in the forest to visit the two 900 year old Douglas fir trees (one is a Grandmother and the other a Grandfather) here in this sacred forest.

…I am not typically a morning person so I decided to wait until the rain slowed down and it became light enough for me to make my way into the woods without getting lost. Around 6 am I began to walk to these trees that stand at least 70 feet tall while a gentle rain fell. I was overcome with a profound sadness that I could not explain. It was as if everything I had ever felt sad about came up to meet me on my walk to the trees; all the losses of my life were palpably present.

…When I arrived at the trees, I first went to the one that had told me that she was the Grandmother of the forest and I wept deeply. As the tears streamed down my face, I felt myself being emptied of all the grief that had filled me as I had walked to the old ones. I cried until I felt not only empty but wholly cleansed. I then flashed on Grandmother Twylah and my own maternal Grandmother Callie, two of the most important and influential people of my life. I felt their loving presence guiding me. I then walked a few feet away to the other gentle giant who had made me aware that he was the Grandfather and partner to the Grandmother tree. I found myself saying aloud, “Please, Great Ones, help me to stand tall and strong with dignity, speaking my truth, living with integrity, sharing what I have learned and my gifts with the world in a good way. Help me to weather the storms of life as you have, and to grow upright reaching to the stars and putting down strong roots to both nourish my life and soul as well as the lives of those around me. Help me to keep my heart open, alive and awake, and to renew it over and over again, never becoming stagnant or dulled with my own complacency. Help me to not be overwhelmed with the negativity of what may be occurring in the world around me.”

I felt an amazing vibration of renewed energy pouring through my heart center and knew I was being initiated and healed by these great beings in the woods and by the spirits that were present.…I was reminded of the creek behind the pasture and woods at Grandma Twylah’s house on the Cattaraugus Reservation outside of Buffalo, N.Y. Many years ago Gram sent me to the river to spend the day in search of healing stones. She gave me very specific instructions on how to find them and told me to bring them back for her inspection. She taught me to notice how many sides the stones had, told me what their numerology was, and how to listen to the message hidden deep inside their ancient bodies. She then told me to sit outside all night by a small fire circle that was partially hidden and encircled by dense trees. I sat with the stones, my elder teachers, under the moon and a night sky filled with more stars than I had ever seen. I listened to the stones as they gave me their wisdom teachings. I now found myself gathering healing stones in the manner that Gram had taught me so many years ago. I felt like a happy child gathering the stones and listening to those that called me, joyfully hopping barefoot in the creek.

…I then returned to my room to prepare for the morning Shamanic Breathwork TM Journey. I uncharacteristically decided to quickly call my home phone to see if there were any messages - something I usually do at the end of the day while traveling. There on the voice mail was an urgent message to call Grandma Twylah’s son and daughter-in-law, Bob and Lee. My heart raced as I shakily called and learned of Gram’s passing. While I spoke with Lee, it slowly dawned on me that it was Gram Twylah who had awakened me in the wee hours before dawn and called me to the elder trees and the elder stones in the creek. She always spoke so lovingly and respectfully of the trees, the stones, the creek beds and the animals. I realized the grief I had been feeling was deeply connected to her passing and the inner knowing that all things and beings must eventually pass from this reality into the Great Mystery. It was her voice that had come to me, along with the voices of the great trees, to reassure me and guide me back to my renewed vision and heart, and my commitment to the path I chose - or perhaps I should say chose me - so long ago.

It was her words that reminded me to live in trust, standing tall, and to have the courage to speak the words of truth and living wisdom learned from the cycles of change and from the sacred experiences of life. It was her voice that reminded me that there is a well worn spiral path from this reality to all other dimensions and from Mother Earth to the Great Star Nations. And it was her voice that spoke to me as I stood in the sacred waters of Richardson Creek among the ancient stone Grandmothers and Grandfathers. …Lee told me that a ceremony was to be held for Gram. It would happen while our group here would be doing a Shamanic Breathwork TM Journey. I told her we would call in the energies here and that we would connect our ceremony for Grandma Twylah with theirs. In circle I tearfully shared the news of Grandma Twylah’s passing and my bitter sweet shamanic experiences of the morning. The group was profoundly touched and went into their breathwork journeys carrying with them the magic of all that had happened.

Much to my chagrin we could not, no matter how many times we tried, get our pre recorded music to play. We couldn’t get any cd to play on the cd player, except one - “Sacred Spirit”, the only Native American music cd that we had brought with us. Every time Brad hit “disc 1” on the cd player it would flip to “disc 4” and start to play “Sacred Spirit.” We even took it out of the cd player and tried other cds in the disc 4 slot, but nothing else would play! Finally I looked at Brad and told him, “Nothing is going to work, except ‘Sacred Spirit.’ Gram is here. A few minutes ago we invited her spirit to join us for our breathwork and this is the music SHE WANTS US TO PLAY FOR HER!” Sure enough - as soon as Brad put “Sacred Spirit” back into slot number 4 it played just fine and so it is the cd we used for the entire session. Almost everyone in the group had Grandma Twylah visit them during their breathwork journey with some sort of message - some quite humorous I might add - all deeply meaningful.

…Later on that day Casey called and told me about the miracle of the rain, which had not been predicted in western North Carolina. Our area has been experiencing a drought for many weeks. He was convinced that Gram Twylah had something to do with it. Casey said, “Mom, right at the time all the ceremonies were happening on both sides of the country for Gram, I went out to look up at the sun and send Grandma Twylah and you some energy. These huge clouds gathered. It thundered, the sky broke open and it poured rain like crazy. Then the clouds dispersed and the sun came back out almost as suddenly as it disappeared and it has been sunny ever since.” In his words, “It was really amazing.”

I have always felt a strong heart connection with Gram, but now it is as if we have gone from dial up to wireless! Yes, I feel the deep sadness of her passing from this physical plane. I simultaneously feel a deepening of her love and wisdom in my heart that I know will continue to grow. Grandma Twylah and her vision, her spirit, her teachings and her magic is alive and well in the hearts of all those who love her. Those of us she called her “wolfies”, her family members, students, friends and Wolf Clan Soul Family members who were fortunate enough to have heard her coyote laughter and see the twinkle of her eyes can say we truly have been blessed.…I know Grandma is close by whispering in my ear …Don’t forget to trust ... Remember Trust has an “us” in it ... We weren’t meant to do it alone ... So All For One - One For All! Your Grateful Granddaughter…
-Star Wolf (Collins), USA

Dear Gram… I just want you to know Gram how important and profound knowing you has been as I walk my path. There are times that I have longed for sitting around your kitchen table, sipping tea and getting "Wet Noodled" with my colored pencils all around me. I thank you for your life and teachings and all you offered me to learn of myself. Wherever my feet take me on this beautiful Mother Earth, I will always wish you love and four winds…Always……If I may be so bold, the dream she showed me the night before she crossed was one of a full life -- she was dancing and laughing. She blessed my life in so many ways that help me grow as a human being -- her words and the memories of days spent with her always light up my heart and mind.
-Sandy Corcoran, USA

Dear Friends and Wolf Clan Family,
Our Deepest And Sincerest Condolences On The Passing Of Seneca Wolf Clan Grandmother Twylah Nitsch. Our Love, Hearts, Thoughts And Prayers Are With Grandmother Twy's Loved Ones During This Difficult Time. Having Recently Gone Through The Loss Of A Beloved Parent and Elder, We Understand What Her Passing Means To The Wolf Clan Family. It Is Difficult To Express Even A Small Part Of What The Passing Of A Most Revered Family Elder Means To A Family. As A Woman, Sister, Mother, Grandmother, Relative, Friend, And Elder, Grandmother Twy Was (And Continues To Be) A Truly Loving, Beloved, Generous, Humble, Respectful, Respected, Beautiful, Wise, Special And Revered Elder In Every Sense Of The Word. We Are Comforted In Knowing That She Now Lovingly Watches Over All Of Us, Along With The Rest Of The Ancestors, And That Her Vision And Example Will Always Be Remembered. For This And More, We Are Truly Thankful. May the Great Spirit Bless, Guide, Heal, Nourish, Nurture, Protect And Sustain You And Your Loved Ones, Now And Always. Omar Bahrain (With Respect), Trio Bo Gastrula (Ancestral Blessings), Love, Hugs, Peace & Tai no-TI (We Honor the Light in You), Your Tai no Guardia…
-Joanna Cottontails & Family

I want to express my deepest sympathies to you over the loss of Grandmother Twylah.  My heart was very saddened by the news.  We here at our hoop gave our own little ceremony on her behalf and had a quiet moment in her honor.  Yes, as you said she has touched a lot of lives.  She will be missed, but her lesson will carry on forever… Many Blessings
-Bobby Cravener, USA

...Twylah has left the people and teachings in good hands. She has been preparing you both (Bob & Lee) for a long time. It is always wonderful to be with your calming balanced energy. Kee and Twylah are probably sitting at a Council Fire having a cigar!!  …Keep feeding the good Wolf -- clan!
-Dan Creely, USA

…beloved blessings of the one heart....buffalo calling G,Ma TWYLAH…My Heartfelt blessings to grandma, and her family.  I was at a Pow wow at a bison farm at west Knole 9.9 2007 =9.9.9, in Somerset UK near Glastonbury where I live at this time. I was called by the buffalo to go to pow wow for a completion of one thing and another, I connected with Elk,emu Lamamas...and bison…and of course like minded kin…to hear the drum heart beat and the music and song of the dancers was a beautiful day. I shared with others about g,ma and did not realize she had gone to father sun and gran ma moon...and our starry brethren. So 2 day after the pow wow you send me this email buffalo has spoken.... I have a frog in my throat so to speak..and am swallowing my grief and allowing my love to be shared ...so I say to all... listen to your heart and always follow this path and great spirit is always listening we all need to share our love and dreams…I had the privilege to meet g,ma at chalice well gardens in glastonbury a few years ago her sweet gentle smile I will not forget, thank you for being there for me,……….inlakech....I am another yourself....
-Vicki Cunningham…  Elmera +(Ebmnagine, my sirian crystalskull), UK

…Mom, Grandmother, Teacher and Friend to many; It has been both an honor and privilege to have known such a remarkable woman.  May the gifts she has shared with so many continue to have live for generations to come…
-White Feather, Dan and Teresa Curtiss, USA

Dear Grandma Twy… Your teachings, of the cycles of truth and pathway of peace, have taught me to listen and know how to express my limits. Law is also about limits…But "natural law" is a controversial legal theory in Caucasian legal philosophy… I need to learn from you.
-Anna De Lataulade, Suekhao Shada, CANADA

Nye-Weh Scano,
…I lived at Twylah's, Home which is on the Cattaraugus reservation in western New York from April 1, 1991 through October 14, 1994. During the months of April and May of 1991, many people were involved in setting up the first "Wolf Song I" gathering, in which 76 Elders from all over the world were gathered at Twylah's home for a gathering of "Peace and Understanding" between all nations. I share this information as a reflection and dream of that first Wolf Song gathering, in which everyone attending departed from the gathering with many joyous thoughts and much Spiritual rejuvenation.… While living at Gram Twylah's home, I was responsible for genealogy and mapping of the Family tree for Twylah.

…As all of Gram's student remember, she taught "The Cycles Of Truth and The Pathway of Peace", as the basic foundations of her teachings. Many of these teachings were conducted at her kitchen table, sometimes at 4:00 AM in the morning and other times at 12:00pm midnight. One of her earliest students was a woman from Cleveland (?) named Melinda Perrin, who I remember as a person that took me to see Miracle, the first whit Buffalo calf born in 1993-94. I am sorry to say that time allows people to disconnect and I am one of those people.…In closing I will say that Grandmother Twylah touched many hearts in her lifetime through her teachings (sometimes gentle and sometimes Kick Butt). I have many scars on my Butt from my stubbornness in resisting the teachings when I was a beginner student. She always knew how to approach a new student because of her incredible gift of intuition. We all learn from History and the facts that support History, as they are the foundation of teachings for the next seven generations. Da- Naho, Nya-Weh, Swenio (It Is Said, Thank You, Great Mystery)
-Ron Doyle, USA

Dear Twylah...Such an exciting journey (1991)....To your abode from North Carolina, during intensive, and home again...Cheryl and I made a physical circle, beginning in the South, "our entry" to the circle of truth.  Little did we realize at the time the significance of it all.  As our journey unfolded the synchronicity of so many events were astonishing until we figured out -- that's the way it is! I know Cheryl has already shared some of our homework bound giggles, venturing without a map, conversations focusing on colors at major road junctions (critical to our pathway home!!)...I'm still amazed.  We learned our integrity charts color attributes and how our gifts are expressed, our animal totems.  Riches galore…I believe in what you are doing you truly walk your talk! …I thank you again for your beauty, warmth, love, and graciousness.

I received the news the first morning of our 19th Council of Women: The Crone’s Braid. We were able to process, sing, dance, celebrate Gram’s life all weekend long with over 100 women, several of whom are Wolf Clan. What a gift! She was the most powerful woman I have ever known. With love and respect…
-NorthStar Helene Drouin, USA

Hello to all our brothers and sisters on Turtle Island.
As we reflect upon Twylah’s passing we remember how she welcomed us into her home and shared the dreaming with us. We shall treasure the happy memories we have of our time together and the many friends we made through her vision of Wolfsong. Meeting Thunder and all the Wolf Clan family has enriched our lives more than words can say. To all our Native American family we grieve with you for the passing of a wise elder who touched all of us in Australia and guided our steps through America and Europe. For my most treasured memory is when Auntie Mary was in her office and when I entered she said ….where there is an elder there is always a younger …May the next generation pass on what she passed on so we remember…always …with respect…
-Mary Duroux, Evie Pikler and Barry Birkin, AUSTRALIA

…Kathy, Windraven, Karen and I gathered on the deck at 2 pm to hold space for…(Twylah). Just as we were gathering it started to thunder. We smudged, and then stood together, holding hands, and each of us gave thanks to her for the work she did while on this earth and for the gifts she gave to us. None of us had met her in person, but we all feel indebted to her for the teachings she’s given us through you (Star Wolf), through the Medicine Cards and the Sacred Path Cards and in so many ways. We thanked her sincerely from our hearts. We thanked her for the Wolf Clan, and I told her that we are the Aquarian Wolf Clan - that we are the ones who will carry her teachings into the new age and that we will not let her teachings die. We thanked her for Isis Cove and told her that we believed that Isis Cove exists because of her and the teachings she gave you. We thanked her for everything she’s given to us through you. Kathy pointed out that we had chosen, without thinking about it, to gather on the deck, where the Wise Wolf Women had gathered. And then we gave her a really big wolf howl. And Star Wolf, it poured rain, and the skies cracked open in huge peals of thunder as though the Thunder Beings were welcoming her soul and acknowledging our prayers. It truly was amazing. We felt your presence and everyone in Portland, and we felt the presence of other Wolf Clan members - many of whom we do not know in person - scattered all across this country and the world. And it poured rain. Love…
-Ruby Falconer, USA

Dearest Grandmother Twylah, Will you remember me? I hope!! You are unforgettable to me…. We spent some wonderful time together in the 80s. We did a celebration at Malibu for Vigali's Woman in the Rock carving. We laughed a lot in our visits; you shared a lot of your wisdom with me… I would love to see your twinkling eyes hear your beautiful voice and laugh and hold your hand one more time…all my love forever & ever & ever & ever etc etc…
-Jessica Fawn, USA

Grandmother Twylah, Thank you for the many gifts you have given me. I will take our work to the parts of this world that my mission takes me...
-Joan Feldman, USA

… My heartfelt prayers and well wishes are with you and grandmother on her new journey. With love…
-Matthew Flickstein Forest Way, USA

Thank you for your message my prayers are with everyone I will translate your letter and let all communities know in Central America the Mayan Nation of Grandmothers passing to Spirit Love and Prayers…
-Flordemayo, New Mexico USA

Blessings to you and all our relations!  Thank you Grandmother, Thank you to all you do.  This smile is for you.  Bless Whitebud for leading us to you and the Cycles of Truth.  (My son) Chris was in the womb during Women’s Council, while his sister danced in the beautiful children’s program, 1988.  Grandmother we love you!!
-Angela Foxsong, Al, Jess & Chris

Dear grandmother Twylah… When I walk, which I do a lot, I offer gratitude to nature, for all you have taught me, and the miracle of the universe…Love…
-Jeanette Gagan, USA

…I have always been filled with so much gratitude for all the times I spent with her. She helped me transform myself with immense gentleness and humor, not to maintain insight and wisdom. I remember evenings full of such fun and laughter. It was the greatest honor to have known Grandma Twylah. I loved her very much and will continue to do so.
-Leo & Anna Gahlin,UK

Song for Grandmother Twylah Nitsch
There must be a reason
for rainbows.
It become very clear to me,
They connect us
to the ones we love
And dearly long
to see.
Those who have crossed
to the other side
Are only a rainbow away.
So put on a smile,
then dance for awhile.
Be grateful for every new day.
By : Genee Garman / Night Song HAWAII 9/10/07, USA
Rainbow blessings, Julie Potratz HAWAII, USA
The Myoho Sisterhood: " Today, Again, never Defeated"

Tribute For Grandmother Twylah Our Beloved Grandmother Twylah:
A few times in our lifetime, a particular light descends on us from the Star Nation. And it changes our lives forever. Grandmother was one of those lights. She gave us a clearer understanding of spiritual strength and commitment. Her respect for the Old Ways and her willingness to share the teachings were an inspiration to those of us who follow The Path. She helped us all to see more clearly the tracks of The Old Ones. She gave us the vision to see the Lighted Stones in The Path. We celebrate her life and her gifts to The People. I am thankful that we were walking together. With great respect and devotion…
-Grandmother Red Leaf (Garneau) - Tribal Elder, USA

Beloved Grandmother:
My heart filled with gratitude for being able to be a part of Wolfsong XI. I am truly humbled by being given the gift of spending a little time with you and hearing your words of wisdom. I honor and respect you for your commitment to The People. The wish pouch you have given me means a great deal to me, and I have done as you asked. I have put my first wish into my wish pouch. My wish is for you. I wish that you may see fulfillment of your dreams in each of us who have chosen to carry the fire. It is my prayer that we will honor your leadership and teaching in all that we do. I wish that you may have much laughter and happiness in your life and in the life of your family. I wish that you may continue as you always have to be strong in Spirit. I wish that you may find pride in seeing your many years of teaching passing into other hands and being carried forth on the Good Road. Those of us who were blessed by hearing your words of wisdom, seeing your radiant countenance and feeling your spiritual presence have received a great gift. Your leadership, your strength, determination and courage are an inspiration to us all. Courage is truly a reflection of the Spirit. Thank you from my heart for sharing your time and your wisdom with all of us. You have lighted the Fire that will illuminate the path into our future. Thank you. With great respect and love, and in the strength and power of Spirit, -Love from the heart…
-Jacque Red Leaf (Garneau), USA

Hi, I'm not sure that I ever met you, but I'm Neil. I lived just around the corner from Twylah… and I would often go over to Twy's to visit with Daniel during the summer. I spent many hours talking, working and listening to Twylah over the years off and on. Of course as you know, there wasn't a lot of local support for Twylah, but I always came over to see what she was up to and if she needed anything, but she was always surrounded by amazing people who I felt helped her just as much as anyone. My mom is Joyce Gates, and my brothers and sisters used to dance at the fair for Twy a very long time ago. At night I could hear the beating of the drums through the trees and I would ride my bike over to sit on the outskirts of the light, so I wouldn't bother anyone and listen to the teachings....I was there to experience the awesome sounds that the lodge out back would make. I'm still amazed at architecture and design of those buildings. My cousin now lives there and it’s kind of a shame to see so many of the things I helped plant now with people who don't understand why they were planted. I'm not sure why I'm writing this, but perhaps in my own way I want you to know how special it was just to have known Twylah for the short time that I did. I was more happy to know her personally and be able to spend private time with her…
-Neil Gates, USA

Dear Twylah,
Hello Hello
Tonight I am feeling you so strongly,
Feeling your smile,
Feeling your heart,
Feeling my heart,
Feeling them beating together as One...

You're here!

Dear Gram,
Tonight I am feeling us so strongly,
Smiling together,
Moving together,
Singing together -
Thank you for walking EarthMother as One

How do I go so far away?

Grandmother,!
Thank you for BEING -
Thank you for coming into our lives
Thank you for sharing with us
Thank you for showing us the way
All for One, One for All

Nyah-Weh! Thank You!
-Diana Georges-Claire, USA

Dear Twylah …thank you…for making a beautiful weekend come into being. I shall never forget it --particularly the walks taken. There were three; the first, alone, soon after I arrived, getting the feel of the place; the second, early in the morning when we went to pick watercress with the frost still on it. The way home was the "path of the deer;" the third walk, generously added, Howard, was to walk up to the point, along the river, up onto the mountain, and back to the car. I have retraced these in my mind many times. Twylah, thank you for the honor of being made an honorary Wolf: The Wolf inside, waiting; The Wolf inside howling out across the distances; The Wolf teacher with humility trying to help others find the center of solitude and connectedness. I am proud to be a "Wolf" in these senses. I have always been a "lone wolf" in many senses. Anyhow, it was a great pleasure to meet…you and thanks so much for your sharing of your life with us….Fondly…
-Judith Gleason, The Faithful One, USA

Dear Twylah…Thank you for all your support and encouragement and helping me work with dreams.  I miss the frosty winter days hanging out with you and Wata and Jesse and Agnieska. Thank you for sharing so much with us.  With much love and gratitude,
-Martha Gorzycki, USA

hi all,
Earlier today we received word from a number of people, that Grandmother Twylah has passed over to the other side. Tlakaelel and I shared the Sacred Pipe with our hosts here and prayed for her tonite. Gram was a one of a kind special amazing person, Elder, teacher, musician and leader. She will be missed by many many people but is flying free now of her aged robe (98 years old), and I am sure she is enjoying the view from above. We send condolences to her many friends and family; much love to you all…
-Bert Gunn, Kalpulli Chaplin, USA

I learned that people who are willing to learn about who they are, are a joy to teach.  There are many open, beautiful people and now I know that I want to teach and to share your teachings.  Thanks Gram, I love you so much!
-Jean-Mariel Gunner, USA

I was very saddened to hear of Gram’s passing…But I know that you know that she was called now to be of assistance to you, Mother Earth and humanity from the other side.  Her wisdom will continue to be passed on…Our HeartSong Healing Center group did a special ceremony to protect the Eastern Seaboard from hurricanes and tropical storms on the full moon & lunar eclipse day and I always begin with the Seneca ceremony of honoring the 7 directions on the Medicine Wheel of Life.  I dedicated this one to Gram and I know she was there with us… Much Love, blessings & Four Winds,
-Starbird, Louise Hamilton, USA

I send love … to Gram on her journey beyond. She has a special place in my heart always and may her teachings bring peace on this planet!!! Love…
-Vijali Hamilton, WORLD WHEEL, USA

… your work has been instrumental in changing lives my own included. Thank you for all your teachings ….In Love and Light…
-Sherry Hanson, Cloud Woman, Wolf Clan 1991, SPIDER MOON LODGE, USA

To dear Twylah…This is Carrie from South Africa whom you so kindly spend time with on 27th of May 1995. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you most sincerely for your time and energy. It really meant a great deal to me. I learnt a lot about myself and my life with my session with you and it has helped me to guide me on a path that I would like to take. I had a lovely time in America -- you have a very beautiful country with many opportunities -- it is my dream to return…Thank you so much…
-Carrie Harding, SOUTH AFRICA

…My constant gratitude to Gram Twylah and all that she was and still is -- a powerful presence for good. Twylah's words of wisdom are to me like seeds of corn -- falling on fertile soil and in the right conditions they grow and grow their own ears & feed others. Many many thanks to you both for caring for this wonderful woman and for sharing the Seneca wisdom teachings.  I feel that Gram is now free to kick-butt in many dimensions as she blends with the four winds.

… She will be greatly missed. Thank you for carrying on. Love

“I love you very, very much.…You are in my heart with my core family and our Heavenly family as we receive and pass on cosmic batons.
I know you
And you know me
Do you view a tired blossom and say
You are dried up and no fun this way
Or do you say
I will stand in your light
And dance in your shadow once more

Beloved Mother to so many, may Our Creator Bless you 1000 x 1000 and exponentially for all your loving wisdom, for saving our sorry rear ends with tenderness and needed butt kicking.…With more Loving Light than words can express as it keeps moving and filling the universe as it grows…
-Malkah (Hegel-Schurder) The Too Often Red Faced Shmiem, USA

Dear Grandmother…Jason and I feel so fortunate to have been exposed to such wonderful teachings and we feel that there is no way we can begin to give back to the elders what has been given to us with such generosity and compassion…This is especially true for you. As with everything we do, you are the catalyst and spark. It is through the teachings you have given to us that we have realized our gifts of birth and our talents. And it is through you that we met Gram Kitty. It is very symbolic to me that this project (to tape Gram Kitty’s Teachings) began from your house…Wata and I left your house in a snowstorm in early January 1994 and drove to New Mexico where we met Martha at Grandmother Kitty's house. That is when we did the taping. You will recognize many of your wolves who contributed to this project and all of us owe you much gratitude…It was quite an experience working together in this way and using the teachings. As you can well imagine there have been many lessons! …We are all proud of this example of the possibilities of what we can do and trust you will be pleased with your wolf cubs…Gram, you know we all love you so much.  We speak of you constantly in circle and there are so many people whose lives you have affected who have never ever seen you and who send you love…Nyah weh…
-Nicky Heron, Blue Ice, USA

I have been so blessed to receive teachings from Grandmother Twylah, through Don and Vivian Papson of The Red Hummingbird Foundation. They recently held a celebration to honor Grandmother’s passing into the spirit world. I was in a car accident that day and unable to make it, but I heard it was wonderful. I have shared some of her teachings with people around the world. I was in Sugarbush, Vermont for the American Society of Dowsers Convention around the first of April and was very drawn to a beautifully decorated stone person, co-created by Addie Two Owls. I usually do not buy things like this, but she kept calling to me. When I picked her up, I felt a very strong presence of Grandmother Twylah. I took her home and knew she would hold a place of honor, especially during my women's gatherings at the Full Moon. When I passed her around to he introduced to the women in the group, I felt even more strongly that this glorious Goddess Stone being was a way for Grandmother Twylah to be with us. I am writing to express my love and honor for Grandmother Twylah and her wonderful teachings. I feel her at my left shoulder as I write this. She left an amazing legacy for the world and I would love to help to perpetuate that in any way that I can.…I am so grateful to the Great Mystery, Grandmother and you for helping keep the planet in balance during these challenging times. Creator has blessed us with many people who are teaching humanity to remember the way of walking in Beauty, Love, Truth and Peace. In joy…
-Lindamarie Hill, USA

I have such fond memories of visiting Gram in Sept. 1990. I was one of five facilitators at a Young Peoples Global Conference held in Vermont. The thirty-three Young People from all over the World (aged between 12 yrs and 21 yrs), had together written a ‘Declaration for Peace,’ and they presented this document at the World Summit for Children at the U.N. in New York (and later to the Dalai Lama who was visiting New Jersey). On behalf of the Young People I took a copy of their Declaration for Peace to Gram, in honour of her compassion & dedication to Peace…I spent a most wonderful week at Gram’s home helping with the daily chores, and receiving a Seneca Blessing from Gram.
-Lorye Keats Hopper, UK

…I did hear thru Starwolf and sent my prayers along the wind for Gram and all of you. I also forwarded to all I knew would want to know…In OneAllness..
-Tiqvah (Hoster), USA

"I have walked this earth guided by Grandmother for many years. It is in peace that I have crossed the rainbow to be with Grandfather in a land where my friends are waiting. If you remember I will always be with you."
-Barbara Wind Walker Howard, Apache/Dineh USA

…I was in ceremony with Thunder and heard about Grams passing on the Aug 21st. We prayed for her all week. Thunder and I set out a chair for her in the dance arbor and spirit plates where offered. Many people there knew Grams and the Wolf Clan teachings. We'll remember her and the family this year in ceremony. Thank you for carrying on the ways.
Wado,
-Sparky (Hunt) Shooting Star, USA

Dear Bob & Lee,
I heard from Mary that Gram Twylah has passed to Spirit.
What a wonderful Earth Walk, although perhaps an Earth Run or Earth Skip & Dance might also describe Gram's great journey. What a wonderful party and welcome I am sure she received on the Spirit side. I wish her all the best on her next adventure. The sad part is the great gap she has left in your lives. My thoughts are with you both, may you receive the strength and support necessary at this difficult time. She will always have a warm place in my heart. As she wrote in my 'Creature Teachers' book in Wansford, To Ronald : Thank you for being "All for one one for all " Love Gram Twylah. I certainly thank her (and you both) for being "All for one one for all" Love and hugs from…
-Ronald Hyde, UK

Gram Twylah…We hold the teachings dear to our hearts and we are both so grateful to you for all you have shared…Four winds,
-Meryl Joseph and Gabrielle, USA

Dearest Grandmother... I have now danced on the Harmony Wheel for three years. Your teachings and Spirit have been a great blessing in my life. Thank you for bringing your gifts and wisdom to us during a time on earth that we all so desperately need to remember our connection to Creator and Mother Earth…. The beauty in the face of the Wolf on this card reminds me of the sweetness and beauty of your Spirit. When I dance my dance on the wheel, I feel your Spirit working with me in my journey-thank you… May blessings flow upon you all the days of your life and beyond. You will never be forgotten in my heart. Many years will I ponder and dwell with the wisdom you have gifted me through Mother/Father/God… In Creators Love I meet you in the Great Mystery…

Dear Gram… I miss you…I think of you often and I am so grateful for the many things you taught me about life…My love and prayers are with you.
-Boo Kemp,She who walks with the Wind, USA

Center where I worked and presented a workshop on two occasions. I was honored that you stayed at my house ….You offered me the opportunity to come live on the Reservation with you and study with you. However I did not understand the opportunity that you were offering me and never followed up on it. I do want you to know that you have had a huge influence on my life all these years and I did and still do continue on with my studies of the Medicine Way. …THANK YOU for all you have done for the many, many people whose lives and hearts you have touched over the years, for the teachings you have passed on and for your deep love of our Mother Earth. YOU are greatly appreciated and loved. In Light…
-Eletheah Kesarah, USA

Dear Gram...Thank you for your beautiful teaching of the Wish Pouch and Intention Workshop…we are putting it into practice….Bless you with our love…
-Gabby Kinsella and Paddy Mooney, UK

…a great loss for all students...We say heartfelt thanks to the teachings over the years from someone with great mastery over life's journey...Pray we listened well.
-Larry and Rhonda Kooy, BLUE FEATHER BOOKS, USA

Hello... My memories of living with Twy on Rez are as clear and present to me today as though it was only yesterday, even though our first and only meeting we needed to jump-start both have relationship of student and teacher, but also friendship happened over 15 years ago, which then of course led to an on-going part-time and full-time stay with her. What I learned and gained is an inherent part of me, something I instinctively live and breathe in my daily life. It has brought me much insight, and helped me develop many skills which are proving invaluable in my profession as an Assistant Feature Film Director. It goes without saying that I adore Twy, and she remains close to me in my heart and mind, doing what I can to respect and honor her and our time together….Gram, I miss you, it has been far too long, although when it comes to friendships and connections such as ours, time and distance is of no relevance or limitations, as ours is unconditional -- I love you dearly Gram. Thanks for everything…with much love and care in my heart…
-Agnieszka Kroskowska, CANADA

Dear Grandmother Twylah…I was so happy to see you again and have you in my house. I will never forget all the adventures we experienced during the last 15 years. I'm so honored to be in the Wolf clan and that I was initiated into the clan by you. I learned so much from you since 1988, when I met you first in Canada in the wall Sainte-Emeile-de-L'Energie. Without you the Academy and the Children's Village in Auroville, India would have not been manifested. You help me to realize my vision. I love you very much and you will be always, very deep in my heart…
-Hans-Heinrich Kuhlmann, GERMANY

Dear Grandmother, I had an unexpected opportunity to meet you several years ago. Thank you for your teaching…in gratitude...Wah do…
-Jane Langford, USA

In Honor of My Elder, My Friend
In the twenty five years that I have known Grandmother Twylah, not a day has gone by that I don't use the rainbow or think about a gem of wisdom that came from one of the many Medicine Wheels that we put together around the kitchen table. It has truly been an honor to have been in the service to this Seneca Elder. A small woman with sparkling blue eyes, Gram, as we affectionately called her, carried an energy that could motivate us all. I spent many days scrubbing her floor, cooking meals for guests, running errands, and even giving her white wolf Gagan a bath. In the process, I learned many things from her teachings and example that changed my life. She was one of the great Wisdom Keepers that will be remembered by many people, of many nations, for a long time to come. When I first met Twylah, I wanted to take her an extra special gift, so I spent an entire day in preparation baking my very best bread. The loaves were graciously received by Gram and then I was ushered into the living room to join in with the teaching circle. Later at dinner, imagine my surprise when Gram exclaimed to everyone, "This bread is horrible, no one eat any!" I tried to slink away, thinking I had offended her in some way. However, it wasn't long before someone found me and explained that Gram's remark was a compliment of the highest order. What a relief! I had gotten off on the right foot after all.

My favorite time to visit was in the winter. If I was lucky we would get snowed in and I could stay a few days longer until they cleared the roads. There would be plenty of time to sit and talk with Gram and a few Wolf Clan teachers who lived on the grounds. It seemed that the sharing was extra special during those snowy evenings. One evening I did herbal facials for everyone and, of course, Gram got everyone to laughing and thus cracked up all of our face masks while she somehow managed to stay straight faced. We ended up beautiful that night gathered in the living room for ceremony. One memorable cold night I was sleeping in the upstairs bedroom and awoke to use the bathroom. When I opened the door, there was already a line on the steps. Everyone else in the house was also awake. Of course, there was a reason. It wasn't long before Gram came out of her room and called us into the kitchen. There, in the pre-dawn hours, she explained that her Ancestors had just directed her to hold a Peace Elders Council and we would all be part of it. During the next few months, I returned as often as I could to help with preparations for the first Peace Elders Council. As if manifesting from Gram's dream, people from all over the world came to the teaching lodge help. We did everything from shopping trips to painting signs for parking, preparing the outhouses to designating camping areas. When the Elders finally started arriving and gathered to share with us in the council house, I knew that I was part of a monumental historical event that carried out an ancient prophecy. The bonds I created with others through this experience of being in service to the Peace Elders remain to this day.

Being initiated into the Wolf Clan has changed my life in many ways. For many years, as I traveled from my home in Pennsylvania to spend weeks at a time, Twylah’s house became my second home and the Wolf Clan my family. It was another Wolf Clan teacher who introduced me to the man I married, Red Hawk Man. I couldn’t wait for him to meet Twylah and of course we wanted her to marry us. About a month after we made this decision, I was teaching a workshop nearby and called to see if Twylah needed help during the few days that I would be in New York. Once again I ended up cleaning the house while visiting Gram and sharing my news. Finally I asked Gram if I could invite Red Hawk Man to come down from Toronto and she agreed. Twylah got the biggest kick out of the two of us and I could tell she was happy for us. Red Hawk Man ended up doing odd jobs around Gram’s house. We made about a half dozen trips to the hardware store for supplies that day, and while we were alone in the car we unsuccessfully tried to plan our wedding. We simply could not come up with a date when we could get everyone together. Finally we decided to ask Twylah if she could marry us that very same day. On the way back from the store, we stopped to buy a ring and some clothes (thoughts of wearing my white buckskin aside as we had only jeans with us). We also brought a bouquet of flowers from the grocery store where we stopped for a small cake and sandwich, tray. How surprised we were when we walked back in the house and asked Gram what she was doing that afternoon, only to have her reply, “I am going to marry you two.” She already knew!

Several years later, we moved to Florida. Our daughter Katie Dolphin was almost three years old. With our things in storage, Katie Dolphin and I stayed with Twylah for a month while Red Hawk Man began a new job and looked for a house. This was one of the most special times I have shared with Twylah. Katie Dolphin followed Gram around, crawling right behind. Gram would talk and Katie Dolphin babbled back. The two understood each other perfectly. Katie Dolphin unraveled the yarn while Gram crocheted her wish pouches, and they worked with a perfectly shared rhythm. Katie Dolphin is now ten, and it has been awhile since she saw Gram, but she still remembers Twylah as the wise grandmother with the sparkling eyes. My family remembers Twylah every time we sparkle our eyes and hold her in our rainbows every day. We think of her when we experience the Wet Noodles and each time we share a gem of wisdom. She will always be with us, with gratitude for the many gifts she has shared.
-Spider, Glen & Kate Dolphin Lawrence, USA

Dear Grandmother...It is so beautiful to dance in the circle of truth!  Thank you for your teachings I send you love and gratitude.
-Carol Lessinger, USA

Bob and Lee,
You won't remember me but I came to the Peace Elders Gathering in 1991 and stayed for the summer, working in the mail room. I was known as Willow then. I just want to say that my heart goes out to you for the loss of your Mother. She is a great Soul who helped so many to find their way home, including myself. Although I went on to find another teacher, Lisa, F. Tardiff ...... to this day I am in gratitude to Grandmother for getting me started on the Road of Truth and Peace. She gave me my first Spirit Name and showed me where I belong. I will forever hold her in my heart as a great Visionary and Teacher, a true Spiritual Leader and Grandmother of many.
-MaryRose Lessoway, CANADA

Dear Bob and Lee
About 15 years ago I was led to Twylah through a dream. A white wolf came and said Twylah's name to me. I'll skip the long story, but I found my way to her home on the reservation and she became one of the single most important people in my life. I've been in touch with you and others I met there, on and off. Lately I've lost touch but always kept the Wolf Clan in my thoughts and prayers. Last night I was sitting with my Earth Blessing Circle, a circle of both native and non-native people who want to deepen their connection to the land and offer strength to Her in these times of change. I was deep in drumming and prayer, when Grandmother showed herself against the canopy of the star nations. She was wearing one of her traditional dresses and headbands, and she was smiling. When I saw her this way, I knew she had made her transition. I watched, very moved, and she held out a fist sized brown stone. It was the same stone I was led to when on her land; the stone I used in my Stone People reading.. I will keep this stone close and listen to its voice. She began to spiral back into the stars, smiling all the way.This morning I went on line and found that our wonderful Grandmother had indeed passed to the star nations in August....I wanted to send you my deep heart's thanksgiving for your love and care to her in these last years. And my strength for your healing as you adjust to her absence. I am broken hearted that she is gone, but also overjoyed that she is still with us in a profound way. Please help me understand about the pathway that was laid out for her, the one you mentioned in Guiding Light. I am a proud member of the Wolf Clan and will carry her name and memory with me always, Deep peace of the land to you.
-Jen Loui, "She Who Is A Helper", USA

Dear Bob & Lee,
My thoughts are with you at this time of Grandmother Twylah's passing. I have a great appreciation for what you were doing to make life as easy as possible for her in her elder years. It is no accident that my mother who is 83 was visiting. Although I talk with her almost every week, I had not been with her for almost 5 years. She is a treasure to me....giving me the opportunity to slow down and live with utmost care. Her words are halting due to a minor stroke and I think she chooses her words carefully now, sometimes with frustration because her mind is still so quick. We are so blessed when we spend time to know our parents in this twilight time, this I know now. Thank you, Lee for your call. I lit the wolf candle you gave me and think of Twylah with gratitude for what she has given me. I didn't know her, but she connected me with all life and the highest truth that cannot even be put into words through her teachings. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you at this time. Love…
-Caole Lowry PLANET EARTH & 4 DIRECTIONS GALLERY, USA

Blessings,
…Grams was a gift to all. Thank you for continuing her work.
-Patricia C Lunior, USA

…My prayer smoke tonight will carry her name and my love for her. As you know she was a significant person in my life, one whom I will always honor, and one to and for whom I will never fail to be grateful. Twylah and all our memories of her will be a major focus at our local gathering for the solstice. Many people who knew her have gathered with me for years to honor the seasonal changes. I send prayers of peace and gratitude at this difficult time.
-Tom Malinoski Kingfisher, USA

Hello Bob and Lee
My thoughts are with you and with her as she goes into the light and can now be a part of each of us as we carry on her vision of the future. Warm wishes, Peace Within, Peace Without, Peace On Earth…
-Connie Baxter Marlow, THE BAXTER PROJECT, USA

gedicht voor grandmother Twylah 'The way we go'

Twylah
The way we go
is the way we are
How we are
is how we'll be
Everlasting joy
or forever pain

The way we live
is the way to be
dreams to come
or free to see
The joy we give
will last forever

In stream we flow
you'll set me free
in everlasting love
I'll bend my knee
There is no pain
Your Light is all I see

So now you go
upon your way
Into the Sky
and MotherEarth
showing your smile
like sun reflected snow

I'm glad we met
you've seen my heart
my soul and smart
with wisdom as rule
compassion as soul
we'd entered to Know...

Thank you for being
for kicking my but
and showing the reason
to live and to Trust
We love you forever
and meet when we are
with Love…
-Marie-José Massuger-Boers, 24 augustus 2007© NETHERLANDS

Dear Twylah and family members…Grateful for the connection with you through reading your books, hearing your teachings through the years…My heart is with you in support and prayers, in this time…With love and hugs and a twinkle in my eye…
-Lola Maverick Moonfrog, USA

My name is Val. I have found several Internet sites on Grandmother Twylah Nitsch. I wanted to do a course with her years ago, but did not have enough money to give, at the time. I have always remembered her and wish her to know this. I love and admire the American Indians very much for their loving ways, philosophy, spirituality and dignity. I wish Grandmother Twylah Nitsch to know this. Perhaps one day when I have enough to pay, I can do the course with you and then become a member of the Seneca Clan. I wish to belong to an Indian clan very much. I know Jean LeFevre of Texas very well (St Francis Wolf Sanctuary) and we correspond regularly. I hope you will reply to me. My love and blessings to Grandmother Twylah Nitsch. Thank you.
-Val McCarthy, USA

I love Grandmother dearly. So many do….From this tiny woman has come a huge influence on our Two-Legged Kind that continues to emerge and grow. With it all, she never forgot her sense of humor or how to kick butt. Grandmother taught me that the Cycles of Truth begin and end with Gratitude. I am so very Thankful for knowing Grandmother Twylah Hurd Nitsch. Nyah-weh, Yehwehnode.
–Ann McClain Roher Deh-yah-gut-gweh-hanowah, USA

Ho to you Grandma Twylah! ...Spirit is guiding all of us in many directions these last few years.  Your warmth as a human being and wisdom of your teachings have guided my path and illuminated my heart.  I am grateful for your contribution to my life.  My heart will always be with you…Nyahweh Skenio…
-David Hoadahoe Merrill, USA

Gram...Nyahweh Skenno!  Thank you for the way you have touched my life…I carry you in my heart!  Love…
-Irene Forrest Song Merrill, USA

I was sad to hear of Grandmother Twylah's passing and happy knowing she led a good life and left a wonderful legacy - her teachings passed to her by her ancestors then passed on to you (Bob & Lee) have touched the lives of many people. I have seen this in the eyes of thousands of children as they learn about the Wolf Clan teaching lodge and sing the Crow song with passion and not too few laughs…Thank you to you and to Grandmother Twylah and the Seneca people.  Lots of Love…
-Alex, Emma, Toby and Ben Miles, UK

Hi Bob & Lee.…Thank you again for the beautiful ceremony....It is a deep honor to be invited to your ceremony for Grandmother's Sky Path. With her passing, I find myself so enmeshed in a memory of experiences; times listening to her teach; singing in her circle after dinner; sharing a word before meals; 2 Vision Quests, hearing her at Native events; I feel her presence deeply as if she is sitting in the room. Grandmother opened my heart, nurtured my soul and nourished my mind. Her wisdom, sparkling eyes, continual love and support is the most valuable aspect of my life. Over the years, began in the winter of 1981, the Ancient Teachings of the Cycles of Truth have always facilitated healing for all ages, whether between family members, lovers, or friends. The Teachings give profound insight, understanding and self-confidence. … When writing articles, books or teaching, the sound of her voice continues to ring clearly in my mind. As Grandmother's Great Light passes to all her family and those close to her, there also flows a consciousness of peace, we-ness, love, unity and gratitude throughout the Earth. As we honor Grandmother's life of commitment to 'Keeping the Ancient Teachings alive' we are so grateful for her clarity and limitless wisdom. With Warmest Shambhalla Blessings…
-Melinda Joy Miller, CEO, Founder Shambhalla Institute, USA

In 1998 we all met for the first time. It was at the Archeon in Alphen a/d Rijn, Holland. Grandma Twylah was present that time sitting next to you. What struck me was her tiny appearance and her hands constantly knitting the pouches. All of a sudden during your teaching she would speak up and go on with the teaching. I was surprised by her clear almost young voice. After the meeting when we all went outside I went to her for a hug. I went to her with some hesitation. I thought she must be tired know. I gave her a hug and wanted to step away immediately.

Clear and strong her voice sounded when she said: "I see many people coming to your house, just keep up your energy little girl!" We know that important messages stay with us. I never forgot this line. And after nine years her words appeared to be very true!

Thank you Grandmother for your life and your teachings! And that we were privileged to meet and hug in person! We realize when our Elders make their journey home that we become the Elders and need to go on and teach. It makes us a little shaky. We are like motherless children for a moment. We will be strong however and Grateful for our education and opportunity to develop our talents so that we have the tools to teach!

Thank you Bob and Lee for bringing her to our country and the good care you gave her. This probably kept her much longer here! Have a good journey Grandmother you will always be in our hearts and never be forgotten!
-Jose Molenaar, TREE OF LIFE CENTRES FOUNDATION, NETHERLANDS

Grandmother Twylah …is a fantastic spirit and will live on. Unfortunately your email was the first I heard so was unable to connect with you on august 26th 2007. But will smoke my Sacred Pipe to her on next female moon…Love, Prayers and Blessings as always…
-Kevin and Lynda Mortimer, UK

As the weeks have gone by since Mitig/Dan informed me of Grandmothers passing it has brought back memories of my Grandmother Keewaydinoquay. I was at the gathering in Chicago when both Twylah and Grandmother were honored with the Heritage Elder Award. At the time of the gathering in Chicago it was 10 years since Grandmother Twylah and I saw each other. When we saw each other it was like no time had passed in our lives. It was a reminder to me of the impact she-had-on-me. It was her influence and teaching that helped me to finish college. She said "go back and use your Indianess in everything that is required". So I went back and put to use her words and teachings and I finished college. My time that I spent with her was brief yet it has carried me through many turning points in my life. It is always hard to say what is in ones heart when a loved one has taken their journey across the Milky Way. Know that my prayers are with you and Lee. For this is a great loss in the physical realm of our human reality. Thank you for sharing your mother with so many people. Balance and Blessing…
-Tahnahga Myers, USA

Grandmother Twylah...Can you hear the beautiful music...Tones, Overtones, Harmony, Melody, Light, Beauty, Love, Truth and Peace...It's magical...it's been illuminated moment to moment, Dot to Dot…Thank you for being in my life's journey….Love and hugs and kisses…Thank you for being... all for one... one for all.
-Julie Mysse, USA

…"Great Mystery" does guide Grandmother Twylah Hurd Nitsch home to her waiting family! AND, knowing well how much she is loved is the grandness, for her, of her going-home days!!! "Yes" we reply too with THANK YOU dearest GRANDMOTHER Twylah, for being!
-Gma Nadra

…In the autumn of 2002, Mim Neal, the perpetual vice president of Prairyerth UU Fellowship, moved to Colorado and Melinda Perrin, the perpetual driving force of the fellowship, moved to upstate New York.…Ten years earlier, the two had met when Melinda taught a class on the Medicine Wheel in Room 2 of the Unitarian Church of Evanston. That class evolved into a medicine lodge with 13 female members who taught each other things of the Spirit in their monthly meetings. At Melinda's instigation, other lodges were formed — in the Chicago area, in Wisconsin, in Fairfield, Iowa. And all of these became Prairyerth and Melinda sought and obtained recognition of the group as an official Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Some summers, several Prairyerth members attended gatherings on or near Cattaraugus Reservation in upstate New York to learn things of the Spirit from Seneca elder, Grandmother Twylah Nitsch, and other elders. Many were initiated into the Seneca Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge. In 1999, Prairyerth held its first Living Treasures of North America Heritage Event honoring two Native women who had saved their respective cultural and spiritual heritages. One was Grandmother Twylah and the other was Grandmother Keewaydinoquay (Grandmother Kee) of the Anishinaabeg nation. So when Melinda sent out an email reporting a call from Spirit for a pilgrimage to Ganondagon, they came.…Halfway down the stairs, I turned back to retrieve a simple necklace hanging on the side of my altar. At the center is the small silver heart Grandmother Twylah gave me after the 1999 Living Treasures event. …I wear this necklace when I know I am going to write or participate in something sacred.

…The magic probably began when we decided to come and figured out how to get there. Or when we entered Letchworth State Park where lush deciduous forests fringe a gigantic gorge accessorized by three magnificent waterfalls. Surrounded by the spirits of trees, birds and stars we pitched our tents and after a sumptuous meal, formed our circle.…Dan Creely is so amazing. To be in his presence is to be connected to peace. …It was so right to begin Saturday's pilgrimage with his talk. When he propped the images of the great spirit teachers against the tree, my hand went to the heart in the center of my necklace and I wanted Grandmother Twylah's photograph to be there. But she was there, her spirit was there along with the spirits of Kee and Jim and the others I did not know. We were on Seneca ground. She was our hostess, our guide, our companion. …In the pavilion/teaching lodge, Melinda had each speaker sit in the north. They became silhouetted against the light from the gorge and their words might have come from sunlight. Each lesson resonated deeply. …Melinda had asked me to speak but we ran out of time. We were to be at Ganondagon by 2 p.m...It is good to be reminded that you are not holy; certainly not holier than anyone else. But these reminders are not always comfortable. I spent the entire drive to Ganondagon struggling back to my center, breathing into the present, re-focusing on why we were together, trusting that Spirit had a reason for consigning me to silence.

…Walking out to the longhouse, passing the white pine, I began to feel the power of this place. Our Seneca guide, Ronnie Reitter, walked in silence, a gentle power surrounded her. In the longhouse, after her presentation, I saw Dan and Melinda approach her. Dan had envelopes with coals from the sacred fire and he gave Melinda the gourd filled with our prayer-infused offerings of sage, tobacco, blueberries and maple syrup. They explained that it was to be a water-offering to the spirit of Jikonsaseh.…Ronnie had agreed to lead us to the stream.…All of us were silent as Ronnie lay flat on boardwalk and held the gourd in the stream until all its contents were accepted. And all of our prayers and honoring for Jikonsaseh and peace were accepted by Ganondagon. It was a moment almost too awesome to be recorded. The group then wandered in various directions, each person finding where he or she needed to be to best absorb the magic of this place. We lingered long, well past the site's closing time, until it was the right time to leave.…None of us wanted to leave Letchworth without seeing more of its beauty. We got back to the others very late and very hungry. There was plenty of food and we were soon restored but, like the others, very tired. Melinda had suggested that I give my teaching that night but it was not the right time. We agreed on Sunday morning and I crawled into our little tent.

Sunday turned out to be the right time. I'm not even sure what I said … Spirit was speaking through me, reminding us that humans are not the whole point of creation and that we are all related. It seemed the right message for a weekend affirming our commitment to peace. The bounty on the giveaway table was a small token of the gifts each of us, and each place and teacher, had given to each of us. We were blessed. Even after the camp was dismantled, we could not leave the park or each other. Riding with Melinda and Linda, we kept running into our kindred spirits in magic places and finally created a picnic communion from Ellie's bountiful trunk. But we did leave. I went back to Melinda's and was there Tuesday morning, finding her on their little deck right after she received the news that Grandmother Twylah had died. I think she stayed on the planet long enough to be with us on the pilgrimage; blessing us and our actions. After our hugs and tears, we had some memorial fry bread in her honor. How right that we honored Seneca traditions and people. How right that she reconnected with us before leaving. We were, we are, truly blessed.
-Mim Neal, USA

No words can explain my feelings of sorrow and love for the crossing over of Grandmother Twylah.  Although I know she will continue to teach and share with all of our relations, she will be greatly missed upon this earth...For the 10 plus years that I was blessed to be a student, later teacher through her love and guidance, have prepared my family and I on a pleasant pathway of peace.  For this I give thanks for every blessing of every day.  And your mother was truly a blessing to many. I have stood by Grandmother in good times and hard times, health and weakness, celebrations and tragedies.  My last few years were spent protecting, from those who wished to do harm during the Casino ordeal.  And helping to try to clean up the grounds after the tragic fire; your brother was like a brother to me and I pray for him often. I have received your information and understand your wish to continue the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge.  I trust your endeavor will have a positive effect upon those you touch through your teachings…Grandmother Twylah Nitsch will be remembered and celebrated forever
-Thomas Netz, USA

…I am very sorry for your loss and I celebrate the life and the passing of Grandmother Twylah. The ripples of her life touched me significantly on the 20th and 21st August when I met with fellow seekers to begin my first vision quest. I gave my friend a bracelet as a gift that I bought at your workshop. The bracelet had struck me as it was the same as one I had visualized giving to this friend weeks before I attended the workshop. So I gave the bracelet on the 20th and we talked about yourselves and Grandmother. Then on the 21st we began the vision quest I was again reminded of meeting you as I heard the same friend sing the songs I had heard at your workshop. At the end of the vision quest my friend announced what a profound gift it was and that he had been blessed with teachings and guidance through it. The beauty and magic of this small happening will stay with me and the mystery of this and all the ripples of her life are beyond words. I will enjoy hearing other stories about her. Lots of love…
-Gaynor Nielsen, UK

Twylah wrote a few kind words about my book, "The Man who Knew the Medicine: Bill Eagle feather's Teaching," & I wrote a few things for Clan Destiny. She was a couple years older than me, I think. I'm still sundancing, since 1976, & teaching, since 1947. One of my favorite quotes from Twy, which I use all the time in my teaching, is "The trouble isn't with Christianity, it's with churchianity." God bless you Twylah, may your spirit shine forever!
-Henry Niese, USA

Beloved grandma Twy…Again I thank you for sharing the Sacred Teachings with me and all those who had an open heart -- Nyah weh!  …How well I remember you're giving me my medicine name and your endearing words…Yellow is the color of love on the medicine wheel. Leaves fly all over and land on everything as does your love that lands on everyone... Nyah weh beloved teacher!
-Beverly Nugent, Jit que e ononda - Yellow Leaf, USA

…You have to believe that the best is yet to come... in celebration of a great lady, grandmother Twylah!  We are wishing all of you the colors of the rainbow... except blue. Life is a continuing circle. Wishing all of you Happy Days and Happy Hearts…With all our love…
-Chris Nuland, Rosa......,and Deborah, USA

Now I know why she's been in my thoughts lately her song was sung to all Wolf Clan members I'm sure. Words cannot describe my memories of her and the time spent with her in many locations at different gatherings. I will always feel that Grandmother is with me with her insights into my issues and I'm glad to have had the opportunity to have known her. Unfortunately my contact with her and the Clan was spotty following the loss of Marjorie all those years ago. Prayers and thoughts will be offered for Grandma as well as the Wolf Clan Lodge. Yours in peace…
-Nate and Patty Oakes, USA

My best regards…Thank you for this news I will have to make a special moment to say good bye to her great spirit. She was a great and wonderful loving human being that I will miss dearly. I think she gave me some magic blessing that helped me up the path to find myself and my direction. That is a sadness she is gone but I believe where she is now she is happy there. I remember the day she said to me that we are all special each and every one of us and that is a message that we should all carry with us every day of our lives. I know you’re a good person also for sending out these messages and sharing it with me and the others take care and lots of Joy and Happiness to you and your family. Love…
-Rolin James O'Connor We so ganosho it :-), CZECH REPUBLIC

Hallo Bob and Lee,
…How are you? Let me take this opportunity to wish you my sincerest condolences for Grams passing, but also to celebrate a wonderful Beings life and teachings. She was petite and bright eyed of stature but colossal of Spirit. What an honor to have met Gram Twylah and to have the opportunity to learn the Wolf Clan teachings, from you both, Bob and Lee. Thank you. They have(and are) truly changing my life! I believe I've embraced an Attitude of Gratitude ...Hooray…I was told of Grams passing by our own Elder, Ye va and was part of the Honoring Ceremony on Saturday 25th August at Ye vas Home. We sang, rejoiced and cried with passion and vigor and compassion. What an amazing experience. And Gram was certainly with us in her own special way and gave the nod (only when we sang up and sang well!) From Crow song (my favorite) to Knees knees knees, we joined as One in the glorious rays of sunshine and warmth in Brighton.

Gram Twylah had this incredible gift of seeing right into the Human Soul. Direct, yet loving; Full of energy, humor and wise womanly wisdom. I'll never forget telling us ladies to "point our targets" and to be confident and upright in our Earth walk. As you know, all of you come to me in my dream time and Gram has been very present in mine, especially the last 2 weeks. She has been giving me clear guidance, particularly to help heal and clean the Earths water, and to just get on with life! On the Lunar eclipse, I went to Southwick beach near our home and with Grams guidance brought a net of light along the shoreline and beyond and sang Wolf songs to harmonize. It was magical. I see Gram as a free, free bird, full of love and laughter, connecting with Humanity in an enormous way-like a conductor of a huge orchestra. She is very much "Kicking Butt"….Da Nahoe
-Symon & Ann O'Keife (Garwood), UK

Dearest Grandmother...Though we have never met, I feel Spirit has drawn me to your teachings and a thus to you.  Bob and Lee gave me the name "he who shares from the heart" when they welcomed me to the clan and shared your teachings with me in February 1998 at Spirit House in California.  These things came to be from the loving efforts of Star Wolf.  When I learned to pray I prayed for guidance and to answer my prayers Star Wolf was sent into my life.  With her came your love and your teachings, and the added bonus of your son and Lee. This letter and his humble gift are my attempt at thanking you for the love that your teachings and your followers have brought to my life.  I have no words to say that could show you what they have meant to a simple man from Iowa.  If we never meet in this life, it is my honor to attempt to follow the path of love you have left behind you and perhaps in the next life I can hold your hand and walk the path the beside you…Nyah weh…All my love

I am so sorry …that we can no longer look into the vast eyes of this wonderful woman, Twylah…
-Jo Anne Ollerenshaw, USA

…Just a few memories to share with you! She will be sadly missed for all!  But a great comfort to know she's up there with my Mom and they will be watching over us all!
-Jan & Gary Onofry, USA

…Bill Sydor forwarded your email about Twylah's passing to us. Back in the '80s, She came to Eagle Voice Center here in Maryland & taught workshops. Wife Paula & I visited her at her home on the res, & she gave permission for me to bring about 15 scouts & leaders there. We camped out & she taught them. Some of them, grown up & with families of their own now, still talk about that experience.… Our lives were forever changed by Grandmother Twylah. We will honor her at our new moon ceremony, and we will share your message.

-Don & Vivian Papson, USA

Thank you for notifying me of Gram Twylah's Skywalk. I never met her personally, but know several Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge women who studied with Gram. Blessings…
-Nancy Parry, USA

…I wrote it a few years ago. I had visited Western New York with my oldest granddaughter and started telling them stories of my family. This evolved into writings which evolved into the start of a family history of short stories called, "Land of My People." The theme was how the land shaped the people and the people shaped the land. …Here's one I wrote about meeting Twylah...
-Indian Princess and the Wannabe

Other little girls would dress up as Cinderella or Wendy for Halloween. Not me. From the time I was three, my heroines were Indians. I was Princess Summer Fall Winter Spring or Tiger Lily. It was not their Indianness that attracted me to these classic characters. Indeed, at that age I didn't understand what it meant to be Native American. I was more drawn to their pluck, that they lived in the woods and were active in their adventures, not wimps. Of course, I couldn't verbalize that either, but being Indian and being a strong woman was inextricably linked in my mind. My Mom knew Twylah because they went to high school together. …Twylah…was a precocious little girl raised in the Native way. She was an only child, the inheritor of a proud heritage and a willful one at that. She embodied the spirit I had so admired in my childhood Indian role models. Her grandfather and uncles were well respected medicine men. Her grandmother was a Pierce. My first introduction to the reservation and to Native ways came when I was nine. My family sold their homes and moved to Hamburg, New York. I was packed off appropriately enough, to Pack's Day Camp each summer. The camp was close to another part of the Reservation and many of our teachers were students of anthropology at a local college and they brought Seneca people to the camp to teach us songs and dances. We also learned games, crafts, art, beading, stories, and drumming. I loved it!

…Years later I returned to the Cattaraugus Reservation. I was married by that time and my oldest was in college. A series of coincidences led me to return to native studies and to be apprenticed to the wonderful medicine man, John Paul Fischbach. …At Woman Quest in Wisconsin, I studied animal medicines with Carol Greywing, and met Brenda and Carole, two folk singers who were members of the Seneca Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge. Carole & Brenda were concerned that my teachers were mostly men and invited me to join them at the next Women's Council on the Cattaraugus Reservation. Imagine their surprise when I answered, "Oh, that would be so wonderful. I haven't been there for years!" By this time I had forgotten all about Twylah, who I had never actually met. Going to the Reservation, but not going home proved to be a little tricky. My Mother was not pleased that I was traveling ten hours but not to visit her and her husband in their little apartment. I had a wonderful time, learned many things, made lots of friends, healed one of the Elders who had injured her knee, and was invited back. It was better than Pack's Day Camp. Healing the breach with Mom was trickier. That winter, I visited her and her husband, Woody, in Florida. Her friends Norma & Jack were there. I was telling them about my experiences, when my Mom piped up, "Well I have a friend on the Cattaraugus Reservation and my friend, Twylah, is an Indian princess."

Bells started going off. …I asked her, "Mom, does your friend Twylah have a last name?" "Of course; she was Twylah Hurd, and she married Bob Nitsch, who was a good friend of your father's." I was stunned. …"Mom, Twylah Nitsch is the Native teacher, the Grandmother, who I went to see." Suddenly the storm clouds parted and the rainbow that Twylah is always talking about appeared as a bridge bringing my Mother and me together from opposite sides. The capper was Jack Scott's next wistful query, "Does she still have long black hair?" There are many stories about my times with Twylah, her teachings, and her wonderful son, Bob, who has become a brother, and Bob's lovely wife, Lee. Their sharing has fulfilled a lifelong dream and made my life immeasurably better.…After we talked that Tuesday and I had my good cry, Linda Hedquist put me on the table to do some body work. I was gifted with a vision: Grandmother Twylah as a younger woman with black hair was walking quickly across what looked like a parking lot. It was a site in Western NY. I recognized it but it was nothing that I would ever associate with her. She ran quickly up some steps. When she got to the top, she turned to me, flashed her famous smile, pantomimed, "I'll call you!"...and was gone. If there is anything I need to hear, I'll get the call. I'm listening. Four Winds…
-Melinda Blue Cloud (Perrin) O'Jigaiindae, USA

…I heard Twylah's voice strongly a couple of days ago, but most strongly yesterday during the lunar eclipse! Her voice was urging me to get in to contact with her and her lodge/ people. I did not know she had passed until just a minute or two ago, when I looked at the web site that Debbie emailed me. I am sorry for your loss, but am truly astounded, as her voice is so strong, that I heard it, and she never met me! My mother has been urging me for years to do so, because I have felt a draw to Native teachings. My mother took me to see Twylah's place when I was 18, but I never got to meet her, because she was not there. I felt her energy though, and met some of her students, one of whom was called Wolf- (Jim).…I have a connection to wolves, so I feel that this message from Twylah was meant to be. I did not know that she was part of the Wolf Clan, nor did I know she had passed until this afternoon. There are no coincidences, so I am following Grandmother Twylah's suggestion, and am getting in touch at this time.
-Rachel Petite, USA

My dear grandmother Twylah, I thank you for your wisdom…I will try to live my life with your wisdom in mind…I thank you and honor you for your goodness in sharing your love and wisdom.
-Addie Petravich, UK

Dear Gram…I remember the first year I met you, long before initiation, I asked if belonging to the Wolf clan was simply a membership thing or if it meant more? You looked at me, there were a few seconds of silence, and then you said, "It could be a lot more." All children are said to have a second or chosen mother. There is no doubt that after my mother, the woman who bore me, moved into spirit, you, Twylah Nitsch, became my chosen mother on this earth walk. This is in my heart. It is my love for you and the special love you gave to my family and times of fun and trial that make me feel as I do. I am grateful, very, very grateful…With Love, "Four Winds"…

Last Sunday I drove to the Lake to sit for Gram and be present. As I was pulling out of the driveway a huge hawk soared overhead and then stopped and perched on the tree next to the driveway. I went to the lake, as it began to rain I knew the rain was a symbol of all of the ways gram touched so many with her life, each drop a whole blessing in and of itself, it poured for hours as you know. I began to get the image of a light house and the words Guiding Light, She was a guiding light that was her…so today when I opened your email I knew it was all true, it was all real and it was all such beauty, I appreciate you contacting me in this way of being and feeling part of this world she touched, deeply.... thank you for including me in her guiding light, I treasure you both…
-Cameron Plagens, USA

Dear Twylah...I will never forget my short stays with you…and always cherish the experiences in my heart.  Thank you for all you have given me and are continuing to give, even if only in sustaining memories.
-Ottilia Pochat Flaming Morning Star, UK

Dearest Gram… I shall never forget meeting you in Chicago as we were initiated into Seneca Wolf tribe...I will also remember the first time I ever saw your name --in 1990’s while living in New Zealand and preparing to publish my book on stones. When I read "Other Council Fires were there Before Ours", I knew my own book was equally important to share with the people of this planet. I have been doing stone meetings full-time for the last year... and am constantly reminded who brought the sacred wisdom to our planet "first”…please know, you are loved and cherished All Ways-Always!!!
-Denise Poole, The Stone Crone, USA

Dear Gram...There are many words for you, and the practice of choosing one word for focus has become a way of life…When I think of you I think of love, gratitude, teacher, laughter, and wisdom.  Nyah weh…In memory of Gram Twylah, so that the teachings may live… Nyah weh…Thank you for being All for One-One for All.  I am on my way to Mexico tomorrow on a church exchange/mission like project in a small village.  I am on the construction crew but there are medical, dental and public health teams.  The teachings are alive as I venture into the unknown – I don’t really know anyone else going (except to say hello to in church). 
-Jan Progen, USA

Here is a story about Twy, Tweedie...I was told by a seer one year that I would meet a teacher. They said at first this teacher's teachings would be different, but would make sense in time. I went to the rez in Cattaraugus and a wonderful lady named Jackie directed me to Twylah. I found Twylah's home and knocked on her door. This wonderfully pleasant lady so full of life answered the door. It was her. She led me into the kitchen and we sat across from each other at her table. She put her hands down on the table and proclaimed, "I'm a TEACHER." That was the beginning of my journey with her.
-Liz Reger, USA

Hello Lee and Bob,
I got your message this morning.
Dagmar put up two candles for Twylah and we had one minute silence for Twylah. And believe me, even the computer was not working for a minute. My connection in mind to you all, brought me a vision of Twylah and her dead body yesterday evening. I give all my best thoughts, heart feelings and visions to you. Viele liebe Grupe…
-Anne Rensing, IRISFLORA INSTITUTE, GERMANY

…We were very sad to hear of the passing of your dear mother. I am sorry that we were never able to meet her. I know that she was a great mentor to my mother and from what I can gather was instrumental in helping her find her way into the calling she chose ultimately. We wish you and your family well and know that the wonderful memories of your dear mother held in your heart will sustain you as you continue life's road. P.S. My husband has retired and he and I will be heading up to the Pacific Northwest to live in a few weeks. Maybe one of these days in our travels our paths will cross and we will have the opportunity to meet. All the best…
-Nancy Rhodes, USA

…Grandmother Twylah offered so much inspiration to all around her, and will always be remembered, honored and loved, in the hearts and thoughts of those with whom she came in contact. It is a tribute to her life's work that she touched so many lives. Her spirit will continue to reach many, even those who did not know her, with healing wisdom. Although I never met Grandmother Twylah, I was aware of her knowledge and outreach work to so many through your words, and written materials, when you (Bob & Lee) came to Chicago. Certainly Grandmother Twylah was content in knowing about your good work in sharing the cultural legacy of Iroquois wisdom on peaceful communal living and related matters with others during your annual journey to different universities, communities and other places. Your close relationship with her will have ongoing significance in your lives.…I was deeply saddened to receive your e-mail regarding the loss of Grandmother Twylah Hurd Nitsch.  She was an integral part of your lives, and she touched many other lives with her wisdom, generous spirit and kindness.  Certainly she will always be remembered with love and respect by all who knew her, and her influence and actions will reach into the future lives of so many people…. 
-Cynthia Roth-Garfield, USA

Grandma Twylah...I am writing to say, ‘Thank you’!  I have just begun reading Mythological Philosophy.  The first lesson, "The Thinking," inspired me and brought up a memory of a conversation you and I had on the phone in August of 1987 after the Harmonic Convergence.  You probably don't remember it, but it was special to me. In the conversation I shared with you, my recent experience in a fire which destroyed our home in everything we owned.  I went into meditation and asked "why it happened" and" what I was to learn from it."  While in meditation, I experienced a previous life in which I was an Erie Indian. The Huron were at war with the Iroquois, and there Huron set our village on fire because we would not join them.  My family died and I was taken in by the Seneca...When I came out of meditation, I felt a strong desire to explore and learn more about my heritage.  I had been raised in an Italian family but never felt connected to my Italian heritage.  That fire and the meditation triggered something deep within me that I needed to explore - my native heritage!  The experience I had at the Harmonic Convergence confirmed what I was to do, and it I made a vow to follow my inner guidance.  I also promised to serve humanity in whatever capacity Great Spirit guided me to. When we talk on the phone you were beginning to keep some classes and invited me to attend to.  At the time I was unable to come because of my schedule of classes at school.  I was becoming a schoolteacher.  You said, "When the time is right, it will happen," a few days later; I received from you your book, ‘Entering the Silence: the Seneca Way’.  It was wonderful and I treasure it! …Grandma Twylah, thank you so much.  Words cannot express what I am feeling from contemplating this first lesson, but my heart sends you warmth and love.  Nyah-weh Swenio…
-Sakina Gerri Sawtelle, USA

Gram, Thank you for your footsteps on the Pathway of Peace!!!!
-The Schenker Family, USA

"Us"

I am a tree that blows in the wind.
I am a bird that fly's high in the air.
I am millions of years old like the sun and the moon.
I am the ocean that never stops moving.
I am sadness,
the feeling that never leaves the human mind.
We are a civilization that grows and dies with time.
We are stones that speak with no sound.
We are butterflies that build a beautiful home,
and wait, and wait, and wait,
until our form becomes beautiful.
You are a sea that is full of tears.
You are the wind clean and crisp like a summer's day.
You are a flower in a garden of thousands.
You are gem in a mine of precious stones.
The planet is a ball,
that is in a universe of millions of other balls,
some small, some big, some the same as Earth,
most of them millions of miles away.
The universe is a sea of stars, galaxies, and planets,
that may host life.
Then there is beyond,
beyond time, beyond life, beyond joy,
there is sorrow, there is emptiness.
-Dresdner Schenker,USA

…Although I had not seen Grandma very often in the years I have known her; she had a major impact on my life. The times I did see her she always taught me with a succinct one liner that brought everything into perspective. She was one of the most intuitive persons I have ever met. She awakened me with her words. She elevated me with her deeds. She rewarded me with kindness. She was blessed with the motionless gift of integrity. There is even a lesson in her name. "She Whose Voice Rides on the Wind" is One who rides on the Grandfather Wind, the One Wind, the fore bearer of the Good Mind. Her words were one with the Breath of Life and the Good Mind. She will always be one of the noblest persons I will ever meet. There is no need to pray for Twylah. I know that her heart is full and her spirit is free and she has joined her ancestors at the banquet table in the Lodge of Creator. For the rest of us let us face the dawn and be grateful that our bellies are full, our spines are braced, our hearts are open, our will is calm, and our grief is lifted.
-Glenn Schiffman, USA

Margaret,
The event in question happened; I believe, in the late 1980s, not 1991. A Wolf-Clan member by the name of Jump brought the Lamas to Gram's house on the reservation. The incident with the snow did occur. However, the Dalai Lama was not present. Jump had some affiliation with the Lamas and he brought them from somewhere more local, New York State I believe. They were, however Tibetan, and had difficulty speaking English. Another very comical moment was when Gram Twy, trying to explain something to the Lamas, used one of her favorite expressions: "knock your socks off". This left them thoroughly confounded; nobody could get them to fathom the meaning of the expression, and the original point faded during our attempts. Somewhere I have photos of the snow, the Lamas, Gram Twy and the Teaching Lodge.
-Steve Schoff, USA

Dear Lee, dear Bob
We are very sad and send you all our compassion.
Twylah was a wonderful woman and I am sure she will stay in our mind all the time. Last night we had a very big thunderstorm so we would like to make the ceremony for her at Archies Place at the time, when she will be buried. Please let us know the date and time. You are in our hearts. All the Best
-Dieter Scholz and the team from BEUERHOF, GERMANY

Dearest Lee... dearest Bob
After you -Lee- called me, I went out to send up Smoke for Grandmother - as for you. I also lit a small fire in our Teepee... many Spirits (and winged ones) were around. Later I sent out a short note to some friends and asked to join into Prayer. You surely know MamaBear Rosie.... It is her - as Gma Nadra.. I hold dearly in my heart (both are 'members' of my very little msn-Group "ManySmokes") # 3 you should know as well ?! - Dear ones - Please take all needed time for mourning... allow sweet memories to be recalled. I might be in a lack of appropriate words but know that my Prayers continue. I know that - it is done in beauty! All my love I send...and I ask that the two of you (plus many others) will be blessed – always most respectfully…
-Keya (Schutz), SCHILDKROETENHOF, GERMANY

Dearest Grandmother Twylah,
We met several years ago at your honoring ceremony in Illinois. I sat with you at your table to sell your books with my husband Fred...You taught me how to make the wish baskets and I have continued to teach others to do the same. You have been an inspiration to me over the last 15 years of my life. I do my best to pass on all I have learned from you through your books and our time together. You are such a wonderful inspiration to all who meet you and study your writings…We Love You & send blessings…
-Linda and Fred Setterlund, USA

....Just before the naming ceremony, I asked Grandma Twy to give me the Seneca name “WASP,” because I was a white, Anglo-Saxon protestant. She just stared at me, and said nothing. About an hour later, I went into the woods with a brother, to cut down trees for the sweat lodge. I had long, bell bottom jeans on (I am definitely dating myself!), but I felt the worst burning sensation on my left knee. I rolled up my pant let and GUESS what I saw??? It was the BIGGEST wasp I had ever seen!!!! Suddenly, the word came to me and said, “This is the poison you want to be named after...” When we returned to the lodge, I told Twy what happened, and then made mud packing for the sting. She didn’t name me WASP, but gave me such an honorable name: Keawkwa Gakwa-(can’t spell it) but it means “Daughter of the Moon.”
-Shellyrenee (Holzman) Sheehy, USA

(That’s Grand Mother Twylah, not Greenwich Mean Time..)

Dear Bob and Lee, hope you are well. Very sorry to hear of Gram’s passing and send you warmest sympathy. I’am glad Gram left this plane very peacefully and I somehow think that great lady isn’t very far away... (many excellent memories of Gram and wish-pouch still a treasured item). We held a memorial chant/drum at Yeva’s which wasn’t without it’s hiccups and drama, BUT overall a really nice ceremony indeed. Andy and Kirsten brought the complete songbooks and between us all we recalled and sung pretty much the whole lot. The sun burst out of clouds and honored the occasion. Yeva's been pretty good -lots of visitors and fun. Tlak was great (Bert and I did a joint DIY job on Yev's outdoor tap situation) and we also had a ceremony on New haven beach under the cliffs with a certain Mister Uqualla. Quite a colorful character, well... camp as Christmas infact- Uqualla put out a good vibe and drumming and dancing went on into the night.…I wish you much help and ease sorting everything out that you need to do now, lots of love...
-Mike Shreeve, UK

…We were blessed by her willingness to share the teachings and her enthusiasm. May her spirit continue to shine bright guiding all beings home.
-Linda and Robert Smith,CANADA

Bob, Lee and all of SIHS.
It was with great sadness that I read Gram had finished this cycle of life and moved on to the next. I am sad for us who now walk this earth with out her physical presence although I am sure her spirit and inspiration will guide us still. I would not be where I am today had not been for Gram and her teachings. One of my favorite sayings of hers is " You are exactly where you are supposed to be doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing, ALWAYS. " I am glad the spirits guided me to reconnect with the SIHS and wolf clan teaching lodge when they did. I wrote a piece of prose once to express my feelings about my physical time on this earth and I feel it is appropriate:

Formless I rode the winds As
I danced among the stars
But Wisdom was needed and so
of Earth, Fire, Air and water
was born to walk this Earth
Lessons to be shared
Footprints to leave
and when the cycle was complete
to once again take flight and walk the wind.
Love and Peace…
-Mark L. Smith (10/06/94), USA

…Gram was special. Graham is special; and Gram will continue to be her special Self forever!  …She is deeply loved and appreciated for every smile she so freely gave away, for every tear she openly cried, and for all the laughs she joyously contributed in such a healing and blessing way …l remember and never forget…"our" beloved one.
-Sara Smith, Six Nations of the Grand River, CANADA

Dear Friends and Wolf Clan Family,
Our Deepest And Sincerest Condolences On The Passing Of Seneca Wolf Clan Grandmother Twylah Nitsch. Our Love, Hearts, Thoughts And Prayers Are With Grandmother Twy's Loved Ones During This Difficult Time. Having Recently Gone Through The Loss Of A Beloved Parent and Elder, We Understand What Her Passing Means To The Wolf Clan Family. It Is Difficult To Express Even A Small Part Of What The Passing Of A Most Revered Family Elder Means To A Family. As A Woman, Sister, Mother, Grandmother, Relative, Friend, And Elder, Grandmother Twy Was (And Continues To Be) A Truly Loving, Beloved, Generous, Humble, Respectful, Respected, Beautiful, Wise, Special And Revered Elder In Every Sense Of The Word. We Are Comforted In Knowing That She Now Lovingly Watches Over All Of Us, Along With The Rest Of The Ancestors, And That Her Vision And Example Will Always Be Remembered. For This And More, We Are Truly Thankful. May the Great Spirit Bless, Guide, Heal, Nourish, Nurture, Protect And Sustain You And Your Loved Ones, Now And Always. Oma Bahari (With Respect), Tio Bo Guatukan (Ancestral Blessings), Love, Hugs, Peace & Taino-Ti (We Honor the Light in You), Your Taino Guatiao…
-Joanna Soto-Aviles & Family, PUERTO RICO

Thank full for having met Grandmother Twylah, I send you both much love and prayers to help you thru these days. I know there is sadness now and I feel that in my heart. I will pray with the Chanupa this Sunday for a good passing and for gratitude for the great life of Twylah, I pray for both of you I know Twylah will continue to be in your heart and will continue to help you spread the teachings. Much Love, Strength and Blessings…
-Dancing Cloud (Steggerda), NETHERLANDS

A Tribute By Brad Steiger
…on August 2, 1974, I was adopted by Twylah into the Wolf Clan of the Seneca Tribe. My Seneca name is Hat-yas-swas (He Who Testifies). At a private ceremony, I was also initiated into the Wolf Clan Medicine Lodge. Twylah was a great teacher to me, and her words and wisdom will always guide me. In the early 1990s, before the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge moved to Florida, Sherry and I visited Twylah at her home in the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation, 30 miles south of Buffalo, New York. Twylah was a direct descendent of the great Seneca chief Red Jacket, a staunch defender of his people's traditions and a brilliant orator. Twylah and her family lived in her ancestral home that had been built in 1858 by her great-grandfather Two Guns. She had persevered the original Seneca long house from the old Buffalo Creek Reservation, and this was were the teaching lodge meetings were conducted. We spoke often of the tribal legends that tell of other worlds before our own having been destroyed and of people emerging from the destruction that had been visited upon a former civilization on the North American continent. The Seneca prophets say that the world has undergone the traumatic experiences of birth, death, and rebirth six times before--and they predict that all of humanity now stands on the brink of destruction prior to entering the final world in our evolutionary cycle.

Grandmother Twylah told us that she foresaw dramatic changes coming to the Earth Mother, and she envisioned great cosmic beings gathering to assist humankind through this terrible time of transition. "Thunder Beings are truth beings," she said, referring to these powerful entities who offer humans their assistance. "Their teachings are of truth, and they are filled with love. In these final days, it is important to think of unconditional love and not to permit anything to interfere." Twylah believed that the Thunder Beings are now speaking to everyone, "but only the awakened Thunder People are listening." In order to hear the Thunder Beings, she gave firm advice: "Go within...go within...go within. Go within to your vital core. "Twylah warned that we cannot stop the coming Earth changes, but we can prepare for them." All the great Medicine priests are saying that another time of purification and cleansing has rolled around on the great cosmic calendar. We are once again about to enter a time of earthquakes, volcanisms, and dramatic Earth changes. "It is now time that people better get on their horses and decide which direction they're going," she told us. "The important thing will be whether or not they, will be able to stand in their truth. Those who stand in their truth will eat whatever Mother Nature provides--and it will be roots, bark, and seeds. Before this time ends, we will be crawling on our bellies—but we will be surviving."

Twylah said that the "great fires" have already begun burning. "The Middle East set the flames going. The planet is warming up; the ice is melting, so much land is going to go under. "The Earth Mother is changing her garments. She's going to put on some new stuff. She is going to be dancing around. And it's about time. She's sick and tired of the way she's been treated." Twylah repeated the importance of standing in one's truth during the troubled times ahead: "Supposing right at this moment the Earth began to quake and up in the sky world there would be thunder and lightning and so much noise that we couldn't think. The best thing that we could do for our survival would be to stand on our truth. To run in panic never accomplishes anything."
-Brad Steiger, USA

Vision of Grandmother Twylah
I …wish to add a note to the song Grandmother Twylah still sings to us all:

Rarely in my life journey have I come face to face with so much kindness, love and grace as witnessed the first time her eyes met mine. Just this past week, she came to me in a dream and reminded me of the time she had me choose my sacred healing stone. Brad and I did not know of her Skywalk until just an hour ago. She still teaches from the world beyond the Sky dome and the sparkle in her eyes still dances and sings. Grandmother Twylah, We love and miss you and will sing your song to all who will listen.
-Sherry Steiger, USA

I think of you this day, and send love and gratitude to you and your family. Grandmother will live in our hearts and souls. Her voice will be heard in our ears so to keep us straight on the path of compassion and balance. Blessings to you and your family.
-Laura Stjern Hansen Ravenheart, USA

…Grams’ love and wisdom, and endless generosity in sharing the philosophies of her Seneca traditions regarding the Twelve Cycles of Truth, and the Pathways of Peace (handed down to her from her Grandfather, Medicine Man Moses Shongo) touched thousands of people around the world. But one would never have known the extent of her reach, as she treated every individual with an extraordinarily personal love and understanding. Anyone who met or spent any time with Grams was deeply and personally touched. Grams was a prolific writer, sharing her knowledge of the natural world through books such as those on the earth Language of the Stones and Trees, and helping many to find a sense of Wholeness by learning to honor their Individual Intuition and Personal Truth(s). In this way we learned to Walk in Balance to fulfill what Grams said we must each discover as our own personal “life mission,” which incorporated our own individual Gifts and Abilities. Grams helped many to both recognize and honor these, as they were given by Great Mystery. As brilliant, articulate, and wise as she was, Grams was never one to mince words, and would cut to the chase in a moment, telling me if she thought something was “cow flop.” I’d laugh at her directness, thankful I’d had the courage to share a particular view on something she would invariably ease my uncertainty about. When asked how she was doing, her morning reply was often, “Still kickin’ butt ... mostly my own!” This was encouraging from a woman about to turn 95 in December. We all know Grams was tireless, and never ceased to remind one to greet the mirror each morning with a Smile - helping us to recognize Great Mystery in the reflection, and start the day with Gratitude.

Gram Twylah has been one of the greatest treasures in my life, and not a day has gone by that she wasn’t in my heart and prayers. I can’t imagine what my life would have been without her, and her wisdom and Lessons. When someone asked me what Grams was about, I remembered her telling me her response to the Dalai Lama’s question (during his visit to her home on the Cattaraugus Reservation in Brant, New York) regarding the “core” of Seneca philosophy. She'd answered. "Nyah Weh Skanoh - Thank You for Being; All for One and One for All." This is an integral part of the Seneca understanding that we are all part of Great Mystery and each other. I think Grams reminded us of the necessity for kindness, and, first and foremost, Love and Gratitude in and for our lives. For all that she has shared with me in my life, I shall be profoundly Grateful for the rest of my life, and wish only to do my best to honor her life by doing all I can to utilize her lessons properly, and share them to the very best of my ability with those I love and care for, and my students and those of the "future generations." May we come together with one mind, to wish Grams an easy and effortless transition to her Spirit Life, and a peaceful and productive move Forward on her Journey in her Spirit Walk. Her greatest wish was for the Unity of our Global Family - "All for One, and One for All" - and I trust that, wherever she is, she will continue her work to this effect, and be pleased to see us working together towards this as well. What a Blessing to have been touched by a flash of her brilliant Light for even a moment -'.- ! To All of My Relations, Nyah Weh Skanoh - Thank You All for Being. In Love and Gratitude…
-Sita Stulberg, USA

I valued meeting her; it altered the course of my life. She was a great blessing to all she met. Divine Will Pleasure…
-Mahesh Subrahmanyan, Dr. Div. Divinities Partner, USA

…Gram's teachings have had a profound effect on my life each day. Today I continued, as she taught me, to walk my talk and teach others and I was privileged to share Fox medicine with four other like minded women. I' have many wonderful memories of weekends in, Gram's home and the people I met there, but I knew you'd be flooded so I will send them on gradually. Nyeh Weh Skanoh…
-Mary Sullivan Grandmother Otter Sings Truth, USA

Thank you for sending this sad but not unexpected news. If you are in touch with Lee say that my thoughts and prayers are today all for my very dear old friend.
-Manitonquat-Medicine Story / Francis Story Talbott II

Dear Grandmother Twylah, with much love and gratitude…You have shown me the pathway to "Walk my talk and Live my dream"…
-Felicity Taormina, USA

Dear Grandmother Twylah, Yehwehnode...As another year closes (2004) -I have been thinking about you and many adventures we had at Cattaraugus.  The 9 Hour Drive, to see you somehow, was always marked with hawks on the route.  We seemed to get there in no time at all.  Once arrived we got straight to work and to the teachings…The first time I met you was in Philadelphia, when you came to present a workshop on the Council of the We (Wee) People.  You greeted me at the door and looking into my eyes said, "I know you."  A shot of electricity went up my back.  Some months earlier, I had gone on a vision quest and the Rainbow Child Vision came to me with the people of the 4-colors joining hands in friendship, in an effort to work toward peace with each other and with the Mother Earth.  I was told that my purpose in life was to connect people to one another and to the Earth.  Then I met you and saw that I didn't need to reinvent the Medicine Wheel.  What I needed to do was study with you. Do you remember coming to the environmental Center, Riverbend, where we put on a Council of the Wee People for 100 participants.  It took us a year of going back and forth to see you, making mistakes and getting on track as we learned through your teachings directly and indirectly with discovery and practice until we figured out what we were to do and prepare others until all eight clans were ready with the stories, games, chants, dances and crafts.  Actually, you led the crafts and medicine pouches.  Everyone made one.  It was a magnificent day! …From the time I met you, you have so greatly influenced my life.  You helped me to recognize my contribution using my gifts, talents and abilities, and learning my lessons….I love you Twylah and miss you and our visits. 
-Sandy Taylor, USA

…Grams will be missed but she shall live forever in her hearts with her eternal words of wisdom.…I like how Bert Gunn said it, “Gram was a one of a kind special amazing person, Elder, teacher, musician and leader. She will be missed by many many people but is flying free now of her aged robe (94 years old), and I am sure she is enjoying the view from above.” …Bob & Lee called me the morning of her passing & asked me to pray for her passage. That day, I was flying out to NY (her home state) & I had gotten up that morning early because it was the first time in 10 1/2 years I was getting myself ready for a road trip alone...before that I had a most wonderful warrior, Jesse James Fearing, who always got all the details ready. In fact I was up at 5:30 am because Jesse was going to call at 6:00 am to walk one of the young men here at the ranch thru putting emails on my computer. The phone rang at 5:31 am. It was Lee & she said, “Morning Thunder, you are up? I replied that I was. She said, “Us too. Bob wants to talk to you. We love you.” My stomach sank & I knew something was up. When Bob got on the phone, he was softly saying that he had a request & something to tell me. As his voice broke, he said that it was time for ‘Mom’ to take her journey. She had told him that she wanted me & my son Chief Richard, to be praying for her during this time. I just sat there, no words could come. Finally I said, “Yes, of course.

Beth I can’t tell you how much this meant to me. To be able to give what ever comfort I could on the phone to Bob & Lee. To be able to say goodbye & do the Ceremony they asked for & to know that she was tired & wanted to go to Peace. I shall never forget Bob & Lees kindness at this time of them being in their own grief & sadness. Well that is a heck of a way to start a day. I sat there numb with floods of memories running thru my mind of her words, pictures of her, & all we had experienced together. I called Richard right away & he was up...I told him & his heart & sadness matched mine. Around the time of her passing, I was still in ceremony, & I felt she had gone on. But I would not know this until I went to NY... where someone gave me an email from Bert Gunn that said she had passed (Because the computer didn’t work all the time I was gone to bring up emails) I asked for all the East Coast dancers come together in an Inipi ceremony we did for her to pray. We put out food for 4 days. We put up a chair in the woman’s arbor for her. She was one amazing, incredible, funny, serious, learned, kind, compassionate, loving woman. She brought me to a path of Peace within myself that no one else could do. She was a precious jewel & now goes to be a precious jewel in the crown of God. I hope that all she gave out to all touches them intimately today & always. My prayers today are for Bob & Lee & Grams other children. Bob has been by his mom's side & I know he will carry forth perfectly her teachings & energy into the future & onto eternity! May her memory live immortally forever!
-Mary Thunder, USA

Dear Twylah,  …You probably don't remember who I am, but I came to your house for the Gagee gathering and met some truly wonderful people at such a special place. So I want to thank you for that time and experience. In my search to put together who I am as a Seneca, many things felt solid and right on that day for me…Thank you very much
-Kathy Tills, USA

Dear Bob and lee,
This basket was created by the grace Sanctuary community for Grandmother Twylah…has a set of prayer robes filled with our prayers of gratitude for her life and your family's healing. We hope you will hang them if you like. Another set was placed in our Tree of Memories and during the Full Moon Gathering with prayers for her gentle journey home. The cloth around the basket can be used as an altar cloth if you want to set one up. There is a small bottle of -water blessed by the sun, the moon, and prayers that sat in the Lone Star Sundance arbor this year. The small prayer wand of cedar, lavender and sweet grass invites spirit, clearing and memories. The card was signed by people…present at the prayer ceremony. Please join us from wherever you are during the full moon. We will stand each month until next June, in the shadow of the Tree of Memories and Gratitude honoring her life. Sincerely…
-Jo Todd and the GRACESANCTUARY COMMUNITY, USA

Dear Bob & Lee,
In the good old ways of the first people we refrain from morbid sentimentality. Rather, we celebrate a human being and a most powerful and sacred woman who profoundly touched and helped reshape the lives of millions of us. Having just now heard of her passing to the Spirit World, I want to extend on behalf of all of us at Kalpulli Turtle Island Multiversity not only our sympathy, but our gratitude for what Grandmother gave to all of us. How entirely fitting it is that she would choose August 21st to make her transition to the Spirit World, ten days the 865th anniversary of the Great Law of Peace and the founding of your confederacy. Twylah, or She Whose Voice Rides Upon the Wind, will live forever. Can you just imagine the conversation she must be having with the Mother of Nations, the Great Peacemaker, Hiawatha, and the whole gang, including Hanson Lake? Finally, my relatives, I want to share the following story. On the last Saturday in January 1988, Grandmother came to my apartment and did a workshop for several of my young people and myself. Out of the blue, she announced that a woman named Linda and myself were to be initiated into the Wolf Clan that night. I protested, saying, "Grandmother, I'm not worthy to be a member of the Wolf Clan." She responded by telling me to be quiet and accept the initiation. The girls loved what they heard and they said, "Grandma, now we know how to talk to him." Bob, my dear brother, you mom has been my teacher and guide since the summer of 1983 when I bought those first tapes from Rhinebeck, NY. I will be eternally grateful for her and to you and Lee for carrying on her work. I apologize for responding so long after the fact, but we are just now restoring our web site and moving forward. My relatives, I wish you unlimited blessings. I can't send you any money but hopefully we will in the future. Let us stay in touch, let us continue to recognize December the 5th as a High Holy Day and let us continue to listen to Grandmother, otherwise she just might come back and holler at us.
-Ray Tricomo, KALPULLI, USA

Dear Bob and Lee,
Thank you for taking care of Gram and surround her with so much love and respect so she could enjoy life and 'kicking butt' till this high age. We have experienced that she enjoyed staying at the Nitsch Cafe very much. It is a gift for mankind that you continue the work Gram started. We trust it will be in the spirit of Gram. Love…
-Danny and Yvette Vader, NETHERLANDS

We heard the news from Dancing Cloud a while ago ... Somehow I felt this ... But still I wished I could see Twylah one more time ... A little denial ... I can feel this kind of happenings coming ... And most of the time ... I don't want to look at those feelings ...But now I know ... I can ... Seeing the Truth and Loving the Truth ... And it is all good ... Although my eyes filled with tears ... My feelings just told me to sing ... And now every time I sing Amazing Grace I think of Twylah … Said between you and me ... Sing my own version of this song ... Called by me ..."Amazing Twylah"… It shows my Love and Respect for her ... Love …
-Helena Van Moll, NETHERLANDS

…I have many cherished memories of you, Grandma Twylah, with your beautiful silver river of hair...I remember doing some cooking for your household, some cleaning of the cellar, some typing, all in exchange for lots of time listening to your wonderful wisdom, and the fellowship of "pack mates" and the singing…I especially remember the laughter...I remember taking out the garbage, and the bottoms of the garbage bags falling out, and George Wolf saw it and we laughed and laughed as he helped me fill new bags with the trash that fell out. Seems a lifetime ago…You named me Singing Wren back in 1989, if memory serves, and I had to use that name -- to begin with, to tell stories to children, eventually doing some work in local schools and local Head Start Centers, then later, running an after school program. I have taken care of most folks kids around here one time or another along the way. I do love the young' un's… My children are grown now, and have learned a lot -- from ceremony, from being part of the pack, and from the teachings. They are now adults and good--hearted people…My husband and I have been together now 27 years, and it is also true that the teachings having reached our relationships which just gets better the older we get…So, Grandma…Know that your work has touched many hearts, and more than one generation, and that the teachings are very much vital. Thank you for your generosity and kindness towards me…
-Joyce Vaselow, Singing Wren, USA

Memories of Twylah
We just learned of Twylah's passing. We want you to know that we will always hold her very dear and close to our hearts. Her spirit is so strong and has helped so many people. We thank her for sharing her love and her generosity. We will forever be grateful for the things she has taught us about the rock people and the trees and the clouds and ways of living a good life on our beautiful Earth. We send you our love.
-John and Marguerite Veltri, EARTHALIVE COMMUNICATIONS INC, USA

Dear Bob and Lee,
…thank you for letting me know about Gram Twylah's passing over, and how I can be of help to you and the Wolf Clan Teachings. I have been sat trying to "connect the circle", so to speak. I "know" that this life is not all there is and that we are just in one stage/phase of growth…and that the next life will bring us closer to our true natures. But despite this strong belief…I am sad that she has gone from this world. The ways that she and you have touched my life, and the lives of others...is immeasurable...Not just by the teachings and the wisdom offered and gratefully received, but by just being who you are. I think if I had to have a lesson about this EarthWalk to remember from Gram it would be that. That we don’t really have to "do" anything...just be ourselves, unique, honest and authentic.…..that is enough for us..Great Spirit does the rest through us. Bless all the family and Wolf Clan people
-Toksha Nik WalkingBear, FRANCE

Grandmother touched my life when I needed wisdom the most. I was lost in a world of the unknown and she guided me back to my path, many will miss her, but we know she is still with us.
-Walkstar, NY USA

…Our hearts go out to you and your community. She was an awesome woman. You can be very proud. Thank you for keeping the customs and traditions alive.
-Brenda Walters, USA

Twylah Nitsch has dropped her robe and made her long walk into the West. Many times she spoke of death not in fear but as an old friend. Her favorite time of the year was autumn, it was on such a day when we were out walking with her beautiful white wolf. On this day she said, " if we have the power to chose our time of death then I would chose the Autumn when the leaves are all returning to the Rainbow of the Earth to be reborn." Those words came back to me this morning as I sit here the leaves are just starting to change and return to the earth. The geese are gathering to practice flight and the first cold weather has touched the lake to which she was so often a visitor. A smile comes to my lips and my heart said, "My dear and old friend perhaps we do have the power to choose our times of death and the years we will live." Like many elders before her, Twylah was loved and respected for her efforts to keep the sacred teaching of the Seneca alive. It was through her that I first was invited to teach at Lily Dale in 1990. Who would know that in 1993 I would come to live here in Lily Dale and also at the Cattaraugus Reservation? The first time I met Twylah was in a raging snow storm in 1979 we had come to help a friend move to Ohio, who knew Twylah. We had been invited to stop off to sleep at Twylah's that night. It had been a long trip from Maine to Buffalo and we were all road weary, cold, hungry and sleepy. That did not halt Twylah, who was in the middle of an evening teaching. We were seated down in her big living room by some of the women who were attending the teachings, and she continued speaking. After a while we warmed up and were all nodding off, and it was very hard to focus on what was being said. Then and only then did she ask us if we were hungry or tired.

From my traditional ways I knew that to interrupt a teacher or an elder was considered rude and just not done. I sat there as the others expressed various complaints of tired and hungry. Finally she said to me, "and Little Girl would you like something to eat?" I said. "no I can wait." This was my first encounter with Twylah and for many years after this at her invitation, I traveled to New York to attended and speak at the women's gathering she held each year in June. I could write a book of all the wonderful and magical things that happened in those times as we sit and shared our lives but that is for the future not now.…In 1993 my life just fell apart and I had no place to turn for advices, I called Twylah. She said, "it is time you came to teach the ways of your People." She told me, "pack what you need, and leave the rest behind." She Said, "Come here and work with me on this book and you can help me teach from here." And so it was that I came to live and teach in the Eastern part of New York. It took some courage to uproot my life of 33 years in Maine and just jump off into the abyss. To this day I have no regrets that I took that strong woman's advice. Not for once did I ever feel that the choice was a mistake. In fact it was the beginning of my spiritual life, as a teacher. As I learned the Seneca ways and helped with the writing of the teachings I also Was reinforced within my own culture of the Lakota people. We found so many Similar teachings in our culture and so it was combined and strengthened the teachings.

Again the story of the braided rope is here in this lesson of many strands braided together, are stronger than one strand. I worked with Twylah on many levels and often was sent by her to places she did not have the strength to go. This was the beginning of the public appearances that are so much a part of my life today. Plamaya, (thank you) Grandmother Twylah for your encouraging ways, and your words that opened the path for my life to begin. I watched this happen to many others, as she stood them up and dusted them off, and told them, "go out and carry the teachings forward to the next generation." The teachings must live she said and you will read this many times in her writings and her books. It was not about the teaching certificate she handed to them, but more about the wisdom that she had implanted in their hearts and spirits.…And so we listened and we learned a better way of living and sharing the truth. I think the most important of all is that she extended her hand in acceptance, and opened her home to many who came seeking the knowledge of the Indian way of life. Her name in her language was She Who's Voice Rides on the Wind. Twylah was a keeper of wisdom and many came to write about her and the work she was doing. She ran a school for many years that taught the cycle of life and the medicine wheel teachings. From that Wolf Clan Teaching school she sent out many people in the world to carry on the truth and the wisdom she shared with them. The after effect of her passing is now but a ripple in the still pond of life. It will become a wave of tremendous size in the future as the old students stand up and carry on the teachings.

Many people's lives were changed for ever by her advice and wisdom through the teachings. There was always a warm hug and a smile with those twinkling eyes looking intensely into yours. Many times she greeted people with the words, "we were expecting you what took you so long?" I knew that she saw the spirit of the person not the person who stood there greeting her. You always felt accepted and welcome by her love and understanding. Many of the dear and good friends in my life were met in her home and through the teachings.…As I see many of my own elders making their last walk holding the wisdom, I know it is now the time for us all to share what we have been given. You must live the teachings and in this way you also share the teachings. I feel that we live our lives as a mirror to others and in this way we are actually sharing a better way to live. "So that the teachings may live". A million heart-felt thanks, from my heart to yours Twylah for your wisdom. With respect and love for a truly blessed Elder, who was my dear and honored friend, I will miss your humor and wisdom. May your walk in the spirit world be filled with many blessings, and many reunions. Love and blessings, Mitakuye Oyasin…
-Waynonaha Two Worlds, Keeper of the Spirit Light, USA

Dear grandmother, thank you for your knowledge and wisdom and for the Great Native Earth Traditions that you so unselfishly laid out for all to partake of. It has changed my life in many ways; my only hope is that I may become a tool in helping to change the lives of others…Thanks again for shining your light so others might see. My love and prayers are with you as we all journey these paths toward our destination. In the spirit, love, peace, and prayers

...Yewehnode Two Wolves, She Whose Voice Rides the Wind, Twylah Nitsch, Grandmother of the Wolf Clan of the Seneca Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy, has left her body behind. We who continue on in form remember. I remember teaching at Omega Institute in 1984. I wanted to offer a class called "Women, Witches, and Weeds" but they felt "Women and Weeds" was sufficient. The idea of a woman-only, woman-centered class was new to them. That surely explains the presence of a man there to do the tape recording. When I complained, I was told there were no women who could do the taping. Fortunately for my temper, one of the women in class offered to take care of it. I might have felt alone in my feminism and my insistence on woman-only space, expect for the presence on campus that week of a much older woman who shared my beliefs. I met walking along the path to our cabins. She was fuming, talking to herself with outrage. I caught up with her and asked what was amiss. "The lying men on the Elder Council," she replied without hesitation. "I am going to quit participating in that mockery. Instead, I will sit under a tree and teach any woman who wants to learn."

We continued on to her cabin, where she told me stories of her connections with plants. A firm friendship was taking root and my heart smiled. I always like to have older women to look up to, to emulate. Grandmother Twylah did as she said and we stood firm together in our understanding that some teachings are for women only. It's a long drive from my home near Woodstock New York to Grandmother's home on the Brant Reservation south of Buffalo. I did not go often; she did not come to the Wise Woman Center often, and yet my inner sense is of always being connected to her from our first conversation on. I remember the time I visited her after giving workshops in Toronto. She asked me how long I could stay. "Only tomorrow, then I must return home to the goats and the apprentices." Her gaze grew deep. Was she displeased? A faint smile played on her lips. But she said nothing further. When I awoke the next morning, I was told to prepare for my initiation. Grandmother and her cronies had worked all night to bead the initiation medallion and medicine pouch for me. I was honored and awed to become a member of the Wolf Clan and an adopted daughter of this woman I loved and respected so deeply. I took the name she gave me — "Onada" (Spirit of the Leaf) — into my core, where it vibrates even now.

And I took to heart the assignments she gave me:

'Wolves make the trails to the water and all the other animals follow them. Make trails."

'Wolves don't just howl at the moon, they sing about everything. Sing."

"Follow the Rainbow Path of Peace; Honor the Seven Directions and the Twelve Parts."

"Honor everything, especially the rocks and the trees."

"Listen. Listen. Use the Talking Stick and listen."

"Have an Attitude of Gratitude."

I remember the winter visits: All the miles through the snow, the big buck in front of the car who leaped over us in a flurry of flakes just as I thought we would surely crash, and the goat curry my consort Michael cooked for Grandmother, thickened, to the great delight of the "natives," with powdered sugar because he thought it was flour. I remember the summer visits: I remember darkened lodges where we spoke in turn a word each until the prayer was spun into being. I remember the teachings of the stones. And the medicine of the colors. I remember picking wild salads. And celebrating the opening of the new teaching lodge. Women's gathering. The special maple tree out front. The wee ones. So many memories. Grandmother and I were blessed to have rich and special times together. A picture of her at one of Sun Bear's Medicine Wheel Gatherings — where we both taught — hangs in front of me in my writing space. She is here with me. Empowering me; Loving me; Always; Forever. Sending her message of Peace out to the World through the Rainbow of women she taught.
-Susun Weed, WISE WOMAN CENTER, USA

Twylah Hurd Nitsch, a teacher of the Wisdom of her people -- the Seneca -- is a many-faceted person. As teacher, counselor, lecturer, Native American, student, humanitarian and friend, she has won the respect, admiration, praise and devotion of all who know her, as she personifies her own desire to share the Truths Of Life, that others may find greater peace on their Earth-Walk. Twylah is an inspiring teacher who opens new vistas of knowledge through the appli¬cation of ancient Wisdoms. In the years I have known her, I have been continually impressed by her constant stressing of the positives and her refusal to be pushed around by the overwhelming negatives of life; by her infinite patience with some of her students who find it difficult to erase old negative habits, in order to accept and adopt positive attitudes through which to grow; by her shining example of the Truths she teaches, making herself and them totally believable; and by her modesty in never taking credit for the above but, instead, calling herself a “channel” for these Truths to others. Those who seek her counseling are guided into a better way of life through self-awareness and self-understanding. She encourages others to discover their own level of creativity and to find pleasure in self-expression in it.

From the lecture platform, she reaches out to untold numbers and, with utter simplicity and sincerity, has them reaching out, in turn, for wider horizons of thought and action. A Seneca Indian, Twylah never falters in her intense dedication to her people and their heritage, showing through the example of her life the true picture of her ancestors. A humanitarian, Twylah wants the best for all peoples. One of her goals is helping others to erase Fear, in any of its insidious dimensions, as a drawback to growth. As a dedicated student, Twylah’s enthusiasm for any kind of knowledge that will broa¬den her own horizons is matched only by her eagerness to share what she learns with others. Her delight in newly-acquired knowledge now reaches out in anticipation of continuing her education and getting a College Degree that she may be able to work on still another level of teaching and sharing. I have known Twylah in all of the above relationships but the finest, to me, is in having her as a friend. In this, all of the qualities mentioned are gathered together to reveal one of the most delightful, deserving, beautiful and believable persons anywhere. In deep appreciation of this gifted friend, I am,
Sincerely yours,
-Margery Weierbach, USA

Twylah has been my spiritual mother from 1983. She appeared in my dreams for one month before I ever met her in person. I was very close to her for over 20 years. She said that I was a tree with very shallow roots. My branches kept growing toward the heavens, reaching always higher, but I lacked roots into mother earth. So she overturned me upside down and she put my branches into the earth so that I could grow strong learning all I could about and from mother earth. I am who I am right now because of her. For many years I had the luck to be called by her wherever she needed to go somewhere. Through her I met wonderful people and learned a lot more by experience that I would have through books. I learned about the medicine wheels, done 7 Clarity Visions, she taught me how to read messages from the stone people, how to bead, how to work with leather, speak in front of people, giving me the title of the subject before going on, we cooked, we sang , traveled, danced, drummed together and laughed a lot. She had a great sense of humor and she was a realist while she also was a real dreamer. Every instant spent with mom was a real joy and I am very grateful for her precious presence in my life. We got so close that when I was living in San Francisco and I was crying because I was very unhappy there, Twylah would always know and she would call me in the telephone and counsel and console me. When she left Buffalo she left a big hole into my heart and into my life. I have always lived by her principles and all she has taught has been a wonderful help in the understanding of myself and of life. Thank you, Ma Twylah, for all the love, understanding and joy you brought into my life. As promised I will continue your work and pass it along to help others.
Thank you for being.
-AnnaMaria Weld, USA

…It is a blessing to all that you will keep her memory alive and shared teachings of the Wolf clan. In these troubled times do people need to be reminded of their Earth connection. Mindfulness of ourselves in connection with the earth mother is the path of beauty. Twylah has helped me to understand the dynamics of relationships with the earth through the Cycles of Truth, Men's councils, native crafts, Elders councils, and her playful light -- hearted ways. She has been my inspiration, my role -- model, my council fire burning in the darkness. I will miss her very much. Her memory burns brightly here in my heart and will continue to touch others through me. In oneness of  spirit…

…Many tears are shed, because we have loved one who was special. Now, memories must sustain us.  …For as we remember, we see love’s reflection in our tears.
-Ellen Wetherell, Golden Dawn, USA

Thank you so much for telling me about Grandmother Twylah. I'm just thankful that I was able to communicate with her before her passing by sending her an email Thank you for making that possible. Wolf Clan has been on my mind. I just acquired a book on wolves because of my association. I know how devastated you must be. To be in such close proximity with her all this time must have endeared her even more to you. My heart is sad to know she's gone, but I can feel her love and light. She was so very kind to me always. I proudly bear the name she gave me. Yes, I will try to make it down next year. Please keep me posted. Thank God you are carrying on her work. She will always have a place in this heart…Sincerely…
-Ga Gwa Oweo – Anandamayi (Whitaker), USA

To beloved grandmother Twylah:  My profound thanks for making a difference in my life!  You told me once that every day was Christmas at your home and this is very true. I always remember your great sense of humor.
-Frank White Oak USA

My little sharing,
I didn’t sit with Gram Twylah at her kitchen table at home. Nope....She came to Netherland.…Gram took her kitchen table with her in her mind and placed it at the kitchens of those who she taught...so...where ever Gram was she brought her kitchen table with her. People who knew her more personal as i do, like my own teacher here in Netherland, probably know...Also Gram brought something else with her. Something she always carried with her...Her famous Talking Stick. When i met Gram, Bob and Lee for the first time that was four years ago; a teaching weekend in Netherland in Friesland. I’ll nourish that weekend for the rest of my life. On a certain moment at the end of the weekend Gram took her Talking Stick and gave it to the first person to let it go round. When it was my turn i first didn’t know what to say...Cause at that time my English was much horrible as what it is now and it made me a little hesitating to speak. I looked in Grams eyes...and she said ‘don’t be afraid, go on...’My teacher who also was there also looked at me and said she would help with translating my sharing...The years passed on and i studied in silence...Now, four years later i began to learn and realize the True Meaning behind those few simple words Gram said...The effect of those few words is huge... Dear Gram may your walk in the spirit world be blessed… Dear Gram we will miss you! We all will miss your Twinkling Eyes. We all will remember your Voice. We all will remember your ‘kick at the but’ talks, and we all will remember your Vision. You had and still have a connection with All...In Gratitude and with Deep Respect, Mitakuye Oyasin…
-Rina White Star, NETHERLANDS

Thanks, Grandma for your being. Thanks for the ones who took care of you in your last days. Thanks for all the love, teachings and wise words you have spoken to me. You will live on in your teachings and I know I will see you back in the other realm…
-Margriet, White Wolf, Many Fires Wolf, NETHERLANDS

….I learned of Twylah’s passing this morning from Thunder. I am so sorry for your loss and the worlds loss. My son and first husband were of the Wolf Clan, and I will email them with this sad news.
-Joanne Wible, USA

Dear grandma, for you shall try to say something in English….My son asked me to tell you he loves you. He wants to thank you for reminding him of his true spirit, these are his words I am only translating it for him….I would also like to thank you for being who you are, you are a wonderful person and we will not forget you…-All our love…
-Kris Wijkstra en Arian, NETHERLANDS

Spirit is with me as i travel in Arizona. Today i leave for the grand canyon to watch sunrise tomorrow. As i have just heard about dear Gram Twylah, first I would like to send my love to you both in this time of transition and prayers. Thanking you for being, and introducing me to the blessing that was Gram. A truly inspirational soul. Secondly I would like to send a prayer into the wind at the Grand Canyon tomorrow morning as our beloved sun rises. May we all receive her blessings continually from spirit. Also white buffalo woman has been coming to us and we visit the white buffalo just north of flagstaff. Gram will be in prayers over this time as i connect with your sacred land; heart felt love to you…
-Peta (Wilkinson), UK

My prayers are sent and will continue Creator, I know you guide Grandmother home with loving arms and so many await her return. My heart pours out. 0hhhhhhhhhh Grandmother, Know how much you are loved. Thank you for being. Please forgive my unclear prayers till I can think clearly.
-MamaBear Rosie (Wispinski), CANADA

...Bless her memory and bless you (Melinda Joy Miller) for introducing her (Gram Twylah) to me so many years ago. I recently had an opportunity to tell the story of Grandmother Turtle to a group of drummers - they wanted to know more about her.
-Pecki Witonsky, USA

Dear Bob and Lee -
I got an email from a fellow named Steve Schoff, a Seneca Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge member, who mentioned in the context of the email that Gram had passed away. My first reaction was like a truck backed into my heart, but then I realized how free and light she is now dancing in the loving arms of Great Mystery. I always feel that she -- and you -- are just around the corner from me despite the miles between us; now there is no physical distance, no aged form to keep her from really hanging out in the neighborhood! I send her my love and good will. And to you. If it's OK with you, I would like to write a small tribute to her in my next newsletter. If there is anything you would like me to mention, I am happy to do so. You can post it on your web site or do anything you want with it, too. I asked Steve to tell me what he knew but have not heard back from him. He wrote to tell me about his perceptions of the day the Dali Lama visited Gram. I guess they are different than what we featured in my book. Nothing will change in what I wrote; your perceptions are what is important to me and to those who read ISC. Thinking of you all. Wishing you joy. Love…
-Margaret Wolff, USA

…I hope her "skywalk" is a good one. I learned a lot from her and she lives in my heart always…
-Kirsten Wonn, USA

…Like everyone else I have many delightful stories about Gram. What most I choose to say is how blessed I feel for she has been truly the Guiding Light for me over many years. I have received benefit from many terrific teachers, but inevitably I come home to the practical wisdom that Gram shared. Her positive outlook, humor, directness, clarity in teaching, accessibility and constancy helped me through a variety of puzzling and sometimes rough spots in my life. She always knew what was behind the experiences I was having, would begin to laugh as well as finish my sentences, and then, tell me how wonderful whatever was happening truly was. In an instant I would be turned around!  …With Love and Appreciation…

Grandma was a great honor in our lives and she still lives on in our hearts.
-Don, Patti, Ayla, Sky and Jake Wild-Eagle Wuebber, USA

… Only a few days ago, I put on my wolf clan necklace, remembering and I felt she may have crossed over. I loved her. She was so kind to me and my family. I would love to come to her ceremony next summer. …She was a wonderful shining star and I am sad that I won't get the chance to see her again in this life, but I am joyful for her and grateful for having known her. With love and gratitude…
-Yah-wee-saws, Beth (Stiller) Yeshaya, USA

Dearest Grandmother Twylah...Receiving the opportunity to meet you is an answer to my prayer to the Great Spirit, for my heart yearns to learn traditional ways especially as womanhood becomes of me…I thank the Great Spirit so, now I thank you for your energy and grace in creating this jewel of opportunity that helps me to learn to breathe deeper with integrity and perseverance, as I return to (the) city environment.  The gift of this weekend experience strengthens my heartbeat breathing in rhythm with mother Earth's breathe. Yes, I promised myself I keep living by ways of nature and I continue to find traditions of my Chinese ancestors here through Indian ways…I am grateful for the teachings you have passed on…My heart songs surrounds you, embraces you, grandmother…Love…
-Shih Yiing Yeung, USA

 

In Memory of a Great Woman

Her Star Sparkles forever...

With all our Love, Lance, Pat, Dresdner, & Delaney Schenker

A star in the heavens has been named in memoriam for

Grandmother Twylah Hurd Nitsch.

 

Telescopic co-ordinations are Ursa Major (The Great Bear) RA 8h 42m 7.29s D54˚ 17’54.72”


Know ye herewith that the International Star Registry doth hereby re-designate star number * URSA MAJOR RA 8h 42m 7s D 54˚ 18’ to the name * Twylah Hurd Nitsch.  Know ye further that this star will henceforth be known by this name * this name is permanently filed in The Registry’s vault in * Switzerland and recorded in a book which will be registered in the copyright office of the *United States of America **

In witness whereof we hereunto set our hands and affix the seal of the *International Star Registry* this 20th day of August 2007.

The new star name and telescopic co-ordinates will be registered in the International Star Registry’s vault in Switzerland and recorded in the astronomical compendium Volume IX, copyrighted in the United States of America.

Key: 

RA = Right Ascension is equivalent to longitude but measured in hours, minutes and seconds of time.  Each hour of RA is 15 degrees of arc, and 24 hours are equivalent to 360 degrees.

D = Declination is the angular distance north or south of the celestial equator, the extension of the earth’s equator into the sky.  D is equal to the latitude

Because this coordinate system is an extension into the sky of the poles and equator of the earth, the movement of the poles with respect to the stars causes the coordinates to change slowly over time.  For this reason, the co-ordinates are always referred to an epoch or fixed time, such as 1950 or 2000 AD.

International Star Registry
34523 Wilson Rd, Ingleside, IL 60041, USA
1-800-282-3333
Fax:  (847) 546-0155
www.starregistry.com

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