We honor those who come before us and those who come after us completing the sacred hoop.
For Grandfather Roberts , John Armbruster and Asha McMillan
1943 - 2006
Read about Suzanne in her own words...
Grandpa Roberts, Cherokee Shaman
A Teacher of Love
1892 - 1987
Suzanne's Experience of Grandpa's Transition (from a letter October 7, 1987)
I hardly know where to begin in my heart sharing with you. So much has happened to me during the past three months.
In preparation for the August Fire Symposium, "The Great Ones" called me out of the Medicine Wheel and sent me on a fire initiation on the Friday before the symposium on Saturday. After receiving these instructions, I went to visit Grandpa Roberts, a 95-year-old Native American Shaman, who gave me some further detailed instructions and then said, "They want you to purify and cleanse."
"Yes, will you be with me on Initiation?"
He replied, "Yes, Darling, Grandpa is always with you."
So I went to the Medicine Wheel below Indian Rock on Friday at 10:00 a.m.
"They" had instructed me to be in the sun for six hours in the hottest part of the day.
I laid in the sun on my back for an hour. The sun was Hot-Cold. The breeze blew and cooled me. I turned over on my tummy. The sun came into me so strong as I fell asleep. Then I awoke in Crystal White Fire Light.
I said to myself, "I have died once again. Oh well, this must be 'IT'. I've fried myself in the sun."
And yet, to be where I was in the light was perfect -the sun, the fire: Hot-Cold Crystalline Energy.
As I came back to earth, I noticed intense heat across the small of my back ... and I knew my kidneys were being healed.
According to the sun in the sky, only a couple of hours had gone by. "The Great Ones" said, "Get up and do the tobacco fire cleansing giveaway like Grandpa told you to do."
So I got up and built a small fire in a tin coffee can with holes punched in the bottom. The smoke from the fire was blown by the wind in a complete circle including all the four directions. I followed the smoke while walking the inner wheel. Then the Great Ones told me to put out the fire, pack up and go home to rest for the next day.
I came down the mountain and looked toward Grandpa's place. The ambulance drivers were shaking their heads back and forth. I headed straight for Grandpa's. There he was all laid out in his bed with his buffalo skin over him. The Cherokee Nation shield was at his head. His bed was encircled with paramedics, children and friends.
I walked into the room and instinctively stepped up on the bed next to him. My left hand reached to the ceiling straight as an arrow while my right hand pulled the energy out of his body toward the sky.
A woman smudged Grandpa and all of us present, including the sheriff, with sage. I looked to the window and saw my children watching the proceedings with intense love and acceptance.
Grandpa's spirit released!
And then I knew the deeper reason I was sent on the Fire Vision Quest. I knew Grandpa and I had met when "The Great Ones" took me out to the other side in the White Light.
Thank you, Great Ones. Thank you, Grandpa.
Since the time of Grandpa's physical passing I have been daily empowered by his spiritual presence as have many who were close to him. It is amazing how his powers have multiplied.
So, this is my gift to you -- Grandpa's Unconditional Love and Power. Thank you dear friends.
(Top Photo: Grandpa in his ceremonial attire: Rattlesnake headband, eagle feather and buffalo robe.)
In Memory of John Armbruster, January 22, 2004
Friend, confident and fellow Earth keeper, May you rest in peace and dance on the winds of time forever and always one with the Sun.
Earth Keeper, John Armbruster, passed from this plane of existence on Thursday evening January 22nd in Atlanta, Georgia in the arms of Jennifer, the love of his life. John is survived by a son, Thunder, and a daughter, Rain.
John was a Shawnee pipe carrier, creator of the medicine wheel at Schnebly Hill Road Vortex, talented douser, sweat lodge leader, Earth Healer, and encampment leader for over fifteen years. His ashes were brought to Sedona for ceremony at Schnebly Hill Road Medicine Wheel
Earthkeeper, Sacred Song keeper, Pipe Carrier, Dowsing Master, Geomancy / Feng Shui Practitioner, Drum maker, Spiritual Councilor, Community Builder, Ceremonial Facilitator, Mystic "Building the Spiritual Village, one experience at a time." ... "It's got to be fun."
John Armbruster, M.S. -- Geologist by trade, eclectic by nature, mystic visionary by choice. For 15 years John has been bringing people together to celebrate and explore our gift of life, the beauty of the Earth, and the joy we can create separately and together. For the past 6 years he has traveled 250,000 miles to bring the SEDONA SUN PIPE and the Earthkeepers Way to the people.
In all of his work including Ceremonies, personal sessions, classes and workshops, his focus is spiritual reunion. He seeks to facilitate the awakening of each individual, group and community to the power of their spiritual purpose and the power of their shared spiritual vision.
John's Three Rules
-- Please acknowledge that the Mystic experience is part of our lives every day if we can recognize it.
-- Please acknowledge that great spiritual and moral achievements occur often and that most of these achievements follow the saying "ordinary people doing extraordinary things."
-- Finally, please focus on having a great deal of fun together.
My Mother is an Angel
My mother is an angel. I mean a real angel. She has left us and gone to be with the angels in heaven. “ What does an angel do when she is on the earth?”
And then I began to remember.
I remember when I was a little girl in Greensboro, North Carolina. I was about three or four years old and mother was getting ready for the garden club. She loved the garden club. She was in the kitchen and there were flowers on the counter and vases as well. She was arranging flowers in the vases.
The sun shown through the kitchen window over the sink as I watched her from below. She was more like a silhouette back lighted with golden light and the flowers miraculously flowing into the vases in a harmonious array of beauty and grace. She looked at me and put me up on a stool, gave me a little vase and some small cuttings and showed me how to make my own arrangements as well.
I remember my mother inviting Aunt Thelma to visit us after cousin Emily died. Doris and Mother said to me. “Now, Suzanne when Aunt Thelma comes, don’t talk to her about Emily because it will make her very sad.” So Aunt Thelma came and she and I were sitting indoors on the steps of the house at East Avondale in Greensboro. I looked up at Aunt Thelma and said, “Aunt Thelma, don’t worry about Emily. She is okay. She has gone to be with Jesus in heaven.” Aunt Thelma did not get sad or upset. She took me in her arms and hugged me real good and said, “Darling, I know…it’s okay.”
I remember my mother getting me all dressed up in a little lavender dress to be the flower girl in Francis’ wedding. I was ready to walk down the aisle and turned around to wave at her and let her know that I was okay. Mother thought that I was turning around and not going to go down the aisle. When I looked at her she said, “Go on ahead down there, Suzanne. You will do fine.”
I remember being in the dime store with mother in Fayetteville, NC. There was a colored man who was fainting and broken out in a cold sweat. My mother rushed over to him, placed her hands on him and called out, “Get a doctor!” I watched as my mother held him until the doctor arrived and he began to come through… breathing once again and opening his eyes.
I remember traveling in the back seat of the car from one furniture store to another throughout the long days and nights. It was hard sometimes for me to go to sleep. Mother would turn from her long conversations with daddy and say, “Let me hold your foot Suzanne and then you can go right to sleep“.
I would close my eyes, feel mother’s hand on my foot and the next thing I was drifting along into slumber land as the car continued to lumber down the back roads of North Carolina from Fayetteville to Durham to Jacksonville and then to Orlando and St. Petersburg, Florida.
I remember the long trips on the road with mother and daddy. I remember mother listening to daddy as he mapped out his next strategy for the furniture stores; the next inspiration and the next place they both wished to give money to the church, the relatives that were in need of a ”little bit of help.”
I remember my mother softening my daddy and reminding him to tow the line and do the “right thing.” She would question his motives and say, “George, you make sure everything is above board.”
I remember my mother not always being able to follow my daddy’s logical way of thinking about his next business deals. He would get so frustrated with her and she would just say, “George this is just beyond me. I just don’t get it.”
And then he would go onto another subject, she would support his ideas and life would take its next steps. I remember when we would stop in a town or village and daddy was off making a deal with a wholesale dealer buying a carload of furniture. Mother and I would wait in the car for him to return. Mother would say, “People are so funny. Just look at them.” She would observe them coming and going all dressed in what was comfortable for them. In other words, my mother was a people watcher. She just loved watching people. Never did she judge them…she only loved and accepted them as they were.
I remember being ten years old and our colored maid, Annie, came to work that day. Mother noticed that there was something a little different about her; like she was not herself. Mother asked her, “Annie, what’s wrong?” And she quietly and calmly said while still standing strong and erect, “My boy just got knifed on the bus this morning.” This was in 1953 during the beginnings of the civil rights riots.
Mother started to cry hugged her and said, “Oh Annie, I am so sorry.”
I remember my mother making sure we all got to church every Sunday, dressed in our finest clothes and getting back home to Fayetteville to go to the First Presbyterian Church. We sat upstairs in the balcony and looked down on the congregation.
I remember my mother taking care of the bookkeeping for daddy. She read to him as we traveled to and from one store after the other and up and down the southern coast from NC to Florida. She was by his side night and day. She listened to his thoughts, was his sounding board, encouraged him and read inspirational materials from Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, Norman Vincent Peale and Billy Graham.
It was an oral tradition that I was growing up with as they spoke with each other and built their empire in the car traveling the NC back roads. Mother read the Bible to daddy and the Daily word. Inspirational thoughts and verses were spoken and read daily.
Daddy’s motivation was to make money; to tithe to the church and to take care of his family. He had a reputation for having the Midas touch, turning “dirt into gold.”
When things would get rough and I was impatient with daddy, Mother would always say, “Suzanne, your daddy’s a good provider and he goes fishing and doesn’t go out to the bars when he is under stress. We have a lot to be thankful for.”
Mother’s motivation was the same as daddy’s. They were a team. And their team provided so much love, financial support and care for so many people.
It was as if I had an inside track on their life, which was my life as well. I absorbed the team partnership they created with each other and emulated this in my future relationships and marriages.
I remember my mother when I was memorizing the catechism for Sunday School at age five. The question was: What is man’s chief end? The answer was, “To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
I asked mother, “What does that mean?” And she said, “For you to be happy and enjoy life.” So when I wonder what life is all about and what to do, I go back to this question in the catechism and the interpretation my mother gave to me and I am filled with peace and serenity in my heart. For my mother instilled my life’s purpose into me on that very auspicious day.
As I grew older and was deciding what to do with my life, I remember my mother saying, “Suzanne, find out you’re calling in life and follow it.”
And this I have done.
I remember my mother saying that she and daddy were creating their wealth for us children and the Church. They wanted to leave us a legacy, an empire of property and financial prosperity so that we could continue their work in the world; give to the church and the needy.
It was assumed that we would carry this forth in their way and lifestyle…
Alas, there was a small, albeit important detail they overlooked, Jarvis a minister, Doris a teacher and I an artist…did not have the bent for managing, maintaining or carrying forth the ideals that they put forth. Although our calling in life was love and service to others the way we chose to live our lives was different than theirs. Even so, I remember my Mother in all her grace and beauty accepted us for who we were…she accepted our calling and loved us from her heart. Many a time she quietly and strongly defended us to daddy as we continued to drive the back roads of NC and Florida.
I remember being eighteen. I had been very confused for some time and considered myself an atheist. The world was full of challenges and new information bombarded me daily. It was hard to put everything into context. Martin Luther King was leading his people toward equality in all aspects of our society. John F Kennedy, our young idealistic charismatic President, was shot dead when I was eighteen during my first year of college. I was stunned. My world was falling apart. I was miserable. I was full of guilt and could not figure out what I was guilty for.
I never told this to my mother…yet at some level, she knew. She would say, “You may think that I do not know what’s going on …but I do. I know a lot more than you think.” It was about this time in Orlando, Florida that mother and I went to see Billy Graham during his Crusade. Billy Graham’s reputation of being touched by God, being the very embodiment of the energy of Christ and the ability to bring the multitudes to Christ, was so very real! There was so much energy in the tent and many people: teenagers, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, families were going forward to the front to receive Christ in their hearts.
When Billy Graham called those of us to the front that felt ready to take up Jesus as our Lord and Savior, I felt this surge of energy pour through me and my body rose up and I walked down the aisle to the front. I turned to my mother who was sitting with me at the revival and remember my mother crying as I walked down to the front.
I remember crying as well and knowing that my mother would find peace in her heart because I was saved and would go to heaven. Somehow, I wanted mother to know that I was okay…. even in my pain. I remember my mother telling me about Jesus being her Savior and Easter time. This, I believe, was her favorite time of the year because of the springtime flowers and the promise of eternal life. Each flower in the gardens in and around Orlando as we walked together after church represented the flowering of the Holy Spirit and the resurrection of the soul.
I remember my mother being there for me throughout my college years, my three marriages, and the birth of my two children.
I remember she and daddy financially supporting me and my dreams and my family; even thought they did not fully understand my way of living my life. I remember my parents putting my children through college. I remember my husband being on death’s doorstep and no one being there to help us with his medical bills and mother and daddy came through with a loan that saved his life.
I remember her encouragement to move forward in my life, even though I did not know what to do. To take my next steps and be proud of who I was no matter what! I remember when things did not go well, my mother would say, “Okay, that s what happened, now learn from it and then put it behind you and go on in your life. That is water under the bridge and tomorrow is another day.” I remember my mother teaching me to love myself, forgive myself and get on with enjoying life.
The even greater gift, that my mother gave me than the gift of Billy Graham at the Crusade, is the gift that I knew from her own example that my mother was so connected with God, Jesus and her knowingness of her connection to Source, Higher Power, Inner Wisdom (as we have grown to call this connection in our present day and age). This gave her incredible power. A power that was very evident in every breath she took. Yet a power that was never spoken about or even acknowledged. It was a power that she just lived from one day to the next through her prayers, her walks in nature, her journey with each of us in her heart.
As a result of my connection to God and the guidance derived from this connection; that I have healed mentally, emotionally physically and spiritually. It is this inheritance, this legacy that my mother gave to me that I will care for and give to my children and my children’s children. Thank you mother for being the angel that you are!
Even though all we have before us now is the earthly remains of my mother, Asha Catherine Williams McMillan, she and her legacy will remain in our hearts for time and eternity.
For my mother is an angel, coming forth in this life in a great white cloud of fluffism, making her way throughout our lives and dusting us off when were down, picking us up again with a beautiful thought word or deed and loving us in the moment for who we were and still are and continually giving us the bridge to eternal life through her connection with Jesus Christ, her Lord and Savior.
And now I know what an angel does when she comes to the earth.
Hats off to you, my mother.
Suzanne Williams McMillan