Big Bear City, CA, September 28, 2014 – This month marked the ten-year anniversary of the Big Bear Medicine Wheel that was led by an Eastern Shoshone elder during the severe drought of 2004. At the time, local government agencies were debating cloud seeding–a method of increasing precipitation by dispersing substances such as dry ice or silver iodide crystals into the air. Some residents, however, preferred an alternative method of addressing this environmental challenge, and invited Bavado Rainbow Thunder Heart (formerly Bennie Blue Thunder Le Beau) to share techniques based on 6,000-year-old indigenous wisdom.
With Big Bear as the hub of the Medicine Wheel’s nine locations in Southern California, over 200 residents participated in the final 12-hour ceremonial gathering for prayer, gratitude, intentions, song and dance. Coincidentally or not, the first major storms of the season began on the dates the Medicine Wheel training and celebration were scheduled: October 26 and November 20. Those two- and three-foot snowfalls, along with storms over the next several months, contributed to a 12-foot increase in the lake level by the spring of 2005.
This year, Bavado came back to lead several ceremonies in July and September at natural landmarks in the area–some of which coincided with International Peace Day and World Gratitude Day. He and his partner Samara, a sound healer, say they will continue their work in October to help restore environmental balance in Big Bear. Dr. Robin Bradley, a key facilitator of this series, told KBHR that if there is enough interest from local participants, there will be a large reactivation of the Big Bear Medicine Wheel in October.
Those interested in participating or offering donations should contact Dr. Bradley at (909) 866-4948.