• Ona Graham

What’s In a Name (continued)

Often times the name given to an endeavor, an institution or a place sends the message to the world about its purpose, meaning and/or origin. Tons of money is spent on advertising agencies who are expected to create the perfect logo. Lotus Blossom Healing Center or some such name would have been my choice for the not-for-profit, but an inner knowing said go deeper. Go where? Deeper.


The name Star Nation once received caused me no small amount of distress. It rolled from my lips like peanut butter, a bit sticky and gooey. As the years have been passing, others have seemed enthusiastic about the name, but its meaning remained a mystery to me.



In October of 2017, at the Star Nation Native American Festival, I was to find the answer. Our festival was blessed with the presence of Frank Hall, a Lakota elder, story teller and my neighbor to the north. Frank is 72, tall and thin with a beautiful weather worn face. He is bold and shy at the same time. A strong light radiates from within his aging self. He has aches and pains accumulated from a long hard life, and wonderful stories to tell of growing up Native American in the post colonization days. I showed him pictures which were taken Saturday night at the camp party.


Frank’s eyes lit up and a smile grew on the corners of his mouth. A look of deep satisfaction covered his face. “You know what this is, don’t you?”



I responded, “They’re orbs”. Orbs are often photographed during special events or in association with a particular person. What they are has been explained on a spectrum from dust on the camera lens to spirit presences. In recent years, I’ve seen many pictures of orbs others have take. They have appeared in my pictures and I have sensed their presence at the farm. But nothing like this. There were thousands of orbs in these pictures. And Kurt, who took the pictures, noted that they appeared in one set of pictures then disappeared. When he moved to a different area, they appeared again in his photos and again disappeared.


Kurt called me over at one point to see what he had captured on his camera. He directed me to look above where the flash would go off. He took another picture and above the area of the flash I saw hundreds of lights like red glowing fireflies, briefly, but they were definitely there. We were delighted and filled with wonder.



Frank’s expression changed to one of gravity. “Oh no”, he said solemnly, “These aren’t just orbs. These are the children of the Star Nation. This place is blessed. They only come to where there is positive energy.”


“The children of the Star Nation”, he continued, “are our ancestors, our spirit family on the other side. They come to help us.” His eyes glowed with satisfaction. “In the past, during ceremony, a burning stick was thrown into the air and they would be visible for a brief moment”.



Several days later, Frank returned to Spirit Farm for a teepee transfer ceremony. He told me had a dream and in the dream he was told my new name. He told me this name which fell on me like a ton of bricks. I can’t share this name right now as I am growing into it, slowly. My resistance to this next transformation in my life is strong. If I have learned anything over the past 66 years of my life, it’s that resisting spirit is futile. Allowing this change to occur is a natural as water flowing over Niagara Falls. Try and stop it.

Blessings! Ona

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