"You are going to learn the most important lesson - that God is the most powerful thing there is." -Mathew King, LAKOTA
The Medicine Wheel teaches that there are two worlds - the Seen World and the Unseen World, or the Physical World and the Spiritual World. We need information from both of these worlds in order to live our lives in a harmonious way. The most difficult way is to figure things out by ourselves and leave the Great Spirit out of it. When we do this, we are making decisions with information only from the Physical World. This can be called reliance on self. If we ask the Creator to help us, we then get information from the Unseen World or the Spiritual World. The Spiritual World is where we get our power. When we do this, we are God-reliant. Being God-reliant is the same as being on the Red Road.
Great Spirit, whisper the secrets of the Unseen World in my mind's ear.
WHAT IS NATIVE AMERICAN TRADITIONAL HEALING?
- Most Native American tribes have traditions about health and illness. These traditions are not based on western science. Instead, they come from the tribe's beliefs about how individuals fit in the web of life. This web includes the tribe, all humanity, the earth, and the universe. Many healing traditions focus on harmony. Healing occurs when someone is restored to harmony and connected to universal powers.
- Traditional healing is "holistic". It does not focus on symptoms or diseases. Instead, it deals with the total individual. Different people with HIV disease may get different treatments. Healing focuses on the person, not the illness.
- Certain people in each tribe are recognized as healers. They receive special teachings. Healing traditions are passed from one generation to the next through visions, stories, and dreams.
- Healing does not follow written guidelines. Healers work differently with each person they help. They use their herbs, ceremony and power in the best way for each individual.
- Healing might involve sweat lodges, talking circles, ceremonial smoking of tobacco, shamans, herbalism, animal spirits, or "vision quests". Each tribe uses its own techniques. The techniques by themselves are not "traditional healing." They are only steps towards becoming whole, balanced and connected.
WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM TRADITIONAL HEALING?
- Traditional healing can be very powerful for Native Americans dealing with HIV. It can restore a sense of connection to their tribe and culture. This promotes spiritual, psychological, emotional, and physical healing.
- Some traditional healers only work with members of their own tribe. Others will work with outsiders. Some people who are not Native American believe that working with a traditional healer has helped them.
- Most healers work in their local tribal communities. A few participate in public conferences. If you are not a tribal member, it is very difficult to know if someone is really a traditional healer.
- Many people use the techniques of traditional healing. However, there is a big difference between traditional healing and using traditional techniques. Participating in a sweat lodge might help almost anyone. However, the experience could be very different depending on who runs the sweat lodge. Were they raised in a tradition that used sweat lodges? Or did they simply learn about the technique? Also, a sweat lodge will mean more to someone who grew up in a tribe that traditionally uses them. Some techniques might have no meaning unless you grew up using them.
- Traditional ceremonies usually involve much more than outsiders are aware of. When you attend a ceremony, show respect by asking about guidelines for observing or participating.
- Healers have different views about combining their methods with western medicine. Some do not see any value in medical science or treatments. Others believe that the systems deal with different aspects of an individual so there is no problem using both.
- Most western physicians do not understand the value or importance of traditional healing to their Native American patients. A few, especially in areas with large Native American populations, are more open to traditional healing.
- If you combine western medicine and traditional healing, let your physician know about any treatments you are using. There might be interactions. For example, a traditional healer might use an herbal preparation to help you sleep. In that case, your physician would probably not want you to take sleeping pills. Your healer might want you to use herbs to cleanse your system. These might interact with western medications that you are taking. Your physician might help you avoid negative interactions.
- Native American traditional healing is a holistic approach to health. Each tribe has its own healing traditions.
- Traditional healers do not follow a standard procedure. Instead, they apply their skills to each person individually.
- By themselves, techniques such as sweat lodges or vision quests are not "traditional healing." They have the most meaning as part of an overall healing tradition.
- Traditional healers and western physicians are often skeptical of each other. However, it is best if your care providers all know about everything you are doing for your health. There may be interactions among different techniques that you want to avoid
Smudging – What It Is and How to Do It
Smudging is used and recommended by indigenous peoples, feng shui practitioners, healers, and more.
Healers often recommend smudging to change the “energy” of a place after an event has happened, such as death, or even an argument. Smudging after an argument would be done to clear the air, literally.
When you burn a healing plant, such as sage, the negativity in the air is influenced by the harmonious vibration of the plant smoke.
The herbs burned are usually sage (white in particular), sweetgrass, cedar, and various other herbs, although any dried herb is fine, even lavender. If the herb has too woody a stem, the leaf part will burn very fast and die out.
White sage is a good choice because the leaf clusters are very long, and the leaves will smolder for quite a long time, emitting smoke into the air. Sage is also known as a purifying herb. Sweetgrass burns very quickly, and is a great choice for emanating sweet smell into the air (and healers believe sweet grass brings a high level of spirituality and burns away negativity). Cedar is very strong, and is considered powerful for removing negativity.
Buy your smudge sticks from those who honor the plants and bundle the herbs with sacred ceremony of appreciation. If you grow your own herbs, research making smudge sticks and honoring the plants.
To burn herbs, and create smoke, you have to be very careful not to start a fire. You may burn your sage in a clay container or anything you have on hand. I prefer to untie a smudge bundle and pull out just a few leaves and light them. Once there is a flame, blow out the flame or let the flame go out on its own. I usually let mine go out on their own.The herbs will smolder, and the smoke will waft into the home. Walk around with your smoking herbs and make sure the smoke reaches into all the areas of a room you want. You may use a feather, leaf, or your hand to waft the smoke.
When you are done, let the herbs extinguish on their own (if they are away from wind).
I have "smudged" people. I have also been smudged. I prefer to use a feather for this. The people I have smudged loved it and had very positive experiences afterwards.
Sage is a wonderful aroma for me. Not only does it cleanse but it relaxes me. Sometimes I have some smoldering while I bathe. I just love it!!!
Seven Simple Truths from the Cherokee
We may not always have control over what happens to us, but we always have a choice over what happens inside us. --J.T. Garrett and Michael Tlanusta Garrett
These clear and simple truths are based on traditional American Indian beliefs. They illuminate the values underlying the Cherokee vision of the Full Circle, and they can help us begin living our lives in more connected, healed, and whole ways.
1. We are our own best experts. No one knows us better than us. Nobody but us has seen with our eyes the things we’ve seen, and most importantly, no one but us has experienced our lives in quite the same way that we have. What others do know of us, they know only through what they see and what we tell them. It is our choice whether or not to invite others to see with our eyes or walk in our shoes; it is their choice whether or not to do so.
2. We are our own worst enemies. No one does a better job of deceiving us or treating ourselves badly than we do. No one can do a better job of finding ways to ignore our innermost thoughts and fears than we can. Certainly, other people may try to make us feel badly, or want us to be different than we are; however, their success depends on our willingness to let them succeed in doing so. Our success in doing ourselves wrong depends solely on intention.
3. The worst thing about having so many choices is having to choose. No one can say for sure who is truly worse off: the one who is forced to do something and wishes she or he could do something entirely different, or the one who freely chooses to do something and later regrets it.
Copyright: Adapted from The Cherokee Full Circle, by J.T. Garrett and Michael Tlanusta Garrett (Inner Traditions, 2002).
4. Imagination is the one true measure of freedom. It’s not a matter of what you can or cannot do, but what you think you can or cannot do that matters. Inevitably, the rest will follow in time. Being open to experience or the possibilities of every situation reflects the inner strength of one who has established harmony within oneself.
5. Wisdom is having more questions than answers. The one who has found all the answers to his or her questions has run out of questions. The one who has run out of questions has run out of learning. A person who ceases to learn has also ceased to experience. And a person who has run out of experience cannot be wise.
6. Search long and hard enough for something and you’ll surely find it. Sometimes we look for something when there is nothing. However, if we keep looking for it to be there, almost miraculously it will be--this is especially true of limitations. Moreover, the harder we look for a certain quality of limitation, the more likely it is to appear before our very eyes. At the same time, if you look too hard for something you might miss it altogether.
7. Sometimes we try so hard to be what we’re not that we may forget who we are. Our nature provides us with opportunities for becoming something much greater than ourselves. However, if a circle tries to bend by ignoring its center, it’s no longer a circle.
Copyright: Adapted from The Cherokee Full Circle, by J.T. Garrett and Michael Tlanusta Garrett (Inner Traditions, 2002).
I am a strong believer that the very best herbs are the ones right under your feet...those that grow in your own back yard. Living in America, the herbs which grow here are the herbs which are the best for me...In my case, particularly herbs which grow in Northeastern Ohio. In China, Chinese herbs are best!
No one knows about the medicinal plants which grow in this country like Native Americans knew. When this country was first settled, the indiginous people had already been using these herbs for a very, very, very long time!
I love the way the Native American people use the holistic approach in their approach to healing, as well...and I like the way it was a part of their ordinary everyday life.
Native American tradition embraces nature and shows respect for all of life. In their tradition it is understood that man is a part of nature, and they humble themselves to this fact. They did not try to rule nature, but rather they endeavored to learn and follow it's ways. They respected the power of nature, and knew it's power to heal.
I have had an interest in this for a number of years, and I'm looking forward to learning more! As many of you already know, I am a purist at heart. I prefer the traditional methods of healing which have been in use for years. Thank you for creating this thread!
I had always felt that rather shun the beautiful ways, beliefs and styles of the Native American, watch them, learn from them, see how they live in harmony of and with nature, not living to harm nature.
The Native American had lived on this land for many centuries, and had replenished what they used, they gave thanks for what they used, what they felt Mother Earth had let them temporarily borrow. I for one, am in awe of the respect shown by them for not just themselves, but to all living creatures.
I intend to learn so much from this thread. If I can try them on my son, and they help him, great. I have another way of avoiding pills, and other such ways that is going to cloud his beautiful soul just for a 'quick fix'.
Thank you for starting this thread. Bravo!
This site has some very good information.
Wow! And I thought being related to Abraham Lincoln was cool!
I'm English and German-Swiss, which if fine, except if I'm going to live in America, I'd rather have native blood. You see, I'm not too keen on how we invaded and took over this land.
When I was little, my folks always called me their little Indian baby, because I was born with really dark hair, and as I grew up, I always wore it in braids. (But I've got the whitest skin you've ever seen! Hahaha! Yep, I'm a pale face, for sure...)
When I was in high school, my boyfriend at the time used to take me to pow-wows a lot. He used to do singing and sometimes play the drum, and he used to (try to) teach me to dance and do beadwork. I always had so much fun! I've done similar things through the years.
There's a native retreat not too far from here, and it's run by a woman I know. I try to send my kids there each year for a children's celebration weekend she has. They really love it a lot, and I like what she teaches them there.
Haviland (Turtle) from Care2 came by here to build a sweat lodge for me on his way passing through, but it didn't work out that he could. I have a fairly small yard with no fence, right in the middle of town. I'm hoping to eventually put up a fence, and then maybe try it again, because I'd really like to be able to just go out in the yard and purify myself in that way.
Another friend from Care2, Tsuniko, sent me the directions and the ceremonial practices so I can make a small one some day. A big one just wouldn't do...there's not a big enough spot, unless I put it smack dab in the middle of the whole entire yard.
But these directions for a small one are SUPER nice! Now all I need is some wood, some blankets...let's see...oh yeah! Someone to build it for me! (Turtle? Anyone? Is ANYONE coming past here?!)
I have this deck of medicine cards and I really enjoy working with it. It has helped me gain a great deal of insight into myself and my relationship with all of life.
(Lately, however, I've been uable to find it...and I really miss it a lot!)
Amazon had it for a bit cheaper, and if you bought it with another book by Jamie Sams, it was a total of $42. and some change. Free shipping on orders over $25. (the book on Amzon was used, would that make a difference to you?)
I found another site dedicated to the cards...I will try to enclose it in a private Email to both you and Annette.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - July 17
"My friends, how desperately do we need to be loved and to love." --Chief Dan George, SKOKOMISH
Oh my great Creator: Help me this day to love myself. I can't give away anything that I don't have myself. If I am to love others, then I must love myself. If I am to forgive others, then I am to forgive myself. If I am to accept others as they are then I need to accept myself as I am. If I am to not judge others, then I need to lighten up on myself. Let me experience this power of love...
My Creator, today I will love myself so I can love my neighbor. I will look at each person today and see Your light within them. If I do this, I will hold my brothers and sisters without guilt.
I have plans for Native American Healing Methods in my Avalon City Retreat for the future. I believe in them and Thank You for the added information as well!
www.freewebs.com/projectkindness "About the Author" tells even more
Here is a quote, and the author is unknown but it helps me to read it from time to time, helps me stay grounded:
WALKING THE RED ROAD
To walk the Red Road is to know sacrifice and suffering. It is to understand humility. It is the ability to stand naked before God in all things for your wrong doings, for your lack of strength, for your non-compassionate ways and for your arrogance. Because to walk the Red Road, you always know you can do better. And you know when you do good things it is through the Creator and you are grateful. To walk the Red Road is to know you stand on equal ground with all living things. It is to know that because you were born human, it gives you superiority over nothing. It is to know that every creation carries a spirit and the river knows more than you do. The wind is wiser then you are. Animal people carry wisdom and YOU can learn from every one of them because they have something you do not. They are void of evil thoughts. They wish vengeance on no one and seek justice. To walk the Red Road, you have God given rights. You have the right to pray, you have the right to dance, you have the right to think, you have the right to protect, you have the right to know Mother, you have the right to dream, you have the right to vision, you have the right to teach, you have the right to learn, you have a right to grieve, you have a right to happiness, you have the right to fix wrongs, you have the right to truth and you have a right to the Spirit World. To Walk the Red Road is to know your Ancestors; to call to them for assistance. It is to know that there is good medicine and there is bad medicine. It is to know that Evil exists but is cowardly as it is often in disguise. It is to know there are evil spirits who are in constant watch for a way to gain strength for themselves at the expense of you. To Walk the Red Road, you have far less fear at being wrong because you know that life is a journey, a continuous circle, a sacred hoop. Mistakes will be made and mistakes can be corrected if you will be humble, for if you cannot be humble you will never know when you have made a mistake. If you walk the Red Road you know that every sorrow leads to a better understanding. Every horror cannot be explained but can offer growth. To Walk the Red Road is to look for beauty in all things. To Walk the Red Road is to know you will one day cross to the Spirit World and you will be not afraid. (Author unknown)
"Life is like a path...and we all have to walk the path... As we walk...we'll find experiences like little scraps of paper in front of us along the way. We must pick up those pieces of scrap paper and put them in our pocket... Then, one day, we will have enough scraps of papers to put together and see what they say... Read the information and take it to heart."
--Uncle Frank Davis (quoting his mother), PAWNEE
The Creator designed us to learn by trial and error. The path of life we walk is very wide. Everything on the path is sacred - what we do right is sacred - but our mistakes are also sacred. This is the Creator's way of teaching spiritual people. To criticize ourselves when we make mistakes is not part of the spiritual path. To criticize mistakes is not the Indian way. To learn from our mistakes is the Indian way. The definition of a spiritual person is someone who makes 30-50 mistakes each day and talks to the Creator after each one to see what to do next time. This is the way of the Warrior.
Today let me see my mistakes as a positive process. Let me learn the aha's of life... Awaken my awareness so I can see the great learning that You, my Creator, have designed for my life.
MULLEIN is one of my favorite herbs! I use it to help clear the lungs. It is used as a treatment for ashma, bronchitis, treachitis, congestion and coughs, among other things.
Mullein grows around here, but unfortunately it got dug up in my yard, so I have to go bring some in.
I love it, though. Not the taste, but the effects. The taste is not bad at all, it's not that...but the leaves are fuzzy and it's hard to strain out in tea, so it leaves (leaves...haha! pardon the pun!) a tiny bit of fibers behind. A really small strainer is best.
Mullein can also be put into a cold oil infusion and used in the ears for infections. I like to combine it with garlic when I use it this way. Just take mullein flowers and fresh garlic and chop them up really good. Then cover them with grape seed oil in a jar and put it on the window sill. Leave it there for two weeks and shake it up every day. The reason for grapeseed oil in particular is because it stands up better than any other oil to the light. Be sure to only use cold pressed oil.
Ummm....mullein...yes...Native Americans...Stay on topic here, Vibe! Haha!
Mullein is a very good wound healer, and they say that the Natives used to use it to put it in their moccosins... (Oh, geez...I know I spelled that word wrong! Moccasins? Mocassins? Oh, heck...SHOES!)..to help heal their feet from cuts. It's a real puffy leaf, and it's kind of shaped like a foot, so I bet it worked really good!
Something else the Natives did with mullein leaves was to smoke them. Mullein is said to have a healing effect on the lungs even when smoked. In fact, what is said is that by smoking it, mullein will actually follow the same paths as previous harm done and work to heal in those paths.
I wondered what they had in those pipes!
The leaves and flowers can also be made into a wash for the skin to kill parasites, and to heal broken skin and old wounds.
Vibraceous, ND(They called me Jody the Indian Girl when I was little! Hahaha! I wanted SO bad to be an Indian squaw!)
Dear Ones ... Having moved to Colorado in 2002, although there are some opportunities, except that I am "carless" and cannot easily travel to places where it would occur, I am in a great need to get back to a Sweat Lodge. This THREAD is so fine, here in this healing site, to carry so MUCH solid information. Particularly I want to thank Kim for her great and sensitive posts, and Steve for his great posts and great links, and "paleface" Jody (VIBE) ... my Doctor Vibraceous for the Mullien post [once again giving me yet another great plant to look out for in my walks -- do you, Vibe, take these pictures which are sprinkled around here in ANHW?]!
SWEAT LODGE ... I would like to see more commentary here [maybe a new thread would be in order, if so somebody NATIVE should start it if they could] about the Sweat Lodge ... my most profound "CHURCH," "TEMPLE," and Healing Space.
Back in 1992-93 I did Sweat Lodge with one of my Native teachers, Joe Kalama of the Nisquali Tribe in Washington State, for seven months, from 2 to 5 times per month, down on the Nisquali Reservation near Olympia, WA, in preparation for a Hanablechia, or Vision Quest, when Joe finally put me "Out on the Hill," on the Summer Solstice week in 1993. All thoughout my purification experiences that year, from learning to gather the right sacred materials, to build the Lodge, to make the sacred space, to make and tend the fire, to learn about taking the spring water, to learn how to wake up the water, to learn how to take the materials we needed with Prayere, to cultivate the proper understanding and Make Prayer, to learn from many other Natives, and especially Joe's Sister, the Sacred Ways and also the sacred differences that many "practitioners" brought to the Lodge, building a small lodge and taking part in building a large "Grandfather" lodge, taking this training and background "On the Road" with my teacher to help others in some places, learning how to, eventually, Pour Water and lead a Lodge ... all of these experiences stand in all of my Spiritual Training as a Pinnacle of Experience, that which I value the most. SO ... this Thread has helped me, because I know that I must get back to the Sweat Lodge, and that I must do it myself. And next Spring I will do it in the correct way, in the way that I have learned from my teachers.
One of my teachers, Crazy Thunder, an Ankikara-Sioux, passed away a few years ago ... found dead along the side of a road in Arizona. For two wonderful seasons, back in Seattle, we did Sweat Lodge on a regular basis, built several fine Lodges, and I often tended the Fire, and generally did the "Ghost Round," as taught to me by Joe Kalama, to close up and seal the Lodge after the Sweats. Some of the sweats were for Men Only, some for Women Only, and some were for All Genders and for Children. The COMMUNITY of the Lodge was and is most Sacred ... the Tayoshpe (sp.?). Now I must build a Lodge in memory of Crazy Thunder, with all of the problems of FIRE LAWS here in the Mountains and Front Range of the Rockies, which will have its own challenges.
My home is a Sacred Space, and in my Buddhist Path, as a Monk, Lama & Rinpoche of the Sakya Tsarpa Rime movement in North America which is the Pathway that my Abbot, His Eminence Chogye Trichen of Nepal (www.chogyetrichen.com) has authorized for me to "handle," I have my "Kunga Tenphel Ling Dharma Center" in place, and have all of my Medicine Objects, especially my Sacred Drums, Smudging Tools, Bell (from the Si-Si-Wiss Medicine Path of the Red Cedar Circle of the North Coast Salish -- see www.johnnymoses.com), in USE, because to have the "tools" and to let them "sleep" is not The Way ... hmmmm ... I love long sentences, do I not? ... and I know that in building the "Phuntosk Choepel Ling Monastery" (see the Group for that project under my profile on Care2), I will have a Sacred Site, for my North American Sycamore Tribe ceremonies, and several Sweat Lodges in place. A "Sycamore," as I learned from my Native teachers, is a person that is WHITE on the outside, but RED on the inside. That is me -- Lone Hawk Watcher. And I am so happy to be able to come to this HEALING SPACE and to "dump" this little morning catharsis on this beautiful thread.
Thank you, my teachers and friends ... have beautiful days now, at the end of our North American Summer. Wash De, Kola!
Kindest loving regards,
Lone Hawk Watcher (Sapan Rinpoche)
Affirming An Abundant Future
Native Americans considered all living beings as brothers and sisters that had much to teach including squirrels. These small creatures taught them to work in harmony with the cycles of nature by conserving for the winter months during times when food was plentiful. In our modern world, squirrels remind us to set aside a portion of our most precious resources as an investment in the future. Though food and money certainly fall into this category, they are only some of the ways our energy is manifested. We can conserve this most valuable asset by being aware of the choices we make and choosing only those that nurture and sustain us. This extends to the natural resources of our planet as well, using what we need wisely with the future in mind.
Saving and conservation are not acts of fear but rather affirmations of abundance yet to come. Squirrels accept life's cycles, allowing them to face winters with the faith that spring will come again. Knowing that change is part of life, we can create a safe space, both spiritually and physically, that will support us in the present and sustain us in the future. This means not filling our space with things, or thoughts, that don't serve us. Without hoarding more than we need, we keep ourselves in the cyclical flow of life when we donate our unwanted items to someone who can use them best. This allows for more abundance to enter our lives, because even squirrels know a life of abundance involves more than just survival.
Squirrels use their quick, nervous energy to enjoy life's adventure. They are great communicators, and by helping each other watch for danger, they do not allow worry to drain them. Instead, they allow their curious nature to lead the way, staying alert to opportunities and learning as they play. Following the example set by our squirrel friends, we are reminded to enjoy the journey of life's cycles as we plan and prepare for a wonderful future, taking time to learn and play along the way.
1. Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.
2. Remain close to the Great Spirit.
3. Show great respect for your fellow beings.
4. Work together for the benefit of all humankind.
5. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
6. Do what you know to be right.
7. Look after the well being of mind and body.
8. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
9. Be truthful and honest at all times.
10. Take full responsibility for your actions.
I love this thread! More, please!!
Elder's Meditation of the Day - September 10
"One of the first things Seneca children learned was that they might create their own world, their own environment, by visualizing actions and desires in prayer. The Senecas believed that everything that made life important came from within. Prayer assisted in developing a guideline toward discipline and self control."
--Twylah Nitcsh, SENECA
All permanent and lasting change starts first on the inside and works its way out. Having constant prayer and Creator directed visions helps us to live in harmony. This is the best way to grow strong and become a Warrior. No matter what is going on outside of ourselves, it is our projection that makes it so. It is our projections that even give it any meaning. Another way is each day to turn our life and our will over to the care of the Great Spirit. Then He will show us His desire for us. When we are in alignment to His desire, we become very joyful and very happy.
Oh Great Spirit, You take care of me today and tell me what I can do for You today. Give me the discipline to talk to You whenever I am in doubt or fear. Let me come to You if I get irritated. You are my solution.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 22
"It's the most precious thing...to know absolutely where you belong. There's a whole emotional wrapping-around-of-you here. You see the same rock, tree, road, clouds, sun -- you develop a nice kind of intimacy with the world around you. To be intimate is to grow, to learn...[it] is absolutely fulfilling. Intimacy, that's my magic word for why I live here." --Tessie Maranjo, SANTA CLARA PUEBLO
Every human being, to be mentally healthy, must have the feeling of belonging. When we have a sense of belonging we can be intimate. We can feel. We can connect. If we cannot develop this feeling of belonging, then we will feel lost of disconnected. To be disconnected from life is like walking around during the day not knowing the Sun exists. To have the feelings of intimacy is warm, glowy, joyful, loving and connected. The feeling this Elder is talking about is available to everyone.
Great Spirit, let me be intimate.
Thanks so much for this thread. I am Diana (Steves partner) and cohost of Transitions. I am 1/2 Cherokee and interested in Native American healing. I search the net for information and I see you have some great things I've missed. I will visit again! Have a Peaceful and Healing day!
Elder's Meditation of the Day - November 29"Life, the circle, a measurement with no beginning and no end."
--Phillip Deere, MUSKOGEE-CREEK
The circle teaches us how the Creator made things and how to live. It teaches us how we should look at creation. Life travels in a circle. In the East is the baby, to the South is the youth, in the West is the adult and in the North is the Elder. Then we return to the Earth Mother to start the cycle again. We observe what is `around us' from the center of the circle. This develops our point of view. We must be careful not to become self-centered.
Great Spirit, let me observe life from the circle's point of view.
--Oren R. Lyons, Spokesman, Traditional Circle of Elders
If we watch nature, we can tell a lot about what is going on in the world. The animals and the plants are great teachers. Some time ago, crops were sprayed with a poison to kill the insects. Other animals ate the insects. The small animals were eaten by the Eagles and the Wolves. We live in an interconnected system. What we do to one, we do to all. If our spiritual brothers are living in balance, chances are we humans are also living in balance.
Great Spirit, let me listen to my Earth teachers, the plants and the animals.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - December 9"The Natural Law will prevail regardless of man-made laws, tribunals and governments." --Traditional Circle of Elders, NAVAJO-HOPI Joint Use Area
The Great Spirit made Laws by which Man needs to live. These Laws are just and are about living in harmony. Man has passed many laws that say it is okay to do things. Many of these man-made laws are out of harmony with the Laws of the Great Spirit. These man-made laws will cause trouble for the human being if they are out of harmony with the Laws of the Creator.
Great Spirit, teach me Your Laws.
I love the image of the Native American living at peace with the forest...conquoring it's challenges, yet respecting it...always taking care not to destroy. This is how we should all live.
Think of the healing power there is in the forest. There is enough food there to never be hungry...WITHOUT eating meat...(Yes there is! PLENTY!) And there is enough medicine to stay healthy forever...from anything that could possibly occur to make us sick, which by the way, doesn't happen that much in the first place when you live off the land in the woods!
Ferns, roots, barks, leaves, berries, seeds, flowers...all there for every need. And in the air! The wonderful smells of the forest are healing! Pine works to keep the lungs clean!!!
Even the sounds engage us in the healing process. The vibration of life is in the air everywhere!
Someday that is my goal...to live in the forest...the way that they did before this new "civilization" was made.
Thank you, Vibe, so well said, and I can hear your enthusiastic conviction in what you're telling all of us..........I would like to share something that took place in the Wichita Mountains in SW Oklahoma, I live just 15 minutes away. There are uncountable huge boulders the size of whales, some the size of buffaloes, and they are part of the oldest mountain range of the US. So the granite boulders go back to basically the birth of Planet Earth, and contain many quartz crystals of all sizes. To me, those boulders are alive with the energy and knowledge of the universe. .....One day, I was at home and was going through premenopause with very erratic periods. That week, day after day, I was loosing what seemed to be pints of blood, and was ready to go see a doctor, that's how desperate I was. ....Instead, I went to one of my prayer spots in the mountains. I was 1,500 ft. up, and decided to lay down on a large boulder that looked like a huge bed, it even had a place for my head. So I laid there, with a crystal I had found on the ground placed on my sacral chakra (it was very hot from the sun), and meditated and asked for an answer to this bleeding condition. ...Suddenly, these mental images of a word were intuited to me, and I heard it loud and clear...Shepherd's Purse, Shepherd's Purse.....and at that time I had no clue what that was.....After giving thanks to Creator and the four directions, I climbed down the mountain and headed home......I got my Herbal reference book and looked up Shepherd's Purse, and WOW it was used exactly for my condition, sometimes in combination with other female herbs....You know it! I headed to our health food store and found exactly what I was looking for. When I got back home I took the first dose undiluted, I took three droppers full, and within one hour, the bleeding almost completely stopped. The next doses I diluted in warm water as I was supposed to, and within the next couple of days, I was completely well. Since then I have never had another heavy bleed, as a matter of fact, I think I have been in menopause now. No period for 14 months, how about that!....So this is my story about how our environment gives you messages if you open yourself up, because we all have access to the universal knowledge and the consciousness of the universe.
Peace, Love and Light to each and everyone!
Food is a central part of many kinds of Choctaw gatherings. Families and friends come together around the table to celebrate birthdays, weddings, and reunions. Food prepared by family neighbors and friends is shared at wakes along with memories of loved ones who have passed on. Church meetings and school spring festivals include community meals. Tables are laden with homegrown vegetables, fried chicken and boiled pork, biscuits, sweet tea and homemade desserts. For generations, Mississippi Choctaws grew vegetables, raised livestock, hunted and fished to put food on the table. This was not uncommon in the rural south, but two dishes in particular, hominy and banaha, became staples of the Choctaw diet and are still traditional favorites.
Hominy is made from corn that is dried in the husk. The dried kernels are removed from the cob and pounded in a kiti, a mortar made by burning a bowl-like indentation in a three or four foot section of a small tree trunk. This loosens the hulls on each kernel. It may be necessary to soften the hulls during the process by sprinkling them with a little water. Next, the corn is tossed in an open-ended basket called a fanner to loosen the hulls even more. Then it is sifted through a basket made specifically for that purpose. When all of the hulls have been separated from the kernels of corn, the hominy is ready to cook.
The traditional cooking process takes several hours, with the hominy simmering in a large iron pot over an open fire. The pot is filled with water that is brought to a boil. The dried hominy is added along with some kind of meat for flavoring. Some cooks use chicken, others pork, and still others a combination of the two. During the cooking time, someone must stir the hominy frequently to prevent scorching or burning. The fire requires attention, too. It needs to remain at a fairly even temperature, which means that wood must be added occasionally. It is not unusual for cooks to bake biscuits in covered iron pots banked in the embers of the fire.
Before most Choctaw homes had electricity, food was prepared indoors on a wood burning stove or outside over an open fire. Whenever possible, people would often cook outdoors to avoid heating up the house and to minimize the danger of fire. Today, Choctaws still prepare hominy outside when cooking for large groups, not only because it is traditional, but because it is still the best way to ensure a proper cooking time. Banaha is another traditional dish that Choctaws enjoy. Like hominy, it contains ingredients that are affordable and could be grown at home during the hard times when store-bought, prepared foods were out of reach for most Choctaw families. Banaha is made by mixing cooked field peas with cornmeal. These ingredients are stirred into a mush and molded into small rectangles that will fit in the palm of the cook's hand. The rectangles are then wrapped in dried cornhusks that have been softened by soaking in water. This wrapping is tied shut with a strip of cornhusk and dropped into boiling water for a few minutes. The combination of peas and cornmeal produces a complete protein, so banaha provided a high energy meal for hungry farm laborers. Choctaw cooks usually serve fried salt pork along with banaha to add flavor to the dish.
Elder's Meditation of the Day - February 2
"Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood and so it is everything where power moves." --Black Elk (Hehaka sapa), OGLALA SIOUX
In these modern times it is difficult to understand why we should think circles and seasons. People and society are always moving, through distance, over yonder, going here and going there-hurry up, grow up, be successful, climb the ladder of success, etc. The Elders tell us to slow down, to be patient, pray and think circles. Circle thinking applies to relationships, business and every area of our lives. We need to teach our awareness to look for seasons and cycles.
My Creator, teach me the seasons of growth.
White Bison, Inc.
Here is a really good book on Native American Remedies. Also, I have found if you go to the library & look under the Native American section you can find some useful information on NA remedies.
Dr. Anthony Cichoke explains the philosophy behind American Indian healing practices as well as other therapies, such as sweat lodges, used in conjunction with herbs. He examines each herb in an accessible A-to-Z format, explaining its healing properties and varying uses in individual tribes. Finally, he details Native American healing formulas and recipes for treating particular ailments, from hemorrhoids to stress. Bibliography. Index.
This book might also be helpful: Nature’s Weeds, Native Medicine: Native American Herbal Secrets
I am giving a couple of links which have all kinds of Native American books listed. Happy Hunting!! ENJOY!!
I listed my favorite link first.
Sees Many Stars (Kim)
Our Sweat Lodge represents the womb of Mother Earth. This is the place of forgiveness. The altar is the place where the Grandfathers are heated. The Sweat Lodge and the altar represent the whole story of the universe. The Sweat Lodge and the ceremonies are sacred. The Great Spirit gave these things to us to help us. He taught us to do the ceremonies in harmony with Mother Earth. We need to know and understand these things.
Great Spirit, let me understand harmony.
"The law is that all life is equal in the Great Creation, and we, the Human Beings, are charged with the responsibility, each in our generation, to work for the continuation of life." --Traditional Circle of Elders
Every generation is accountable to leave the environment in healthy order for the next generation. Every generation is accountable to teach the next generation how to live in harmony and to understand the Laws. We need to ask ourselves, "What are we teaching the next generation?" Each individual is directly accountable.
My Creator, teach me inter-generational responsibility.
White Bison, Inc
--Lame Deer, LAKOTAEvery person is created with purpose and with direction. This purpose and direction is written in our hearts when we are conceived. In addition, we are given access to a quiet guidance system which helps us find our purpose and our direction. We need to recognize this guidance system. It's called intuition, the quiet voice, urges, the knowing or the feeling. Once we locate our purpose and direction, we are given skills, talents and abilities that are unique to only ourselves. We must practice daily prayer and meditation with God to find this information. To be solid and confident in ourselves, we always need to be able to answer three questions: why am I?, who am I?, and where am I going? If I can answer these three questions, I always know I'm OK!
Great Spirit, show me my path of life.
When we are connected to the Earth Mother, or when we are clear on our purpose, we will feel connected and safe. We will feel love. When we are disconnected from the Earth Mother, or we don't know who we are or why we are, we will feel pain. It will be similar to a little child who has lost its Mother. We will hurt inside-we will be wounded within. If this happens to the whole community, the people will be very sad and lost. It will seem like there is death in the air. When this happens, it is time for ceremony and reconnection to God and Mother Earth. This is the time of prayer.
Great Mystery, today, help me to stay connected to the Earth and to You, my Creator.
White Bison, Inc
--Thomas Yellowtail, CROW
Inside every human being is a need to dance. We dance to music. Have you even wondered why people are moved when they hear an Indian Drum? The drum is the heartbeat of the Mother Earth. Every Indian dance is for a purpose and a reason. Every Song is for a reason. The beat of the drum makes our bodies, minds and spirits join together in harmony. It allows us to connect to Mother Earth and to each other. The dance aligns our minds to think spiritual thoughts. Dancing to the drum is healthy.
Great Spirit, today, I dance to honor you.
White Bison, Inc
Thank you for spreading these meditations ...!!!!!!!!!
Light from my Heart, Dagmar FourBears