While groups of indigenous people are certainly unique, the core spiritual beliefs of most native people are remarkably similar.
Find out if you have any beliefs in common with Lakota Sioux, or Quero Apache, with Kenyan Kikuyu, or Australian Aboriginal. The answer may surprise you, and these core principles will certainly inspire you and give you food for thought.
Most indigenous people are still deeply connected to the earth. Here are the common spiritual beliefs that many native people hold sacred:
1. The earth is sacred, and so is everything which lives in or upon it. This precludes unthinking killing, destruction, or waste. When life must be taken–to nourish yourself, for instance–you do it with gratitude and in a spirit of mindfulness.
2. Everything is alive and has spirit. There is no such thing as an inanimate object: rocks and trees, no less than animals or humans, are alive and are the keepers of wisdom and information that wants to be communicated to humans.
3. Everything is related. We are all connected inextricably to all there is.
4. It is vital to connect with others through group ritual. Bonding with others through shared ritual experience is a celebration of the great All. This feeling of deep belonging and interrelationship is quite different from the cultural disconnectedness from which we are currently suffering.
5. You can experience Spirit directly and with joy. The ecstatic experience is a human birthright, making numinous communion with Spirit a joyous possibility.
By Cait Johnson, author of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air (SkyLight Paths, 2003).