A voicehearer’s path ~

Archive for the ‘Native American’ Category

As I Understand “it” ~

raven_ac_small1I have posted a lot on this blog, and will continue to post here. I have posted also on Hubpages. I want to make it clear, however, that when I post, it is generally my opinion. Yes, I do quote other references, and yes, I do comment what I have understood as other perspectives, but I want very much to reiterate, for all and sundry that most of the time, what you are getting when you read my work, is simply my opinion.

I am a Libra, with a Taurus moon, Gemini rising. That means I love beauty, can be stubborn, but will usually try to get my way through gentleness rather than bullishness. But, I can be a bit bullish.tiffanybutterflypng Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean I am proud of those traits, that’s just my star chart. I have lived in this body for 56 years, and am studying and applying myself daily to learn to be less willful, desiring to be more like the teachers I consider to have most affected my life. That would be Y’shua and Buddha. There are, of course, many teachers along the way whose interpretations of the great ones have been quite influential in my life and my perspective. I have also been priviledged to study under a Lakota teacher and a Shawnee teacher. Both of whom have taught me wonderful things regarding the spiritual life.

One of my favorite authors is Huston Smith, his Religions of the World is one of the best, simply because he attempts to be objective, and did his research from inside each path to Spirit, rather than from the outside looking in. Another favorite of mine is Sun Bear, an Ojibwe teacher whose books carry much teaching in traditional lore, and who attempts to translate the Ojibwe perspective into something livable on a daily basis, even by those of us who are mostly of wasichu blood.

serenitywmatThe swan has been a teacher of mine since childhood, when I related to the story of the Ugly Duckling, by Hans Christian Anderson. I enjoy exchanging opinions with others, and quite frankly would enjoy input from others whose opinions may not be the same as mine. Thanks for reading my posts.

Su

The Sacredness of “8” ~

gentledanceThere are eight beatitudes, the approach to life taught by Y’shua, there is the Eightfold path to enlightenment taught by the Buddha, and there are the Eight sacred directions, as taught by the Native American holy people. All of these 8’s have to do with the way one who wishes to be truly happy and live a balanced life, will walk his or her path on Earth.

I love the perceptions provided by these 8’s. One of the things that cannot be avoided is the different places on the earth where they came to “be”. The Native American Path, The Beauty Way, is, of course, very New World, originating, at least on the surface, very much in the Americas. The Eightfold Path of the Buddha began in India, and has been well known throughout southeast Asia for centuries. The Beatitudes, though deliberately not taught as a path by the church fathers lest outsiders be able to point out the similarities to other perspectives, originates, for our purposes with Y’shua, a gentle teacher of principles from the Middle East. When you look at this from a global perspective, there can be no mistake, there it is, the evidence that there is one Holiest of Spirits whose work it is to teach us foolish children how to behave. Call her Sacred Mother, if you wish, for she is, in her own way, a Mother to us all.

global_map_8Her ways and her teachings of compassion and respect for the value of others has broken out all over the world. She is not bound by culture, for if you wish to approach her, and learn from her, she is vastly available, just ask. (Proverbs chapter “8”) (hm, there’s that eight again.) To the Native American perspective she is Grandmother Iktomisha, taken from her ability to weave the warp and woof of reality as we know it, not unlike the spider in nature. Does she look like a spider? I don’t know, though, I have seen her in vision as a glowing light, and I suspect she can appear as she would choose to do, or as you are capable of accepting her.

She is not the Old One, that one is her Creator, progenitor, yet, she is so powerful, that many of old would have worshipped her as the all in all. That does not seem to please her, for I have asked. NO! I was told, she is companion to the One. I suspect she has communicated similarly with others, I am not claiming anything unique. I believe that it is quite possible that many with whom she communicates will not so admit, because there infinityare many who will call us simply crazy. Yet, crazy or not, it cannot be denied that if we were all to live by those golden rules, take them from the Natives of America, from Y’shua, or from the Buddha, this would be a peaceful place in which to live. Hm, okay, I’ll be crazy if that’s what you call it.

The Web of the Universe ~

162571main_gpb_circling_earth3_516I am forever fascinated when science “catches up” with the visionary truths of the past. The television show was the Discovery program, The Known Universe. The discussion on this particular show centered around the fabric of  “Space-time” and the way it’s fabric is “warped” by the gravity of planets and other heavenly bodies where they are. The pic is from NASA, so it’s not something that I dreamed up, it is apparently known and accepted science. In fact, I would suspect from what I see from very good sources, that I could consider myself behind the curve, were it not for the fact that, in studying Native legends and teachings, I already “knew” about it.

Yeah, too funny, eh? The legendary teachings have to do with one of those Spirits whose gramstornedgeswork it was to put the Old One’s vision into discernible manifestation. She is Grandmother Iktomisha, Gradmother white spider. She it is who wove the “web” that holds things in space-time. Grandmother’s “medicine” is creativity on all levels.  She is the inspiration for writers, musicians, artists, scribes,  and all who work with communication in a creative fashion.

When I learned this particular legend I laughed for days. It is no wonder we are NOT to put a face on the Old One, on Hashem! The Spirits involved in creating our world are too varied and too different from us bodily for us even to imagine their appearance accurately. Furthermore, whatever “bodies” they may have do not exist in this particular time-space continuum.

binary-waveWhen we attempt to pin down what a Holy Spirit looks like, it is with the intent, no matter how subliminal of categorizing that spirit, and gaining a foothold on attempting to control that spirit. We humans are mere dust specks in the Universe. To attempt to control one of the Great Ones is simply laughable. It is our job to learn to ride the waves. It is our job to find the flow of Spirit and do our best to reside there. It shouldn’t be all that difficult, we are given lifetimes to learn to do it while wearing bodies. Though that, indeed, seems to be the problem. It is not difficult to ride those waves when we are in spirit, it is these dense bodies that get in the way, with their senses and weight that holds us down.

deltablue

Change, the only constant in the Universe

And then there is the primary challenge. We not only need to learn to ride the waves, understanding that the only constant is change, we need to learn to ride them with continuously  growing love and compassion for our fellow travelers. Now, you may tell me you are quite up for the challenge. Good for you. I try to be. But I will guarantee you that I do falter on more than just the rare occasion.  I wish all that travel beside me the very best and can only hope that each of us has the strength to weather the storms.

Balance and Blessings to you,

Su

Hummingbirds ~

bryans2I adore these little guys. They are so tiny, and you must watch your feeders closely or you will miss their presence altogether. They are swift, silent, bright little dots lightening up the day of anyone who gets the pleasure of seeing one. In fact, that is their medicine, they are “Bringers of Joy”.

There is much more to hummingbird medicine than just their joyous energy, the Native peoples see the hummer as a symbol, often of one who gets quickly to the heart of a matter because of that wonderful beak. There are only a few of the bird family that can hover in flight, and the hummer is one of those who can. Sunhummingbird4 Bear, my favorite resource for animal totems, gives the medicine of “clarity” to the hummingbird folks. What wonderful medicine, for it is only as we see clearly that we can progress as individuals, or as a people. They don’t just hover, they can fly backward, forward, and sideways as well. No wonder they are thought to bring clarity, they look at things from all sides!

The Hummer has been thought for many generations to bring love into one’s life. This medicine was considered so strong that there were those who would dry and grind the heart of the hummingbird and use it to create love potions. I am glad that most, today, would much rather simply watch these little acrobats.

Their feathers are irridescent, making them catchers of the light to bring it into the lives or those they touch, and are  most often shades of green or teal, very much attuned to the heart chakra, and the healing of it.  If you suffer depression, these are wonderful birds to watch or meditate on, for even thinking of them, once you have watched them at any length will bring a smile to your eyes.

The Medicine of the Song Bird ~

c_o_pThe message the Songbirds bring us is an affirmation of life, and the fact that, against pretty impressive odds, it’s worth making a try at doing one’s very best to “make it work” as an individual. Now, this will mean different things for different people. For some this affirmation will be about life itself, and finding meaning in the fact that we exist at all. This is part of the message of the Cardinal.robin

For others this will be about healing from early childhood traumas, so there may be more than one bird as a totem that will work with that person, depending on their age when the trauma occurred. For instance, if the trauma was the abuse of a parent who could not handle the stresses of child-rearing, The birds may range from red through to green, goldfinchinvolving  all of the early years of development from self, through community through how we relate to others, and whether we can even learn to love.  So that, perhaps a robin, with that beautiful orange breast heralding the spring, or a Goldfinch, the little yellow canary of the midwest, as well as the Cardinal may be part of the early healing that must take place. It is about at the age of four when the heart chakra develops, reference Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss, and the bird of choice to use would be the hummingbird, whose medicine is love and hummingbird_3joy. The bluebird would do well for healing of the throat chakra, and look, we have another bird with an orange breast which would help with the healing of the self image. This is all about healing, and ibluebirdt is your choice as to whether you are easier meditating on butterflies or birds, or any other creature whose appearance and ways could lift your spirits and help you with the bumps and bruises of life.

There are so many ways to meditate and contemplate the songbirds, you can become a backyard birder, feeding them, providing safe housing for them, and learning the ways simply by observation. Along with this, borrow some bird identification books from the local library, or get an inexpensive one soindigo-bunting you can keep it by the appropriate window. The Peterson feild Guide is inexpensive at Amazon.com And a couple of the pictures here are linked to Whatbird.com, that is a marvelous online source for identifying birds until you can afford your own.

If you are not afraid to pick up a pencil and draw, even looking at a photo to draw the bird, as drawing itself is not unlike meditation, there comes a point prettymartinwhen one is, as in the vernacular, “in the zone”. If you are not an artist, then trace the bird, even artists use this method to get specifics right, and color it using a set of color pencils. If you excell at imaginary friends, talk to the bird in your imaginary “garden”, see if it answers you, though if it tells you negative things, run, don’t walk to the gate that leads out of that garden. Find an aviary near you and just go observe the birds, listen to them. Connect with them. You will find that if you adopt this as a hobby it will be healing even when you are not aiming toward healing, but just learning about the birds.

Su

The Barbarians ~

fur-coat-full-length-2a-009-w298What is a barbarian? What constitutes being civilized? When has the line been crossed so that all will see an act as barbaric? There really are no answers to those questions, because it is all  in the point of raccoon5view of the culture from which we come. The beautiful fur coat that you see here to the left, it’s raccoon fur. They are awfully cute little guys, and if you have ever watched them, they seem pretty self aware. They use tools, and can be considered pests just because of that. So, because they are inconveniently aware of their surroundings we kill them for their fur? Hm, the same argument could be used for killing humans. We must seem like pestilence to most of the animal kingdom.

I like leather. Most of the leather I use comes from bovine sources. So it is for most of America. We are red meat eaters. (I’m not much anymore,  not because I do not like the taste of it, but because I am a heart patient, and can only have red meat once a week, so stick with chicken and fish for most of my protein.) But, what of killing the cow that provided the leather and the meat? Did it “deserve” death? Was it killed in a compassionate manner? (that seems a strange question, but look at the kosher laws of the Ivrit, and you will see what I mean, and that can seem to be enlightened self interest, for if an animal is not afraid when it dies, the hormones of that response are not in the meat that will  be consumed by the humans killing it.)

storyteller-holymanThe Native American perspective has been one that seems rather civilized,( for being heathens). Yeah, remember that one of the Popes declared Native Americans to be soulless, therefore killable. GADS, what a horrible error in judgment. Lord, what fools we mortals be! Back to civilization: The Lakota Souix, from whom I learned a great deal about Native American perspectives, and remember that is just one tribe, not the entire back of Grandmother Turtle, taught me to thank Creator for any sacrifice made by any thing that had life before I use it. Now, that isn’t just animals, that’s plants as well, and rocks, which carry a slower more ponderous energy, but definitely carry energy of their own. And the question returns, just who is the barbarian, here?

The Vision Quest ~

bluelotusmandalaThis eight point symbol, or star, is used by the Lakota to signify the Morning Star, the Spirit from which each Lakota asks guidance for their life path. That is the purpose of a ceremony called the “Vision Quest”. Though it sounds a bit romantic, I would caution you that it is several days of fasting and praying on a hill, away from others, in rain or shine. The attitude of the Holy men of the tribe is that it is serious business, not a game. Yet, here is one of the reasons I have so much respect for my brothers and sisters that live this walk.

This is a query set before Spirit regarding each individual and the life that one person should lead in order to honor who they are as a child of the Universe. The query is not about what my neighbor should do, or my Pastor, wren_carolinabut about me, and what I should do. And it is not about conforming with the “crowd”. It is about learning to handle the person you are in a manner that honors Creator. If you are a person who carries, say, wren medicine, you are not expected to conduct your life in the same manner as one who carries badgerbadger medicine. Each of us, indeed carries more than one “medicine”, and some may carry both wren and badger. It is, in fact, the medicine combinations you carry, and how you choose to honor them that makes you into the unique individual before the tribe. A lot of folks raised in the European fashion, as in “Take what you can get and run!” (We are called the “fat-grabbers”, or Wasichu, when we behave in this way,) want to claim the big medicines, such as eagle and bear, and buffalo, rather than important but “quiet” medicines, such as wren or mouse. It truly is not about the “size” of the medicine you carry, it is about the way you carry your medicine.

One other thing, while we are discussing this particular concept, did you note the business hopemandalaabout the Morning Star, when I opened this post? There is a Christian hymn that speaks of Yeshua as being the bright and Morning Star. I believe that, and he most certainly is that to me. Not God incarnate, but the Morning Star, set in the sky to guide me, and all who will follow his teachings. You may call the Native American heathen, if you are that foolish, though I suspect you had best be careful, for it is the sin against the Holy Spirit that is the one that cannot be forgiven, and I think calling Native Americans anything but “brother” or “sister” in the faith, would make for just that kind of sin.

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