A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘Native American’

Ceremony ~

Just what need does ceremony fulfill, since Hashem really does not need it, it is for us. That’s why it doesn’t bother the Holy One if one of us sings a Lakota song to the Sacred Prayer Pipe, or another of us throws himself on an altar with a white cloth and cross on it. It took me a long time to realize that Hashem didn’t care where or how you worshiped, so long as you were not worshiping the darker tendencies of evil, or the temporal silliness that is here today, and gone tomorrow. Matt 12:

31 And so I tell you, people will be forgiven every sin and blasphemy. But blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 Good people bring good things out of the good stored up in them, and evil people bring evil things out of the evil stored up in them. 36 But I tell you that people will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Hashem honors prayer whether it comes from a child or an elder, a Buddhist or a Seventh Day Adventist, so long as it is spoken in compassion and love. In fact, whatever you put forth will come back to you, so I am not sure dark prayers are not honored as well, but you will be held responsible for them.

It also took me a long time to realize that since prayer is our line of communication with the divine, the very fact that sincere deep prayers for healing are answered no matter their source, our religion, the outer trappings of what we wear and what we do, has absolutely nothing to do with G-d’s perspective when looking at us. What is seen when we pray is the heart. G-d does not care if you are a Christian, “Do you love?” God does not care if you are a Buddhist, “Are you kind?” God does not care if you are Muslim, “Do you love your fellow human beings from deep inside your very being?”

The “Sin against the Holy Spirit” is calling an answered prayer from a Buddhist an answer from the Devil, because they are not of your faith. The sin spoken of here is to call that which is good evil, and that which is evil good. That doesn’t change whether you are Jain or Native American. The ceremony you use when you pray is to help you focus your prayers. That is all it serves. What is in your heart? If it is good, your prayers will be good, and your faith will be honored.

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Sacred Circles ~

I am fascinated by all sacred circles, not least because my query to a Lutheran minister teaching us Catechism got me ousted from the classes altogether. He was teaching that with God the time line has no beginning and no end. I asked if that, (a line with no beginning and no end,) wasn’t a circle? He was certain I was a witch (I was 12 at the time) and no longer wanted me around the others learning the ways of the church. It’s been a long trail from there to here. An artist friend of mine commented when I related that story to her that that was simply the artist’s perspective coming through.

But, he pretty well guaranteed that all symbolic circles would draw my attention for the rest of my life. Had he known I already heard voices at that time, I am certain he would have insisted on an exorcism right then and there (and Lutherans are not known for that sort of thing.) I didn’t have to deal with that for many years. To the left is a set of chakra wheels, showing sacred sounds that go with each chakra, as well as that chakra’s color when the person is in good balance. The circle on the right is a simple color wheel, used by artists when aligning colors for a project. So, yes, I work with circles all the time.

The circle has an ancient history and of course originates from the circles in nature, which are seldom perfect, but rather near circles. But, to ancient peoples began to symbolize the path one traveled while on the earth. Interesting that the indigenous people, in referencing so much of their lives with the path of the sun, had no difficulty imagining the earth as also round. Sort of makes you wonder at what point learning takes the place of logic, doesn’t it? And should it? We do seem to want to educate ourselves into uselessness, don’t we?

As I said, I am fascinated with the Sacred Circles, Stonehenge, and all other Sacred Hoops found all over the world. They are all wonderful signs of a world that observed the roundness of the sun and emulated it. I have in fact, wondered if the reason the Native Americans did not use wheels was that they felt them too sacred to use them as burden bearers? They were not slow to adapt to the use of horses, and when they were exposed to horses, they were exposed to the wheel. There are many things to learn from these sacred circles, and from the perspective of the indigenous peoples that designed them.

Caution! I am not a Native American teacher, I am a mixed blood who has had the extreme honor of learning at the feet of some wonderful teachers of their path. What I show and explain here is very much my own personal medicine wheel as I understand it, it is not to be taken as something you use as a measuring stick of someone else’s medicine wheel being right or wrong. That is the beauty of this path. I can be right, and they can be right, for it is a matter of personal truth. These pieces of personal truth then weave into the larger truth that is the people, but if one is listening to the song of Creator correctly, it will weave into a beautiful pattern. That is part of why I love this path so, and also part of why I want my readers to understand that this is my wheel, as I walk it, in order to learn your own wheel, I would send you to a Native Teacher to learn your path. 

The way of the Native American Medicine Wheel is not so much that of a religion as a way of life. It is a perspective of how life works, and is therefore compatible with any belief system that serves good and compassionate purpose.

As we walk the medicine wheel of our own lives, we find that there are seven sacred directions to be traveled.

East ◊As we are born into this journey, our first direction is the East. This is the place of new beginnings, it is “where” we receive instruction by learning to hear and see what Spirit is saying to us. Most with Eurobred religious backgrounds are sure, when they begin to hear Spirit for the first time that these are messages for the people. This is seldom the case. On this path, Spirit is generally working with individuals for their own well being. It is best to presume from the outset that this is how it is with you.

“There is but One Original Source, learn to heed the messages Spirit is bringing you. The messengers of Spirit are here to help you complete your walk.”

South ◊ This is the sacred direction of growth. It is here we grow in stature as well as understanding.

“Grow as the Willow that bends and moves in the wind but seldom breaks. Grow in Spirit, grow in Truth, grow in Love.”

West ◊ The West is the Sacred Direction in which we take on the mantle of responsibility for ourselves and for the tribe. It is when we have reached this point of growth in our sacred walk that messages from Spirit may have meaning for others as well as ourselves. It is the “place” where we learn what is right to do for ourselves and how not to embroil others in our own dysfunctions.

“Walk with a light step, walk with grace, walk with love.”

North ◊ The North is the place of the Wisdom of the Elders. This is where we learn to honor the wisdom of those who have walked the wheel of life before us. “Here” is where we learn to apply that wisdom, both for ourselves, and for others. This is the point where it is appropriate for us to begin to pass on the wisdom that we have learned as we have walked the wheel.

“Be ever mindful that what we do affects Mother Earth and all her children for seven generations hence.”

Above ◊ This is where we learn to honor Creator in everything we do and say. It is from this perspective that we learn that all of life is actually a prayer. Nothing we do or are is ever hidden, all will be revealed in the end, so the best thing we can do is live our lives by the light we now have, and hope for the best possible results.

“From the stars we came, to the stars we shall return.”

Below ◊ This is the “Place” in our lives where we learn how to maintain our grounding in this plane of reality. Those who are truly aware have a tendency, unless they put forth a great deal of effort, to “wander off” into mental or astral realms, and forget that part of our mission is to learn to be “here, now”. In learning to be present in the here & now, we will learn to cope with what we have been given.

“Walk in balance, remembering always that we are astral beings living in bodies made of clay.”

Within ◊ This is our sacred space. This is the place within us that we are to hold separate, where no one else is welcome except by invitation. It is here we learn to honor our own boundaries and those of others. It is here we learn to appreciate who we are and what we have been given. It is here we learn not to desire to be someone else, it is here we learn that all “things” are held in stewardship, nothing is ever truly “owned”, so, even the act of stealing without intent to repay is a defilement of our own sacred space.

“Honor your own truth and walk your path accordingly.”

Each of us has animal totems that go into those slots where I have shown stars, earth and a labyrinth. Those are your teachers, not someone else’s, and their identity should not be lightly shared. You will also have individual teachers to help you connect with the cardinal teachers, according to the teachings, if you really are interested, find a Native teacher to show you how to work with them, it is a fun and productive study, and you will know much more about yourself if you do this.

I hope I have been clear enough that you can see that this is a dynamic path, with learning and discovery as a part of it from beginning to end, not only acquiring more and more bits of information along the way, but then having the wisdom to use them properly as you acquire them. No, I will not pretend, any more than my teachers did, that there were not mistakes made among the Original People, but then, had those mistakes not happened, we’d have had to grow up in Europe or whereever our other ancestors were from. Nor will I pretend that those whom I have had the honor to learn from were not the same sort of flawed people the rest of us are. I wish it were not so, but, we humans tend to be quite capable of living for self as well as living for the good of all, it just happens.

DNA, God’s signature?

Yes, I do believe that the sacred spiral within each of our cells is God’s signature. I am in awe that the one who created us so completely cared about each and every cell in our bodies and that it is his signature that keeps us reproducing in the manner he chose. In fact, it is when that signature has been messed with, either by our own carelessness, or environment or disease, that things go wrong within the human body.

I must admit to being whacked enough to feel that if they ever did a DNA test on me, I would want the schematic framed and on the wall as art. Yeah, I know, woman’s crazy. And I am also crazy enough to feel that any other creature that carries the DNA signature, or plant for that matter, is somehow “related” to me. It’s a Native America perspective that so fit with what I already felt that it became my own perspective as well. In fact, it was in learning the NA perspective that I learned that the Spiral that occurs in nature has been sacred to them for generations. There is so much about the NA perspective that I find utterly sensible, if we went back in time and were forced to live without things like computers (heaven forfend!) or even rudimentary things like radios, I would probably choose to live in that lifestyle, simply because there is among the more peaceful tribes a sense of balance and beauty that I have found nowhere else.

One of the things I find heartbreaking and painful is the insistence that these folks were the savages and Europeans were the civilized. MM-HM, the NA’s minded their own business, it was the Europeans who were taking property and space that wasn’t theirs to take. It’s done now, and I am grateful that the NA’s have forgiven us as fully as most of them have. They would not share their spiritual knowledge with us, if they had not made at least a general peace with our presence here. I have been given the honor of smoking a prayer pipe with a pipe-carrier of the Lakota people, more than once. The “tobacco” was a type of willow bark. The experience was like no other. One is extremely aware of the presence of Spirit.

I apologize for the digression, back to DNA; I brought up the subject to make the point that, though I respect the desire to find answers to some of the hardest questions in medicine, I most heartily wish that the researchers had more of a sense of the sacredness of the work they are doing. If I knew that they had that awareness, I would probably not worry so much about the outcome of cloning animals when we are only beginning to understand the map of the genome.

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