I have spent quite a bit of my time in the last 25 years participating, apprenticing, reading, studying, and listening to teaches from First Nation groups. Most of the hands on work I have done have been in the realm of medicine (man/woman) or shamanism. Though I am not an expert as it is a lifetime journey, I would like to share some thoughts on the idea of physical pain, pain in the body, joints that have been brought on by more than diet, injury or disease.
I am constantly educating myself in the holistic approaches looking deep into folklore, oral traditions in the last 5 years to find answers and connections to what may cause the underlining condition of pain. As I dive deeper into what information I can find on such topics and when I can directly ask questions that sometimes do get answers it all leads me into great contemplation on the matters of health, wellness from an indigenous perspective and the stories regarding it.
Today I would like to just write about one idea. Their story/s or folklore if you will. This story is very old and literally goes back to when the peoples of the earth respected all beings and lived in balance. This story comes from the beginning when we humans stop living in balance with all living things and began to kill mostly animals taking far more than was needed. The animal kingdom made contracts with the people that they would allow humans to kill them for food, however this needed to be done in a sacred way, a blessed way, a right way to the animals and that the humans never took the animals lives for more than what was needed.
Though I have seen the sacred slaughter preformed and since I have only bare witness once, I have a sense that each tribe has a way of doing the sacred act and ceremony. I have attempted to find information on the internet to support the sacred slaughter so that anyone reading this might gather a better understanding but in the first nation communities most everything that has to do with ceremony is still not discussed openly, which I can agree that it is better that way. An average person could not understand the levels, depths, history, development required to fully get the totality of ceremony. The days, weeks spent in prayer before and after are challenging to the white mind that lives, breath, eats and lives fast and furiously. I am speaking of years of experience firsthand of what I have endured to understand such a small piece of it all. It for me has all been worth it but I have met many others who have felt this path was too difficult for them. I bless them in their search to find the right path, the right way for themselves.
The story is found, I am finding it in many oral traditions of why humans get sick and specifically one particular disease, dis-ease, illness and that is Rheumatism. I am posting what wiki has to say on the matter. Information for the reader. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rheumatism
The story talks about the contract with the people of the earth being broken by the people hunting and killing the animals, taking far more than they needed and I suspect possible selling or acquiring some kind of gain as well. The animal that was particularly upset was the Deer in most of the stories however the Bear Nation went with the deer nation as support to the Creator and Counsels to vent their grievances with the humans not holding their end in the bargain. In the end it was the Deer that set a curse basically across humanity since the humans would not listen and continued to take more than they needed while the disrespect of the animals became the norm. The disease that was set upon man by the animal nations for taking more than they needed, this disease is specifically mentioned by the Cherokee and other First Nation tribes as Rheumatism.
The animals had to create a disease to put upon the humans that would stop them, keep them from walking, hunting, shooting the animals.
I have been working in the alternative medical end for 30 years for income. Before that I healed bugs, animals and whatever else came my way. In humans the number one complaint it pain, chronic pain, pain of the physical structure whether it came by family history, nutritional fetal issues, injury/s, disease, poisoning, job related as the list goes on I think it matter not the story of how but maybe why?
About three quarters of my practice, study and treatments are for pain, chronic pain, it is 75 percent of the reasons why people inevitably come to see me. They usually take a long walk through western medicine that offers them no remedy and has left them usually damaged, broken and pretty much destroyed. I am the last ditch effort people will try. Luckily I am good at what I do; the spirits guide me in the right directions for the people however it only works if I am in balance. Which takes a huge amount of work and effort on my part balance with the earth and all livings things is not easy. Like most there are days I would like to full check out, hide and ignore it all. Balance is a constant, minute by minute, daily check in of my inner world, which comes with being able to accept, surrender, as for help when I need it.
In the medicine/s of first nation people, the stories the humans are here to be helpers. We are the “Helpers” to this whole world, plant nations, water nation, air nation, animal nations, winged nations and each other. We are nothing more than helpers, but we have gotten so far away from helping anything or anyone. Helping ourselves to everything, taking and living in a unsustainable way seems to be the programming we are sold.
So I would like to offer a link to the past for those in chronic pain and those helping people in chronic pain. Maybe pain in the body structure “no” matter how it becomes or is acquired to be considered a symptom, a sign of taking too much? Consuming more than one need/s?
Maybe the possible cure would be to give, to start giving, helping wherever and whenever your road connected you with those in need of help? Instead of driving past or ignoring contaminated lots, homeless people, Not taking your family or friends in when they need help yet again. Maybe the soil, land around your house needs you to help it, to grow something in it? To stop applying chemicals that poison the microbial beings, birds, because we are too lazy or lack of respect to actually help the land, weeds, plants, bugs in natural helping way.
I know that is sounds simple, even ridiculous to some, but there has to be a starting place to the chronic pain and maybe that the animals were tired of being taken advantage of by us might hold some water? In the end people feel better, heal and are happier when they are giving, I have witness spontaneous healing in people who become passionate about helping in some way.
I have seen in myself having far less pain when I am giving, when I am helping openly and not with holding.
Being a helper giving more means you are open to finding the best possible place that you can do the best helping. Living sustainably means you use and need less, taking less and no matter what reason you come up with is a great place to be and with everyone helping we could turn this planet around in no time!
P.S I am sorry about the links not working on the blogs. I have worked on the website for 2 months now and cannot figure out how to fix it! A bit of extra work I know to paste them in browser.
Grow Food, Be Free and Live for a Living!
I want to first off again let you readers know that I am not first nation blood. There are many tribes all over the world with similar and sometimes not: ideas, beliefs and practices. Today I am writing about my ideas, beliefs and practices that may be similar or not to those of first nation person/s. My work in creating, crafting, building my medicines is my own. I have had the pleasure of learning from many people who walk in the dreaming realms, shamanistic, medicine/s circles and spirit worlds. I have developed my own work based on the similar things I have learned. Sometimes a teacher has been present and sometimes not and during those times I had to build on what I had already known. I have come to respect traditions when necessary and understand that sometimes I am on my own and I have to make it myself by working with Spirit creating my medicine tool chest that is used for myself, animals, other people, air, sky, wind, plants, trees, soil, earth, buildings, you name it! I just do not want to pretend to be something I am not. I also want you to know that you can create your own medicine/s and how you use them. Building the steps towards what ever medicine you desire to know, by creating friends with it. Pray is always a good tool in letting the living being/s you are working with know you are serious.
Right now I am going to discuss “prayer smoke”. Tobacco is the medium in which the prayer is carried to the creator by spirals of smoke floating up. Tobacco is very serious business maybe one of the most important medicines used. I have tobacco heirloom seeds of several varieties and once I start farming will be planting, growing, harvesting, and becoming friends with, learning about its medicine with a desire to grow my own sacred tobacco for ceremony.
Currently when I buy tobacco I buy it from first nation stores. I buy the organic across the board. I buy high quality I am using it to send a message, a request to Great Spirit or God, I never cheap out on Spirit!
I have been in situations where a serious prayer was seriously needed and had to use a cigar. It was high quality Cuban. There times where sacred is what you make of it. That is what happened here.
I was always against smoking. My mom smoked pretty heavy and it just never felt right to me, made me sick when people in my generation smoked in the house, on planes. It was bad news! When I began working with tobacco it was usually added to smudge. It was usually some group purification event so many people used a pinch of tobacco, prayed into it and added it to the pot of smudge. I also would add lavender, jasmine, rose flowers, other types of herbs into the mix when needed like in a house blessing.
After that I started using a loose leaf tobacco blend for offerings to land, front door areas, water, especially when going into a place like a vast forest I would offer before I stepped onto a the trail. I use the tobacco offerings in a way of saying hello, I am here, I am friendly, I honor you, by the way bless you, I am listening and I come in peace!
Several years ago I was asked to do healing work on a powerful woman. Her name is Heather. She wrote a book about her experience as a white woman married to the last dreamer and chief of the Yaqui nation. The book is called the Queen of Dreams in case you want to read it.
We would begin the session with pray smoke. Setting the intention for the session and calling in Great Spirit. Her prayer was for what she needed from me and my prayer was for the best I could be for her. She taught me that it is okay to use cigarettes for pray smoke. She preferred a smaller cigar type. It is when it all came together for me. Now I use loose leaf, or premade always organic and always in alignment of the highest pray and good. I never smoke, when I smoke I pray.
Mediums all over the world have used smoking as a way to intice spirits from the other worlds into this one for the purpose of communicating. I do not do medium work I have found I can connect in to God and get what I need to know there.
Back in my manic days when I did not understand walking THE PATH and giving everything to it. Back then I was more into trying to control my reality, life that was constantly a mess of drama and chaos. One day up and the next down, an emotional disaster I was even if no one could see it. I think most everyone I knew and this applies to today was so caught up in their drama of trying to force there life into a form they could live with always around money, the fantasy that was projected onto us by mind control experts through TV, food, society that project on to us what we should be, look like, what to wear and if we did so we would fit in and be so unbelievable happy! Bullshit’a’rony big time.
I began the path of my people when I was born into this world. I did not formally accept the path until 23 and it was not until my brain tumor that I fully complied with living fully in a conscious way, a ritual way, a ceremonial way, hour by hour, moment by moment. Eventually it comes down to dying the physical death or the shamanic death, rebirth, resurrection to BE the person I came here to BE. My life is all about my spiritual work which has mostly been emotional work until now. Once I gave in I could finally see what prayer is, means and why I must do it. Before my prayers were all over the place. I asked for things to be the way I wanted them, not in the way they needed to be for the full evolution of my spirit. When I began prayer smoking I had paragraphs of words while I attempted to hold intention and attach them to the smoke in the form of prayer and I wondered why it did not seem to work for me. Why God was some how not listening? Maybe there was no God, no Creator? Everything was way too complicated because that is what I was, complicated.
Steps I take: I find a good energy place outside to sit or stand in. I pick up the object I am using for the pray smoke. If I was given the right to be a pipe carrier and maybe some day I will I would use the sacred pipe putting the tobacco in it carefully with full attention and intention of my prayer. I am using my own rolled cigs or bought ones these days. I will hold the cig to my head focus of intent and then to my heart and focus of intent. Then I call to the 7 directions I hope to write a blog on my experience with the directions in the future stay tuned! Next I light with matches; this is another sacred idea here. Only use that which is or comes from a living being. Matches come from the standing beings which are tress and are consider very sacred and what they bring to light the pray. Then I began pulling in the smoke and intentionalizing it with my intent and blowing it out allowing it to flow to the heavens, most the time carried by the wind. Then when I am done I usually put whatever is left into my sacred jar for keeping. I never leave any medicine even used anywhere. It is mine. I might need it down the road even the smallest bit.
The tobacco plant has the most beautiful flowers that smell out of this world good. The flower is white and looks like a vessel and bees love it, honor it. I have spent a good length of this life to learn to honor tobacco, to trust, to settle down in a uniform intention and pray a prayer worth praying. The more I settle in and trust, the more I find there is only one prayer that is worth praying, worth intent, worth sending a smoke signal to the heavens and is worth it to Great Spirit and that is Thank-you. It is all I send these days, it is a simple intention held during the duration of the pray smoke and it is really the only pray that matters for me these days. I have nothing to prove, to conjure, to do as my ego slips into the unified self and I am everything in this moment as I surrender into being. The Thankfulness that I have reached in my life, some sort of sanity and my need for anything becomes less and less. I am everything and all there is left to do is thank God for my life, for my being when I feel prayer is needed. When I feel the desire come from within to light up my sacred tobacco, hold my intent in my mind, heart and with every cell emotionally aligned into full being producing in harmony the being’ness of thank you. As I send my pray smoke to the Spirit of all things with Thankfulness for creating me.
Grow Food, Be Free & Live for a Living!
Awhile ago someone sent me this pray by email. I cannot remember who it was. There was also never a name attached to the writing of this prayer. I want you all to know I did not write it that someone else did. However it has become part of my life, part of the morning work I do and I wanted to share it in case anyone out there in blog land has a desire to work with it as well.
In future blogs, near future I am going to discuss how I as a white person have worked with the 7 directions, pray smoke and the run to the sun. I have a long lineage of shamanic peoples from my father’s side in Russia and that is where the actual word shaman comes from. On my mothers side an equally and if not more powerful blood line of shaman level lineage. I am not of First Nation blood, but my work and the work of my teachers is. I have adapted many things to create my own medicine, my own power and my own work that I would like to share in the future. One of my first teachers told me that I would take from her medicine eventually excelling in it and then through my life craft, design my own medicine. I have done exactly that and as I grow in my confidence with the medicine I use for my self and all life I feel ready to share and teach it from my personal treasury chest of practice.
Peace to you all this morning of great’ness. It is a good day to be alive!
Creator, it is I. Thank you for today’s sunrise, for the breath and life within me, and for all of your creations. Creator, hear my prayer, and honor my prayer.
As the day begins with the rising sun, I ask, Spirit keeper of the East, Brother Eagle, be with me. Fly high as you carry my prayers to the Creator. May I have eyes as sharp as yours, so I am able to see truth and hope on the path I have chosen. Guide my step and give me courage to walk the circle of my life with honesty and dignity.
Spirit keeper of the South, Wolf, be with me. Help me to remember to love and feel compassion for all mankind. Help me to walk my path with joy and love for myself, for others, for the four legged, the winged ones, the plants and all creation upon Mother Earth. Show me it is right for me to make decisions with my heart, even if at times, my heart becomes hurt. Help me to grow and nurture my self worth in all ways.
Spirit Keeper of the West, Brown Bear, be with me. Bring healing to the people I love and to myself. Bring into balance the physical, mental and spiritual, so I am able to know my place on this earth, in life and in death. Heal my body, heal my mind and bring light, joy and awareness to my spirit.
Spirit Keeper of the North, White Buffalo, be with me. As each day passes, help me to surrender, with grace, the things of my youth. Help me to listen to the quiet, and find serenity and comfort in the silences as they become longer. Give me wisdom so I am able to make wise choices in all things which are put in front of me, and when time for my change of worlds has come, let me go peacefully, without regrets, for the things I neglected to do as I walked along my path.
Mother Earth, Thank you for your beauty, and for all you have given me. Remind me never to take from you more then I need, and remind me to always give back more than I take. All my Relations