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 Post subject: Are our elders backing away
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:46 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:23 pm
Posts: 13
I thought this may be an interesting topic due to this letter
have our actions betrayed them?
Why did they start to teach us and then do this?
How can we gain there trust again?

Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe, would like to thank all the People that attended this historic ‘Protection of Ceremonies’ meeting.

• Bernard Red Cherries – Northern Cheyenne Nation – Northern Cheyenne Arrow Priest and Elk Society Headsman
• Tweety Little Bird– Northern Cheyenne Nation – Northern Cheyenne Elk Horn Scraper Society
• Lee Pedro – Southern Arapahoe Nation – Southern Arapahoe Rabbit Man (Holy Man)
• Dave Chief – Ogallala Nation – Lakota Spiritual Leader
• Dave Swallow – Ogallala Nation – Medicine Bundle Keeper
• Kevin Horse Looking – Ogallala Nation – Medicine Bundle Keeper
• Floyd Hand – Ogallala Nation – Medicine Bundle Keeper
• Silo Black Crow – Ogallala Nation – Medicine Bundle Keeper
• Sam Moves Camp – Ogallala Nation – Medicine Bundle Keeper
• Chris Leith – Prairie Island Dakota Community – Medicine Bundle Keeper
• Gaylen Drapeau Sr. – I-hank-to-wa (Yankton Sioux) Nation – Medicine Bundle Keeper
• Gaylen Drapeau Jr. – I-hank-to-wa (Yankton Sioux) Nation – Medicine Bundle Keeper
• Ambrose Little Ghost – Spirit Lake Dakota Nation – Dakota Spiritual Leader
• Calvin Medicine Bear First – Assinoboine Nakota Nation – Nation Spiritual Leader
• Leonard Crow Dog – Si-c’an-g’u Rosebud Sioux Nation – Medicine Bundle Keeper
• Roy Stone Sr. – Si-c’an-g’u Rosebud Sioux Nation - Medicine Bundle Keeper
• Ned Medcalf – Si-c’an-g’u Rosebud Sioux Nation – Interpretor/advisor
• Leon Red Dog – Hoh’-wo-ju Cheyenne River Sioux Nation - Medicine Bundle Keeper
• Steve Vance – Hoh’-wo-ju Cheyenne River Sioux Nation – Medicine Bundle Keeper
• Francis Yellow – Hoh’-wo-ju Cheyenne River Sioux Nation – Medicine Bundle Keeper
• Jacob Sanderson – Cree Nation Canada – Medicine Bundle Keeper
• Kevin Ta-c’an – Sioux Valley Manitoba Dakota Nation – Dakota Spiritual Leader

On March 8th and 9th, Spiritual Leaders and Bundle Keepers of the Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Nation, Cheyenne Nation and Arapahoe Nation were called together to discuss the protection from the abuse and exploitation of our ceremonies. The meeting was held at the Cultural Center in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, hosted by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. I would also like to acknowledge the financial donation from the Prairie Island Dakota Community.

Discussions in the meeting included the molestation taking place in ceremony, indecent mockery, mixing of new age beliefs, charging for ceremonies and death, which was never heard of before in our ancient ceremonial history. There was also discussion of the use of other "medicines" (drugs) in and around our ceremonies. When the White Buffalo Calf Woman brought the Sacred Bundle, she instructed that only those with a pure mind and heart should touch the C’anupa. The ceremonies in question, in reference to all the Plains Tribes, were the I-ni-pi (Purification Ceremony), Wi-wanyang-wa-c’i-pi (Sundance Ceremony) and Han-ble-c’i-ya (vision quest) Sacred Rites.

We put out notice in the newspapers, native radio stations and also contacted people through the phone. I offered prayers for the safe journey of the People to this very important historic meeting. Those that could not attend, I acknowledge their prayers for a good outcome for our concerns.

After long discussion and testimonies of the concerns and issues, it was decided that it would be up to me, as the Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe to make a decision. It was good to feel the beginning of a Unity amongst our People. This has been my concern for many decades, especially now, when we are facing an oncoming war. We need to stand strong with our ceremonies!

I will state what the decision is and also explain the reasons. I will state the protocols to our Seven Sacred Rites, which were passed down to me when I became the next Keeper at the age of 12 years old. These protocols are traditional knowledge passed down through our oral history and need to be brought back to strengthen our ‘Ho-c’o-ka’ (our sacred alters) once again.

I will also address the areas that I cannot be involved in. My responsibility is the Seven Sacred Rites.

It was decided, from March 9th, 2003 and forward, there will be no non-Natives allowed in our sacred Ho-c’o-ka (our sacred alters) where it involves our Seven Sacred Rites. The only protection with this decision in Government law; is that only enrolled members can carry an eagle feather. In all the Seven Sacred Rites, there has always been the understanding of earning and a requirement of an eagle feather while participating in these Rites. The eagle feather stands for Indigenous knowledge and guidance in our spiritual ways.

• The Wi-wanyang-wa-c’i-pi (Sundance Ceremony): The only participants allowed in the center will be Native People. The non-Native people need to understand and respect our decision. If there have been any unfinished commitments to the Sundance and non-Natives have concern for this decision; they must understand that we have been guided through prayer to reach this resolution. Our purpose for the Sundance is for the survival of the future generations to come, first and foremost. If the non-Natives truly understand this purpose, they will also understand this decision and know that by their departure from this Ho-c’o-ka (our sacred alter) is their sincere contribution to the survival of our future generations.

• Please understand the Wi-wanyang-wa-c’i-pi Ceremony is not only taking place in the center (Ho-c’o-ka) with the dancers. The ceremonial participation also depends on all the supporters on the outside of the arbor who should be in prayer. From the gate, to the cook shack, to the fire-keepers, to the supporters around the arbor, to even the moon camp, all people are still a part of this sacred ceremony.

• There should be a preparation of ‘Han-ble-c’i-ya’ (vision quest) before you become a participant of the Sundance.

• We shall go back into this ceremony with the proper protocols before and during the ceremony itself. Only those that have had the dream or direction through a ceremony, in concern of someone’s health, should be dancing. Dancers should be secluded from outside participants, as to not be contaminated by other people’s energy or thoughts. There should be absolutely no food or water during this four-day ceremony. If there are health problems, you should choose a person to finish your commitment. This ceremony is supposed to be for those that believe they can fulfill all required four days of the ceremony.

• Han-ble-c’i-ya (Vision Quest): The vision quest should be only for Native People that have had the dream or vision. This Rite is also for the young men and women that reach the age of 12 years of age.

• I-ni-pi (Purification Ceremony): Those that run this sacred rite should be able to communicate with Tun-ca-s’i-la (our Sacred Grandfathers) in their Native Plains tongue. They should also have earned this rite by completing Han-ble-c’i-ya and the four days and four years of the Wi-wanyang wa-c’i-pi.

• The other four sacred rites of the Hun-ka ka-g’a (Making of a Relative), the Ta-pa kah’-g’o-ya (Throwing of the Sacred Ball), Wi-yan is’-na ti (Womanhood Ceremony) and the Na-g’i glu-ha (Keeping of the Spirit Ceremony), should be only handled by legitimate Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate (People).

• It was also decided only legitimate Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate Medicine Bundle Keepers should handle any other ceremonies that are connected to our Ho-co-ka, such as the Lo-wa-pi and U-wi-pi ceremonies.

• There should be no price tag allowed to participate in any of our Sacred Ceremonies. The only protocol needed for a ceremony is to o-pa-g’i, meaning to offer your C’anupa or offer tobacco that has been prayed with, in which the Medicine Person accepts or not accept if he is not able to assist. Medicine People do need to survive, and if people wish to give a monetary or any other gifts after they receive their help from ceremony, giving it from their hearts, I see no problem with that. We have to have faith that the Grandfathers will provide for our needs to survive in this modern society; whether the gift is money, blankets, food or anything that represents how much they appreciate the help. Some people can afford big gifts, some people cannot. It all balances out.

• My position is only for the Seven Sacred Rites. I cannot dictate to our Medicine People who they allow to attend and support these Rites, in reference to non-Native People. I cannot dictate who they choose to doctor in their ceremonies. I cannot dictate where they travel to doctor.

• I have my own personal feelings on who should be Keepers of our Sacred C’anupa (Pipe). The C’anupa is very sacred and the Keeper should first be given a dream and be of Native decent. This issue should be further discussed in our future meetings. The reason for my feelings is that I am aware the C’anupa has gone out to the International community and has been for spam. I know that most non-Native People do not understand the important protocols or have had the Traditional background to carry this sacred item properly. I am aware of women in their moon and men with blood on their hands (to take ones life intentionally) have been allowed to touch and carry the C’anupa. These serious situations were never to be allowed. I offer thanks to the non-Native People that have returned the C’anupa to our People, after I privately shared my concerns with them. I acknowledge their true sincerity in assisting our Nation to protect the survival of our Traditional way of life on behalf of our future generations. They have helped us bring back honor and respect to our sacred Ho-co-ka and C’anupa.

• There was also discussion of only the Plains Tribal members to participate in the Ho-co-ka of the Wi-wanyang wa-c’i-pi and the Han-ble c’i-ya Ceremonies. In the early 70’s, Chief Fools Crow and my father Stanley Looking Horse decided to allow other Native Nations to participate in these Rites. Their reasons were based on the fact that most Nations have lost their ways through assimilation or lack of Teachers to teach their Indigenous ways. They honored and understood the unity of the First Nations People when different Tribes came to the aid of the Wounded Knee Occupation. I cannot undo their decision out of respect for our Chief and Elder. It has also been in our history that our Ancestors have respectfully shared our ceremonies with other Indigenous Nations.

• The original teachings were that the Pipe Carrier should make their own C’anupa. There was an understanding of the sincere spiritual energy and the traditional values passed down through our bloodlines. All the values of compassion, love, honor, respect and truth are molded into the spiritual life they are creating. I hope that one day the future generations will again pick up this important protocol.

I would like to invite all our Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Nations to the next ceremony when I bring out the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Bundle. The dates in the fall will be announced. During this time we will place the 12 honorable compassionate men to assist in taking care of the concerns of the Sacred C’anupa. We will also discuss the protocols of the need to have a good mind and good heart to be a member of the Societies that will carry out these decisions in a respectful manner.

There will be another Protection of Ceremonies meeting to further discuss and address these serious issues in the future. This meeting will be sponsored by the Cheyenne Nation.

Once again, I thank all those that have offered prayers for these very serious issues to be discussed and handled in a good way.

In the Sacred Hoop of Life, where there is no ending and no beginning!

Mitakuye Oyasin,

Arvol Looking Horse,
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe

this artical was posted on republic of lakota site


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 Post subject: Re: Are our elders backing away
 Post Posted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 3:35 pm
Posts: 293
Location: Finland
The messagas seen about subject of longer period makes me think this is the only possible solution to protect what is their own and what they hold sacred and dear.
I wish they succeed in saving their culture and the base, the soul of their culture. Too long it have been sold out and made commercial - a way to just make money.

Wisdom and spiritual connection can be found anywhere, raping those sacred ceremonies does not really help seekers. The way is inwards.


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 Post subject: Re: Are our elders backing away
 Post Posted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:03 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:25 pm
Posts: 136
There is a large and growing movement that insists that white people must stop doing anything resembling Native American Traditions.

No North Americans practice the spirit communication or "in your head" shamanism. There's no "seeing with eyes closed" at all.

Now South America, that's a totally different story.

They're not your elders anyway.


Last edited by resonantD on Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Are our elders backing away
 Post Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:03 pm
Posts: 35
I am aware of this issue. check out hakita najin jordans response to this .. I can tell you that he went home and made a one time event , paid for as a course where he did teach twelve people how to do a sweatlodge themselves.

this course was paid for by us attended. we got a little more from them than I can see how they can have made any money on and I do know what they got out of it since I know the people who made this possible. it was nothing that made them rich I can assure you.

I was the leader of the sweat we where supposed to run ourself. hakita left the lodge at round three at let me pour the fourth round while his wife where the firekeeper.

I met him later at a private ceremony where he did not bring his pipe and we used mine for that healing ceremony. so he has no problems with my pipe either.


I knew a native american close to where I live that told me that he did think that I needed to pay for a course to learn that so he told me before hand all I needed to know in hopes I would not waste money and time on this course.

however I knew before that course I had to be there and was supposed to be the leader of that sweat we should do ourself. spirit told me a year before.

after that event I gave a pipe to a Danish sundancer and told her that I was doing sweats myself in all modesty and privacy if people where interested in it and asked how she felt about this issue about non natives doing sweats and she thought it was a good thing I did.

then I know now a ceremonial roadchief that does'nt seem to have a problem with me doing sweats , in fact his wife told me it was something I should be doing by myself.

so......I have no problems with what I do. and can point out people that gave me permission by name with a native background if anyone asks me at a sweat where I got my knowledge and they can judge it all they want from this .

its not like I been on the rez and been adopted and had many years of training behind me but if anyone has problems with this then they can ask the persons I can point to for their reasons and also go speak to spirit about the matter.

I do however feel very very strongly about this issue and would love for new age to leave that alone. ceremony is not to be taken lightly but you can get away with lots of things if your honest. however being honest about these things in my book needs also a permission from spirit and a permission from a native american on some level if you plan to do sweats.

my opinion on this is that if you can find a person who will allow you to do this then all is fine. its not needed to be a person that are native but just a sundancer that made lots of sweats before and I feel this way because its dangerous and should not be played around with.

if someones spirit guides are native americans and they like to be honoured by performing some ceremonies and also that someone meets up with someone that can show how its done and knows this by hart then I see no problem with it no matter how white ones skin is.

what I do see a problem with is the people who blend tarot card readings and native american traditions they read in a book in a blend that is far from honest in anyway to seem more interesting to clients.


there is one really important issue at hand here as well...we NEED the native americans wisdom and how to learn to respect our earth more. that wisdom can come from just about every other tribal culture as well but we need to work along with each other regardless of skin colour or gender or age to start acting more responsible towards our nature and this needs to be done now.

I only take from the native americans what they give me . nothing else. however as said I also feel strongly about their culture and I see the things I got from them over the last fifteen years as a gift but also something I need to help protect if I see some new age guru pissing on it and we have some of these here as well. I might not be the right one to do this but if a situation comes where someone hands out a phonenumber for a paid for sweat done along with some new age stuff I will call them and ask them not to do this because its simply not the way it should be done.

I also was told to teach others about this and maybe even how to run sweats themselves but i did not find anyone yet that I would think where seriously dedicated yet so I did not do this yet. however I would never ever teach anything to someone I could imagine starting to charge for it and mix it with other things like healing and tarot card readings and crystals and new age stuff.

I am aware that some native americans do not agree with this tht I stand for and do . .....but as said they can then go speak to spirit about it if they have a problem with me and what I do. or ask some of the people with native background that showed me how to do this. I can point to two instructors and a few that just seems to not have problems with what I do. I wont namedrop here anymore than just hakita because he is the lakota ambassador of Denmark -.


however I also feel its a sensitive subject and we should respect their opinions those who feel things are not the way it should be. they after all just protecting something sacred .


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 Post subject: Re: Are our elders backing away
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 3:16 pm
Posts: 260
Location: NW UK
Are 'who's' Elders backing away?

It is completely understood by many non NA that historic and culturally specific ceremonies need to be preserved in their original form, including their inherent wisdom and that those who observe or are allowed to be privy the same should have the integrity and understanding to comprehend the distinction between knowing the essential, spiritual wisdom contained therein and the culturally specific ways in which that wisdom is presented.

NA Elders, although respected are not my Elders. I support and understand their stance but must also comment on how many, MANY other spiritual paths around the world share aspects of comparable spiritual teachings which are seen as intrinsic to NA culture.

Would I like to observe, learn from and share with those NA who wish to share, of course, yes. Can transporting those ceremonies to the UK help the people here - doubtful. Our pagan culture doesn't understand or recognise the culturally specific symbols and metaphors so most of it would be lost.

Tarot IS part of my culture so I will continue to use it. It is part of European and Asian culture and so makes more sense here. Does that mean that NA cannot learn from Tarot or that Europeans cannot learn from NA ceremonies?

The more doors we close, the smaller the room gets until eventually it is only big enough for our own ego. We are all one with creation and somehow we ALL have, with integrity and absolute honesty, to find ways of building appropriate bridges, teaching and learning instead of closing doors and hiding behind culture.


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 Post subject: Re: Are our elders backing away
 Post Posted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:26 am 
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Location: washington state
I would just like to say that NA shamanism/spirituality is only one form of shamanism/spirituality. and that some dont even consider na shamanism shamanism. Most if not all cultures had a shamanic/(like) religion, so if the na are not teaching look to your own ancestral spirits to guide in finding a shaman from your own culture. like me i found asatru and sedhr which has some paralels but is its own unique brand based on my nordic heritage


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 Post subject: Re: Are our elders backing away
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:18 am 
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These tribes tried to kill each other, you know.

Repeatedly.

They aren't some earthy caveman Buddha.


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 Post subject: Re: Are our elders backing away
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:44 am
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Location: New Mexico, US
I have exactly one Native American ancestress, a Cheyenne woman. The majority of my heritage is Germanic and Irish. While I admit a deep interest in the ceremonies and practices of the N.A. shamanic practitioners, I have no interest in stealing their ceremonies. My interest is simply that the practices of my ancestors have been lost, and that in understanding the practices of surviving traditions, I may understand my own better.

For the N.A. elders to withdraw from being turned into a spectacle for their sacred rites is, to me, an entirely understandable and respected decision. That they are willing to allow non-natives to witness these events is a gracious thing on their part, and should be accepted with similar dignity and respect. That they do not forbid their healers from working for others regardless of heritage is, again, an understanding and open-hearted gesture, recognizing the value of life and spirit in ways that most of European descent do not do.

Those of us not of N.A. descent should look to our own histories and our own traditions, revive and restore them to our use. I think that this would engender a true sense of respect between Europeans and Native Americans. There is no need to steal from others when we have our own rich heritage. We should endeavor to train and study so that we become elders among our own people and not seek to degrade traditions to which we are not born. The Native Americans deserve our utmost respect and their wishes should be honored. Their people did not eliminate their ways when Christianity loomed over their heads as ours did.

They are not Bhudda-like cave men, but they are people who have kept their ways, and that alone should engender far more respect than is given.


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