Can a Ghost Make You Ill? The Ghost Sickness Belief of the Native American Indians

Ghost sickness is the belief that ghosts are able to cause a living person to fall ill. This particular term is used by the Native Americans, especially amongst the Navajo people. Nevertheless, this belief can also be found in other Native American cultures. Furthermore, this concept may also be found in other cultures of the world, though with certain slight variations. So how does a ghost make you sick, and why? Navajo Attachment Belief According to the Navajos, as well as certain other Native American cultures, ghost sickness is caused by a spirit of the dead attaching itself to a living person. This attachment causes harm to the living person, as the ghost drains his or her energy. The effects of this energy drainage manifest itself in certain symptoms, including weakness, a loss of appetite, depression and nightmares. Furthermore, it is believed that ghost sickness can even result in […] Read More

Palatkwapi-Sedona: City of the Star People

A legend among the Hopis states that there was once a great temple city of wisdom built by the Star People, the Kachinas. Many of the Hopi clans visited this city during their respective migrations throughout the Americas and later shared stories of it when all the clans reunited at their final destination on the Hopi Mesas. This mysterious city, known as Palatkwapi, the “Red House,” was where the Star People taught important rituals and secrets of the universe that are still enacted and honored by the clans.  Over the last one hundred years there has been much speculation regarding the location of Palatkwapi. An abundance of ethnographers have located Palatkwapi in the Sedona-Verde Valley region, but there have also been other academics who have placed it much further south. Most everyone agrees, however, that the City of the Star People was someplace south of the Hopi Mesas. One […] Read More

What Is a Kachina?

Heard of the Kachina dolls of the Hopi/Pueblo indians? Here is a great description of what they are and how they fit in to the religious system of the indians written by Harold Colton in 1949. Ever since J. Walter Fewkes, of the Smithsonian Institution, wrote his first illustrated report on Hopi kachinas, in 1894, a growing number of people have become interested in the Hopi Indians and their delightful carved and painted kachina dolls. For years collectors have treasured these small representations of Hopi supernatural beings without being able to learn much about them. Since many people do not know about either kachinas or kachina dolls, we will diverge a little to explain what they are. In the northern parts of the states of New Mexico and Arizona are a number of compact Indian villages with flat-roofed houses built of stone or adobe. Because these Indians lived in […] Read More

THE YOUNG GIRL WHO BECAME A WOLF

It had been a long and cold winter. Food was scarce. Many of the old ones and the babies died before spring arrived. As spring came, the animals became more active in the woodlands and forests and the men went out on many hunts to find food, to make the people strong again. The men found little. They often saw a pack of wolves on these journeys and some of the men said it was because of the wolves that game had become so scarce. During the winter, when the snows were too deep, the wolves could go where man could not, and could easily take down the deer and the moose. The deer and moose gave the people not only food to live, but their fur and hides were a necessity as well. Nothing was wasted in a successful hunt. “It is not the wolves.” Four Steps said. […] Read More

The Peace Pipe Ceremony

Those who desire to benefit their spiritual path by learning Native American knowledge and wisdom, some of which will come through the ceremonies, are recommended to get a peace pipe. The peace pipe is not restricted to only Indians. It has been jealously guarded by Native Americans, however, because many are fearful that the pipe may be used disrespectfully by non-Indian people. Many believe that a powerful good for all things can emanate from the respectful and proper use of the pipe, but it must be regarded as a spiritual instrument by the pipe holder, whatever their lineage or color happens to be. The pipe can become a strong catalyst to import a powerful feeling for our Mother Earth and all living things. Black Elk predicted that we would go forth in numbers as flames to bring forth beneficial change to this generation. The pipe, and the respectful pipe […] Read More

Native American Myths of Creation

Apache In the beginning was only Tepeu and Gucumatz (Feathered Serpent). These two sat together and thought, and whatever they thought came into being. They thought Earth, and there it was. They thought mountains, and so there were. They thought trees, and sky, and animals etc, and each came into being. But none of these things could praise them, so they formed more advanced beings of clay. But these beings fell apart when they got wet, so they made beings out of wood, but they proved unsatisfactory and caused trouble on the earth. The gods sent a great flood to wipe out these beings, so that they could start over. With the help of Mountain Lion, Coyote, Parrot, and Crow they fashioned four new beings. These four beings performed well and are the ancestors of the Quiché In the beginning there was only darkness. Suddenly a small bearded man, the One Who Lives Above, appeared rubbing his eyes as if just awakened. […] Read More

THE DOG AND THE WOLF

“In the 1920’s, the Ross Island Meat packing Company of North Dakota paid a little publicized bounty of eight dollars on German Shepards, a popular breed of dog in the Northern Plains at the time… and often responsible for killing cattle… the slaughter of which was invariably blamed on wolves.” (Barry Lopez – Of Wolves and Men) Discouraged after an unsuccessful day of hunting,  a hungry Wolf came on a well-fed Mastiff.  He could see that the Dog was having a better time of it than he was  and he inquired what the Dog had to do to stay so well fed.  “Very little, ” said the Dog. “Just drive away beggars,  guard the house, show fondness to the master,  be submissive to the rest of the family  and you are well fed and warmly lodged.” The Wolf thought this over carefully. He risked his own life almost daily, had to […] Read More

Coyote

As seekers of the spiritual aspects of life, it is only natural that one would turn to books and people for spiritual guidance. This is fine. However… beware. Spirituality cannot be bought. Those who have it, do not sell it. Those who do not have it, sell as much as the market will bear. Coyote is always around to remind us of that fact. Trickster Coyote was walking with his friend Iktome. By their path stood Iya the rock. Now Iya was not just any old rock. Iya was special. This was the kind of rock that tells a story. Power Iya had. Coyote said, “Hmmm, this is a pretty good-looking rock. I think it has power.” He took off the heavy blanket he was wearing and placed it on the rock. “Here, Iya, ” he said. “Take this as a present my friend rock. Take my blanket to keep you from freezing for you must feel cold.” “Wow,” said Iktome. “A giveaway! You are for […] Read More

Coyote and the Jar

Coyote was given a big jar to carry when the people came to this world. He was told not to lift the lid… but the jar was heavy and coyote was curious to know what he was carrying. He set the jar down, lifted the lid and peeked inside.   All the stars rushed out and they burned his nose as they flew past. Poor coyote could only catch a few and these are now in their proper places in the skies (the constellations), the others are just tossed about, and some of them, not tightly held in place, fall back to earth. This is why there are few constellations and why there are shooting stars and why coyote has a black nose. (Hopi)

BlueBird

“…O wonderful spirit of gentleness…touch, calm and embolden all men.  Take from our frightened hands the bomb…Arm us with wisdom and love instead.  Let life, not death, enter no matter where we walk…” The BlueBird was once a very, very ugly color. And, nearby where he lived, there was a lake. Now this lake was where where no river water flowed in or out. The Bird bathed in it four times every morning for four mornings. And, on each of these times it sang. ” There is a blue water, it lies there. I went in, I am all blue.” On the Fourth morning, the bird shed all of it’s feathers. He came out of the lake in his bare skin. But, on the fifth day, oh the fifth day, he came out all Blue. Now, all of this time Coyote had been watching the Bird. He wanted to jump in and get the Bird but he was afraid of […] Read More

THE WHITE TRAIL IN THE SKY

Shoshone No one can remember any more exactly how it came about that the black bear Wakini overpowered the strong grey grizzly Wakinu. The black bears say that Wakini was just feeding on the contents of an ant hill when Wakinu came up to him and quite rudely stuck his paw in as well. A great fight ensued, with grey and black hairs flying on every side. Wakini was, of course, in the right, for no animal may ever touch another’s prey. Wakinu thus received a just punishment; but that was by no means all – like a defeated warrior, he had to leave his tribe forever. Wakinu wailed and lamented, but the Indian laws are inexorable. And so he had to go, wading through familiar streams, taking a last look at the familiar pines, and saying farewell to the valley he had lived in all of his life. […] Read More

2007: Skinwalkers – What Are They?

By Colm Kelleher and George Knapp 8-9-7 With skinwalkers becoming the subjects of popular books and recently, movies, it is fair to ask about their origins. In August 1996, a team of scientists arrived on a remote ranch in NE Utah to investigate a bizarre litany of phenomena; including unidentified flying objects, animal mutilations, paranormal and poltergeist occurrences that appeared to erupt almost on a nightly basis. The list went on and on. The first piece of information the team learned from local people was that the ranch lay “on the path of the skinwalker”. Was the skinwalker responsible for the weird happenings on this ranch? What followed was a multi-year odyssey into the dark unknown as the science team tried to pursue, measure and photograph the elusive “skinwalker”. The complete account of the unprecedented research project is published in the book “Hunt for the Skinwalker“. In the religion […] Read More

Hothooka Caunotka: Sign Of Purification

Native American Prophecy..Saugh-he, a sign of purification has been sent to the people, that the Morning Star will start to be seen right before the night and light dances together. This is clear to the people of understanding and balance. This message of purification from Creator is speaking that end times are near, as people know it.In the days that follow, people will look at the sky nation and witness and feel the return of two brothers that helped create Earth Mother in the birthing time.One brother who has the care of the top of Earth Mother and his Brother who has the care for the bottom of Earth Mother. In these days the Morning Star will come and be with the two brothers and they will start to return Earth Mother to her natural rotation.This has been shown for ages in many Petra glyphs within the Mayan and […] Read More