The 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 Cannupa (pronounced Cha-New-Pa) or sacred pipe. The Cannupa 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 […] Read More

The Sacred Hoop

The children of the earth, wakanyeja makah, are our winged, finned, insect, and four-legged friends who have a special knowledge of Mother Nature and the corresponding four directions. Each creature child of the earth can become a helper for two-leggeds to aid our seeking of universal knowledge. The four directions, the four quarters with the full power of the earth and sky and all related life is regarded as the Sacred Hoop. East Direction, East Wind Red Hawk (Cetan Lutah) Red Hawk was Crazy Horse’s medicine: fearless, aggressive and swift moving. The red hawk is a messenger. It is close to the eagle, and it’s gifts are very similar to those of its larger flying relative. The hawk is keen-eyed and observant. Like the hawk, we must all become keen-eyed and observe the signs that the environment is sending us. We must keep ourselves aware of the notable happenings […] 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

Building a Sweat Lodge

Building a sweat lodge is not particularly difficult, but careful consideration should be given to various details. Choosing a Location and Sitting the Lodge A quiet and secluded area is the obvious setting for a sweat lodge. Privacy is essential, yet the area must also be accessible. Once you have found the site, you must then choose where you wish to place the lodge itself. There is no hard, fast rule that the doorway of a sweat lodge must face a particular location. The lodge doorways at the base of Spirit Mountain in the Black Hills face west. Most Sioux and Ojibwa sweat lodges face east or west, but you must consider the terrain, location, and setting of the entire lodge area when selecting your lodge opening. In the interest of fire safety, you may have to select your fireplace area first. This will determine the direction of the […] Read More

White Buffalo Calf Woman

(Ptecincala Ska Wakan) The Gift of the Sacred Pipe Before the appearance of the Buffalo Calf Woman, the Indian honored the Great Spirit. But for the Sioux, the coming of Buffalo Calf Woman brought a most important instrument, the pipe, which is now used in all ceremonies. The sacred pipe came into being many, many years ago. Two men of the Sioux tribe were hunting when they saw something approaching in the distance. As the figure grew close, they observed a maiden, attired in white buckskin, carrying a bundle wrapped in buffalo hide. As she walked slowly toward them she sang out and repeated; Behold me. Behold me, For in a sacred manner I am walking. One of the men had evil thoughts about this maiden and moved towards her. the other Sioux tried forcibly to restrain him, but the evil warrior pushed the good warrior away. A cloud […] Read More

1883: “Oppressed Widowhood” In America

Having read an article signed with the above pseudonym in The Philosophic Enquirer of July 1st, in which the hapless condition of the Hindû widow is so sincerely bewailed, the idea struck me that it may not be uninteresting to your readers, the opponents as well as the supporters of child-marriage and widow-marriage, to learn that the sacerdotal caste of India is not a solitary exception in the cruel treatment of those unfortunates whom fate has deprived of their husbands. Those who look upon the re-marriage of their bereaved females with horror, as well as those who may yet be secretly sighing for Suttee, will find worthy sympathizers among the savage and fierce tribe of the Talkotins of Oregon (America). Says Ross Cox in his Adventures on the Columbia River:     The ceremonies attending the dead are very singular and quite peculiar to this tribe. During the nine days the […] Read More

Speaking out on the theft and abuse of spirituality

by: Shadi Rahimihttp://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096415443SAN FRANCISCO It was a strange sight, at least in East Los Angeles. While walking her dogs recently at Arroyo Seco Park, Marisol Crisostomo-Romo, 26, said she spotted a van with a tipi on it. Into it piled a group of white children clutching bows and arrows. They were members of the five-week-long Camp Shi’ini, ”a Native American-themed summer camp” that is named after ”a Native American word meaning ‘Summer People,”’ according to its Web site. The 60-year-old camp divides children into nine ”tribes” and offers activities ranging from horseback riding (in the tradition of the Navajo, Comanche and Eskimo, its Web site stated) and archery (Mohawk, Seminole and Blackfoot) to fishing (Zuni, Iroquois and Apache). Crisostomo-Romo, who is Pascua Yaqui, immediately wrote the camp a letter and e-mailed 422 people to do the same, beseeching all those ”offended and disgusted by cultural exploitation and mainstream society’s […] Read More

The story of Starboy and Earthboy and how we came by tobacco.

“A wise Crow storyteller my grandfather once told me when I was young and full of youth the story of Earth boy and Star boy. This happened long ago many ancestors before my grandfather, when the people of the plains were like the buffalo many and free to roam where ever they wanted. This is before the white man came and killed the buffalo and the first people of the plains. It was before we became different tribes we were all one no Crow, no Arapaho, no Cheyenne, no Sioux, we were one tribe the people of the plains. It was in a large plains village a woman who was very beautiful became with child and she gave life to two boys and they were twins, she was very sad because she did not know who the father of the twin boys were. But she did the best she […] Read More

Eagle

The eagle is symbol of the zenith. A great reminder of your own ability to soar to great heights. Eagles are messengers from heaven and are the embodiment of the spirit of the sun. Those with an Eagle totem need to have an involvement with creation; a willingness to experience extremes; a willingness to use your ability even if it means getting “scorched” a little as you fly high; a willingness to seek out your true emotions. A demanding totem, but one that offers so much reward at the end of the journey. Its four-toed feet remind you to stay grounded even when soaring high; Its talons remind you to grasp the things of the earth; Its sharp beak shows you when to speak, how much, and how strongly. This totem will show you opportunities and how to ride the winds to your benefit. Eagle people can live in […] Read More