Thanks to Margaret Bond of Armadale Western Australia
for the drawing of ‘Bull Chief Apsaroke' for the front cover.
It comes from us. It crawls and creeps into our brains. We twist our own minds. We take that sacred knowledge and use it to fashion a gun. Then we call that knowledge power. So there is all this traffic between our ears, and that is where the evil comes from.
I don’t know about your experience of what has been happening since the turn of the new millennium, but for me there has been so much healing going on that it makes my head spin sometimes.
Firstly there was the Tranquillity Festival in Ocean Grove, although the park had been saved prior to the festival; I believe it was a great success.
Then there’s the amount of positive feedback I’ve been getting regarding the magazine; I only hope to keep up the quality or preferably improve it .
And the January full moon lodge was a very powerful one for the eight participants that attended. A special thank you to Running Horse for fire keeping.
During January I read ‘The Wheel Of Life – A Memoir of Living and Dying’ by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. There were so many bells ringing with what I knew to be important truth, that I have included some excerpts from the final pages of her book.
And of course I would again like to thank Raven Wi’ for being her magnificent self and allowing me to print her article about ‘The Good Red Road’. The opposite obviously being ‘The Black Road’, that of the actions, thoughts and intentions that are driven by the ego and are to be let go of or transformed.
I was pleasantly surprised to find one of my own articles on ‘Native American Mythology’ in Raven’s Jan – Feb.2000 issue of ‘Raven’s Reflections’.
I have also reprinted a very special article of Raven’s with a very important message, particularly for women. However, as part of my own transformation and awakening was to get in touch with my own feminine energies, the basic knowledge in the article 'Moon Teachings, a Synopsis' was not new to me. I cannot emphasize the importance of this information for men and women enough.
I would also like to address the subject of the many and varied ‘New Age Healing Modalities’, like Reiki, Healing Touch, and Crystal Healing etc. All of them are one form or another of what I recognize as Shamanic Healing.
And yet it was interesting that at the Tranquillity Festival many people walked past me, obviously not knowing about Shamanism, and queued up for a Reiki healing. I know that Janet (Spirit woman) is good at Reiki because her intent is 100% for healing the patient, but when she took a break and sat down to talk with me, I said she could send some of them to me for a Shamanic healing, and when I explained it to her she said; “That’s basically the same as what I do”.
My point here is that as I learnt from Accounting, if the books don’t balance there are some repair jobs that can be done, but if that doesn’t work then you must go back to the beginning and start from scratch, thus all modes of healing, religion and thought all began as a shamanic base, this is the beginning of man’s thinking subjectively about life. I believe that we must go back to this basic root to be able to balance the books, so to speak, and to right the wrongs.
Incidentally I dislike the reference to ‘Esoteric’ knowledge or healing. The word means “meant for the initiated; private, confidential.” I believe that this spiritual, shamanic knowledge and healing is for anyone and everyone.
I must also mention here that Janet has given me the honour/challenge/task of taking her on a traditional four day Vision Quest, something I wouldn’t recommend to most Westerners, especially women, but she says that Spirit is insisting it be so.
And yet another woman has asked me to teach her, officiating the master and apprentice role. I told her I was honoured, but she should remember that I am only one of the many teachers she will have and that the greatest of all teachers is life itself.
I read a fantastic article in Spiritual Links the other day about Druidry, by Emma Restall or (Bobcat) and found it to be a good example of Celtic Shamanism. In fact you could swap the word Druid for Shaman and get a good idea of Shamanism, although I find the Celtic tradition to be very complex in its teaching and specific to England.
Today we hear a lot about initiations, vision quests and rites of passage, but what are we really seeking from these ancient rituals? Many people will say they are seeking enlightenment, but what is enlightenment?
I believe that if these rituals and ceremonies are properly conducted with the same amount of wisdom and compassion that the tribal elders used, then they can in fact give people what they are seeking. One could say, we are not looking for a meaning for life, but an experience of the rapture of being alive, which can only come with a transformation of consciousness.
It seems that during our daily and personal activities most people have lost the experience of the sacredness and the wonders of life. The actions of eating, going to work, taking the kids to school, driving a car and even making love have all become robotic and automatic.
Initiations, spirituality, mythological stories and enlightenment are all about that transformation of consciousness, from a robotic, mechanical existence to one of being truly alive. This is where all things and actions shine, so we can see the rapture and wonders of life everywhere and in everything.
Steve Bidduph's book, 'Manhood' is not just an action plan for changing men's lives, but as many women have found, who have read the book, it changes their lives as well, for the better. Mr. Biddulph writes:
“The men's movement already has an image of harking back to idealised older times, of primitive tribal gimmicks and rituals.... Ancient man was an environmentalist who knew how to thrive in the natural world in a sustainable way... The men's movement is very interested in the bonding rituals, the symbols, the initiation rites and the guiding metaphors from ancient times. We are scavenging for tools that we can use to make the future."
Joseph Campbell calls this psychological transformation, which everyone must undergo, the 'Hero Adventure.' This is where a hero or heroine finds or does something beyond the normal range of experience. There are three stages to this adventure, and they are:
1. Leaving home or separation from all that is familiar.
2. The frightening, difficult, but exhilarating journey often helped by unexpected and mystical allies, Facing fears and a new way of consciousness, and the boundaries of the old limited awareness fade and the new possibilities merge.
3. Returning as apparently the same person, but forever changed. This is where a deed has been achieved.
The deed comes in two forms. It is either a courageous act of saving a life or lives, going through a physical or psychological ordeal, or it is a spiritual deed of coming back from spirit realms with a message that can help humanity or society in some profound way.
Vision quests are also heroic deeds or journeys that are taken to reach the spiritual realms and to gain enlightening information, which will help you to know your spiritual path and know how to stay on that path in your physical life.
Traditionally, the vision quest takes place in a small, designated area set aside in the forest or in the bush; in a man-made lodge, cave or high plateau for four or more days and nights without food or water. The purpose of this type of quest is to empty oneself of ego and open to the Creator through prayer and giving thanks to all of creation for the gifts and lessons which have been given to the recipient. One asks for a vision and help on the path to become a better human being and for guidance in the next steps of life on that path.
In the ancient tribal societies, the males went through an ordeal that taught them what it was to be an adult male, and to protect the social order of life. The females also went through an initiation, beginning at the time of her first menses, (or "Moon Time") where she was made to sit in a little hut for the duration of menstruation, to realise what she was.
Joseph Campbell writes:
"She is now a woman. And what is a woman? A woman is the vehicle of life.... Woman is what it is all about - giving birth and the giving of nourishment.... And she has got to realise that about herself. The boy does not have a happening of this kind, so he has to be turned into a man and voluntarily become a servant of something greater than himself."
[He becomes a member of society. Ed.]
I could go on and on, describing and explaining initiations and heroic deeds, but my main point is to explain how every act of life is an heroic adventure. Otto Rank has said that everyone is a hero in birth. Here, there is tremendous psychological and physical transformation, from a water creature living in amniotic fluid to becoming an air-breathing mammal. Even the mother in the act of giving birth, is performing a heroic deed by giving life to another.
How many of these heroic deeds, in our society today, are being recognised and celebrated in the way of our tribal ancestors? Do entire communities come to celebrate each and every one of these transformations of consciousness? Do they compel each new mother, child or initiate to feel like a hero by honouring them for numerous days?
In male tribal initiations, the whole society recognised the initiate was now, and always would be, a mature adult, and everyone treated them as such, thus making it impossible for the person to revert back to the old, childish ways of life. How often in today's society do you see someone, say a criminal, go through a transformation and begin a new and healthier way of life, only to gradually slide back into their old habits?
It would seem our current economic, industrialised society doesn't have the time to give it's members this experience of being truly accepted, honoured or human. As a result, our society is full of inhuman acts toward each other; murder, rape, child abuse, and various addictions to substances and activities which are an attempt to gain a surrogate or de-facto recognition of their heroic adventures.
I wanted to share something regarding the lodges for women during their Moon Time. Full Moon teachings are what I have been gifted with, and have been told to teach since 1995, to help women and bring empowerment to them during this special time. I realize some of you may not know how taxed a woman's body is during their Moon Cycle. It is a common misunderstanding since women are expected to carry on as though everything is normal, but nothing could be further from the truth.
I am including an article I wrote sometime back, addressing these issues. This is what part of my responsibility is as a Teacher and Traditional Healer; to give women guidance in this way. I only hope this can be brought to light in your area. It is very important to not confuse this issue with ego. That is the biggest problem there is; women want to be 'equal' and wind up doing more harm to their bodies than good.
The teachings that have been passed down to me, which I now pass on to you, were given to me in a sacred and traditional manner. My Lakota teacher, and the Grandmothers have asked me to make the Moon Teachings available to all women. It is through them that I walk courageously and humbly on this path. They were aware there would be many who would think this was not proper, but the prophesies talk about a time when the women will find their strength again and begin to bring the people back together in a sacred manner through Native teachings.
Though there are many books and workshops now available, they are not what I am about or what I teach. This is not to say they are "wrong" and shouldn't be. It is simply the way in which they were obtained.
For the most part, today's Moon practices are based on Goddess Worship. Some even go so far as to discredit men and totally exclude them from being active in any way. This is not what the Grandmothers want for their children. Women absolutely need masculine balance in their lives as well as in their ceremonies.
Traditionally, a young warrior, of pure heart, would be chosen by the woman leading the Full Moon ceremony. It was considered a great honor to be asked to assist by preparing the fire and collecting enough wood for the duration of the night. He would stay on site until he heard the women approaching. The women called out, Huh! Huh! Huh! in the way the buffalo calls out. It was a signal for the young man to leave. He would then slip away, undetected. The next day, the women would give him small gifts to show their gratitude. This ritual brought male energy, balance and respect into the women's ceremony. It is so very important to realize who you are in conjunction with your cycles with the earth and the moon. Women's rites were practiced for thousands of years by every indigenous people on the planet. It was, in fact, the primary if not only rite, that exclusively belonged to women. Natural birth control was practiced long before the advent of birth control pills, because women knew what their bodies were doing at all times. There were never any unwanted pregnancies. Coupled with herbs and her natural rhythms, a woman had complete control of herself.
The Moon Lodge is a physical place where women would go to honour their Moon Cycle. The Moon Lodge was traditionally set apart from the rest of the village to give the women more privacy. Most often, several women would have their cycle at the same time, because it is known that women who live closely together, generally cycle together. They were as sisters, supporting each other, laughing and enjoying the company of their lodge sisters. They would stay there for the duration of their Moon Time, not cooking or looking after the children or tending to other's needs. Food was brought to them because they were not expected to cook and were, in this way, honoured for all the things they did on a daily basis.
The rest of the village eagerly looked forward to the return of the women, because of the dreams and visions the women had experienced during their monthly Hamblecheyapi (Vision Quest). The women would perhaps have specific information for an individual or some important vision/dream that would benefit the entire camp. Women were greatly respected because of the wisdom gained during their Moon Time.
It should be noted here that, if a woman is in sync with the moon's cycles, she should be on her Moon Time during the New Moon. Grandmother Moon is in her darkest phase, which is a time to slow down, be reflective and rest. The Full Moon, on the other hand, is a time of intense energy, action and celebration. This is the time when women come together and ask for balance with their cycles, connection with life (fertility) and pray for a new beginning. It is a time to prepare the body for new life. (Creativity, ideas, etc.)
The Full Moon Ceremony takes place during the Full Moon (day before, day of or day after), to bring women together to help each other, family or community members and themselves through prayer, ritual and bonding.
It is believed by many scholars of Native American Indian studies, the influence of the "Europeans" forced the Indians to discontinue nearly all their sacred rites of which Moon Lodge and Full Moon Ceremonies were a part of. Because of their Christian attitudes, the whites could not understand how men could allow women to have any control or say regarding tribal matters, when in fact, their input was greatly respected.
That all ended, and women kept their teachings to themselves and only shared them with their daughters who then passed the teachings down orally from one generation to the next. It has only been in the last few years that the Grandmothers have been urging their daughters and granddaughters to share the women's teachings with all women. However, they have been very specific in regards to the authenticity of what is being taught.
First and foremost, ceremony is never sold! One cannot buy or sell Spirituality. It is the ultimate give-away from one to another. There are many "Leaders" out there who wrongly charge people for the following ceremonies: The Inipi, (Healing Ceremony); Chanupa Ceremony, (Sacred Pipe); Hamblecheyapi, (Vision Quest); Purification, (Sweat Lodge) Moon Lodge, (Full Moon Ceremony) and other such ceremonies. These were intended as a gift to the people to be shared. If you are ever invited to any one of these ceremonies and there is a charge that the leader is not coming from a place of Spirituality, but from a place of power and greed. Also, these people are generally "self taught" and have not been taught by a Medicine Person at all! Otherwise, they would know better.
However, there are certain events that you could expect to pay for: Specific Teachings from a qualified teacher, drum and rattle workshops, Native dress making, making Native jewellery & flutes, making tepees, painting tepees, herbal awareness, wild-edible foods, making baskets, survival skills, etc. and retreats. One can and should make a donation to a teacher who has taken the time to share teachings and skills with you.
I think it is important to mention that, in the past, most Native women did not possess certain "Medicines" such as the Drum, Chanupa or anything else considered powerful. To my knowledge, it has only been in the last 25 or so years that women have come to carry these "Medicines" because they felt called to do so. Also, women were not allowed to Sun Dance or participate in many other ceremonies. However, today, many women Sun Dance and do a two day Hamblecheyapi. It must be emphasized, these two ceremonies in particular are not a fad thing and done just because. Like all ceremonies, they are very sacred and should not to be taken lightly.
In reality, women do not need to participate in such physically draining activities. It has become more of an "EGO" thing than a spiritual thing for many participants. Some women are called by Spirit to do these things and it becomes a personal choice, but, if a woman is actively honoring her monthly cycles by attending a Moon Lodge, she is having a vision quest every month! Also, a woman should NEVER participate in the Sweat Lodge while she is on her Moon. Her body is already in the process of purifying! She needs rest and nurturing above all else. To insist that she be able to have "equal rights" is in direct conflict with the sacredness going on inside of her body. Some people might disagree with this, but Grandmother gave me this information to guide and teach, not to judge or say it is wrong.
It is true women are in a state of altered energy, which is very dynamic, during their Moon Time. It is known their energy can affect the intended outcome of ceremonies or alter the energy in sacred objects. It is for this reason women should not handle any "Medicines" other than what is used in the Moon Lodge. The myth that women are somehow unclean or dirty, is just that, a myth. This may have been a way to keep women "in their place" during her Moon Time because of her ability to move and alter energy.
Every woman who honours her body's cycles, should begin to put together her own Moon Bundle. In her bundle she might include some sage and something to burn it in, red cloth for prayer ties, tobacco, shells, ribbon, candles, matches and anything else she connects with.
Another important aspect of what I teach is supportive bonding between women. They must remain strong and true to their own kind. Nothing on earth is more damaging to women than those who would betray their sisters through gossip and tearing each other down. If we are to fulfil our Grandmother's requests, we must lay superstitions, envy and mistrust aside. It is time to approach each other with open arms and share our knowledge.
There are still many more teachings and history regarding Full Moon Ceremony and Moon Lodge as well as; lshna Ta Awi Cha Lowan, (Preparing for Womanhood) & Moon Pause, the third and most important, transition in a woman's life.
In participating in these rituals, can we, as women, begin to mend ourselves and each other, and eventually, the world.
"The strength of your personal power and femininity is only as strong as your connection of Grandmother Moon"
To us an infinitesimal fraction of a second is an entire lifetime to an atomic particle, just as our lifetime is a split second in the life cycles of earth, and the earth’s life is a split second in the life of stars and galaxies.
Atomic Cycles, Quantum Physics.
Heart Beat, Breath.
Rotation of Earth.
Solar Cycle, (seasons).
Alternating Universal Female and Universal Male Influences.
1 Glaciation Cycle, Aboriginal Culture.
Earth’s alternating Magnetic Polarity.
240 Mill. Yr.:
Continental Drift from South to North and back.
280 Mill. Yr.:
Possibly the Solar System completes an orbit around the centre of the Galaxy or Milky Way.
Carl Jung says that one of the most powerful religious symbols is the circle. He says that the circle is one of the great primordial images of mankind and that, in considering the symbol of the circle, we are analysing the self.
The circle represent time with the movement of the day and the three hundred and sixty degrees. The official Sumerian year was three hundred and sixty days with five holy days that don’t count, which are outside time and in which they had ceremonies relating their society to the heavens.
And Joseph Campbell says:
“The circle on the other hand, represents totality. Everything within a circle is one thing, which is encircled, enframed. That would be the spatial aspect. But the temporal aspect of the circle is that you leave, go somewhere, and always come back. [From the womb of mother earth to the tomb of mother earth. Ed.] God is the alpha and the omega, the source and the end. The circle suggests immediately a completed totality, whether in time or in space.”
From: ‘The Power of Myth’ [pp. 214-219]
‘Mandala’ is the Sanskrit word for ‘circle’. But it is a circle that is symbolically designed so that it has the meaning of a cosmic order. When composing a personal mandala, you are trying to symbolically coordinate your personal circle with the universal circle. The making of a personal mandala is an act of discipline to pull all the scattered aspects of your life together to find the centre of your spiritual being, the Axis Mundi, the still point in your seemingly chaotic world.
Whenever the number four or some squared form appears in a dream, Jung has noted that some aspect of the dreamer’s wholeness is scattered. Furthermore, he noted that circles seem to represent wholeness in a natural level, without beginning or end. The squares seem to indicate wholeness possibilities on a more conscious level.
The wedding rings that people wear are symbols of two lives coming together in union to one whole, in the image of God.
Most indigenous cultures use some form of the circle as a teaching tool to help them to understand the natural forces, not only around them, but also within them. The Lakota, for example, use the medicine wheel, however, their nature, in the northern hemisphere, like the sun, moves clockwise over a southerly arc. So my adaptation (See chart below) for the southern hemisphere has had the characteristics of the north and south swapped, and then, like the sun here, we move around the wheel in an anti-clockwise direction over a northerly arc.
Hehaka Sapa, or Black Elk, that’s Nicholas Black Elk who is not biologically related to Wallace Black Elk, was a member of the Oglala Tribe of the Lakota, or Sioux nation. In 1930-31 he dictated the following passage to Flaming Rainbow as part of his autobiography:
“You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. In the old days when we were a strong and happy people, all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation and so long as the hoop was unbroken the people flourished. The flowering tree was the living centre of the hoop, and the circle of the four quarters nourished it. The east gave peace and light, the south gave warmth, the west gave rain, and the north with its cold and mighty wind gave strength and endurance. This knowledge came to us from the outer world with our religion. Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The Sky is round and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round.
"Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of man is a circle from childhood to childhood and so it is in everything where power moves. Our tipis were round like the nests of birds and these were always set in a circle, the nation’s hoop, a nest of many nests where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children."
And when John G. Neihardt interviewed Black Elk for his book ‘Black Elk Speaks’, he spoke of his first vision as a young boy thus:
“Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and around about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle…”
Then he goes on to say that the sacred central mountain was Harney Peak in South Dakota. And then he says;
“But anywhere is the centre of the world.”
Joseph Campbell explains that this statement distinguishes the actual mountain in the vision and its connotation as the Axis Mundi, which is the central point where the movement of time and the stillness of eternity come together at the soul of each individual. So for every individual being, it is as if the whole world revolves around them, but the trick in life is to realize the responsibility of taking care of your sacred hoop of the world as well as your Axis Mundi, because all hoops are connected.
Looking at my medicine wheel that has been adjusted for the southern hemisphere (below), you can see that the east is where all things are born into the manifest world; the sun gives birth to the morning, so this is the direction that we start all things. In the ages of man from birth to old age we find that the north represents adolescence; the west, middle age; and the south, the elderly.
The Axis Mundi is where you connect the manifest world of Earth Below to the spirit world of God Above. So I would like to finish with an example of my morning and evening prayer that is suited for the southern hemisphere.
Tunkashila (pronounced Toon-kash-she-la), Grandfather, Creator of all things, Great Spirit, I give thanks for giving me life to walk another day on this earth. I thank you for all your creation, all spirit and all my spirit guides and helpers.
Maka (pronounced Muck-kah), Grandmother, the Earth, giver of all matter, I give thanks for giving of yourself so that I may live in this physical body and walk upon your surface another day.
To the East Power, I give you thanks for giving us spirit, the enlightenment and far-sighted-ness of the Eagle, and for the birth of the Sun, Morning and Spring. And I give thanks for the element Fire.
To the North Power, I give thanks for the trust and innocence of the Mouse, for the warmth of Midday and Summer, and for the moon and the element Water.
To the West Power, I give thanks for the introspection and intuition of the Grizzly Bear or Koala, for the change of Evening and Autumn, and for the Earth and Minerals.
To the South Power, I give thanks for the knowledge and wisdom of the Elders, the Buffalo or Kangaroo, for the stars and the element Air.
May all spirit work within me for the greater good of all.
MITAKUYE OYASIN (pronounced Mit-uk-ooyay-oy-arsi), which means ‘For all our relations’, from the mineral kingdom through all the people of the planet (Creepy crawlies, All Humans (Two-leggeds, Four-Leggeds) all the way to the Star nations (see web page).
Do you dream of a world without violence
And do you long for a world without strife,
Do you look for a cause
That will banish all wars…
And bring forth a reverence for life?
Can you imagine a world without suffering
Children without tears… without pain,
No more fear between nation
Or deadly starvation…
No crops withered up without rain?
This dream will be only for dreaming
If we follow the masses ‘out there.’
And we’d all be like sheep
Half awake… half asleep,
If we don’t take the bother to care!
Do you want to go on with just dreaming
Till ‘death’ blows you out with a puff?
Or maybe you feel
You can help make it real…
If you’re made of the right kind of stuff!
Were you born to write a new story
Or a myth… on an old dusty page,
Wake up from your dreaming
And discover the meaning…
Of your part… in the New Golden Age!
But.. we’ll need to make changes within us
If we want to take on this new role,
There is no exception
We must change our perception…
And see with the eyes of the soul.
We’ll need to be kind and forgiving
And our patience will be put to the test,
But… if we make the decision
To follow the vision…
We know that our lives will be blest.
Then… if you wish to make this commitment
Let it be with the heart not the head,
Go inward in prayer
For the answer is there…
By direction of soul you’ll be lead!
We can’t promise a nice bed of roses
Or a place up in Heaven ‘above,’
But together on Earth
We can help to give birth…
To a world that’s created with LOVE.
Can you see this Vision unfolding
Does the thought of it sing in your heart,
Can you feel the elation?
As you sense its vibration…
Are you eager to make a new start?
And be part… of a wondrous new venture
Linking Heaven with Earth here below,
To help set the stage
For the New Golden Age…
Are you willing to give it a go?
The new century is nearly upon us
There are choices that have to be made,
If you want to be with it
Then follow your spirit…
Have courage… and be not afraid!
For those who have captured the vision
Just step forward in faith and be free!
Let your heart sing its song
Then you can belong…
And share in ‘The Vision’ to be.
So… let all of our dreams be united
Unfolding from each loving heart,
Then we all may endeavour
As we vision together,
To learn how to play our own part!
Let’s live in the light altogether
In Joy… in Peace… without fuss,
Let’s be loving and caring
And generous in sharing…
For the outcome will be up to us!
There are Souls of a High Evolution
Many unseen and unknown,
If we silently ask
Their help in this task…
We may nurture the seeds they have sown.
These Souls are watching and waiting
For the ‘Dawn’ is almost in sight,
There’s work to be done
If we all live as ONE…
In the glorious Power of the Light!
Which is needed for planetary healing
To help serve the whole human-race,
So that all may ascend
And the human transcend…
By the miraculous power of His Grace!
To the soul… separation is error
No labels… no gender… no names,
Is only illusion…
Pure LOVE as All that remains.
This LOVE will spring forth from the grasses
And reach high to the stars up above,
And God will be there
With blessings to share…
And a promise that all will be LOVE.
John can be contacted at:
P.O. Box 579
When we pass the tests we were sent to earth to learn, we are allowed to graduate. We are allowed to shed our body, which imprisons our soul the way a cocoon encloses the future butterfly, and when the time is right we can let go of it…
The greatest gift God has given us is free choice…
The sole purpose of life is to grow. The ultimate lesson is learning how to love and be loved unconditionally…
I truly believe that my truth is a universal one – above all religions, economies, race and colour – shared by the common experience of life. All people [and all things; Ed.] come from the same source and return to the same source…
All hardships that come to you in life, all the tribulations and nightmares, all the things you see as punishments from God, are in reality like gifts. They are an opportunity to grow, which is the sole purpose of life.
You cannot heal the world without healing yourself first.
If you are ready for spiritual experiences and you are not afraid, you will have them yourself. You do not need a guru or a baba to tell you how to do it.
All of us, when we were born from the source, which I call God, were endowed with a facet of divinity. That is what gives us knowledge of our immortality.
You should live until you die.[This is the sense of the war cry: "It's a good day to die". Ed]
No one dies alone.
Everyone is loved beyond comprehension.
Everyone is blessed and guided.
It is important that you do only what you love to do. You may be poor, you may go hungry, you may live in a shabby place, but you will totally live…
Dying is nothing to fear. It can be the most wonderful experience of your life. It all depends on how you have lived.
Death is but a transition from this life to another existence where there is no more pain and anguish.
Everything is bearable when there is love. My wish is that you try to give more people more love.
The only thing that lives forever is love.
If you haven’t heard it before, the above is the same as what Joseph Campbell and I keep on telling everyone: to follow your bliss, your heart, your true being. Which only comes when you live every passing moment without being influenced by fear, desire or social duty to live any particular way.
I would also like to add that suicide is not a way out of the suffering of life, you will only come back to learn the lessons you came for in the first place; and you may even spend an eternity of suffering in the spiritual realms.
I have been asked about the focus on my return trip to Australia this next March. This is how I replied; This next trip to Australia, and the one taking shape for the “lower 48” when I get back, is basically spiritually oriented. My focus is on teaching and sharing spiritual awareness while coming from a traditional perspective; using native tools and spirituality as my guides.
I am also being led to bring teachings of the sacred Chanunpa/peace pipe to those who are seeking them. Too many non-natives have pipes who want to learn more about its’ sacredness and connection with the Creator as was passed down to the Lakota people by White Buffalo Calf Woman.
This past summer, some of the Elders and Sun Dance Leaders in SD (South Dakota), walked away from the Sun Dance and refused to take part in it because there were so many white people. The Elders and dance leaders said the dance didn’t belong to them, the white people, and it was impossible for them to understand the full significance and meaning of the Sun Dance. The Sun Dance is a very spiritual thing to a native person, almost like a sacred religion. It is a quest of body, spirit and mind to meld with the Great Mystery and our ancestors. It is a living, breathing prayer to the earth and the Creator while using the body as a conduit for that prayer to be released. It is a surrender, if you will, to ALL THAT IS. It is the supreme sacrifice and commitment of one’s self to walk with Spirit . There is no wonder my people are feeling resentful towards others who are trying to take these ceremonies for their own.
Most white people do not realize what goes into “asking for a vision.” A native person might spend years praying to be shown what they are to do. Sometimes it is a vision, sometimes it is a dream in which they are shown when, where, how and with whom they will make their commitment. It may be a four or more day vision quest or it may be participating in the Sun Dance or some other spiritual endeavour, like committing to a spiritual sojourn where one runs or walks from one point to another, which may take days or even weeks to accomplish. Whatever it is, Spirit is guiding them and will tell them all they need to know. But, and this is important here, that vision or dream will come to the person on a number of occasions and each time will become clearer and more precise. There will be no doubt in the person’s mind about what they are to do, and that it isn’t some figment of their imagination or an ego thing they have conjured up. This is the very thing a non-native person does not know, could not possibly know because they aren’t living their life based on ‘Traditional Way’ each day, with every breath they take, to be in union with The Great Mystery.
Even for people like me, who did not grow up in the ‘Traditional Way’, it is very hard to get to that place and stay there. It is always about sacrifice in some way or the other, in our minds. It is hard to walk the Good Red Road because we have all these diversions in front of us. It is what we were raised with and know, it is comfortable to us. The test comes when we know in our heart of hearts, we must put some things aside in order to even come close to stepping on the Good Red Road, much less walking it. Walking the Talk. Wow! What a test! We like to think we are really walking our talk, but are we really? Are we really being true to our spiritual selves by living the way Spirit intended; Free and pure and in harmony with others and ourselves, our Mother Earth and the universe around us? Are we taking the time for ritual using smudge or other means, and sitting in reverence and prayer, with thanksgiving on our lips, in our throats, our guts, our blood, our soul? Do we see things with joy and wonder at the creation of all things each moment we are awake? Are we reaching out to each other with that innocence and love in our hearts and treating each and everyone with sacredness as we wish to be treated? Walking the talk. That, my friend, is what the Good Red Road is all about.
Remembering that we are all mirrors for each other, I think about these words and how they relate to my own quest. How I am striving to walk with my sacred chanupa / pipe in my arms and extend it to others in a respectful way, sending prayers to the Great Mystery on their behalf, praying to help others empower themselves and remember who they are. And how does that mirror affect me? It makes me see how easy it is to live with a lie and the easy way out, saying I’ll do it later, or I have to wait for this or that or I can skip doing ceremony this month or what will others think or I don’t have the funds or….. That is the test, to realize I always have enough of what I need, that Creator is always taking care of me as long as I make an honest effort and my intent is sincere. And that my walk is between the Creator and myself and doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else. No one else can walk the path for me, I have to do it myself for myself.
So, as I enter this new millennium, I promise myself to really “Walk My Talk” and move out into the world, fully and consciously and pray for others to do the same.
I have no idea why it was so important to share those words with you, but I feel your soul will understand and incorporate whatever you needed.
Blessings to you as you walk your path.
I know exactly why it was important to share those words, it’s because they sum up everything the ‘New Age’ healing, spirituality and ‘Tarot’ fortune telling are all trying to express. And further more life is all about sharing our experiences. I would like to see more people sharing honestly, openly and sincerely. Ed.
For the Southern Hemisphere
As promised, I will now describe my pipe ceremony.
Before I considered myself a carrier of a sacred pipe, I did a ‘Sacred Pipe and Cloth’ ceremony to confirm with the Great Spirit (Creator or God) that it was His intention and that I was ready and worthy of such a responsible task and title. This was something like the consecration as described in the ‘Sacred Pipe article in the first issue of ‘Earth People’, but more.
Before I even take the Sacred Pipe out of my medicine bag, I smudge the area to the seven directions, East, North, West, South, Above, Below, and Within, with Grandfather Sage or White Sage.
In my Stone People Lodge, or Sweat Lodge, I begin the pipe ceremony by explaining the sacredness of the pipe. I sing a special pipe filling song when I pack the pipe with special mix, and I light the pipe using sweet grass that has been lit from the hot Grandfather Stones.
Firstly, I offer the pipe, giving thanks to the Great Spirit above, so that he may be the first to smoke. This includes all the spirit realms. Then I offer it to our Mother Earth below, giving thanks for the gift of matter.
I then puff on the pipe and blow the smoke to the East - the place of birth, and I give thanks to the Eagle for Illumination and enlightenment; and I invite the spirits of the east to come and smoke with us. Then, moving anti-clockwise for the southern hemisphere, I blow smoke to the North - the place of childhood and adolescence, thanking for trust and innocents; and I inviting the Mouse and spirits of the north to come and smoke with us. Then for the West - the place of middle age, or Adults, I give thanks for change and introspection; and I invite the Grizzly Bear, Koala and spirits of the west. And for the South, the place of the Elderly, I give thanks for the wisdom and knowledge of the mind; and I invite the Buffalo, Kangaroo and spirits of the south to come and smoke with us.
Then I pray and smoke for myself, my consciousness within and any other prayer I wish to send to Great Spirit before passing the pipe around the circle for all the participants to smoke for their own consciousness within. All the time the pipe bowl is held with the left hand and the stem with the right.
I actually prefer that other participants don’t revolve the pipe stem or do anything other than smoke the pipe because it can become confusing for myself or the next person in the circle to smoke, for when someone is turning the pipe to the directions it is hard to tell when they have finished sometimes. However I do understand that other pipe carriers like to do this, as it is part of their own ceremony, and therefore connects their own ceremony to mine; thus adding to the power helping everyone to be centred and connect Heaven (Spirit) with Earth (Matter).
If someone wishes not to smoke, all they need to do is to touch the pipe stem to both their shoulders which is the same to the Great Spirit as smoking. And if they do smoke, it is not necessary to inhale the smoke into the lungs, but if one were to do so they would find that the mix is in fact very smooth. However it is said by some that to inhale the smoke is to keep your prayers to yourself and to not send them to Great Spirit to hear them, which the whole point of the ceremony. Therefore the most important part of the ceremony is to hold consciousness of your prayers while doing the physical handling and smoking of the pipe; hopefully with an awareness of the symbology that connects the two.
The words to this song were given to John from spirit, and as good as the words are, they are even better with the music.
John is a Shaman and he and his wife Judi are also available to play a variety of music for weddings, parties or anything.
Grandmothers, Grandfathers show us your way,
Guide us with our light through your spiritual ways.
Arapaho, Shoshone, Navaho, Souix,
Spirits cry out we’re waiting for you.
Take us to the time when the buffalo roam,
Success wasn’t judged by the things that you own.
Heya hey hey, heya heya hey ho,
Heya hey hey, heya heya hey ho.
Spirit of the Indian show me your home,
Guide me on your Red Road with your circle of stones.
Cherokee, Black, The Comanche and Cree,
Open my eyes let me feel what I see.
Earth Mother waits with her life in your hands,
Time has come to replenish our land.
White man, Black man, Yellow and Red,
Save our mother before she is dead.
CHORUS X 2
Life and Energy Counselling.
Dream and Vision Interpretations.
Shaman Stone and Medicine Card Readings.
Stone-people (Sweat) Lodges.
Chakras and Auras.
Healing the Healer.
Understanding Vibration, Manifestation and Quantum Physics.
All manner of spiritual cleansing, making sacred space, and sacred ceremonies.