Black Spirituality Religion : Native American Spiritual Devices

Discussion in 'Black Spirituality / Religion - General Discussion' started by SAMURAI36, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. SAMURAI36

    SAMURAI36 Banned MEMBER

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    Any other part or full-blooded Native Americans here?

    THE LEGEND OF THE MEDICINE WHEEL

    The Medicine Wheel is a symbol of all creation, of all races of human beings, birds, fish, animals, trees, and stones. It's in the shape of a wheel. The circle shape represents the earth, the sun, the moon, the cycles of life, the seasons, and day to night. Movement around the outside of the Medicine Wheel is in a clockwise direction, the rotation path of mother earth. At the center of the wheel (the hub) is the Creator, who sits in perfect balance. Outside the center, there is an inner circle representing the Old Woman (the earth), Father Sun, Grandmother Moon, and the four elements. Four distinct colors, set in the four directions, lay on the perimeter, separated by beads representing the moon's cycles. Leather, laid from the perimeter, in straight lines, to the center (the spokes of the wheel) represent spiritual paths leading us to the center, to perfect balance, to the Creator.

    The meaning of the number four, as it is in Native American life, is evident in the Medicine Wheel. 4 = four directions + four seasons + four elements (earth, air, water and fire) + the four races of human being. The wheel also teaches the four aspects of our nature…physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. The easterly direction on the Medicine Wheel represents the new light of day, the place of all beginnings. South is the sun at the highest point, a place of youth and innocence. West is from which darkness comes, the place of the unknown. North is the place of winter, the place of wisdom. With the Medicine Wheel, we call upon the moons, animals, angels, finned ones, the elements, the Sun, Clan mothers, Spirit Keeper and the Star Nations, to help us manifest our needs, and to remember who we are, what is to come, and why we are here. The month, which you were born, determines your starting place on the medicine wheel and your beginning totems.

    All people, travel the wheel at their own speed. The important message of the medicine wheel is that you allow yourself to keep traveling, rather then tying yourself to one position and blocking your energies from growing and changing. The Medicine Wheel is a powerful tool to get to know yourself and your guardians. Each Native American Indian band have their own ceremony and meanings of the Medicine Wheel. Come and join us around this wonderful place we call the great medicine wheel.

    PEACE
     
  2. SAMURAI36

    SAMURAI36 Banned MEMBER

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    THE DREAM CATCHER LEGEND

    Dreams were sought by the native Indians, since they valued visions to be very sacred. The Old Ones tell that dreams do hold great power and drift about at night before coming to the sleeping ones. To keep the dreamer safe, the Old Ones created a special web, the Dream Catcher, to hang above their sleeping places (window). The ancient story told by the native Indian is that the Dream Catcher hoop, with the intricate webbing at it's center, ensures a sleep undisturbed by bad dreams. The Dream Catcher web lets the good dreams filter through and float down to the sleeper, while the bad dreams are hopelessly entangled and perish at dawns first light. Dream catchers are believed to bless the "sleeping one" with not only pleasant dreams, but also good luck and harmony throughout their lives. The colored beads on the beaded Dream Catcher are believed to be the good dreams caught by Mother Sun at star time. The dream catcher strengthens the link between creation and the spirit world.
     
  3. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Yes, me! :toast:

    I have chippewa, blackfoot, cherokee and acoma ancestry. Spent some time(though not nearly enought) with some Hopi elders in Arizona> I'll be adding some of my own insights on the topic as well
     
  4. karmashines

    karmashines Banned MEMBER

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    You said you also believe in a former life you were Native American? Can you talk a little bit more about this?
     
  5. SAMURAI36

    SAMURAI36 Banned MEMBER

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    I am paternally Cherokee as well.

    I'll also be posting some info on the history of the Cherokee Nation soon.

    PEACE
     
  6. Pharaoh Jahil

    Pharaoh Jahil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I like this thread........
     
  7. SAMURAI36

    SAMURAI36 Banned MEMBER

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    Thanx Jahil.

    More info to come shortly, so stay tuned.

    PEACE
     
  8. SAMURAI36

    SAMURAI36 Banned MEMBER

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    THE LEGEND OF THE DRUM

    "Traditional teachings are as relevant today as it was in the time of my Ancestors. They are blueprints for human behaviour - they connects us to the teachers of the natural and supernatural worlds, celestial beings, plants, animals, earth, air, fire, water -- respected equals, in other words, whose unique traits provide models for living in a "good way." There are lessons to be learned from both the seen and unseen worlds -- to be passed down from generation to generation through songs, drumming, stories, sharing, caring, medicine wheel teachings and ceremony."

    --(S. Thunderbird)

    THE PERFECT HARMONY OF THE DRUM AND THE EARTH MOTHER

    The magic of the Drum and its relation to Mother Earth's heartbeat moves one's consciousness into the inner worlds of vision, experience, and learning. It is often a time and place for Medicine Wheel teachings, of power animals and spirit guides of inner reflection and connection or re-connection to those things that really matter.

    The Drum takes us to that special place where we can reconnect to those things that truly matter to our spirits, minds, emotions and body.

    In other words, Spiritual and Physical integrity follows nerve, blood flows according to deepest cell needs, our spirits are fed, we are in rhythm with the Earth Mother.



    THE DRUM IS FEMALE AND HUMAN

    The drum represents the universal heartbeat of Noo Halidzoks (Mother Earth) - the universal mother to us all. The first sound that was heard in the world was her heartbeat. The first sound a baby hears in the womb in the heartbeat of the Mother. The heartbeat is manifested through playing a special rhythm on the drum. This rhythm facilitates healing and realignment of the four realms of human existence (Mental, Spiritual, Emotional, Physical) because the Creator revolves around the rhythm. The drum when combined with the voice, creates a hum that rests between the voice and the drum and is thought to be the spirits of the Ancestors.

    Therefore, Native hand drums are not percussion instruments per se or a toy, they are considered female and human because of their direct tie to the earth.

    Her heartbeat on the drum can be done in a variety of ways, here are two suggestions:

    Tsimshian: Four steady beats, followed for two quick beats - one, two three, four, one/two, two three four, one/two, two, three, four.....)

    Anishinabe - two rhythmic beats - one/two - one/two - one/two.....

    When playing a drum, it should never be hammered in an aggressive way, this suggests giving it a 'beating' and one must never 'hit' a woman! The teaching goes even further by stating that the drum mallet should not be referred to as a 'beater' because of the suggestion of aggression contained in the word.

    The Big Drum was a gift from the women to the men a very long time ago, so that men could experience a resonant connection to the Earth Mother that naturally occurs with women. Therefore, it has been tribal custom for the most part, that women not sit at the big drum or play it.

    Whoever wrote this rule was obviously a very threatened man, for there is no basis in history for such action.

    As Native history has evolved, this practice is changing, and there are more and more instances where women are taking back the big drum, and raising their voices in joy. Also, this in some part has been borne out of the fact that many families who have only girl children, must continue to pass down important teachings.


    THE DESTRUCTION OF MOTHER EARTH

    One of the reasons that the earth is being destroyed at such an alarming rate, is the disconnect that humans have with her. We no longer hear her heartbeat. We lose ourselves in our quest for security through the acquisition of material possessions, paying little heed to the devastating cost to the environment in our zeal to have stuff, and look good. The drum is a constant reminder of the responsibility humans have toward the preservation and health of the Earth Mother.

    WOMEN PLAYING THE BIG DRUM

    In the twenty-first century, as Indigenous cultures continue to adapt, evolve and move forward, and given the fact that women are taking back the drum which is their right to do because of the lack of leadership shown by Native men, it is becoming more common to see women big drum groups at powwows. This is a slow evolution because of the fierce patrilineal protection of turf (unfortunately this Euro-centric attitude has been learned well by some Native Men).

    There has been much animosity and outright refusal to allow women drum groups to participate at certain powwows and other events. This whole "which gender is allowed to play the big drum" is sexist and borne out of Christian dogma of recent history. There is no such thing as irrefutable proof that women cannot sit at a big drum.

    If women think they are "offending" men by playing the big drum, Thunderbird suggests that those men who are offended are hanging onto territory which they do not own and, therefore, have no right to claim ownership, for the simple reason that the drum (no matter the size) is a universal symbol of healing, harmony, dignity, honour and wisdom. It is also female, so it seems odd that women are denied what is rightfully theirs.

    Wherein, it is true that women, a long time ago, gave the big drum to men so they could feel the resonant connection to the Earth Mother that women, naturally feel, the gift did come with some strings attached.

    That is, men were to respect women, and women's leadership role in the community; they were never to raise their voices or hands against women or children, they were to protect the "giver of life" at all costs. Alas as recent history shows, this continues not to be the case and men have no longer earned the right to ownership of the drum.

    The prophecy which states, "when the maple trees start dying from the top, women will take back the drum" is starting to happen. Men have not fulfilled their responsibilities and promises; women must now re-assert themselves in order to save themselves, their children and the Earth Mother.


    PEACE
     
  9. SAMURAI36

    SAMURAI36 Banned MEMBER

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    THE WAR BONNET

    http://www.nativeartstrading.com/images/DSCN4974.jpg

    "When the Eagle returns, we will again be a great nation."

    --Jonas Shawandase, Spanish American War Veteran & Tribal Elder of the 1950s -


    "Our culture is derivative of the natural resources. If our culture dies, the only reminants are its physical attributes, which will soon be dispersed to the natural environment. If that happens, there will be no trace of our living culture."

    --Stuart Harris, a Cayuse Indian & senior staff scientist, Department of Natural Resources, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation -



    Most all Native American Indian Peoples attach special significance to the Eagle and its feathers. Images of eagles and their feathers are used on many tribal logos as symbols of the Native American Indian. To be given an Eagle feather is the highest honor that can be awarded within indigenous cultures.

    Both Bald and Golden Eagles (and their feathers) are highly revered and considered sacred within American Indian traditions, culture and religion. They are honored with great care and shown the deepest respect. They represent honesty, truth, majesty, strength, courage, wisdom, power and freedom. As they roam the sky, they are believed to have a special connection to God.

    According to traditional American Indian beliefs, the Creator made all the birds of the sky when the World was new. Of all the birds, the Creator chose the Eagle to be the leader... the Master of the Sky.

    The Eagle flies higher and sees better than any other bird. Therefore, its perspective is different from other creations that are held close to the Earth, and it is closer to the Creator. The Creator also has a different perspective of what occurs below in this world of physical things in which humankind resides. The Eagle spends more time in the higher element of Father Sky than other birds, and Father Sky is an element of the Spirit.

    The Eagle is considered to be a messenger to God. It was given the honor of carrying the prayers of man between the World of Earth and the World of Spirit, where the Creator and grandfathers reside. To wear or hold an Eagle feather causes the Creator to take immediate notice. With the Eagle feather, the Creator is honored in the highest way.

    The wings of an Eagle represent the balance needed between male and female, each one dependent upon the strengths and abilities of the other.

    When one receives an Eagle feather, that person is being acknowledged with gratitude, love and ultimate respect. The holder of the feather must ensure that anything that changes one’s state of mind (alcohol and drugs) must never come in contact with a sacred Eagle feather.

    The keeper of an Eagle feather makes a little home where the feather will be kept safely and protected. It should be hung up within one’s home, not placed in drawers or cupboards.

    Eagle feathers are never to be abused, shown disrespect, dropped or contaminated. Only real true human Men and Women carry the Eagle feather.

    Many dancers use Eagle feathers as part of their dance regalia. The Creek and Cherokee have an Eagle Dance. If for any reason an eagle feather is dropped, it needs to be cleansed. The arena director’s job is to guard the Eagle feather and not leave the spot it is in until the proper cleansing ceremony is performed.

    Eagle feathers were awarded to Indian Braves, warriors and Chieftains for extreme acts of valor and bravery. These feathers were difficult to come by, and were earned one at a time.

    Regardless of where or how an Indian Brave accumulated Eagle feathers, he was not allowed, according to Tribal Law, to wear them until he won them by a brave deed. He had to appear before the Tribal Council and tell or reenact his exploit. Witnesses were examined and, if in the eyes of the council, the deed was thought worthy, the Indian Brave was then allowed to wear the feathers in his hair or Indian Headdress or Indian War Bonnet.

    An Indian would rather part with his horse or tepee, than to lose his Eagle feathers. To do so would be dishonor in the eyes of his Tribe. Many of the old American Indian Chiefs had won enough honors to wear a double-trailed bonnet that dragged the ground. Only the great and important men of the Tribes had the right to wear the double-trailed Indian War Bonnets.

    During the “Four Sacred Rituals”, American Indians wear or hold Eagle feathers. The “Flag Song” has its earliest origins during the period when some Indian Nations would honor the Eagle feather staffs of leaders from different other bands of Indian Nations.

    Under both U.S. and Canadian law, a permit is required from official governmental conservation authorities of anyone to possess an Eagle feather legally. Native American Indians acquiring Bald and Golden Eagle feathers must use them for traditional ceremonies or teaching purposes.

    Under normal circumstances, it is illegal to use, sell or possess Eagle feathers. Anyone possessing an Eagle feather without a federal permit can face stiff fines and imprisonment.

    The American Indian holds the Eagle in the highest regard, and has a true "heart and soul desire" to keep it flying healthy and free for many generations to come.

    “Prophesy says that it is time to share some of the sacred traditions of our culture. The four colors of man will be coming together to unite and heal. Creator has given different gifts and responsibilities to each of the four colors. Ours is to help preserve Earth for all the children. Time is running out. It’s time to act.”

    -- Indigenous Spiritual Leaders of the Americas -
     
  10. Sekhemu

    Sekhemu Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Sure I can sistah, in my previous incarnation I lived in northeastern Arizona, as a shaman. I had a wife and 2 boys. The time was from the very early 19th century up until the the time of reconstruction. There are some details I won't go into but to suffice it to say that when going to Arizona back in the late 1990's I put a few more of the pieces of the puzzle together.
     
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