¨We do not go into ceremony to talk about God.
We go into ceremony to talk with God.¨
Since the beginning of time, ceremonies have been and still are a very important part of human life and in the evolution of humanities’ consciousness. In the Native American way of life, ceremonies are a way to communicate with the Spirit World for finding and creating balance between the Material World and the Spirit World, between the individual and the community, between the individual and creation and inside of the self. Ceremonies are done also to celebrate and to honor life, to connect and reinforce our relation to the Sacred Source and Balance of Life in this way. Through ceremony, the lost connection, the lost balance and harmony in life are restored. Ceremonies always create healing and healing in all the four dimensions of life; the physical, the emotional, the mental and the spiritual dimensions, on the individual and on the community level.
Ceremony is prayer in action and to pray is about expressing gratitude for the source of life, for all creation, for all forms of life and for being alive. We pray and give thanks for all of the abundance, gifts and opportunities we receive in each moment of our life. It is to honor creation and our purpose, as well as the part we are meant to play in it. Sacred Ceremony is a way to act and to work in accordance and in harmony with the spiritual and material forces of Creation for the benefit of all. Life is a Sacred Ceremony and when we guide or participate in a Sacred Ceremony we realize and live in that truth and want to go further and further and to live and to grow in that way in our life.
The conductor or chief of the ceremony must be well prepared and have to have pure and clear intention to be able to create a balanced and Sacred Circle for the Ceremony and to heal through the connection with the Higher Forces of Creation. Everybody must enter and behave in a respectful and caring manner in the ceremony. To be able to achieve true healing, we need to focus not only on our own healing or people we pray for, but on the healing and wellbeing of all creation.
When we create a Sacred Ceremonial Circle, we step into a force field infinitely much bigger than our human conceptions and perceptions allow us to conceive. When we enter into that circle, whatever we do is done in a humble and kind way and does not meant to bother or hurt anybody. We call on the higher forces of Creation and let them work through us and with us. We respect the sacred space, the sacred value and the sacred right to be, of everyone. We have to remember it is our choice to pray or to heal in this way and nobody has forced us to be there. We honor and respect the conductor or chief of the ceremony, his helpers and his or her medicines. We pray for them and we appreciate their wisdom and way to work.
In the Native North American way of life there are personal ceremonies and communal ceremonies. We are all born free, chiefs and creators of our own life. All our decisions and acts, as well as our future, depend on our vision, awareness, intention, attitude and the way we do things. In a simple way, with sincerity in our heart and in our mind, we can always pray alone and connect in a sacred way consciously to the Source of All.
When we feel the need or we are guided or called to be part of a Native American ceremony, it is a gift from the Spirit, an opportunity to connect and to heal a part of our self through the ancient wisdom and ways of the Ancestors. We do our best to be aware and to remember and focus on the purpose for our being there. We listen, observe, feel and follow guidance. In the tradition, the elder or conductor of the ceremony walked on that road for many years and spiritually learned and earned the right to serve the people in that way. We need to remember where we come from and recognize and respect our place in the Sacred Circle of the ceremony and do our best to value the gifts of others and to share our gifts in a humble way when we are asked to do so. The root of true happiness is humbleness, kindness, gratefulness and generosity.
One would need to go to school for about twenty years to become a heart surgeon. During that time he or she would be learning to perform heart surgery from someone with many years of experience in that field. After much time of assisting surgeries and receiving help and supervision, one might be ready to perform the first surgery. However, he or she have to be skilled and committed for to be a successful heart surgeon and really save lives.
In the Native American Tradition to do ceremony for other people than our self, we need to be chosen by the spirit. We need to accept and to follow spiritual guidance from the spirit, from spiritual chiefs and spiritual elders. We need to commit our self and our life to serve and to work with the Creator, the Mother Earth and the People as well as respect all of our relations. We need to go through a long period of preparation. Preparation involves learning the tradition through unconditional service, periodical purification, self-sacrifice and a willingness to live our life in truth. We have to earn the respect and the recognition of true traditional Elders to be accepted and to be taught in the traditional way by them.
In a ceremonial circle, we create a space for healing and renewal and we prepare to communicate and to work with spiritual forces. We need to be able to open up and surrender to the spirit, so the spirit can work through us and through the sacred way of the ceremony. The physical and spiritual safety and well-being of the people during the ceremony is essential and the foundation of spiritual help and healing.
To do a public ceremony like the sweat lodge ceremony without proper preparation is like a child who sees his father driving and wants to do the same. It looks so easy and so appealing. Inside he knows it’s not the right thing to do, but he takes the car without permission. He believes it’s his car too and even if he isn’t old enough to drive, has never learned to drive, doesn’t know the rules of the road and has no insurance or license, he does it anyway. Because he doesn't want to think or to care about the consequences. He can seriously damage or put in danger his own life and other people’s lives.
The most simple and one of the most powerful Native American Ceremony is the tobacco offering ceremony. It is there in the beginning, during and at the ending of all Native North American Ceremonies. The tobacco road is the way of the Ancestors. Everything in life has a purpose, a sacred gift to share. Grandfather and Grandmother Tobacco´s gift is to open a communication channel between humans and spirits. Offering is the first step we take when we want to step in and go forward on the Sacred Red Road. It has to come from the heart and without selfish intention. We can lie to our self and to other people but we can´t lie to the Spirit. What goes around comes around.
Before we enter in the Sacred Circle of the ceremony we purify our self and all of the objects which will be used, with the smoke of herbs having the gift to clean. When we purify we can arrive to spiritual connection, to clarity, to healing and to renewal. Spiritual guidance and spiritual healing is traditionally practiced unconditionally on the Sacred Red Road. It is not for monetary gain, not to gain personal power, social position or fame. It is the spirit who heals; we are just the tools in the hands of the spirit. There is no personal credit taken for the healing or guidance. The real rewards are in the joy to serve, to give, to share, to see people healing and growing, to feel their hearts filled with peace and gratitude towards life and to feel their loving connection to Mother Earth and to All Our Relations.
Traditionally women during their bleeding time, on their Moon Time don´t participate in public ceremonies, because they are already in a personal purification ceremony. Women are highly respected and valued in the Native North American Tradition, they are the foundation of life and family, they give life and nourish life. Moon Time has been considered to be a very special, spiritually powerful period of time, being given to women by nature to cleanse, to connect and to prepare physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually for her to receive life, to give birth to a new life and to nourish life. In old times, women in Moon Time removed themselves from public life, family life and duty and were replaced by other female family members. They went to live in the Moon Lodge and were guided and supported by Women Elders to spiritually connect to themselves and to Mother Earth during that period of time.
Children have a very special place in Native North American ceremonies. They are the future, their presence is always a blessing and a good sign for healing. They are respected and honored like anybody else. They are not meant to be controlled or bossed around, but to be kindly taken care of. They are to be listened to and to be involved in taking part and responsibility in the ceremony. At first, they are taught and guided through example. Children have a natural gift to be open and to follow their heart and also to teach us in a very special way. To take care of children is the responsibility of all of us, and how we do that will determine our individual and common future.
The Elders are our grandparents, their wisdom and guidance are inestimable resources and help for us to learn, to heal, to walk in beauty and awareness. We need to listen very carefully when they talk and talk to them with respect and sincerity. They need to be helped and to be taken care of when they ask or when they are in need. We do not argue, contradict, or interrupt an elder or spiritual chief or talk at the same time when they talk, especially during a ceremony. Elders and Spiritual Chiefs are also human beings and we need to remember that we are not to judge or to talk negatively about them. If we find something they say or do disturbing or confusing, we must wait for the right time and place and the right way to ask them for clarification. We can resolve nearly all kinds of issues with true Spiritual Elders, when it’s done with humility, patience, kindness and respectful sincerity. If we find we cannot, maybe we should ask to ourselves if we have done it in the proper way, if we have spoken to the right person or if we are in the right place and the right activity. When we approach Elders and Spiritual Chiefs for a spiritual request, we always offer tobacco and many times also a gift to express appreciation in advance. We never disrespect a Spiritual Elder or Chief or a Ceremony. If we are unhappy about something, we look inside of our self at first to understand what is going on. If we don´t agree with what we see or feel, we walk away and pray for them.
In the Old Way of Life the people took care of Mother Earth and she took care of her children, providing all in great abundance to sustain their lives. The children, the elders, the sick or the crippled were taken care of by the family, by the circle of the community. At that time there was no specialization or titles for spiritual people or healers. People’s worth was measured by how they lived and what they did to support their family and community, their circle. In the modern world we live by and are measured by a different set of values. Hardly knowing or trusting our self or each other. Many have forgotten how to listen to the heart and to trust the spirit, and many are seriously out of balance. Struggling with all kinds of unhealthy addictions, violence, abuses and the list goes on. There is so much need for all kinds of help all over the world.
How can we measure the worth of a healing? How can we measure the worth of spiritual guidance or unconditional help? What is the value we give to our spiritual growth and to our spiritual healing? What kind of priorities stand in our lives before our wellbeing, the wellbeing of Mother Earth and all her children? What are we willing to let go and to sacrifice in our behavior, in our attitude and in our way of life for healing? Are we truly willing to open our heart and to listen and to apply in our everyday life the wisdom of the Ancestors and the Spiritual Elders of the Sacred Red Road? Are we courageous enough to find our own answers, our own truth and live by them?
Life is beautiful, Mother Earth is a wonderful place and we are all so beautiful, generous, talented, amazing and loving, funny human beings when we are in balance, harmony and peace. Sacred Ceremonies are about finding that peaceful self, that happy little child, that kind and wise elder inside of us.
To do or to be part of a Sacred Ceremony is an act of will, our higher will which doesn’t try to figure out everything in advance, and doesn’t want to have control and know the results expected ahead. It is about humbly letting go everything which is not in the here and now and what is not serving the purpose of our and the others healing. How we spiritually and materially support our spiritual circle, establishes how strong that circle will be, as well as how strong our healing will be. How we support our Spiritual Elders and Chiefs is how they will be able to support us and the others.
Traditionally we cannot go to or take part in a ceremony or touch or use sacred objects to pray or to heal, without being free from drugs and alcohol for four days preceding the ceremony. Alcohol and drugs drive us to another direction in life, to another way of being and to another way of learning. Too many lives, families, communities and nations’ lives have been destroyed and lost. Too much suffering, abuse, violence and despair has been created all around the Earth because of alcohol and drug abuse. A spiritual way of life can´t be based and lived by following that direction.
When we start to walk on the Sacred Red Road with the Sacred Pipe, our life belongs to the Creator, to Mother Earth and to the People. We don´t carry the pipe, the pipe carries us. We should walk in balance, with respect and caring for the self and for all Creation. We need both hands to be able to hold and to use the Sacred Pipe and our Medicine Bundle. It is like carrying a baby, we cannot have a bottle of alcohol or drug in one hand and the Pipe and the medicines in the other, because we will fall. Our circle, our family, our community, our Mother the Earth and all our relations will fall with us. We walk with the Pipe and with the Medicines for them, not only during ceremonies, but in every day of our life, 24 hours a day. When we walk with the Pipe, we walk in front of the people and we are responsible for the way we walk, because we have accepted the responsibility to spiritually serve them. We are responsible for the lives, for the healing and for the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being of the people who ask for help and trust us.
In the modern way of life we are trained to live up to other people’s expectations, as well as our own, and to demand and to expect almost always something in return for whatever we do. That time is money, and to see money in the rocks, in the trees, in the animals, in other human beings and in the relationship we have with them. We learned to dominate or be dominated, to gain or to loose, to obey or to revolt, to follow the rules by fear and not by love, to be happy when we have more things and bigger things than the others.
In Traditional Native North American Ceremonies we all have the same value and that value is life, we all have the same power and it is respect and caring. We have the same goal and it is to restore balance and harmony, to achieve healing. It is to give back love to the Source of Life and to express appreciation for the gift of life. We humbly ask for help from the Spirit to restore balance, to heal the suffering of all sentient beings and we ask for clarity, for guidance, for strength, for unity, for balance, for harmony, for healing in our families’ life, in our communities’ life, in all humanities life and for our self.
Native North American Tradition is a way of life, a spiritual way of being and teaches us how to live life in harmony with Creation, with Mother Earth, with nature, with other human beings and with our self. Traditional Native North American teachings are mainly based on oral transmission and through personally experiencing and living the teachings and living by those values. The teachings guide and demonstrate to us that no matter what happened in the past, what we did to hurt our self and others, there is a way to heal, to return to balance, to find our true self. That when we really want to heal and are willing to purify our self and accept change, we can accept and forgive the past and we can start to walk towards a new way of life and being.
No matter what kind of religion we have or what kind of culture we come from, when we have sincere intention and respect, this road will open up to us. True spiritual teachers help us to open our heart and spirit and guide us unconditionally on the road towards spiritual awareness and self-empowerment to create a balanced and meaningful life.
I would like to pass the eagle feather to you and I invite you to express what is in your heart. I created this site for you. All your comments, insights and sharing’s are welcomed. When you express your thoughts, feelings about the site or your experiences on the Sacred Red Road, please do it with respect and caring, with an open mind and heart in the benefit of all of us. This way we can share and inspire each other with our hearts. Thank you for taking your time to read the site. All my relations.
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