"Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth
and lean to hear my feeble voice. You lived first,
and you are older than all need, older than all prayer.
All things belong to you: the two-legged, the four-legged,
the wings of the air, and all green things that live.
You have set the powers of the four quarters of the Earth
to cross each other. You have made me cross the good road
and the road of difficulties, and where they cross, the place is holy.
Day in, day out, forevermore, you are the life of things.
Therefore, I am sending a voice, Great Spirit, my Grandfather,
forgetting nothing you have made, the stars
of the universe and the grasses of the earth. "
Black Elk, Hehaka Sapa
Oglala Lakota, Heyoka Holy Man
THE TREE OF LIFE
We could not exist without trees. We breathe because they are breathing. Our Earthly existence and maintenance of life, minute by minute depends on them. We need to breathe to live every second during our life. Our heart stops very quick when we don´t breathe. We can go for a long time without food or even water, but we die fast without air. Air is a very special gift for us, because we don´t need to do anything to get it and it is everywhere in abundance. We have it all the time, day and night.
Trees not only give air to us, but also shelter and home, food and medicines to both animals and humans. Trees give protection from wind, rain, cold and danger. Even after death, they give nourishment to their kind and to other beings. Tree spirit and fire spirit are very closely related, they help each other to grow. Trees give to humans their dead bodies to build a fire, to cook food, to keep them warm during the long winters and to protect them and illuminate them during dark nights. Trees help humans to connect their Spirit to the Great Spirit and to heat up the Grandfather Rocks in the Sweat Lodge Ceremonies, used to purify and to heal.
In the Native North American way of life and Tradition, life is sacred and Creation is sacred. Nature and Life is perfect exactly the way it is, because it has been created by the Creator, the Great Spirit. Human beings are here to take care of Nature, themselves and each other. We can´t own anything in this life, because every single thing belongs to the Creator. Even our body belongs to the Mother Earth for we received it as a temporary gift and we have to return it to her when our time is done. Our Spirit belongs to the Creator, it comes from that source and returns to that source when our journey ends.
In this Tradition we walk with respect, with care and in beauty. Watching carefully how and where we step, so as not to destroy, hurt or disturb other beings through unawareness or arrogance. When we go for food, water, wood or any other things we need, we do it with respect, caring and humility. We honor the life and spirit contained in other beings, we honor the Sources that created them and are manifesting through them, the Creator and the Mother Earth.
We call them Grandfather and Grandmother, because they were here before us and because we wouldn’t be here, we could not even exist without them. We treat them for who they really are, our Ancestors, our family, our brothers and sisters, All Our Relations. We ask them for permission before taking them or a part of them and we explain before why we need them and in what purpose they will be used. We wait for permission and if it´s denied we move on and ask again in another place. We take only what we need and we offer tobacco and prayers to thank them and pray for their well-being and for their abundance. We ask for forgiveness for taking their life or for hurting them by taking parts. We honor them by using them to sustain life and for contributing to the physical and spiritual well-being of ourselves and of others. We should never waste them or misuse their power.
When we were children, the Earth and Life was magical, a wonderful place full of treasures and full of exciting beautiful adventures. The trees and the bush gave us magic wands and mystical places to play. When we finished playing with them, we let them go and the next day we went to discover other ones. When, how and why did we need to let go of that way of being? What happened to this child in each of us? Do we really need to grow up in a way that destroys the magic and all the treasures? To become abusive and possessive of things which were never really ours and which we are unable to keep for long and never forever? Why can’t we remember much about that child? Why aren’t we able to honor and to listen to that child anymore? Is there a possibility left for us to stop chopping the forests, to stop burning, poisoning and destroying the land and all forms of life? Is there a possibility to remember that child we have been, not so long ago? Is there a possibility to stop generating more pollution, more wars, more desolation and more disasters? What is needed to wake us up from the nightmare and to change our behaviors?
In the Native North American Tradition the Tree represents and is equal to Life. There is a Sacred Ceremony, so sacred that in the old times, they did not talk about it outside of ceremonies. This ceremony is the Sundance, a thanksgiving ceremony for life and for the renewal of life. Native North American people dance every summer throughout Turtle Island; North America, for four days without food or water and offer their suffering, their blood and their flesh to honor Life and to pray for the sustenance and renewal of Life. Today people from many other nations follow the Sundance way and dance with them in Canada, in the United States and in other countries all around the world. They dance this way around the Sacred Tree of Life not only for themselves, for their family and for their community, but for all life, all nations’ lives and all beings lives, and for the healing and renewal of Mother Earth. http://nwindian.evergreen.edu/curriculum/SacredTree.pdf
From the comfortable security of our modern way of life, what does the future look like? Do we really care about what we will become? What our children and the children of their children will become without trees, without air, without life on Earth? Do we really want to feel, to see, and allow that Mother Earth and her beings are suffering and rapidly dying, every day more and more? That humanity gets sicker day by day physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually? What are we willing to do in our everyday life? What kind of sacrifices can we make to preserve life, to sustain life and to take care of life individually and communally? Do we truly want to be spiritually responsible for our life, for the life of others and for Mother Earth’s life?
“My name is Geeoch Mokene and this is my prayer to you Grandmother Tree. Please, listen to my voice. I´m standing here before you, to honor you and to give thanks to your Nation, for your gifts to me and to humanity. I ask for forgiveness for the way I treated you before and the way other people still treat you. It comes from ignorance and from the way we grew up and learned to treat life and life’s beings. I say thank you in a humble way, for coming to me in the spirit and offering me help and working with me in healing and in ceremonies. Thank you for sustaining me with your life, and for sustaining my family and the community I live in and the Sacred Land I walk. Thank you for always being with me through the air I breathe. Thank you for helping me and teaching me through many years during the Sundance, to be strong but kind with myself and with all life. Please, accept this tobacco, this food and water, this sacred smoke of sage I offer to you in gratitude and in respect to feed your body and your spirit, to thank your spirit and for all the gifts of your being. All my relations.”
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.
Everything in this site is free to copy, to distribute and to share with anybody, in any country and at any time, if it is not for monetary gain. Please do not change anything in the text you copy and indicate the origin where it comes from, referring to this site and to me when you share it.
If you want to organize ceremony, teaching or healing with me, send me your inquiry and I will answer as soon as I can.
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