Cherokee Morning Song

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pagan Dedication To Natives & Other Writings


As a dedication to all the fine Native American Indians whom I have the honor to know. 



" If we live our lives according to what others want, we loose our identity & freedom , becoming the slaves to how others would have us live." Dalton Lasher

The Ten Commandments of Mother Earth  

 I.Thou shalt love and honour the Earth for it  blesses thy life and governs thy survival.

II. Thou shalt keep each day sacred to the Earth and celebrate the turning of its seasons.

III. Thou shalt not hold thyself above other living things nor drive them to extinction.

IV. Thou shalt give thanks for thy food, to the creatures and plants that nourish thee.

V. Thou shalt educate thy offspring for multitudes of people are a blessing unto the Earth when we live in harmony.

VI. Thou shall not kill, nor waste Earth's riches upon weapons of war.

VII. Thou shalt not pursue profit at the Earth's expense but strive to restore its damaged majesty.

VIII. Thou shalt not hide from thyself or others the consequences of thy actions upon the Earth.

IX. Thou shalt not steal from future generations by impoverishing or poisoning the Earth.

X. Thou shalt consume material goods in moderation so all may share the Earth's bounty.                                                                                                                                                                    
Author Unknown


EACH INDIVIDUAL IS A GOOD PERSON - "How do you know you are a good person?" "What are the attributes of a good person?" (Universal respect (non-judgemental); Fairness to all; compassion/love; honesty; trustworthy; integrity; consciousness; accountability; sharing; courage; wisdom; honour, able to listen in an unbiased manner, supportive, generosity).

"Let neither cold, hunger, nor pain, nor the fear of them, neither the bristling teeth of danger nor the very jaws of death itself, prevent you from doing a good deed......" (Dr Charles Alexander Eastman, in 1911, Born Ohiyesa (The Winner) of the Santee Sioux, in 1858, a great speaker and one of the first Native Americans to received a PhD)

EACH PERSON IS GOOD ENOUGH - that each person’s value is for their existence and not, basically, for what they have, what they do and what they do not do. The circular-based nature of Native spirituality shows that all people were created equal; that each had a special and unique gift that was respected and celebrated. The tribe hummed because all those gifts were brought to the daily dance of survival.

"Learn how to withhold judgment Learn to listen Get in touch with your own inner self Look at life with joy Don't ever cry over something that cannot cry over you."
(Elder, Cheewa James, Modoc)

EACH PERSON IS LOVABLE AND LOVED - each person is unique - There is only one person in the world with your name and face; it makes each person unique in the universe. In the tribes everyone was loved, everyone was supported; the children were gently raised and loved madly. As a result, the support system was such that the need for validation, compliments, public recognition, accolades were not things that were seen as necessary to the enhancement of a person’s life.

"Whenever the white man treats the Indian as they treat each other we will have no more wars.  We shall all be alike -- brothers of one father and one mother, with one sky above us and one country around us, and on government for all."
(Chief Joseph, 1840-1904)

EACH PERSON BELONGS - Native people have trouble with this because they are mired in a dominant non-Native society. The advantage of being tribal is that not only do they have a tribe, but they have have a band (or house). Thunderbird is not only Coast Tsimshian, she has her band (Giluts’aaw) and her house (Niis-gumiik) - it creates for her a sense of belonging. This is the essential importance of basic cultural beliefs. When these were taken away, Native people found themselves adrift in an uncertain sea of outside influences not of their own making. A sense of rootedness in a world gone awry is something that all people seek - a need to say, "this is my place, this is where I belong. This is where I feel safe."

"The Indian loved to come into sympathy and spiritual communion with his brothers of the animal kingdom, whose inarticulate souls had for him something of the sinless purity that we attribute to the innocent and irresponsible child. He had faith in their instincts, as in a mysterious wisdom given from above; and while he humbly accepted the supposedly voluntary sacrifice of their bodies to preserve his own, he paid homage to their spirits in prescribed prayers and offerings." (Eastman)

EACH PERSON IS CONNECTED TO THE UNIVERSE - Most humans do not have a sense or feeling of being connected to the universe. But the Universe is Breath, we breathe, therefore we are connected. New air is in the lungs all the time; where was that breath two months ago? Was it in a penguin on the South Pole? A zebra in Africa? A panda in China or a polar bear at the North Pole? Was it in an elk or a hawk or a salmon or a porpoise? Where was it? We're all connected by breath, we're all one within each other, and that breath comes from the Great Mystery. That breath brings us to our home within our heart. Breath is the connection and the relation to each other; we are relatives with the winged, the finned, the shelled, the crawlers, the four and two-leggeds. It is comforting to know that we are not alone.

"... I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself."
(Lone Man (Isna-la-wica) Teton Lakhota)

May all who enter rest in peace and safety beneath my wings
May all who leave, take with them wings of comfort

 "We had no churches, no religious organizations, no Sabbath day, no holidays, and yet we worshiped. Sometimes the whole tribe would assemble and sing and pray; sometimes a smaller number, perhaps only two or three. The songs had a few words, but were not formal. The singer would occasionally put in such words as he wished instead of the usual tone sound. Sometimes we prayed in silence; sometimes each prayed aloud; sometimes an aged person prayed for all of us. At other times one would rise and speak to us of our duties to each other and to Usen. Our services were short."

Geronimo, Goyathlay (1829-1909)
Chiricahua Apache Chief

"Traditional teachings are as relevant today as they were 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 supernatural and secular worlds -- to be passed down from generation to generation through songs, stories, sharing, caring, medicine wheel teachings and ceremony. All My Relations."  (S. Thunderbird)


The Sun Dance usually takes place in and around the Summer Solstice (June 21st) and is the most sacred ceremony of the Plains First Nations. The Europeans considered it a pagan and savage rite of passage. It was eventually outlawed for a time at the end of the nineteenth century. The original dance called for fixed gazing at the Sun while dancing, blowing bone whistles, fasting, self-torture by dragging buffalo skulls and/or being bound to the Sacred Tree with the insertion of a bone under the skin of the chest and then breaking the ties.

"For many tribes of Plains Indians whose buffalo-hunting culture flowered during the 18th and 19th centuries, the sun dance was the major communal religious ceremony. Although details of the event differed in various groups, certain elements were common to most tribal traditions. Generally, the annual ceremony was held in late spring or early summer when people from different bands gathered together again following the dispersal that customarily took place in winter. The Sun Dance is a ritual of prayer and sacrifice performed by virtually all of the High Plains peoples, including the Arapaho, Blackfeet, Blood, Cheyenne, Plains Cree, Crow, Gros Ventre, Hidatsa, Kiowa, Ojibway, Shoshone, Lakota, and Ute. Today many of these tribes still carry out the sun dance, sometimes in altered form. The overall significance of the sun dance involves the spiritual renewal of participants and their relatives as well as the renewal of the living earth and all its components. In its broadest aspects, kinships within both the social and natural realms are reaffirmed." (Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence, Symbolic Roles of Animals in the Plains Indian Sun Dance.)

"A man who has danced [the sun dance] has a special compact with pain...and he’ll be hard to break....As the white-hot sun pours molten through your eyes into your inner being, as the skewers implanted in your chest pull and yank and rip at your screaming flesh, a strange and powerful lucidity gradually expands within your mind. The pain explodes into a bright white light, into revelation. You are given a wordless vision of what it is to be in touch with all being and beings....Every time a pin pricks your fingers from then on, that little pain will be but a tiny reminder of that larger pain and of the still greater reality that exists within each of us, an infinite realm beyond reach of all pain." (My Life is My Sun Dance, by Leonard Peltier, now serving time in Leavenworth Prison for a crime that has been proven he did not commit.)

Never take more than we need;

Thank Creator for what we have or what we will receive;
Use all of what we have;
Give away what we do not need.

 Everything on earth is alive;

 Everything on earth has purpose;
 Everything on earth is connected;
 Everything on earth is to be embraced.

A spirit guide is not necessarily always an animal.  A spirit guide can be anything in Creation that speaks to a person through dreams, physical appearance, magnetic resonance (vibration); or by signs, symbols, words, or any other method or means of communication.  A spirit guide can be clouds in the sky or the wind; it could be a horse or a caterpillar; it could be anything that speaks to the person -- to the heart and soul.

A spirit guide is a divine entity.  To believe this is to acknowledge and accept the power and glory of the Creator of All Things that may take on any form, at any time, for any purpose.

A true Spirit Guide is divine and sacred.

An individual can not be assigned a spirit guide by another person, regardless of who that person maybe, no more than another person can say how or when the Great Mystery of Life will be known to you.

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