Manataka American Indian Council
My Pilgrimage to Manataka
By Jim Path Finder Ewing
I decided to go to Manataka, The Place of Peace, for the Fall Gathering of the Manataka American Indian Council. This journey is an important one and I guess it is the Creatorís will I go alone. We are born alone and we will leave this Earth alone. What friends and loved ones we gather are meant to be enjoyed along the way. But no one can walk our path for us. They are companions, for a while.
I cannot say why this journey is important; itís sometimes that way with Spirit. My vision is clouded as to its purpose. But Spirit says I must go. ďGo to the mountain! Go to the mountain!Ē Spirit calls.
I shake my head, no. There are obstacles. It is far. I have no money. My car is broke down. It will be cold. I donít want to go alone. Iím tired. Iíd rather stay here and rest. Spirit only becomes more insistent.
ďLife is filled with obstacles. There is always Ďsomething.í Go!Ē Of one thing I know: When Spirit calls, you must answer, if you wish to stay on this path. Perhaps itís so I can see more clearly.
I think it is to glimpse again a new name. Some will recall that the last time I went to Manataka Mountain, I was told by The Rainbow Woman, the Spirit that resides at the Mountain, that I needed a new name. Several wrote offering suggestions. They all are good names; they are below. I am grateful. But I havenít seen my new name yet. At least, I havenít grasped it. It is like a swift, flying bird, a flash of color, no more. Maybe itís something I must grow in to. I must be impeccable in my search.
For this journey, since Spirit is so insistent, I am going as if my life depended on it.
Isnít that life itself? We always walk a narrow mountain path, with life on one side, death on the other, even if we are unaware of it -- lost in the clouds, illusion passing as reality. Sometimes, the mountain is steep, filled with ever new obstacles. But the mountain is unchanging. We change to meet the mountain and walk away transformed.
So, I will take my staff ó carved with my power animals, gifted to me by one for whom it was my honor to do healing. And I will take my blankets ó both also gifts. One carries the symbol of the bear, my totem, who is always with me to protect me and gives me medicine; the other, the buffalo. The buffalo symbolizes wisdom and abundance, that the Creator gives all that is needed; perhaps not all that is wanted, but always what is needed. The blankets will keep me warm, remembering that.
These gifts will I bring, knowing that all life -- and all in life -- is a gift, things loaned to us by the Creator, so that we can each offer our unique gifts to keep the Hoop Of Life alive and spinning.
We each have something to give. It will all be gone someday. Thatís the point of giveaway, to make room for more blessings, especially the greatest one: life. I will take my medicine bag, sewn with loving fingers and filled with the things of power that I use in my healing work. It is true, objects have power. But it is true, too, that objects ó all objects ó are merely echoes of the Creatorís power, from Whom all power springs. These things are symbols, really. We manipulate our ideas to change our world, in concert with the Creatorís will.
I will take a small amount of food, so that my body will not suffer; the clearest water in the world is there, healing water, and I will bring some back with me. I will approach the Mountain in sacred manner, from all directions: -- From the East, for discovery and newness of mind; -- From the South, for healing and joy, in childlike wonder; -- From the West, in introspection, to see into my soul to find in darkness the bright path of the Creator; -- From the North, for wisdom from the ancestors and those who have walked before.
I will take sage and tobacco, perhaps a handful of corn, and my rattle, to break up old energies that need shaking up, destroying old patterns, making way for the new, in purity, leaving gifts of thanks. And I will take my drum, so I may see, hear and think in oneness, with the heartbeat of the Earthly Mother, from whom all sustenance, friends and relations come.
I will sing my song of life and death in gratitude and joy. And will make my journey with the intent to see clearly the way ahead, the way within, and find the Creatorís light and guidance all around me, as I stand where the four directions meet. And above, the Heavenly Father; Below the Earthly Mother; the 7th point, my heart awakened.
So, I will go to the Mountain, to sleep with the Rainbow Woman. I pray she will receive me well, my steps as kisses upon the Earth, my heart open, in song. So that we may embrace in the Dance of Life, co-creating visions. Perhaps she will whisper my new name, or tell me how to earn it, in this lifetime or the next. Her voice as feathers drifting lazily from the heavens.
In the gentle silence of dreams, to spiral me away. Her close whispers, a cry in the wind, an intake of breath, my own soul awakening . . . . I will sleep beneath Manataka Mountain, where The Rainbow Woman resides, in the crystal mists of sparkling springs from the Earthly Motherís breast. I will drink deeply from her, in waking and in rest. And the dreams will be in day and night, the tides of my soulís sight.
It is a Spirit Quest. Aho.
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