Manataka American Indian Council
IT IS OUR PURPOSE, each of us, to bring balance to the Earthly Mother. In doing this, we bring balance to ourselves.
Within each of us, male and female, are male and female elements. For the past few thousand years, since the rise of settled civilizations in the West, the energy of the Earth has been tilted toward the masculine, a patriarchal power. This is not bad. It just is. In the scheme of things, perhaps it was necessary to provide the impetus for the rise of hierarchy, to bring order to the world in human relations.
We would not be a global society today without it. Technology, the result of the literal, rational left-brain thinking of the male power, is not a bad thing. It is a powerful force. But when out of balance with its goal-oriented, task-formed action, it also has negative influences such as cruelty, dominance, war and action without regard for others. And it is not the whole truth. Being literal, straight-line energy, its "truth" can be easily broken. (An example is legalese: How something can be true and false at the same time. How it can indicate one thing while meaning another, allowing "advantage" to one over another.)
The female power is necessary to hold the excesses of the male power in check. Female power is holistic, circular, right-brained. Its "truth" is often not easily described because it is non-rational, more symbol than word, difficult to put into literal words that separate ideas and, thereby, doesn't represent the "whole" truth when put into words. (An example would be: "My heart is warm and the birds sing, the Earth and I are one." It is true and totally true, and cannot be dissected, nor verified in a rational way.)
Prior to the ascension of the male power, for thousands of years, before even recorded time, societies around the Earthly Mother were based on female power, goddess energies. They took many forms, but the female energy of the Earth was bountiful, as the communal societies that resided in that power, receiving pleasure through the gifts of air, water, earth and fire.
It was a time of community when the interests of the whole took precedence. The tribe, the people came first. This is female energy: Inclusion, wholeness, being receptive and fertile to be in synergy with the male power. In balance, to provide abundance. Female power alone cannot sustain, as it needs the male power to come to fruition. But neither can the male power exist alone, for it lacks the ability to sustain. That, then, is the aim, to bring our energies into balance. That is to recognize the nvwati (Cherokee), the good medicine in all things.
In Native way the world outside reflects the world inside. They are one. But we don't try to manipulate the world to create inner states. That’s backwards, male thinking: Doing to achieve, rather than achieving to do. We achieve an inner state and it reflects in the world, ever outward into The Sacred Hoop of Life where it’s reflected back to us as part of The Sacred Hoop of Life.
The Great Secret is that we always carry The Sacred Hoop of Life within us all the time. It is up to us to use it, keep it whole.
This is reflected in The Medicine Wheel, which incorporates male (straight line) and female (circular) energies as one.
If you look at the Medicine Wheel, it is first a set of lines. To create one outside yourself, put a rock in the middle, then a rock in a straight line outward in each direction: One to the East, one to the South, one to the West, and one to the North. It describes a straight-line equal cross.
This is the male energy. Each direction has a power, and each direction has a color associated. Different tribes used different colors, reflecting where they were. But we use the colors red, yellow, black and white here to reflect that we are all members of the five-fingered tribe, one people of many hues, one humanity.
The colors and directions are:
Now that you see the powers of the directions, notice that it actually is a circle. You could place stones outward from the center indefinitely, and it would be a stone circle, which is what the lodges of the Hopi and the ancient Celts used as sanctuaries for healing ceremonies and prayer time.
Each of these lesser lines has a power, too. Different tribes have different associations with different medicine wheels that describe a purpose or meditation. But for our purposes, we’ll stick with the simple one. It is one stone in the middle, one at each direction: East, south, west, and north. There actually are six directions, counting above and below (a three-dimensional Medicine Wheel, extending in a perfect circle, however large or small you make it, as an altar on a desk top to a circle on the ground). It has great power.
Whoever we are, wherever we are, we are important instruments of the Creator in doing this duty, giving prayers in The Medicine Wheel.
It is the soul connection that resides within each of us, the "true" path we walk, that knows no time or place. For we carry it from lifetime to lifetime like underwater divers, their air hoses connecting them to above.
Our "diving suits" into this 3-D world, our bodies, are removable, and interchangeable. The real "source" of life and the provider of all we have here in this world is not here in this world. But we are connected to it permanently. We only think we live here in these skins and that our surroundings are "real." They are a dream. Admittedly, sometimes, a bad one. We each add to this dream with our consciousness, moment by moment.
We are each and all "minute." But the "saving grace" is that we each have the power of the Creator within each and every one of us, which is greater than all. That is the power we access in giving our prayers. And that is the power we use to change our Dream of the World to bring balance to it. Balance is at the heart of the Flow of Creation.
We offer ourselves, our sensibilities, in humbleness, knowing we are small and weak and can do little on our own, so that the Creator can take our gift, our individual light, and let it magnify the healing gift of divine compassion. That is the "power." The power of Creator, that gift of love Creator gives each and every one of us that makes us at once humble, human, fallible and divine.
So, your prayers are precious. Each of our prayers is much greater than us.
Every single one of us has all of Creation within us. Every single one of us has God living inside. Every single one of us is greater than any "thing" we might see around us. That is our reason for being here - to reflect our world as children of The Earthly Mother and Heavenly Father. Our bodies are of the Earth, we come from her, the elements in them are hers, the signature of our flesh and bones are hers. But our souls, our animus, our spark of life and great healing capacity belong to the Creator and are our birthright, as children of Earth and Sky.
you give your prayers to bring balance to the Earth, balance to
yourself, balance to all, you do not have to do it in concert with
others. It may "feel better" for us to pray with a group,
all at once, at the same time. There is a sense of community and
belonging to synchronize our prayers, to become a
"worldwide" prayer movement, for example. And that is good.
There is nothing wrong with feeling good or having the feeling that
our prayers matter when joined with others. And they do. They do have
power. Tremendous power.
So, how do we do this?
We do it by bringing balance to ourselves and by performing ceremonies to extend that balance to all our relations, those around us, in physical and spiritual form.
In this way, by being "one" within ourselves to the outside world, the world becomes "one" as far as all those who seek balance in the world can achieve it.
As Dhyani Ywahoo, a Cherokee (Tsalagi) teacher explains in her book, "Voices of the Ancestors: Cherokee Teachings from the Wisdom Fire" (rather prophetically given the December 26 tsunami): "Through prayer and ritual the stability of the physical form is maintained. In this time, right action is being called forth from all, to renew The Sacred Hoop. As sacred ceremonies are kept, dances danced, the lunar and solar currents within the individual clearly resonate with the lunar and solar energies of the planet. As individuals maintain attitudes of alienation and ideas of domination over the natural order of things and over one another, there occurs an obstruction of the flow among the individual, the group, and the electromagnetic current of the Earth, thereby disturbing the flow of the wind and the lightning, which brings life-giving rain and germination properties to the seed. Hence, each one is called to make a choice: with the stream or not. No equivocation."
Burn sage or cedar or incense to clear the area, remove impurities.
Start in the east (facing west), welcoming the energies of dawn – seeing with new eyes, shedding preconceived emotions or thoughts, allowing new energies to pour in. This refreshes you and orients you. Drum or sing or pray, as you will do with each direction, directing your prayers toward Creator and your guides and angels, the good spirits, to carry your open heart love to where it is needed.
When it is time to move, sit in the South (facing north), the place of healing, the midday sun, vigorous growth. Allow that energy to come into the Sacred Circle and send that powerful energy of healing and vitality to those who need it.
When done, move to the West (facing East) and feel the inner light grow within you as the Western Gate honors the setting sun, the time of darkness, when we go within. Allow that inner light, divine light that is the co-creator in you to go where it is needed, proving inner illumination for those in darkest times.
Finally, in the north, feel the white light of the Creator, Higher Power, ancestors, divine wisdom entering the circle, guiding and directing you and your prayers as to where they need to go. Let the eagle of the north carry your heart-felt wishes. For the eagle travels far, sees far, knows the way ahead, the path that is needed.
Note that the circle is a three dimensional one. It is above and below as equally as it is around the four points (and all points between those points to make the circle). It is the Earth. It is the universe. And you are the center point. You are speaking, seeing, feeling you as you speak, see and feel you - talking, singing and drumming with the Creator who is your co-creator with this world. You are one. Allow it, accept it, acknowledge it, be grateful. This is the world we live in. We are meant to be here.
This is a rudimentary description, but it works to give a nice framework.
And what do you feel or do when you do this? That’s up to you. But I’ll give an example from ceremonies I performed in the aftermath of the December 26 tsunami, offering healing love and light to the lost souls so they could orient themselves toward the light of the afterlife, and for those left behind, suffering and in pain. Note that you do not need to be wordy or somber or structured in your prayers. Allow Creator to guide you, being open to whatever gifts of Spirit are offered for you to share.
When I was doing the ceremony in the south, I read aloud a note about an orphanage that had been swept away by the tsunami, taking all 170 souls. It brought tears to my eyes, and my heart had a large, aching, empty space for those children, grieving for them and all the little ones who are suffering.
I went into that "space" and let the grief and sorrow wash over and well up within me so that my heart filled with compassion for the suffering, my eyes streaming tears, my voice incoherent with sadness, knowing that we are all children in the sight of the Creator, each one of us, and all suffer as one when any suffer. We are one. All humanity.
As I was filled with this pain and loss, I remembered how beautiful the laughter of a child is. The image came before me: A laughing child, filled with delight, emanating happiness. This was the gift of the south, its power. It was a golden vision of beauty. It came spontaneously, to fill the lack. And in this, I completely immersed myself.
You know, children don’t laugh with their voices like adults, they laugh with their whole bodies. They wiggle all over with joy. Their spirits cannot contain the gladness, nor can their bodies, which vibrate to the awesome power of the Creator’s joy when they find delight. And they do so often, at virtually any and every thing, because the little ones are still close to the Source.
I remembered my little boy when he was like that. How he would laugh so much he would put out great heat, his little body getting sweaty with laughter! And I remembered stroking his hair, smelling its scent, the scent of laughter, and my heart filled with love for this divine being that was my child. Such a gift from God! Such are all children!
And that was my prayer. That all the children of the Earth, all the children who were swept away, all the children now hungry or cold or fearful, in shock or grieving at the loss of home and loved ones would feel the mighty power of the Creator's love as expressed through the musically loud, sweaty, unrestrained, wiggling love that only a child can truly experience!
In the place of that empty, grieving space in my heart, I sent the love I felt, and feel, and know resides in every child, even an old 52-year-old one like me. And I laughed out loud. For that golden light of love can fill and illuminate any void, dispel any darkness, and overflow any earthly receptacle.
It came to me: Let the love of God as by a child’s voice in laughter fill the universe and all hearts with gladness to be alive, no matter how deep the darkness or grave the surroundings. And I raised my hands to send it on its way, waving my prayer fan to gently waft this power around the whole world of the Medicine Wheel before me, emanating from its heart.
When we send our prayers this way, it is not our love that fills the universe. It is the Creator’s love. By tapping this love within us and sending it out, freely giving it without attachment, only so that our hearts are open to share whatever we may give to any and all who need it, it resonates with The Great Mind, the Heart of God. It is like plucking a string on a violin that causes the great symphony of the Flow of Creation to reverberate and be magnified by the many strings of others’ hearts who hear and feel the vibration sent out, however seemingly small.
When we are in the Medicine Wheel, we are the universe. We are the world. We are all people. And as co-creators with Creator, we are the Creator. For our highest vibrations are attuned to the great symphony. With only one string plucked, the strand of love in our hearts, we act as a tuning fork for all Creation with the vibration resonating here in the hologram that is our universe.
Know that this is true. And you can do this. You are an instrument of God. Let the Creator and your highest guides and angels, your power animals, and the great goddesses of the Earth instruct you through your intuition. Let the leaning of your heart guide you in which strings to pluck and how to attune them. The repository of all knowledge is within you, waiting to be tapped.
Your inherent wisdom is of all ages. I know no more than you. But I know that we each have this potential for Creation within each one of us, as surely as the divine spark of the Creator resides within each one of us. We are each the living potential of an idea in the Mind of The Creator. And we share that body of knowledge, that light, that knowing, waiting in potential, within us.
See the light, feel it, become it. Open your heart, and the Creator will do the rest. We are one Sacred Circle in one Hoop of Life. No point in that circle is any "better" or "less" than any other. Each point in the circle holds the circle together. Each point is essential and we all are one. Know it. It is true.
We are all related.
mitakuye oyasin, gus dii dada dv ni
Jim Ewing, 2005
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
EMAIL | HOME | INDEX | TRADING POST