Manataka American Indian Council









By Gram Selma Palmer, Ocali Nation


The Lodge of the People

The Lodge of the People is much more than just a shelter from the elements, for it , as do most terms in our culture, has symbolic significance and lessons to teach us and the generations to come.

There are fifteen poles in the average lodge and each one has symbolic meaning attached to them, each one carries a lesson.

1. Obedience: obedience in following the traditions and teachings that were passed to us by our ancestors and the elders of today.

2. Happiness: Happy heart, mind and soul to share our homes with others, our home literally becoming theirs.

3. Respect: Respect for all living life forms, the two-legged's, the finned ones, the creepy crawlers, the solid ones...or standing ones. To allow each being to be as they are without judgment or ridicule, to their face or behind their back. Respecting them for who they are, where they are, at the level of growth and development that they are.

4. Humility: knowing we are no less and certainly no more than another, knowing that we are only a small part of the total whole, one strand in the massive web of life. Know that all life was created by a higher power and knowing that we too make errors on our life walk.

5. Acceptance: Accepting all life as our relations, knowing that we are truly connected to all life forms and to all two-legged's as well.

6. Strength: Showing patience in times of stress, not complaining but learning to endure, knowing we will eventually understand the over-all picture. Strength of character, of min, of soul, of spirit and then strength of resolve and body.

7. Cleanliness: Clean minds, clean spirits, clean hearts and clean souls lead to clean bodies and actions , along with thoughts within and of that body.

8. Rearing: Caring for, teaching, protecting and being proud of the young, the youth and the child. They are the future and must be prepared to care for the ones that will follow in their footsteps.

9. Thankfulness: Thankful not only for our blessings, the bounty of Earth Mother, the beauty that surrounds, our health, our relations, but...also thankful for our lessons, tragedies, trials and tribulations, for they serve to polish us like gem remove our flaws and to create the polished, shiny results.

10. Hope: Hope for the future, for the return of the traditions. for the peace of the world;s peoples and for unity of all living forms.

11. Sharing: freely sharing our blessings, our basic needs, our love, our teachings, our traditions, our dreams and our visions. Sharing all willingly, sharing all that makes us who and what we are, what we have been and what we will become.

12. Protection: Protection of not only our body, life and limb; but protection of the values, principles, teachings, customs; protection of the physical, but even more so of the spiritual, ceremonial, traditional and sacred.

13. Love: the ability to give of your heart to others, to love others or even yourself. Unconditional acceptance of another just as they are, knowing that everything has a Divine purpose and is of by Divine design.

14. Faith: An inner knowing or level of trust that things are as they should be. That challenge will result in victory, that hurt will result in growth, added understanding and added depth and wisdom. Faith in the Creator, His ultimate plan, His direction and His constant companionship.

15. Mystery: The ability to trust the unknown, to venture into the realms beyond our own, to allow vision to occur and to accept the information as factual from them. The ability to seek and ac accept the " magic of life and after life".

The flags are also symbolic also. They are symbols of our interdependence with and on all other life forms. It all works together to support the whole. For all the poles and symbolism come together to support the covering that forms the end result.

The Lodge of the People is in fact a life force in it's own right. Let us always honor it as a teaching elder and strive to honor it's lessons. 

Until next time...... I leave you with prayers and energy of blessings and protection.



Gram Selma


 Selma Palmer, 2009 All Rights Reserved




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