Here, you will find links for Native American Ceremonies and Traditions....a very interesting page. Scroll down for some exercises in smudging, drumming, breathing and centering.
~The eagle represents courage and bravery.~
The native people believe that they are the ones
closest to the creator, The Great Spirit.
The feathers of the eagle are honored by Indians
as having powerful medicine,and that Eagle Medicine is the power of The Great Spirit, the spirit of tenacity.
He glides up above observing....,
and there was a time when he has seen the
true beauty and goodness in this garden.
He has seen water sparkling from its purity flowing down
noble mountains as he felt the refreshing power of clean
air as he worked with the winds to fly.
He heard the rumbling roar of great herds of buffalo
moving across the plains and he has seen Mother Earth
green with healthiness as she raised healthy children
with healthy minds and bodies.
In carrying out his duty he has seen the countless
offerings of the Indigenous people striving to exist
in the true perfection of a two legged in harmony
with Mother Earth.
He has seen the happiness of the children as they
played with pureness in their hearts and he knew
that the Creator smiled upon us with his blessings.
He has seen the arrival of the newcomers who
disrupted our sacred way of life with the desire
of stealing our homelands.
He has seen the courage of our warriors defending
Mother Earth not afraid to die for they know their
spirits will return to our Creator.
He has seen the suffering of the Indigenous people
being hunted down like a wounded deer and he has seen
the real freedom of life disappear from this land.
Even his own image of freedom was placed on papers
and he sees his sacred feathers
being sold for those papers.
Today as he flies above the clouds in space once
only reserved for them, he hears the charge of
the iron birds crashing through the clouds.
He avoids the clouds of filthy air which lingers
over bee hives of busy people
hurrying to satisfy their own taste of honey.
He is sad to see his own die from the lightening power
of endless wires, and words cannot explain the hurt
he feels when he sees his kind in captivity,
displayed for curiosity.
He sees the Indigenous people still trying to be sacred
in ceremonies, but suffering more from the heat
of Father Sun, because the poison has weakened
the sacred blanket in the sky.
He sees the Creator medicine, the food and plants
placed on Mother Earth with the purpose to nourish
and heal..being poisoned.
He sees the poisoned water enter the bodies of
men and animals, causing sickness. He sees all
natural life trying to do their duty on a tired
over worked Mother Earth, and his tears fall as he
sees the woman feel the pain of Mother Earth.
He hears the humble cries of our holy people
asking for a sign from the Creator.
He circles over the people, letting us know the
Creator has heard our prayers.
His heart gladdens when he dances with us
for he knows we still honor him.
He sends us a warning, for he has spoken with
the Creator. The Creator is offended because
the sacredness of his life is disturbed.
He is a witness to all the deeds
of man... and he never forgets.
~HE IS EAGLE~
~~~~~American Indian Commandments~~~~~
Sacred Instructions Given By The Creator To Native People At The Time Of Creation:
Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.
Remain close to the Great Spirit.
Show great respect for your fellow beings.
Work together for the benefit of all Mankind. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
Do what you know to be right.
Look after the well being of mind and body. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
Be truthful and honest at all times.
Take full responsibility for your actions.
May the warm winds of heaven blow softly on your home, And the Great Spirit, bless all who enter there. May your moccasins make happy tracks
In many snows, and may the rainbow
Always touch your shoulder
A Cherokee Blessing
Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place
To enter into the days of your togetherness...
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
Needed: Sage, sweet grass, cedar, or tobacco, singly or in combination, or other herbs; a shell or a natural-made bowl (clay, pottery); a feather or fan; matches; sand or fine soil.
Estimated time: 5 minutes if alone, more time if with a group.
1. Mix together the plants you will be using, placing them in a shell or sturdy bowl, and light them. Some mixtures of herbs do not stay lit well. You may need to put a charcoal briquette in the bowl first. Before lighting either the charcoal or herbs, make sure there is some soil or sand in the bottom of the bowl or shell. This will keep it from being too hot to hold.
2. When the herbs are lit, use a fan or feather from a domestically raised bird* (chicken, turkey, pheasant or duck) to fan out the flame. Throughout the ceremony you will need to fan the herbs to keep them smoldering.
*Non-Indians are not permitted to possess eagle feathers.
3. Once the herbs are smoldering, draw the smoke (not the bowl, just the smoke) to your heart, then over your head, down your arms, and down the front of your body. Now move the smoke over the back of your body toward the ground. If you need special balancing or healing in some part of your body, you can emphasize by pulling the smoke to the area.
4. It is your responsibility to cleanse your own energy field. The plants help. They do not do it for you.
5. Next, offer smoke to the six directions: up to the Creator, down to the Earth, and then to the north, east, south and west, in that order.
6. After you have smudged yourself and offered the smudge, you can hold the bowl while others smudge themselves, or you may smudge them. They should draw the smoke to themselves, first to the heart, over the head, down the arms, down the chest, and down the back.
7. You may now walk around the area you will be using, wafting the smoke as you go. If you are inside, smudge around the walls of the room, paying particular attention to the corners.
8. Smudge any medicine tools you will be using during ceremonies.
There are many ways to center yourself in a ceremony. Using one of them is critical because the more centered you are, the more powerful the ceremony will be. Basically any centering technique helps to bring all your energy together, allowing you to let go of the everyday world and thus enter the sacred space. Some of the ways we often use to center energy is to drum, rattle, and/or chant.
Needed: A drum and beater, or chanting or drumming tapes.
Estimated time: 15 minutes minimum.
1. To begin drumming, you should quiet yourself and listen to your heartbeat.
2. Begin to drum your heartbeat on the drum.
3. As your heartbeat shifts, allow your drumming to change.
4. Do not try to change the drum beat rapidly. A slow, repetitive beat is more effective.
5. If your drumming is accompanying a chant, listen to the chant first. Make the drum beat complement the chant, not compete with it. Under no circumstances should you drown out the chant with the drum.
6. You can become more proficient at drumming by listening to chanting or drumming tapes and drumming along with them.
7. At the end of a chant you should make several rapid beats, which serve the purpose of sending the song out to the Great Spirit and announcing the song is completed.
Thank you, Mother, for teaching me
To lift my heart in praise,
Filling my spirit with gladness
For blessings of the Beauty Way.
You have taught me how to sing,
How to rejoice, dance, and drum,
And how to sing my gratitude
For the abundance that will come.
You have shown me the magic of
A change in mind and heart,
An attitude made of wisdom
That celebration of life imparts.
I sing the truth of thankfulness
When I greet Grandfather Sun,
Then send my love to Mother Earth
For the life force that makes us one.
Needed: A rattle
Estimated time: 15 minutes minimum.
To learn to rattle, follow the same instructions given for drumming. It is more difficult to get a heartbeat sound sound with many rattles, so go even more slowly in your learning process.
Needed: Your voice, knowledge of the chant, and if desired, chanting or drumming tape, rattle, or drum.
Estimated time: 15 minutes minimum.
When you chant properly, you take the energy of the earth in through your body, magnify it, and send it out to all your relations on the planet. This means you should feel the chant throughout your whole body, not just your throat. It should cause a vibration that touches all your energy centers.
It does not matter if you think you can not sing. Chanting is a way of centering and sending energy, not a way of proving your vocal ability. However, if you are going to sing a chant, you should show respect for it by learning it before you sing. Listen to the person leading it until you are sure you know the words and the tune. Some chants change words and tune unexpectedly, so don't be too quick to join in.
When you are sure of the chant, sing it with gusto. Most chants are repeated in sets of four, with the person who began the chant determining when to end it and signifying this by saying "Ho!"
Needed: A comfortable quiet place.
Estimated time: Fifteen minutes when beginning; five minutes when proficient.
1. Many traditions throughout the world use breathing as a method of centering. To begin, relax your body. If this is not easy for you to do, begin with your toes, tighten your muscles as tight as is possible, then release them. Tighten the muscles of your calves, release them. Do the same with your thighs, buttocks, stomach, diaphragm, chest, lower back, midback, upper back, shoulders, neck. Finally, tighten your scalp and release. Now do your face muscles and release.
2. Allow your breath to go through as much of your body as possible. Visualize it as a hollow vessel. Fill the vessel with air. Remember to breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.
3. Take long, slow, deep breaths.
4. Pay attention to yourself relaxing as you breathe.
5. Feel your breath fill you and connect you with the earth, the sky, and all that is around you.