mamagaea: (Perched Eagle)
Just posted this in a discussion thread on [ profile] lupabitch's LJ. I posted other responses, but I wanted to share this one.

"I recall a rather snarky argument I had with a fluffy otherkin a few years ago, who was trying to say that white people have every right to appropriate the religion/spirituality/iconography of Native American people, and that they're just being whiny children by "keeping it for themselves"."

This last term, I took a course called "Native American Psychological Healing" at PSU. It was taught by a Lakota psychologist. He gave us the most AWESOME amount of information that I would have never found otherwise, for not knowing where to look. He showed us videos of Sundances, described healing rituals, the Native thought behind many of their most common and uncommon rituals. And this was what he said when asked what other Natives thought of him teaching such a class.

There is a bit of a controversy regarding the subject. Many Elders are happy the course is being taught. They feel it is time that the Nations share with the world what they know. The more people that can be brought closer to Earth Mother and Sky Father, the better the world will be. (I'm generalizing. I don't remember the exact words). Others still feel that it is wrong to share the information with the White people, because they still hold major amounts of hate and anger towards the Whites.

I am a Turtle Islander. I carry a Turtle around my neck. I was born here, I will die here, and become part of Turtle Island once more. I may only have a smidgen of Native blood in me, and I have no idea how much or of what Tribe. But I feel such a strong pull towards Native Americans that I cannot deny it. Yes, the majority of my blood is European. But I don't feel a connection towards any of the European cultures, except for the Greek Pantheon, and I don't even have any Greek blood in me. So, I go where I am lead. I have Hindu Goddesses and Gods on my altar. I have Native American tools and sacred herbs. I honor Earth Mother, Sky Father, and Grandmother Moon. This is what I do for that is where Spirit has lead me. It is where I am comfortable. Is this cultural appropriation? Many may say yes. I say I am honoring that which is within me, celebrating all that I am and all that I have been born from. That is all I can do in this lifetime.

Mama Gaea
mamagaea: (Sunglasses)
Traditional Indian Code of Ethics

Give thanks to the Creator each morning upon rising and each evening before sleeping.

Seek the courage and strength to be a better person.

Showing respect is a basic law of life.

Respect the wisdom of people in council. Once you give an idea it no longer belongs to you; it belongs to everybody.

Be truthful at all times.

Always treat your guests with honour and consideration. Give your best food and comforts to your guests.

The hurt of one is the hurt of all. The honour of one is the honour of all.

Receive strangers and outsiders kindly.

All races are children of the Creator and must be respected.

To serve others, to be of some use to family, community, or nation is one of the main purposes for which people are created. True happiness comes to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others.

Observe moderation and balance in all things.

Know those things that lead to your well-being and those things that lead to your destruction.

Listen to and follow the guidance given to your heart. Expect guidance to come in many forms: in prayer; in dreams; in solitude; and, in the words and actions of Elders and friends.
mamagaea: (Sunglasses)
12 Principles of Indian Philosophy

Wholeness. (Holistic thinking). All things are interrelated. Everything in the universe is part of a single whole.

Everything is connected in some way to everything else. It is only possible to understand something if we understand how it is connected to everything else.

Change. Everything is in a state of constant change. One season falls upon the other. People are born, live, and die. All things change. There are two kinds of change: the coming together of things, and the coming apart of things. Both kinds of change are necessary and are always connected to each other.

Change occurs in cycles or patterns. They are not random or accidental. If we cannot see how a particular change is connected it usually means that our standpoint is affecting our perception.

The physical world is real. The spiritual world is real. They are two aspects of one reality. There are separate laws which govern each. Breaking of a spiritual principle will affect the physical world and vice versa. A balanced life is one that honours both.

People are physical and spiritual beings.

People can acquire new gifts, but they must struggle to do so. The process of developing new personal qualities may be called "true learning". There are four dimensions of "true learning".

A person learns in a whole and balanced manner when the mental, spiritual, physical and emotional dimensions are involved in the process.

The spiritual dimension of human development has four related capacities:

the capacity to have and respond to dreams, visions, ideals, spiritual teaching, goals, and theories;

the capacity to accept these as a reflection of our unknown or unrealized potential;

the capacity to express these using symbols in speech, art, or mathematics;

the capacity to use this symbolic expression towards action directed at making the possible a reality.

People must actively participate in the development of their own potential.

A person must decide to develop their own potential. The path will always be there for those who decide to travel it.

Any person who sets out on a journey of self-development will be aided. Guides, teachers, and protectors will assist the traveller. The only source of failure is a person's own failure to follow the teachings.
mamagaea: (Default)
“My” Definition of Native American Healing

I have always felt a sort of kinship to the American Native Peoples. I have been told that I have a smidgen of Native blood in me, though I do not know how much, nor what tribe. But the heartfelt connection I feel isn’t through blood, it is through Spirit. I feel that the healing practices I already engage in is kith and kin to my Spiritual Brothers and Sisters in all tribal nations, in both North and South America.

Native Americans have a deep, soul connection to the land, the earth, and the Universe. They know, as do I, that each person born upon this earth has come from the earth and all its elements; earth, air, fire, and water. The Spirit of the Earth, and the Spirit of the Sky is what makes all life possible on this planet. Without synergistic harmony between the two, we would not exist. The same goes for our bodies. Our physical bodies are akin to the Earth. Our mental bodies are akin to our minds. And the connection between the two is what keeps us alive, at a point where our soul resides. This information is what is intrinsic to the Native American spiritual belief practices and their healing methods. This information is largely lost among those of the Caucasian peoples, unfortunately.

When I have anger, or frustration, or emotional pain, I feel physical pain in my stomach. I hold all my pain there (which is probably why it is so large). This information tells me that my emotional body and my physical body are CONNECTED. This also tells me that if I have some kind of physical illness, there must also be an illness in my emotional body as well. I may not know what it is, but my body is telling me I need to stop and be still and rest so my emotional body may have a chance to heal as well. This information has always been known to the Native People. They have always known that you must consider the whole person, not just isolated parts. The last time I got ill, it was shortly after I had a very negative altercation with a former friend. It caused pain within me, both physically, mentally, and emotionally, which caused my body to lose much of its natural immunization capabilities and I got a cold later that night. The connection between the events during the day and my body becoming ill that night was not lost on me. Many times I get ill because of emotional issues that I must work through as well. I realized this long ago.

One thing that Native People also address, which is SO important and needs to be learned by many people, is that the Spiritual body is important too. As I write this, just smudging myself with some sage calms me down so much and I can feel the energetic shift as negative energy is cleared away from my aura. Negative energy can affect you just as badly as someone physically hurting you, because your Spiritual body is connected to the rest of you. Many people are not aware of their Spiritual body, and therefore walk through life unwhole. I honestly feel that if more people were able to learn and grasp onto what the Native People have been practicing for thousands of years, the world would be a better place.

And the above notions are why I feel like a sister to the Native Peoples, whether or not they feel the same about me. Magickal people are magickal people no matter what their skin color.
mamagaea: (Venus of Willendorf)
Native American Indian
Code of Ethics

Rise with the sun to pray.
Pray alone. Pray often.
The Great Spirit will listen,
if you only speak.

Be tolerant of those
who are lost on their path.
who show Ignorance,
or conceit, and anger,
jealousy and greed
stem from a lost soul.
Pray that all will find right guidance.

Search for yourself, by yourself.
Do not allow others to make your path
for you.
It is your road, and yours alone.
Others may walk it with you,
no one can walk it except for you.

Treat the guests in your home
with much consideration.
Serve them the best food,
give them the best bed
treat them with respect and honor.

Do not take what is not yours
whether from a person, a community,
the wilderness or from a culture.
If It was not earned nor given.
It is not yours.

Respect all things
that are placed upon this earth
whether it be people or plant.

Honor other people's thoughts,
wishes and words.
Never interrupt another
or mock or rudely mimic them.
Allow each person the right
to personal expression.

Never speak of others in a bad way.
The negative energy that you put out
into the universe will multiply
when it returns to you.

All persons make mistakes.
And all mistakes can be forgiven.

Bad thoughts cause illness of the mind,
body and spirit.
Practice optimism.

Nature is not FOR us, it is a PART of us.
They are part of your worldly family.

Children are the seeds of our future.
Plant love in their hearts
water them with wisdom
and life's lessons.
When they are grown,
give them space to grow.

Avoid hurting the hearts of others.
The poison of your pain will return to you.

Be truthful at all times.
Honesty is the test of ones will
within this universe.

Keep yourself balanced.
Your Mental self,
Spiritual self,
Emotional self,
and Physical self - all need to be strong,
pure and healthy.
Work the body to strengthen the mind.
Grow rich in spirit to cure emotional ails.

Make conscious decisions
as to who you will be and how you will react.
Be responsible for your own actions.

Respect the privacy and personal space of others.
Do not touch the personal property of others,
especially sacred and religious objects.
It is forbidden.
Be true to yourself first.
You cannot nurture and help others
if you cannot nurture
help yourself first.

Respect others religious beliefs.
Do not force your belief on others.

Share your good fortune with others.
Participate in charity.

August 2008

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