08-21-2005, 09:54 PM
It was an awesome experience. I was there for about 5 hours, in the lodge about 3 hours. I hope I can sleep tonight b/c I now feel wide awake.
Thank you Grandfather and all the ancestors who made this possible for me tonight.:thumbsup:
If you have an opportunity to go, I hope the ancestors guide you.
08-21-2005, 11:03 PM
A Sweat lodge is a traditional, Native ceremony that renews our connection to the circle of life. A lodge also helps to deepen our awareness and understanding of ourselves as instruments of the Creator, caretakers of the earth, and spiritual servants of our community.
It provides a deeper connection with the powers of both earth and spirit through indigenous traditions that are centuries old.
Each sweat lodge includes traditional teachings, a prayer pipe ceremony, ceremonial songs and prayers, drumming, and the wisdom and cultural knowledge of stories from many Native Nations.
08-22-2005, 10:29 AM
Congratulations Mia, I am sure the Grandfathers are pleased you had that experience.
08-22-2005, 11:06 AM
Thank you Ravenslove. I offered up my prayers and know they heard them. I plan to go again in the future.
08-24-2005, 02:27 PM
How wonderful! I'd love such a chance myself. My fiance's institution holds regular sweat lodges in which he participates :)
08-24-2005, 05:03 PM
please, take heed and use caution....
In all things spiritual, there is always someone looking to make a buck. It is no different in Indian County. As a matter of fact, i would bet my horse on it being more prevelant in Indian country than any other society. We have, not only within our own nations, but often those that have recieved some teachings from GAWD knows where begin to believe they have the knowledge to perform ceremony...the reasons may be due to ego, and the results can be devastating, emotionally and physically. Fake ceremonies may also be performed for financial gain, by the imposter
Either way there are many true and published stories of ceremony gone wrong, ending in rape, death and abuse and at the very least financial ruin.
Below, I have borrowed words of caution, and included the website's URL. If you have any doubt, check out the published articles related to the imposters. You can believe, too, that these are not the only crimes comitted related to a plastic shaman or fake medicine man, pipe carrier, healer or teacher. As with other crimes of this nature, i am sure most go unreported.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE!!!!
1) Real Native Medicine People do NOT charge any money AT ALL for ceremonies themselves. Some may ask for materials for a ceremony to be paid for and or transportation
They do NOT charge a set price.
They do NOT charge using Visa, Mastercard, or Paypal. That is especially crass and offensive.
Most Native beliefs say even offering or demanding money ruins a ceremony.
2) Real Native Medicine People do NOT pose as someone they are not.
They are NOT Whites posing as Natives, such as Harley Reagan, a red-haired Irishman who poses as Cherokee and Mayan.
They are NOT Whites posing as "adopted" members of a Native tribe, such as Mary Grimes/"Mary Thunder" does. Actual adoptions are RARE, and they do NOT mean the person can do ceremonies.
They are NOT Asians posing as Natives, such as Roy Steevensz/"Littlesun," an Indonesian posing as a Hopi medicine man.
They are NOT Natives who pose as Medicine People when they are not, such as Roland Williston/"Rainbow Eagle," a Choctaw who poses as an Anishnaabe medicine man.
3) Real Native Medicine People do NOT pretend non-Native beliefs or practices elements are Native, such as:
Reincarnation, Atlantis, Mu, Tarot Cards, Astrology, Runes, Knights Templar, the Holy Grail, End Times or Apocalyptic prophecies, the Lost Tribes of Israel, Runes, white supremacy, Black supremacy, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Taoism, conspiracy theories, UFOs, crop circles, sadomasochism, ritual gay sex, child molesting, Tantra, Chakras, Gaia or other European pagan gods, psychology or human potential movement.
NONE of these have ANYTHING to do with Native beliefs.
Nor do they mix traditions, such as Lakhota and Dine' in the same ceremony.
4) Real Native Medicine People do NOT sexually abuse or exploit others, including rape, child molesting, or inventing non-existent ceremonies to trick others into sex, such as Morgan Maez/"Eaglebear" and Harley Reagan/"Swiftdeer" have done.
Absolutely NO Native ceremonies require sex.
Absolutely NO Native beliefs think child molesting or incest are OK. Native people are much STRICTER in their rules against child molesting or incest.
Absolutely NO respected Native Medicine People would pressure their followers into sex.
Absolutely NO Native Medicine People would be respected in their communities if they spent a lot of time chasing women or committed adultery with married women.
5) Real Native Medicine People do NOT post or teach details of ceremonies online, or anything other than the most general teachings any way besides face to face.
It is NOT right to teach Native ceremonies using books.
It is NOT right to teach Native ceremonies using the internet.
It is NOT right to teach Native ceremonies at workshops or seminars.
It is NOT right to teach Native ceremonies using videotapes, DVDs, CDS or CD-roms, or cassetes.
It is NOT right to teach Native ceremonies to people outside of Native communities.
This has NOTHING to do with race or racism. Non-Native spouses and friends who live in Native communities take part in ceremonies all the time.
6) If most or all of their followers or clients are not Native, they are FRAUDS.
If they advertise their services, they are FRAUDS.
If they solicit for customers or followers online, they are FRAUDS.
If they have seminars or workshops teaching ceremonies, they are FRAUDS.
Real Medicine People live in and practice in Native communities.
7) Real Medicine People have good character.
They do NOT take part in petty personal attacks on their critics.
They do NOT threaten their critics with lawsuits.
They do NOT send their inner circle to intimidate or disrupt their critics.
They do NOT have security forces or boydguards to silence critics.
If their character and actions are good, this alone will be a shield for them from their critics.
Real Native Medicine People do NOT spread stereotypes or racist images about Natives. They do NOT claim Natives are "Noble Savages," "dying out," helpless without white help, have "secret knowledge," or are not able to carry on traditions on their own.
9) Real Native Medicine People do NOT pretend all Native traditions are the same, such as Michael Harner and the "shamanism" movement do.
They do NOT claim to be trained in other tribal traditions than their own, such as Roland Williston/"Rainbow Eagle" does.
10) Real Native Medicine People do NOT call themselves by titles or names that Native people do NOT use and that have NOTHING to do with Native traditions such as:
"shamans," "avatars," "ascended masters," "reverend mothers," or "dons."
All of these are labels that outsiders use, NOT Natives.
Real Native Medicine People do NOT use ridiculous and stereotypical names such as:
"Rainbow Eagle," "Beautiful Painted Arrow," "Thunder Strikes," "Tony Dreamwalker," or "Ines Laughing Wind."
Real Native Medicine People have "ordinary" first names such as Leonard, Dan, or Joe.
Real Native Medicine People may have Anglo last names, French last names, Hispanic last names, or last names which are in their Native language.
Real Native Medicine People often do NOT use their "Indian name" in public because that would be disrespectful to their traditions or to the person they were named after.
Although the following excerpt is tounge in cheek, it is a fair warning.
Top 10 ways to tell if your medicine man is a scam artist
10. He tries to sell you your own personal mile of the Red Road.
9. His traditional herbal medicine is really just crushed up Tylenol.
8. His Sundance is sponsored by Frito-Lay.
7. Suddenly, all his ceremonies seem real familiar after you watch the movie "Billy Jack" again.
6. The only tribal nation he is with is Donation.
5. Rich ladies from California are convinced he needs a different colored brand four-by-four truck for each of the four directions.
4. Not only does he have a website, but the address is www.sellout.com.
3. The only thing in his pipebag is a portable credit card machine.
2. In order to attend one of his sweats, you need to contact Ticketmaster first.
1. His sacred white buffalo reeks of spray paint .
More words of caution, similar but with a few added points
Do you think you are "Indian at heart" or were an Indian in a past life? Do you admire native ways and want to incorporate them into your life and do your own version of a sweat lodge or a vision quest? Have you seen ads, books, and websites that offer to train you to be come a shaman in an easy number of steps, a few days on the weekend, or for a fee?
Have you really thought this all the way through? Have you thought about how native people feel about what you might want to do?
Please think about these important points before you take that fateful step and expend time, money, and emotional investment:
1. Native people DO NOT believe it is ethical to charge money for any ceremony or teaching. Any who charge you even a penny are NOT authentic.
2. Native traditionalists believe the ONLY acceptable way to transmit traditional teachings is orally and face-to-face. Any allegedly traditional teachings in books or on websites are NOT authentic.
3. Learning medicine ways takes decades and must be done with great caution and patience out of respect for the sacred. Any offer to teach you all you need to know in a weekend seminar or two is wishful thinking at best, fraud at worst.
4. Most of these FRAUDULENT operators are not the slightest bit reputable. Some, such as Robert "Ghostwolf" AKA Robert Franzone and Forrest Carter, have actually been convicted of fraud. Some are sexual predators who prey upon their followers. "Sun Bear" a.k.a. Vincent La Duke was a serial rapist who was facing numerous charges when he died, including the rape of girls as young as fourteen.
Women should be extremely wary of any " teacher" who claims sex is part of an alleged "ceremony." Most of these FRAUDULENT operators have been caught making complete fantasies of what many whites WISH natives were like. Another way to say it is that they are outright liars and hoaxers. Some, like Carlos Castaneda, were exposed as long as three decades ago.
You probably are asking yourself, "Aren't any of these people for real and a good way for me to learn?"
Please understand the following points about native spiritual ways:
1.Native belief systems are COMMUNAL, not focused on the individual's faith like Christianity.
2. Native beliefs are TRIBAL-SPECIFIC. There is NO "generic Indian" form of spirituality. There are as many differences from tribe to tribe as there are between Hinduism and the Church of England. No one would think of teaching those two as the same and calling them "Indo-European," yet many of these FRAUDULENT operators teach a thrown together mishmash of bits and pieces of different beliefs.
3. TRADITIONAL elders are very cautious about changing rituals and mixing different customs, it does happen, of course, but only after lengthy discussions that can take decades. FRAUDULENT operators are very casual and haphazard in what they do, in a manner that shows they have no understanding of or respect for the sacred.
4. TRADITIONAL elders DO NOT believe that any ceremony can be done by anyone who feels like it. It's that same caution and respect for the sacred. Yet these FRAUDULENT operators will let anyone do their inaccurate version of a ceremony if they have the money.
Vision quests, for example, are intended for young boys age 12 to 14, but boys don't have much money, so these FRAUDULENT operators sell "quests" for hundreds or thousands to mostly middle-aged men and women.
There is also the matter of telling people they can be shamans and charging them for it. If you were interested in Judaism, would you pay money to someone who said he could make you a rabbi in just one weekend seminar?
If someone did this and then claimed Jewish objections were foolish, we would recognize he was being anti-Semitic. Think about the lack of respect these operators show to native people and beliefs, not mention their own followers, by defrauding people.
Native people DO NOT use the label Shaman.
Think also about how it makes it harder for natives and whites to get along when whites have been given an untrue picture of native cultures.
We have to learn to get along and we can't do that as long as whites give support to operators who push a fraudulent version of what we are like.
We (native people and our supporters) realize that most of you do not know any better, at least not yet, but we hope you learn about these matters from more reputable sources and in a more respectful manner.
If it says New Age or Shamanism on the cover, it's not a good source for learning about natives. Find out which authors can be trusted before you pay money to operators who harm us all.
My own thought...in any ceremony I have been to prayers have been said, by the person leading the ceremony, in the language of thier ancestors. They may not be fluent in that language but to, but in learning the traditions and medicines requiered for ceremony they were taught the words of their ancestors. They may or may not choose to explain or repeat the prayer in the language of attending participants that don't speak that language...
The websites listed above also list known frauds and would appreciate any updates. If you think someone is a fraud, rpot the information to them and it will be looked into
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!! be careful out there...
Been There 2
10-12-2005, 10:22 PM
This one agrees fully with what you have said!
And Cherokees do not do a Plains style sweat lodge ceremony or
Sun Dance. If one is offered by a "Cherokee", run, not walk, to
the nearest exit, tightly clutching your purse or billfold in your
03-18-2006, 06:02 PM
Well said Cyndi and oh so true! The ways of the Ancestors's are not for sale! And Mia I hope your esperience was a great one that you came away with alot of healing.
Yours Truley, Cathy