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As you begin this sacred path of Lakota ceremony, we orient you the the 4 Directions.

(formal tongue)

Wo-Lakota Om, Najum. I speak to you in the formal language but also in your language.

To the Sacred 4 Directions. To the Ones Above that see everything and to the Ones Below who always listen. To our ancestors. To the Generations. Please return the words to my mouth so that the oyate, the people will accept this offering aho;

Ralph did a wakan thing, a sacred and holy thing in his post about Lakota and the timing just seems right. This door has always been open to you but maybe it just didn't resonate or seem to have any utility. Ralph was not just telling you how bad things are at Lakota, Pine Ridge, Rosebud and the other lands, he was opening this door again and inviting you to join us on "The Red Road" or "The Way". The Road is simply a way of describing a process of spiritual growth and advancement and it's ultimate result might be said to have "self-knowledge". This self-knowledge is a process to help us understand our relationship to Creator, to the Earth, to the cosmos and all living things which we consider to be our Oyasin, our relations. Just like your nuclear family relations are a part of you, your past and your present and your future, we recognize this same relationship with all life, all the time, in ever place.

Now as you begin your journey on this sacred path, this road you should know that this is not a race and there is no finish line.

I have been on this road all my life and I have not completed the 7 Ceremonies, I doubt I ever will because our time is limited in this stage of life. But others do and they continue to instruct us. It's not quite like you get a merrit badge at each step, it's all about what's happening to you internally. But the road has a beginning if not an end and this is how you put yourself on it.

4 Directions Teaching. We are seated in a circle.

When we speak of a road it seems like there is a beginning and a destination like a line but this is not really true. We are seated in a circle of life, each having effect not only on those next to us but even on the other side or as energy flows through us and around and around. Time has a linear component but a circular one as well. We measure time in how the sun seems to circle the Earth (or the other way around, no big deal, same thing) and we see it in the cycle of birth, life, death, birth again. We think reincarnation has a lot to do with this, this cycle, this circle,

this is The Sacred Hoop. The Medicine Wheel. And it's not only how we chart cosmological time, the position of the stars, the change of the seasons, it's how we measure our personal internal time. Our own lives operate on this priciple: we are in a circular time experience but it seems linear from our perspective.

From there we try to organize things and literally orient you in a kind of quadratic way. The hoop is quadrasected. There's orientation, there's direction and each one of these directions has specific powers built into it. There is, for starts, gravity, there is up and down to us. Gravity is a pretty potent force right? Well it's one of the essential constructs or laws that govern our experience and it's pretty helpful in organizational terms but falling off a cliff is not known to be a good thing.

So you see that these powers are pretty palpable and "real". It's the Newton's apple thing right? The apple falls. Physics can tell you all about HOW the apple falls or HOW FAST it might fall given a number of numerical inputs but we're kinda deeper and telling you WHY it falls. And it's because of these constants like the 4 Directions which are always bound in the Sacred Hoop.

And we just go merrily on ascribing "powers" or "medicine" to these directions so here we go:

We always begin with the East. Wiyoheyapa. Eastern Power. Why? Because in our little circle, our internal Sacred Hoop, Eastern Power represents dawn, a new day in our lives, the opportunity for new knowlege and understanding, a new chance at life each day. That's why our doors traditionally all face East and all powwows have one gate, the East Gate and it's why a whole lot of other things. But now the hoop is activated again and the sun is already spinning around the circle clockwise (that's why clocks spin in that rotation) and the sun shifts into the South.

The Southern Power is Itocaga and it is warmth and growth for plants and healing for our bodies. It is golden sunshine literally and spiritually. The old band The Beach Boys were masters of the power of Itocaga with their music because they could literally put you on a beach in the sun no matter where you are on this planet. And this power is associated with productivity, making hey while your pastures are green and bountiful activity that results in health and well being. Fun in the sun on a bun is Itocaga and also productive efforts. But the sun don't stay in one spot, it's always walking and now she walks into the dark power, the Western Power.

Western Power, Wiyoheyapht'a. The dark power.

As the sun sets in the West and into Wiyoheyaptha there are some energies like lightning that brings light into darkness and the stars are revealed. We can literally SEE the cosmos. And it brings sleep and rest to our bodies but also sets our minds free to DREAM. As we dream we can leave our bodies and walk among the stars, we can fly, we can see the dead risen and talk to them and we can gain important messages from this cosmos into our own consciousness or subconsciousness. We can sometimes divine the future and gain prophecy or insight into our own lives (self-knowledge again). But some dreams are disturbing and lightning and thunder can be destructive so basically all clouds, all lighting, all rain, all thunder comes from this Western Power and if you look at sat maps of weather patterns on this continent, that's pretty much how it goes, from West to East. And the ride gets a bit wilder from here because Northern Power is kinda brutal in one aspect where Western Power was just desctructive sometimes (but beneficial in the long run like taking down weak limbs from trees so the tree and the forest is better off for it).

Waziya. Northern Power. The test.

Northern power is naturally winter, it's where cold comes from and it's a test: to the wise warrior or hunter that "made much meat" in the Southern phase (summer), Waziya, Nothern Power can be a time of reflection and introspection where we do creative things like make beaded head dresses and moccasins. But to the unprepared or foolish warrior it is lethal and brings starvation and freezing to death and it shows no mercy. The North Wind will blow right through you and it kinda likes it. This is the test in our lives and it's very real. But it has this flip side, hey we're preppers, we're planners and wise warriors so North Power also kinda gives us this inspiration to rise to challenges and overcome them and have the reassuring benefit of this.

And then it all starts again. Circle.

Now why is this important?

Because when you are oriented you can find your way. And this is The Way. As you begin to recognize and realize these powers in your life, you will become attuned to the flow of energy around the circle and your feet will lead you to the path or the opposite: the path will come to you. And you will find your way to The Pipe. Chanuppa-wa. The One Pipe. And that is the first of the 7 Ceremonies. And the Pipe changes lives. And it can change yours. And you are given power. And then you are bound to a people and the land in a new way and a PERMANENT WAY. In a it-never-goes-away way. It is power.

What is this power?

Self-knowledge. Understanding your relationship to the cosmos and to what is holy or wakan.

Now I have told you how to find the road or have it find you and I have oriented you. Now you know WHY there is gravity and directions and linear anything. And now you know that you are seated in a circle and how to make your life wakan. Sacred and holy. You are part of this circle.

Aho. Which in context means "yup, I done said what I said". Mitakuye Oyasin. In context that means "to all my relations" and that includes you.

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the only "thing" I know or . . .

believe is that, because I had a parent who was very sensitive to the beliefs of native America--

I don't perceive native Americans as many other non-native Americans do.

I don't pretend to understand native American beliefs, but I respect them.

I believe that there is so much I don't understand.

I just know that when I try to communicate with those who are ethnocentrically "European" I don't get very far. I hit a wall.

I've been at Pine Ridge. I think about it a lot; I mourn for the people there. I mourn for the old people I knew there.

Ah well.

I don't have any more knowledge to say more.

Are you familiar with Touch the Earth (compiled by T. C. McLuhan)?

I recently re-read it. It's old; it was published over 40 years ago--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

So do you guys wanna do this? Do you feel ready?

So as we orient you, some of you are responding from your hearts and your feet will start to gravitate to this road. Your eyes will see and your ears will hear. And this will cause you to be aware and alert and to know when the path is presented.

I want to tell you to be careful if you are just starting out because there are tons of charlatans

This is part of why I took care to use some formal language with you, and that you see that these are not my words, these are the ones that were given to me. I confess that I took care in how I worded the 4 Directions teaching to be a bit dry because I didn't want to leave our atheists out. I kinda wanted to make it objective. The ceremonies are very objective, literal and practical. Quite scientific actually and I have this burden for our atheists. This path is still open, it's just a frame of mind on objective reality on that level right?

I reinforce this by saying in this tradition, Lakota tradition, there are many pipes but there is only ONE TRUE PIPE. All other pipes in this tradition derive their authority from this one pipe, there is only one of them, there is only one family that is given the authority to preserve it as a literal physical object and it's passage is GENETIC.

There were pipes before this pipe and again, there are many others. But all pipes of this tradition derive their power from this one pipe that was given to us by a transcendental being known as White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman.

In a nutshell, She is our Jesus. She is our connection between heaven and Earth, She is God's promise to us as God has done this for all nations and all people, each in their own way.

Own Way.

The Way.

What maybe makes our way special is it's CUSTOM SPECIFIC TO THIS LAND and those of you that love the land find this really a nice fit.

Maybe next I should talk about how we interface with christianity (pretty well actually) but I digress as usual.

If you are ready to take the next steps I'm obliged to lead you but at a certain point you will get introduced and meet the people and away you go.

So let's talk a bit about the authority structure here. Ralph is acutally Lakota blood. Real thing. I don't even have one drop of Lakota blood in me, I'm just Lakota trained. Kinda like I went to Lakota college after I did my own native elementary school. These people are my teachers BUT!

THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT RALPH IS SETTING HIMSELF UP TO BE A HUGE MEDICINE MAN EITHER. I dunno, we haven't talked about it yet. It's kinda of just implied. But under who's authority do we approach this fire this time?

Ralph.

And I'm gonna be taking my ques as to how to plug you guys in from him.

My orders are to be servants. That is my order of priesthood. I am to be a servant, I am to come when I am called, I am to go where I am sent and I am to do as we are instructed. That is who and what I am. And I took an oath that goes deeper than deep and higher than high.

And all of this will be explained to you in time as you walk this road. And you don't need to hurry.

The Road goes on forever and the party never ends. All you have to do is PM me. Make personal contact. And you are in. You already were. All this time, you have been in but you didn't quite know it.

yeah it works like that.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

Thank you Smudge Pot...I am

Thank you Smudge Pot...I am grateful

If my need to be RIGHT is greater than my desire for TRUTH, then I will not recognize it when it arrives ~ Libertybelle

So am I. Now let's do what we do.

Not exactly trying to start a cult here but the next step is we cherish one another. Please keep in touch. Talk to me for any reason or for no reason. Call up and be like HEY SMUDGE GUESS WHAT? NOTHING.

We are to cherish others so let's start with us.

You are so very important to me. And I love you.

That is a start.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

Hey Smudge guess what!

Thank you! For sharing your wisdom. It helps me in my life. And i hope it helps others too. Much Love from Europe, Mitakuye Oyasin we are one =)

My love and I have a sacred

My love and I have a sacred spot on the land...I take that back, a power spot for lack of a better term, all the land is scared, but this spot has power...it visits me in my dreams and calls to me when I have not visited lately. And then I come and I beg permission to enter, and enter naked I must. A little pile of clothing awaits my return outside the circle, a small, huddled reminder of the world. I feel I have been instructed to bring no thing other them ME into this space. It is clean and perfect and within it's peaceful embrace I am loved totally. A small pond shimmers nearby. Where, on a full moon, a massive boulder basks in the moonlight amidst the gilded water. We call it Moon Stone Pond. And my friends the oaks reach out to me and are happy I am there. This power spot is a circular space with a central, large boulder, like a great bear slumbering and smaller boulders marking the four directions. Now you, out of love, you have explained to my conscious mind what that means...and I am grateful...

What powerful love you have to offer Smudge, thank you, I too have loved you long time...

Peace,
Belle

If my need to be RIGHT is greater than my desire for TRUTH, then I will not recognize it when it arrives ~ Libertybelle

may my feet

and yours, always know the red road.

aho.

jewish prayer

May your days and nights be a feast if lights, the eternal flame may it glow in you

and the Holy One to bestow on you His perfect love.

May you have joy and may you have strength and Adonai grant your life to have length;

may you grow sweet and strong,

may your days and nights be a feast of lights your whole long.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

Life has many routes to enlightment...

I am always up for something of a different nature...

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win!"
GANDHI

"The belief is worthless if the fear of social and physical punishment overrides the belief."

One step further, the Directions have colors

The East is red, the South is yellow, the West is black and the North is white.

The 4 colors of the races of people. Bound together in the Sacred Hoop.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

deacon's picture

You see

Colors of people? or is that a generality?
On a similar note,but different,I would like see an indian dance,
where they disappear while dancing,,but are still sorta there,but not
D

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

Do ya one better old friend

you can dance.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

deacon's picture

Why thanks

That'll go great coupled with the music i can hear in silence
The spirit is always willing,it's the rest that doesn't want to comply
and just loves to prove it :)
thank you,my friend.
D

If we deny truth before your very eyes,then the rest of what we have to say,is of little consequence

Fantastic SP,

what has never been forgotten by one people has been buried deep by another. And now we will co-create, you and I with one another, and together with that which is greater. A warm wind is blowing.

I AM is all that is. Everything else is malleable.

Your kindness and understanding to me

will one day be a story I will like telling. I ask our ancestors to look down upon our efforts with favor and that our product be a benefit to the people.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

Very interesting. While we

Very interesting. While we are agents of free will, we are also subjected to the tides of archetypal energy that flow through the Earth. Spiritual growth is facilitated by the ability to chart these energies and to make life decisions based on how the tide is flowing in the same way a navigator looks at the tidal charts when navigating a sailing ship of old through reefs and coves.

This is very similar to the Wheel of the Year in which holidays are based on the equinoxes and solstices. By celebrating these holidays you recognize the archetypal energy and how it personally relates to your life path such as reflecting on the abundance and achievement in your life during the summer solstice and the death of loved ones during Sahmhain as that is the time of year that annual crops die with the approaching winter.

It is fascinating to see different indigenous cultures that have unique ways of expressing the universal energies that bind us. The more we look with an open mind at each culture ie Shamanism, Buddhism, Native American medicine culture we start to see stark similarities as all are based on certain archetypal realties that we share in this human experience.

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

Very well put

We do not exist in a vacuum. The taoist five elements are very similar as well. All relating to the seasons which all lead into each other in a circle. Your physical, mental, and spiritual health depend on staying in tune with the elements or seasons if you will.

I think people know all this inherently. They need only listen.

Harry Bird, here we are.

Years ago a man called Harry Bird summoned us to have this convocation of all different faiths and traditions and one of the things we did was share prophecy. It had been done before but I'm not sure to this extent. And the more we shared the more we kept seeing these similarities and patterns. And we realized, holy smokes, none of us has the whole picture but WE ALL HAVE PART OF IT! And it just matched up. It was kinda like we suspected this to be the truth, that Creator gives each of us gifts as individuals, as families, peoples, tribes and nations but NOW WE KNOW FOR SURE. And it got to the point where you couldn't tell it was a native thing anymore (we considered ourselves the "host religion") because it was like....if somebody asked WHICH religion was taking place before their eyes the only answers were "yes" or "pretty much all of them we could find". We had religions I never heard of happening. Yoruba, Nayabenge along with rabbais and imans and Christians, it was...wow. And we did it every year until Grandfather Bird crossed over and even beyond.

And Harry Bird was a man of Lakota nation. And along with Russell Means and Clyde Bellecourt and Arvol Looking Horse and many others, this is whom you stand with in this circle. And it's open. Just wait till you meet Arvol. Makes me smile just thinking about it.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.