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Showing posts from July, 2007

I Am A Wa-beeno : Part Two

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©2007. Turtle Heart

Shamanism requires life and death awareness. The knowledge of suffering and pain (the underworld) overwhelms and destroys most good candiadtes for this work inside tribal culture. You must enter into and survive the dangerous journey into the underground. How many people do you know who have done that? There are no lawyers or 911 to come to your aid inside this underworld. It seems these days many modern people read a few books, beat on a drum they bought in a “shamans supply store”, take some “workshops” and they are ready to be “the chosen” to take away suffering and pain. Usually it is not suffering and pain they seek to relieve but something they call “personal power”. Many of them seem especially interested in this concept. Modern literature, when it talks about these practices romanticizes them with such seductive phrases.

One of the problems is that many people hunger to feel “chosen”...the one special “star” apart from the others. In a good shamanic Indian so…

I Am A Wa-beeno : Part One

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©Copyright 2007, Turtle Heart

“Let us kill all the Indians, then we can use their drums and songs and feathers and then we will be The Indians. Or, wait, we can all be Shamans, so we don’t even need the Indians anymore.” (…anonymous)

At the beginning let me say that this word shaman is nothing. It is a manufactured word that comes from the dead world. Maybe we can call it a marketing word. It describes nothing. The common confusion over what is what in the world uses this word to describe something very few people know anything about at all. It is not a specific word, it is a general word. It means way to many things to far to many people to mean anything at all.

The old Indians had very few formal rules. Even so, a person was expected to speak clearly and use words in a very specific and accurate way. It is called being impeccable. The Sacred Life is an impeccable life. This word shaman is sloppy. It is a pretend word. Bad language clouds the air and leads to tension, and the need for …

Keeping Tobacco Sacred

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Tobacco, before it became the most enslaved and abused plant in the world, was a sacred gift, a medicine, a prayer of the American Indian people.

Today, many tribal religious and spiritual/cultural leaders and teachers continue to honor the sacred traditions and values of tobacco. Though as a young man I had studied the stories and been to many ceremonies of the Sacred Pipe and Tobacco, it was first from an Elder of Taos Pueblo that I felt emotionally and spiritually the real power of tobacco. I first met him when I was just starting out traveling with the Sacred Pipe. This was around 1976 or so.

Strawberry Jim and the Sacred Tobacco
He was very welcoming of the sacred pipe into his home. On my very first visit to his house I stayed for nearly a month. It was right in the middle of winter and soon after I arrived there was a gigantic snow fall, several feet. This stranded me in the house. After a few days I started digging through the supplies in my old Chevy. I came up with a jar of hom…

Alignment (Shadows of Sacred Stones)

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©Copyright 2007, Turtle Heart


Why was the summer solstice so important to ancient people? Why did they labor at such great length to understand the precise moment of celestial events? Their labors of precision and complexity go well beyond simple agricultural needs. Why is this information, that was so important then, nearly unimportant now?

The very act of having to work so hard to have something makes it precious. Something that is precious has strong thoughts and many moments of time in the minds of those to whom it is so important. The ancient people knew something about the earth that we have forgotten. Though not so many people know about this place, Chaco Canyon in western New Mexico has some of the most advanced celestial alignments of any culture on earth. The basis of all their calculations is a sophisticated calculation device made of 3 large slabs of stone leaning against a bigger rock. It is absolute perfection of science laughing in the face of every machine ever made.

(C…