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How Native Americans Dodged Annihilation and Flourished

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Together the U.S. Army and paternalistic government policies all but wiped out the country’s indigenous culture. But Native Americans never stopped fighting back.

The destruction of Indian peoples’ power via military and diplomatic means was a continuous project of European Americans from the very beginning of settlement in the 1620s until the surrender of Geronimo’s Apaches in 1886. Four years after the Apaches put down their guns, at a place called Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota, the U.S. Army massacred some 300 Sioux followers of the Ghost Dance—a potent religious awakening among the Great Plains Indians that provoked great fear among the authorities, for it predicted the disappearance of all the whites, and the return of the traditional Indian world, including the buffalo herds and Native ancestors who’d died resisting the invasion of Euro-Americans.

Wounded Knee serves as a kind of grim coda to one of the sorriest chapters in American history.

Read More By James A. Warren at the DAILY BEAST

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Native American Flute Music: Meditation Music for Shamanic Astral Projection, Healing Music

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Native American Flute Music: Meditation Music for Shamanic Astral Projection, Healing Music Shamanism is a system for psychic, emotional, and spiritual healing and for exploration, discovery, and knowledge gathering about non-material worlds and states of mind. Shamanism is a “technique of ecstasy” in which the spirit of the shaman leaves the body and travels to communicate with spirit helpers and other beings for the purpose of obtaining knowledge, power, or healing. Shamanic Astral Projection or Shamanic Journeying is an altered state of consciousness wherein you enter a realm called non-ordinary reality. By journeying you can gather knowledge and perform healing in ways that are not accessible in ordinary waking reality. How does shamanism work? Some people think that in shamanic healing journeying, the spirit leaves the body and a person is being healed by spirit helpers. Others think that shamanic journeying allows access to one’s own intuition, which may otherwise be drowned out by the prattle of everyday thinking or by anxiety; and that it is a way of engaging a person’s subconscious desires for healing. Shamanic healing may not cure physical or psychological illness, but it may help one gain psychic energy that will allow one better to handle illness. Shamanic healing therefore is best used in conjunction with other treatments, not as a substitute for them. Connection with a Power Animal A power animal protects you physically and provides you with emotional support, wisdom, and vital energy. Some people think a power animal is a spirit being that stays with you because it cares for you and enjoys being able to experience life in a physical body. Others think a power animal is a symbol for one’s subconscious wisdom. Almost everybody has a power animal; some have several. (Perhaps you had an “invisible animal friend” as a child or have always been fascinated with a particular kind of animal. This animal may be your Power Animal). A person may, in the course of life, lose contact with the power animal, thereby losing the animal’s protection, wisdom, and energy. If you lose contact with your Power Animal, you may feel dispirited, or you may become sick easily. The Shamanic Astral Projection technique of Power Animal Retrieval can restore a person’s connection to a Power Animal. A person can also journey to find his or her own Power Animal. To maintain a connection with your Power Animal, take the time to learn about your animal, learn to feel its presence, communicate with it, and honor it by doing things that it enjoys. Free flow of emotional and physical energy Health requires a free flow of energy that one can use to accomplish one’s desires in the world. But one’s energy can become blocked in various ways. People who have lost parts of their life essence, who have been ill, who have lost connection with a Power Animal, or who are regularly exposed to emotionally stressful situations are vulnerable to intrusions or “psychic infections” that block a person’s connection with self or drain a person’s energy. An intrusion can be thought of either as a foreign energy being that takes up residence in a person’s psychic body (a psychic infection), or as a psychic structure (an emotional wall or barrier) that a person built to keep herself safe from harm, but that now is blocking some of his/her energy expression. A person with an intrusion might feel drained or ill, might have aches and pains, might have nightmares or other fears. A shamanic healer can find and remove intrusions and barriers in a healing ritual called extraction. A sense of purpose A sense of purpose is necessary to happiness. The person who loves and cares about the world and fellow beings, who wants to make some small part of the universe a better place, has a sense of purpose. A person can find a sense of purpose in life by seeking knowledge and direction through shamanic journeys, divinations, and rituals. One can do this alone, or with a group of people engaged in similar quests. A shamanic healer or counselor can’t find another person’s purpose, but can help one seek and interpret information.

Courtesy of Nu Meditation Music

Native Americans were using psychoactive plants 1,000 years ago

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While there is well-documented evidence of cultures using psychoactive plants for spiritual and medicinal use throughout human history, pinpointing the exact origin of ritualistic psychotropic plant use is tricky.

But recent excavations of a human burial site in the dry Sora River valley in southwestern Bolivia have unearthed a ritual bundle of psychotropic plants providing clear evidence that Native Americans in the area used multiple plants, perhaps in different combinations, to induce hallucinations as early as 1,000 years ago.

Researchers from Penn State discovered the human burial site and ritual bundle while looking for evidence of ancient occupation of the region.

“We already knew that psychotropics were important in the spiritual and religious activities of the societies of the south-central Andes, but we did not know that these people were using so many different compounds and possibly combining them together,” said Jose Capriles, an assistant professor of anthropology at Penn State. “This is the largest number of psychoactive substances ever found in a single archaeological assemblage from South America.”

The bundle contained two snuffing tablets, a snuffing tube, and a pouch made from fox snouts. The snuffing tablets would have been used to grind psychotropic plants into snuff which then would have been smoked with the snuffing tube.

Radiocarbon dating revealed that the bundle is around 1,000 years old.

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The researchers carefully collected tiny scrapings from the fox-skin pouch and used liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry to analyze its contents.

“This method is highly sensitive and very effective for detecting the presence of minute amounts of specific compounds from very small samples,” said Melanie Miller, the researcher responsible for analyzed the samples.

The pouch once contained multiple psychoactive plants as the analysis identified many different psychoactive compounds including cocaine, harmine, dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and possibly psilocin (the main hallucinogenic compound in magic mushrooms).

The presence of both DMT and harmine suggests that the owner of the pouch used the ingredients to make ayahuasca.

“Some scholars believe that ayahuasca has relatively recent origins, while others argue that it may have been used for centuries, or even millennia,” said Capriles. “Given the presence of harmine and DMT together in the pouch we found, it is likely that this shaman ingested these simultaneously to achieve a hallucinogenic state. This finding suggests that ayahuasca may have been used up to 1,000 years ago.”

It is possible that the pouch and burial site where it was found belonged to a shaman, but the discovery only produces more questions than answers as many of the plant compounds discovered in the pouch were not native to the nearby region.

“The presence of these compounds indicates the owner of this kit had access to at least three plants with psychoactive compounds, but potentially even four or five,” said Miller. “None of the psychoactive compounds we found come from plants that grow in this area of the Andes, indicating either the presence of elaborate exchange networks or the movement of this individual across diverse environments to procure these special plants.”

The recent findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Main Image Credit: Jose Capriles, Penn State

Courtesy of EARTH.COM NEWS

Native American Strawberry Moon ~ June 23, 2013

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The next Full Moon will be June 23, 2013.  The Wabanki, people of the Dawn (most commonly known as the Algonquin tribes) knew the Full Moon in June, which they called the Strawberry Moon,  as a time to gather ripening strawberries. It is also known as the Rose Moon and the Hot Moon.

Your Native American moon sign is reflective.  Because we are dealing with attributes of the moon, the personality type shared below, for people born in June – Month of the Strawberry Moon, will speak to your shadow self.

Most astrological zodiacs are based on sun signs (the position of the sun at your birth).  Sun signs describe how you appear to the world (it fits with the metaphor of the visible sun radiating brightly for all to see upon the earth).

The moon signs are a metaphor – they express shadows, motion, change and soft illuminations of the personality – just like the moon.

Moreover, if you do not see yourself (your personality) in this Native American moon sign for June, that might not be unusual.  Typically, moon sign personality types can hide within us, and need the light of our attention in order to shine brightly out of our shadows (again, just like the moon needs the light of the sun to be seen).

Your Native American moon sign can be determined according to the month in which you were born.  Each month experiences one full moon (sometimes two).  That full moon within the month you were born expresses certain aspects of your personality.  Read your personality type within the month you were born – it will convey unique illumination about yourself.

June :  Strawberry Moon

bfsfullmoon6234You have so many ideas and dreams you have a hard time keeping track.  Within you there is a wealth of genius pertaining to enterprise.  Within the tribe, people come to you for your insight and advice because they know you are ripe with perspective.  Although, your opinions might not be the most objective.  You know this about yourself however, and have a keen ability to manipulate situations because you can see the inner workings and outer workings of a scenario at the same time.  You love to nurture those around you and are particularly doting to family members – especially your children and/or domestic pets.  Your life lesson is about channeling your vast understandings into a specific direction that serves your community.

Full moon falls on June 23, 2013 at 11:32 UTC (6:32 a.m. CDT in the U.S.).  Thus, for many, the moon appears about as full in the June 22 evening sky as it does on the evening of June 23.  This full moon is not only the closest and largest full moon of the year. It also presents the moon’s closest encounter with Earth for all of 2013.  The moon will not be so close again until August, 2014.  In other words, it’s not just a supermoon.  It’s the closest supermoon of 2013.

June 2013 presents the moon’s closest encounter with Earth until August 10, 2014, at which time the moon will be a scant 5 kilometers closer to Earth.  The full moon will come even closer to Earth on September 28, 2015 (356,877 kilometers) and closer yet on November 14, 2016 (356,509 kilometers). November 2016 will feature the closest full moon until November 25, 2034!

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Click  HERE  for All Native American Moon Signs.

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Soul Mates ~ When The Love Begins

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Blue Feather Spirit

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A Woman’s Worth. Words of Wisdom From the Elders.

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bfswomanThe Elders say the men should look at women in a sacred way.

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The men should never put women down or shame them in any way. When we have problems, we should seek their counsel. We should share with them openly.

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A woman has intuitive thought. She has access to another system of knowledge that few men develop. She can help us understand. We must treat her in a good way.

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When Great Spirit Calls

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Great Spirit Calling

Great Spirit Calling

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Medicine Bundles

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The sacred medicine bundle is the most holy of holiest among all the Native American First People of the plains and most of the woodland and mountain tribes. Stewardship of these bundles is usually vested in a member of a tribal clan or society, although the power of the bundle is believed to be beneficial to the entire tribe or band. The bundles are opened on specific occasions, and according to precise ritual. Each bundle contains a varied collection of objects and representations of spiritual significance, from animal skins and effigies to ceremonial pipes. Most medicine bundles have been passed down from one keeper to another over such a long span of time that their origins have become shrouded in mystery and myth.

A medicine bundle is a wrapped package used by Native Americans for religious purposes. A package of this type may also be referred to as a medicine bag. Medicine bundles are usually employed as a ritual aid in the observance of their religions. The size of a medicine bundle generally varies from 12 to 14 inches in length, but could be larger.

It is usually a collection of various items that might include seeds, pine cones, grass, animal teeth or claws, horse hair, rocks, crystals, tobacco, beads, arrowheads, bones, or anything else of relatively small size that possesses spiritual value to the bundle’s keeper. A shaman’s bundle generally contains more items than a warrior’s or woman’s bundle, and may include such objects as bone rattles, skins from unborn animals, and the shaman’s hair and nail clippings.

The contents of a medicine bundle are generally considered holy by the tribal community, and are meant to be kept secret by the keeper. The contents of a medicine bundle are not meant to touch the ground. This is why they are to be securely wrapped. Prayers and rituals almost invariably accompany the making and opening of medicine bundles, and women rarely handle them, except in certain matriarchal clans. Of course, women might have their own personal medicine bag. A medicine bundle may be passed down as a generational inheritance.

A medicine bundle is considered a very precious possession which represents a person’s spiritual life, and may possess powers for protection and healing. As the owner grows older, more items may be added to it. Personal medicine bundles are usually buried with the owner, or passed on to a friend upon the owner’s death.

Medicine bundles may also be maintained for an entire tribe. A tribal medicine bundle is usually much larger and contains special objects which may only be handled by certain tribe members. It is only opened on special occasions.

As something that holds supernatural items, the medicine bag must also have some power of its own. Medicine items attributed with various supernatural abilities for the bag would often be procured in a tribal custom known as a vision quest. This ceremony includes personal sacrifice: fasting and prayer over several days in a location isolated from the rest of the community. The purpose is to make contact with natural spiritual forces that help or guide people to reach their potential. The spirits, or totems, help the individual to gather these medicine items, increase knowledge and aid personal spiritual growth.

Typical powers ascribed to medicine bags and their items include increasing hunting abilities, aiding one’s life coping skills, healing allies, hindering enemies and altering the weather.

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Now Our Minds Are One.

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GREETINGS TO THE NATURAL WORLD!

The People

Today we have gathered and we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now, we bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People.

Now our minds are one.

The Earth Mother

We are all thankful to our Mother, the Earth, for she gives us all that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she continues to care for us as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Waters

We give thanks to all the Waters of the world for quenching our thirst and providing us with strength. Water is life. We know its power in many forms – waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the spirit of water.

Now our minds are one.

The Fish

We turn our minds to all the Fish life in the water. They were instructed to cleanse and purify the water. They also give themselves to us as food. We are grateful that we can still find pure water. So, we turn now to the Fish and send our greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Plants

Now we turn toward the vast fields of Plant life. As far as the eye can see, the Plants grow, working many wonders. They sustain many life forms. With our minds gathered together, we give thanks and look forward to seeing Plant life for many generations to come.

Now our minds are one.

The Food Plants

With one mind, we turn to honor and thank all the Food Plants we harvest from the garden. Since the beginning of time, the grains, vegetables, beans and berries have helped the people survive. Many other living things draw strength from them too. We gather all the Plant Foods together as one and send them a greeting and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Medicine Herbs

Now we turn to all the Medicine herbs of the world. From the beginning, they were instructed to take away sickness. They are always waiting and ready to heal us. We are happy there are still among us those special few who remember how to use these plants for healing. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to the Medicines and to the keepers of the Medicines.

Now our minds are one.

The Animals

We gather our minds together to send greetings and thanks to all the Animal life in the world. They have many things to teach us as people. We see them near our homes and in the deep forests. We are glad they are still here and we hope that it will always be so.

Now our minds are one.

The Trees

We now turn our thoughts to the Trees. The Earth has many families of Trees who have their own instructions and uses. Some provide us with shelter and shade, others with fruit, beauty and other useful things. Many peoples of the world use a Tree as a symbol of peace and strength. With one mind, we greet and thank the Tree life.

Now our minds are one.

The Birds

We put our minds together as one and thank all the Birds who move and fly about over our heads. The Creator gave them beautiful songs. Each day they remind us to enjoy and appreciate life. The Eagle was chosen to be their leader. To all the Birds – from the smallest to the largest – we send our joyful greetings and thanks.

Now our minds are one.

The Four Winds

We are all thankful to the powers we know as the Four Winds. We hear their voices in the moving air as they refresh us and purify the air we breathe. They help to bring the change of seasons. From the four directions they come, bringing us messages and giving us strength. With one mind, we send our greetings and thanks to the Four Winds.

Now our minds are one.

The Thunderers

Now we turn to the west where our Grandfathers, the Thunder Beings, live. With lightning and thundering voices, they bring with them the water that renews life. We bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to our Grandfathers, the Thunderers.

Now our minds are one.

The Sun

We now send greetings and thanks to our eldest Brother, the Sun. Each day without fail he travels the sky from east to west, bringing the light of a new day. He is the source of all the fires of life. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Brother, the Sun.

Now our minds are one.

Grandmother Moon

We put our minds together and give thanks to our oldest grandmother, the Moon, who lights the night-time sky. She is the leader of women all over the world, and she governs the movement of the ocean tides. By her changing face we measure time, and it is the Moon who watches over the arrival of children here on Earth. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to our Grandmother, the Moon.

Now our minds are one.

The Stars

We give thanks to the Stars who are spread across the sky like jewelry. We see them in the night, helping the Moon to light the darkness and bringing dew to the gardens and growing things. When we travel at night, they guide us home. With our minds gathered together as one, we send greetings and thanks to all the Stars.

Now our minds are one.

The Enlightened Teachers

We gather our minds to greet and thank the enlightened Teachers who have come to help throughout the ages. When we forget how to live in harmony, they remind us of the way we were instructed to live as people. With one mind, we send greetings and thanks to these caring Teachers.

Now our minds are one.

The Creator

Now we turn our thoughts to the Creator, or Great Spirit, and send greetings and thanks for the gifts of Creation. Everything we need to live a good life is here on this Mother Earth. For all the love that is still around us, we gather our minds together as one and send our choicest words of greetings and thanks to the Creator.

Now our minds are one.

Closing Words

We have now arrived at the place where we end our words. Of all the things we have named, it was not our intention to leave anything out. If something was forgotten, we leave it to each individual to send such greetings and thanks in their own way.

Now our minds are one.

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Native Blood

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Somewhere a Good Man Must Rise from the Young Ones Among Us

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“Native Blood”, the latest video from San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal legends TESTAMENT, was honored in the “Best Music Video” category at Native American Film Institute’s 37th annual American Indian Film Festival, which was held Friday, November 9, at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, California.

The American Indian Film Festival recognizes outstanding Indian cinematic accomplishments, and will recognize Native media makers and talent via its American Indian Motion Picture Awards Show. The festival also provides an opportunity for filmmakers, tribes, media and public audiences to come together and share in the creative experience and celebrate cinematic accomplishment.

For more information, visit American Indian Film Institute

TESTAMENT vocalist Chuck Billy collaborated with seasoned director, Mike Sloat to put together a clip that is universal in message while bringing the spotlight to Billy‘s Native American heritage — The Pomo Indians.

The performance portion of the clip was shot on the Billy Ranch in Hopland, California, where the flames were huge and the temperatures were high.

The “Native Blood” video is about the growth of  a Native American youth throughout the years. When faced with hatred, racism, bullying, and harassment, he uses nature’s sanctuary to recharge and meditate on the lessons he learned from his grandfather to handle these very tough situations in a way to honor and dignify himself and his people.

Billy previously stated about “Native Blood”, “It’s almost like a protest song, that the Native Americans have a voice that needs to be heard — that’s the chorus of the song.”

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Princess Angelina

The Cutest Pit Bull in the World needs Your Help to Save Other Dogs.

Our Compass

Because compassion directs us ...

BlueFeatherSpirit

"Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money can not be eaten."