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The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. Chief Plenty Coups, Crow

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The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. It is the blood of our ancestors. – Chief Plenty Coups, Crow

Plenty Coups (Crow: Alaxchíia Ahú,[1] “many achievements”; 1848 – 1932) was the principal chief of the Mountain Crows (the Apsáalooke) of the Crow Nation and a visionary leader.

He allied the Crow with the whites when the war for the West was being fought, because the Sioux and Cheyenne (who opposed white settlement of the area) were the traditional enemies of the Crow. Plenty Coups had also experienced a vision when he was very young that non-Native American people would ultimately take control of his homeland (Montana), so he always felt that cooperation would benefit his people much more than opposition. He very much wanted the Crow to survive as a people and their customs and spiritual beliefs to carry on. His efforts on their behalf ensured that this happened, and he led his people peacefully into the 20th century.[2]

One of his famous quotes is: “Education is your greatest weapon. With education you are the white man’s equal, without education you are his victim and so shall remain all of your lives. Study, learn, help one another always. Remember there is only poverty and misery in idleness and dreams – but in work there is self respect and independence.” Chief Plenty Coups became a chief at the age of twenty-nine; he is the last chief who was elected a chief by other chiefs.

PLENTY COUPS

 

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The Great Spirit Is In All Things

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The Great Spirit is in all things, he is in the air we breathe. The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother. She nourishes us, that which we put into the ground she returns to us… – Big Thunder (Bedagi) Wabanaki Algonquin

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NATIVE AMERICAN QUOTATIONS

 

 

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

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

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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Blue Feather Spirit

Blue Feather Spirit

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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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