Category Archives: Native American

The Song of the Drum

The Song of the Drum

By

Heather Powers

10/10/16

Have you ever felt beauty but it scared you because it was so raw and open? A comment by a kindred sister spurred me to write this story of my drum. My drum, a muse within itself, led me on a dance of spirit and it was achingly beautiful and I want to feel that again. Control has been an issue with me…her claws gripping my head, screaming like a banshee. It’s difficult for me to let go of control, making me physically uncomfortable but I guess it’s one of my lessons to learn which has been a difficult one. One day a few years ago, my drum decided to take me on a journey, one where I lost that bitch called control. Vibrant energy flowed from the spirit of the drum, memories reeled in from the bison from which the drum was made. Strength radiated from the drum and I had no idea what dance the drum would swirl me in, a whirlpool of rawness and beauty that hasn’t been replicated since.

I love drum circles, they are my salve, my healing. When I play, my mind opens and expands and I see raw beauty, pure spirit. As I play the drum, the beat resonates deep within my soul. I connect with the energy that lies within. I feel the bison call….my other drum guardians join in the chorus but that is a story for another day.

This particular drum circle was the epicenter of my awakening, I found it but it’s became elusive in the years since. I feel it calling me but I fear it because of the control I will lose. My tenuous grip on control is unraveling and it seems as if events in my life are making me aware that I need to give up that control and have faith it will work out.

I started playing in this drum circle completely in control of my faculties for a while…but the drum had different plans unbeknownst to me. I started getting caught up in the emotions of the songs that we played but I was still in control. Then an extraordinary gentleman joined in the fray and started singing. That did it, my handle on my control fell apart and the journey began. I felt my spirit soaring and it scared me, oh how it scared me. But that didn’t matter, the drum sang and that was that. I remember falling into my head and another joined in. My pulse racing, edgy with anticipation but fear of what was to come.  As the drum sang, I too sang in a language I was unfamiliar with. I later found out it was Lakota. And I sang, my vocal cords straining with the tones of the song…And then that’s where my control got lost in a myriad of beats. The song from my lips gentle but heartbreaking. Tears fell down my cheeks, leaving their salty trails on my shirt. I felt utter beauty in those moments, a butterfly caught in flight, the colors sparkling in the sunlight. The song continued without stopping and then I just stood there. Fear’s fingertips touching my rational brain but also the utter certainty that I was safe that I wasn’t in harm’s way.

The beautiful moment was done, my wretched mind stepping in and bringing me back. With it came fear, the tendrils growing stronger. Strong enough to make me run out of the drum circle like a scared deer caught in headlights. I spent several minutes searching for help for someone to bring me back from the abyss. I finally found someone who knew what was happening and she sat me down. Snapped me back from the fear mindset and grounded me. She connected me back with my drum to see what messages I was meant to receive. For you see, I wasn’t getting it so they decided to take action. I sat there with tears in my eyes, the fear dwindling, and laid my forehead on the drum. The vision came then, I was in a leather dress, long brown hair, braided with feathers and in front of me was a papoose with a baby inside. The baby was crying and I felt fear in my heart that my baby was going to die and the only thing that would calm her was a lullaby. So I sang in this vision and it was the song that I sang in the drum circle. And the message I got was life is precious and it’s fleeting, and I should treasure it. Nothing else is important. Material possessions are meaningless in the grand scheme of things. The stars in the sky prove that, we are speck in the universe and everything will be okay and everything will work out. You just have to let go of the control and have faith.

 

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Native Chants

I absolutely love this:)

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Four Sacred Medicines

Shared from Good Medicine and Primal Consciousness Delphi Web Forum

FOUR SACRED MEDICINES

TOBACCO
Tobacco is one of the four sacred plants, representing the Eastern Direction. Our Lodge smokes a form of tobacco known as kinikinik, or a red willow mix, although some members prefer to use home grown or store-bought tobacco. Tobacco is used in the offering of prayer to the Creator, acting as a medium for communication. It is either offered to the fire, so the smoke can lift the prayers to the Creator, or it is set on the ground in a nice, clean place. This is done on a daily basis as each new day is greeted with prayers of thankfulness. The Elders say to hold it in your prayers of thankfulness. They also add that you are to hold it in your left hand as this is the hand closer to your heart. It is always good to offer Tobacco when seeking knowledge or advice from an Elder or when a Pipe is present.

CEDAR
Cedar represents the Southern direction. The leaves are cleaned from the stems and separated into small pieces, which are used in many way. When burned, Cedar acts as a purifier, cleansing the area in which it is burned and emitting a pleasant scent. Elders say to put some in your shoes and only goodness will come your way.

SAGE
Sage is used in much the same ways as Cedar. It is burned as a purifier, but when compared to the “piney” scent of cedar, sage has a spice air. Sage represents the Western direction.

SWEETGRASS
The Sweetgrass is known for its beautifully sweet, aromatic scent, which is enhanced by the rain or when it is burned. This, too, is a purifier. Many things are made with Sweetgrass such as coiled baskets. It is often braided and thus signified the hair of Our Mother the Earth. Each of the three sections that go into the braid have a specific meaning – mind, body and spirit. Native peoples live life in a very sacred manner. When taking something from the Earth, they always explain to the spirit of the plant why it is being done and offer some tobacco in return for the generosity and help of the plant which shared itself so freely

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Some Inspirational Native American quotes

Some quotes to make you think 🙂
Heather

Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.
Chief Seattle, 1854

May the stars carry your sadness away,
May the flowers fill your heart with beauty,
May hope forever wipe away your tears,
And, above all, may silence make you strong.
Chief Dan George

What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night.
It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across
the grass and loses itself in the sunset.
Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator 1830 – 1890

And while I stood there
I saw more than I can tell,
and I understood more than I saw;
for I was seeing in a sacred manner
the shapes of things in the spirit,
and the shape of all shapes as they must
live together like one being.
Black Elk, Black Elk Speaks

Peace and happiness are available in every moment.
Peace is every step. We shall walk hand in hand.
There are no political solutions to spiritual problems.
Remember: If the Creator put it there, it is in the right place.
The soul would have no rainbow if the eyes had no tears.
Tell your people that, since we were promised we should never be moved,
we have been moved five times.
An Indian Chief, 1876.

When all the trees have been cut down,
when all the animals have been hunted,
when all the waters are polluted,
when all the air is unsafe to breathe,
only then will you discover you cannot eat money.
Cree Prophecy

Certain things catch your eye,
But pursue only those
that capture your heart.
old indian saying

Cherokee Prayer Blessing
May the Warm Winds of Heaven
Blow softly upon your house.
May the Great Spirit
Bless all who enter there.
May your Mocassins
Make happy tracks
in many snows,
and may the Rainbow
Always touch your shoulder.

Honor the sacred.
Honor the Earth, our Mother.
Honor the Elders.
Honor all with whom we share the Earth:-
Four-leggeds, two-leggeds, winged ones,
Swimmers, crawlers, plant and rock people.
Walk in balance and beauty.
Native American Elder

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Native American Code of Ethnics

Native American Code of Ethics

{NATIVE AMERICAN INDIAN TRADITIONAL CODE OF ETHICS
This article is from the “Inter-Tribal Times” – October 1994}

1. Each morning upon rising, and each evening before sleeping, give thanks for the life within you and for all life, for the good things the Creator has given you and for the opportunity to grow a little more each day. Consider your thoughts and actions of the past day and seek for the courage and strength to be a better person. Seek for the things that will benefit others (everyone).

Respect: Respect means “To feel or show honor or esteem for someone or something; to consider the well being of, or to treat someone or something with deference or courtesy”. Showing respect is a basic law of life.

a. Treat every person from the tiniest child to the oldest elder with respect at all times.

b. Special respect should be given to Elders, Parents, Teachers, and Community Leaders.

c. No person should be made to feel “put down” by you; avoid hurting other hearts as you would avoid a deadly poison.

d. Touch nothing that belongs to someone else (especially Sacred Objects) without permission, or an understanding between you.

e. Respect the privacy of every person, never intrude on a person’s quiet moment or personal space.

f. Never walk between people that are conversing.

g. Never interrupt people who are conversing.

h. Speak in a soft voice, especially when you are in the presence of Elders, strangers or others to whom special respect is due.

i. Do not speak unless invited to do so at gatherings where Elders are present (except to ask what is expected of you, should you be in doubt).

j. Never speak about others in a negative way, whether they are present or not.

k. Treat the earth and all of her aspects as your mother. Show deep respect for the mineral world, the plant world, and the animal world. Do nothing to pollute our Mother, rise up with wisdom to defend her.

l. Show deep respect for the beliefs and religion of others.

m. Listen with courtesy to what others say, even if you feel that what they are saying is worthless. Listen with your heart.

n. Respect the wisdom of the people in council. Once you give an idea to a council meeting it no longer belongs to you. It belongs to the people. Respect demands that you listen intently to the ideas of others in council and that you do not insist that your idea prevail. Indeed you should freely support the ideas of others if they are true and good, even if those ideas are quite different from the ones you have contributed. The clash of ideas brings forth the Spark of Truth.

3. Once a council has decided something in unity, respect demands that no one speak secretly against what has been decided. If the council has made an error, that error will become apparent to everyone in its own time.

4. Be truthful at all times, and under all conditions.

5. Always treat your guests with honor and consideration. Give of your best food, your best blankets, the best part of your house, and your best service to your guests.

6. The hurt of one is the hurt of all, the honor of one is the honor of all.

7. Receive strangers and outsiders with a loving heart and as members of the human family.

8. All the races and tribes in the world are like the different colored flowers of one meadow. All are beautiful. As children of the Creator they must all be respected.

9. To serve others, to be of some use to family, community, nation, and the world is one of the main purposes for which human beings have been created. Do not fill yourself with your own affairs and forget your most important talks. True happiness comes only to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others.

10. Observe moderation and balance in all things.

11. Know those things that lead to your well-being, and those things that lead to your destruction.

12. Listen to and follow the guidance given to your heart. Expect guidance to come in many forms; in prayer, in dreams, in times of quiet solitude, and in the words and deeds of wise Elders and friends.

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