Smudging 101, Deer Visitors, and the 10%

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There is a Talking Circle at my shop the first Sunday of each month.  Not really church, just a place to be with others and pray traditionally with Native influences and customs.  This last Sunday we talked about focusing our energies on the 10%.  90% of what we worry about is what the media tells us about, world issues, family issues, and many, many things that we have absolutely no control over.  As we focus more and more on the 90% we lose track of the 10% of things we can control and our gifts that we carry that can assist in this world.  Focusing on the 90% leads to anxiety and depression and helplessness.

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Last night I felt an overwhelming sense of desperation and helplessness.  How can we possibly afford anything in the state that has the newly highest cost of living?  How can we survive?  How can we stay near our babies if we had to move?  and on and on with scenarios that may or may not exist.  I went to sleep early as slumber will renew me and oft give me answers.  I woke up renewed.

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Within the realms of the 10% I can choose my back up plan in case we cannot get the large farm.  I could very well be an urban homesteader while making a difference in a career.  The career that I would be best in (in my opinion) is teaching young adults.  So, I relooked at my curriculum choices for school with a renewed sense of purpose.  I will let things unfold naturally, while saving money, since I cannot see the future.  No matter how hard I try.  Meanwhile I call on strength from the Great Spirit and the Directions.  This is how to smudge (prayers and blessing).

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Traditionally Cherokee prayer herbs would consist of Sweet grass to renew positive energy, Sage to rid negative energy, Tobacco as an offering to the Great Spirit, and Cedar as an offering to the spirits; animal, plant, and the deceased.  In a pottery bowl (heat proof) place the herbs desired and light.  Using a feather to spread the smoke around a room, over thyself, or in the Four Directions.  Any feather will do.

We call on the spirit of the East direction for strength and hope and faith.  We give thanks to the Creator for all the things in our lives and our own life.  We thank Grandfather Sun for rising each morning and providing warmth and light. 

We call on the spirit of the South for childlike wonder and awe, for lessons, and we thank our four legged brethren for providing us with companionship, food, and clothing, and to the plants for giving of themselves for food and medicine.

We call on the spirit of the West for strength, health, and endurance.  We give thanks to our ancestors for guiding us and praying for us.

We call on the spirit of the North for calm and wisdom.  We thank the north for rain and snow, for lessons learned, and for peace and breath.

We call on the spirit of the sky (galun’lati), to the star people and Grandmother moon for protection and inspiration.

We call on the spirit of the Mother Earth (alohi)for caring for us, for her life, therefore our life as we pledge to be more careful with her.

We are thankful for the ceremonial fire as our prayers are taken upward on the smoke and carried on the winged ones’ feathers and for our connection with all around us. 

We draw the smoke over ourselves that we will have a clear heart, a love for all, and will do things in the right way. 

And as my breath and peace came forth, the beautiful deer (ahwi) came to see me.

Wishing you peace and less worries….ehmenah.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Life of a Healer- Part 1 (oddities and healings)

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I remember that little girl rather clearly though it was many a year ago.  Her name was Wildflower and I can see her now with her wispy brown hair and big blue eyes planting dandelion seeds in a circular pattern in the neighbor’s yard in hopes of creating bountiful yellow meadows on that city block.  Even then, at six years old, Wildflower understood the importance of dandelions and was ever baffled at those who attempted their demise.

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She was a bit of an odd child, I recall.  She spent most of her time playing alone.  She kept only a few close friends.  Her friends were the trees and the animals.  She had a special bond with animals, an empathy that confused those near, and a deep compassion for all living creatures.

As the child started to grow she spent most of her time at the park reading, or writing poetry.  She would feed the ducks and they would lie along the edges of her blanket by the lake, under the large summer trees.  She would feed squirrels by hand and chatter with them as they would her.  Again, only keeping a few close friends, she spent most of her time alone among animals and nature.

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When she was quite small her parents were Atheist and so Wildflower would test God.  “God, if you are real, help me with my homework!”  Every time she did her English work she would ask to find a word in the dictionary that was required and would turn to the page and point to it with her eyes closed.  Every time she found the word she was looking for.  This surprised and delighted the young child and long talks ensued with the Great Spirit.  Her parents became Catholic and so did she and Wildflower fell in love with all the prayers and quiet treasures of silent reverie.  She wished to become a nun and spend her entire life writing and reading and praying and helping animals and people.

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When Wildflower was nine years old she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Such an odd thing for a child to experience and for five years weekly visits to doctors, too much aspirin, and very painful times commenced.  The doctors simply could not help.  At fourteen years old it was time to be confirmed in the Catholic Church and a retreat was taking place at the amazing Mother Cabrini Shrine in Golden, Colorado.  This is a place with awe inspiring views and a sense of true peace and miracles.  The fountain where Mother Cabrini struck a rock to bring water forth is still there and those searching, praying, or praising go to this miraculous place.  Including, at the time, a bunch of rough and tumble teenagers with little respect and a strong sense of rebellion.  Wildflower remembered the teenagers as they gathered in a room in the old house where a small, Hispanic woman with a quiet presence stood.  The children made jokes, made light of the heavy air.  The woman called the first child up and made the sign of the cross on their forehead with holy water.  The youth leaders were behind the young man as he stiffened and fell straight to the ground, being guided by their knowing hands.  There he lay paralyzed as she prayed over him.  The teenagers sat speechless.  When it was Wildflower’s turn she walked up, nervous about what would happen, and she too fell straight back and lay on the patterned rug staring at the ceiling paralyzed.  The mysterious woman leaned over her and said that Wildflower would begin speaking in tongues and that her arthritis would leave her body.  Wildflower was carried to a couch where the words of a higher power began to flow out of her mysteriously and without aid and through her fingertips a rush of power flew, all the pain that she could handle was rushing through her fingers and out of her body.  She was shaking and being comforted by youth leaders and in that moment was healed.

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This would be the first of four miraculous healings that would occur to the young healer long before she knew her calling.  She knew the plants and herbs and animals and the Great Spirit but did not yet know the herbs’ practical uses as she was still in a place where no one knew that plants could speak or heal.  So, even though she tended wild flowers, she knew not that she would work with them in the future.  Because after a few years she became lost….