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Spirit of Indigenous America

Tyrant of Words
United States 116awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 13833

The Power of Darkness by Song Bird Grand Mother, Native American Shaman and Medicine Woman.

When we go into sweat lodge, we are entering into the womb of Mother Earth. We are returning back to the essence of creation, of our first home, and the place where anything and everything can be known. In the sweat lodge, we are forced to face the places and spaces within us that are uncomfortable. We are forced to look at what makes us vulnerable, and we are then able to connect with the Spirit World. We are given the opportunity to purify and sweat out the toxins that have accumulated and release the pains and sorrows that weigh heavy in our hearts.

In the sweat lodge, we are free to say what is in our hearts, we can pray to the Great Spirit with our whole heart, and we can heal the traumas and wounds that hold us back. The sweat lodge is one of the most profound places of healing that the Indigenous community can go to for healing, prayer, and reconnection. This is our “church,” and our place of refuge and safety.

The sweat lodge is a sacred and transformational place where we can truly connect within, and in that space, we feel the connection between each other and the Spirit World. We feel the other’s pain, as we are confined into this small uncomfortable space. We feel the power of the Spirit World, as they say this is the place where the umbilical cord of the Universe is. In this umbilical cord, we reconnect to Mother Earth and the cosmos.

We invite the power of Spirit to join us, and we remember who we are, and why we came. The sweat lodge invites us to sit in humility, grace, faith, and trust. It brings us back to sit on the Mother Earth and feel her love for us.
In our modern world, there are few places that offer this kind of healing and connection. While most people will never have the opportunity to attend a sweat lodge, they can still create this energy by connecting to the power of the darkness.

Darkness is almost taboo in our culture. When people think of the “darkness,” they think of evil, dark magic, sorcery, and a whole host of other things. We as a society have lost the basic and foundational knowing that the darkness is powerful, it is the place of silence, of creation, and connection.

Just like the seed goes into the dark Earth to grow, and the caterpillar goes into the cocoon, we too must allow ourselves to go into the darkness to heal, to grow, to get quiet, and expand. For it is in the darkness, we find the truth. When we get quiet, we connect to our hearts, we quiet our minds, and we release the pains and sadness that keep us stuck.

Instead of running from the darkness, we need to embrace it, go into it, and allow the darkness to show us where we are stuck, where we are hurting, where we are not growing, and allow the Great Mystery who lives in the darkness to speak to us.

The darkness is a place where we can deeply connect within. It is a place that will show us if we are talking too much, if we are closed, if we are open. The darkness is a place where the truth shines and points us into the directions that we have been avoiding, and the places where we are in fact shining. This is a powerful place, that once we invite into our life, will transform us from the inside—out.

I invite you all to embrace the darkness, to sit in the silence every day, and ask the Great Mystery to show you this power. It is truly life changing when we can sit in the quietness of our lives and connect to the Universal forces that govern our lives. When we can sit upon the Mother Earth with pure love, we will feel the profound love that the Earth has for us.

This and this alone has the power to change and heal our world. The invitation now is to take time, to cultivate, and to make sitting in the darkness a priority. I guarantee it is a life changing, life transforming practice. It is what the ancestors have given us, and if we honor this practice, and invite our friends, family, and communities to join us, we will see life changing results.

You can find Song Bird Grand Mother @ Songbirdgrandmother.com

#inspiritualservice #nativeamerican #nativeamericanhistory #nativeamericanpride #NativeAmericanHeritage #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth #nativeamericanheritagemonth2023

Tyrant of Words
United States 11awards
Joined 9th May 2019
Forum Posts: 1013

This is beautiful Thank you for sharing.

Tyrant of Words
United States 116awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 13833

Kinkpoet said:This is beautiful Thank you for sharing.

You're very welcome. She is an amazing shaman and serving her second year on my Diverse Advisory Council of Unity. I am blessed to be working with her.

Tyrant of Words
United States 116awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 13833

Today we wrap up Native American Heritage Month with @Song Bird Grand Mother's final essay on Humility. Thank you to all those who have supported this endeavor, and to Song Bird for her willingness to serve and share with us.

Humility is often seen as putting yourself lower than others, and a minimization of your worth and self-importance. However, in the Indigenous cosmology, humility is seen as a trait of leadership. It is one of the most profound and foundational teachings, for without humility one cannot lead anyone or anything. Leadership requires humility, for when we are humble, we are are able to balance our own needs, with the needs of others, and the Great Spirit. We can assess what needs to be done, without self-importance, or arrogance.

When we walk with humility we honor all life, all creation, all stages of the medicine wheel, and the deeper understanding that we are here to be of assistance to one another. It is the knowing that in life we will have the opportunity to be young, middle age, and elderly; we will have, times of good health and bad health. We never know how the Great Mystery will weave our fate, so we must be humble, and open so that we may hear the messages for our lives and others. With humility we never put ourselves above or below, but rather, we focus on centeredness and harmony.

In this modern age, there is a misinterpretation that humility means you are lower than everyone else, take scraps that others offer, or hold yourself down, because you are to be “humble,” and not self-serving. However, in leadership, one must take care of themselves, they must hold themselves with honor and respect, and by doing so, they will know their worth, and those who really know themselves, have no reason to boast or gloat. The person with the most wisdom, the most strength, and the most kindness, never has to go around telling others about these traits, because they are obvious. They shine like the sun. There is an energy, a presence, a feeling that others feel when they are in this energy.

When we are insecure or trying to hide or mask, we feel we are superior or inferior to others. But, when we are humble, we are natural, authentic, connected, and grounded. Humility hold the space for the individual and the collective. It is the internal knowing of who we are, where our blessings come from, and the deep respect for all the natural rhythms of life.

When we are humble, we are honored to be here, to serve, to assist, and to lead. We hold our heads up strong, and we take on responsibilities because we know we can respond to whatever life gives us.

When we are humble, we can honor our own accomplishments, and the accomplishments of others equally. For in our connectedness we know that when someone else wins, we win, when someone does good, we all do good. We understand that there is no “competition,” because we are all connected, we are all related, we are all here to do something great for the whole.

For Native Americans, the worst thing we can be is “selfish,” all of our practices, rituals, and ceremonies are to cultivate giving. We give to our families, we give to our communities, we give to each other, we give to the Spirit World, we give to Mother Earth, we give, because we know that in the giving we receive the great blessings. We receive the greatest gift there is, which is the gift of an open heart.

This I believe is the foundation of Native American Culture, and as we wrap up Native American Heritage month, and go into the season of “giving” may we remember that to be humble is to be giving, to be giving is to be honored, and it is only through giving can we receive the great blessings of what it is to be a part of this sacred hoop of life.

Those who give, also receive. There has to be balance, but instead of giving to “get,” the purpose of giving is to help, to serve, to lead, and most importantly to open our hearts to giving love.

You can find Song Bird Grand Mother here: Songbirdgrandmother.com

#inspiritualservice #nativeamerican #nativeamericanpride #humility #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth #NativeAmericanHeritageMonth2023

Tyrant of Words
United States 116awards
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 13833

This belongs here today:

December 28, 2023
DEC 28, 2023

On the clear, cold morning of December 29, 1890, on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, three U.S. soldiers tried to wrench a valuable Winchester away from a young Lakota man. He refused to give up his hunting weapon. It was the only thing standing between his family and starvation, and he had no faith it would be returned to him as the officer promised: he had watched as soldiers had marked other confiscated valuable weapons for themselves.

As the men struggled, the gun fired into the sky.

Before the echoes died, troops fired a volley that brought down half of the Lakota men and boys the soldiers had captured the night before, as well as a number of soldiers surrounding the Lakotas. The uninjured Lakota men attacked the soldiers with knives, guns they snatched from wounded soldiers, and their fists.

As the men fought hand to hand, the Lakota women who had been hitching their horses to wagons for the day’s travel tried to flee along the nearby road or up a dry ravine behind the camp. Stationed on a slight rise above the camp, soldiers turned rapid-fire mountain guns on them. Then, over the next two hours, troops on horseback hunted down and slaughtered all the Lakotas they could find: about 250 men, women, and children.

A dozen years ago, I wrote a book about the Wounded Knee Massacre, and what I learned still keeps me up at night. But it is not December 29 that haunts me.

What haunts me is the night of December 28.

On December 28 there was still time to avert the massacre.

In the early afternoon, the Lakota leader Sitanka had urged his people to surrender to the soldiers looking for them. Sitanka was desperately ill with pneumonia, and the people in his band were hungry, underdressed, and exhausted. They were making their way south across South Dakota from their own reservation in the northern part of the state to the Pine Ridge Reservation. There they planned to take shelter with another famous Lakota chief, Red Cloud. His people had done as Sitanka asked, and the soldiers escorted the Lakotas to a camp on South Dakota's Wounded Knee Creek, inside the boundaries of the Pine Ridge Reservation.

For the soldiers, the surrender of Sitanka's band marked the end of what they called the Ghost Dance Uprising. It had been a tense month. Troops had pushed into the South Dakota reservations in November, prompting a band of terrified men who had embraced the Ghost Dance religion to gather their wives and children and ride out to the Badlands. But at long last, army officers and negotiators had convinced those Ghost Dancers to go back to Pine Ridge and turn themselves in to authorities before winter hit in earnest.

Sitanka’s people were not part of the Badlands group and, for the most part, were not Ghost Dancers. They had fled from their own northern reservation two weeks before when they learned that officers had murdered the great leader Sitting Bull in his own home. Army officers were anxious to find and corral Sitanka’s missing Lakotas before they carried the news that Sitting Bull had been killed to those who had taken refuge in the Badlands. Army leaders were certain the information would spook the Ghost Dancers and send them flying back to the Badlands. They were determined to make sure the two bands did not meet.

But South Dakota is a big state, and it was not until late in the afternoon of December 28 that the soldiers finally made contact with Sitanka's band. The encounter didn’t go quite as the officers planned: a group of soldiers were watering their horses in a stream when some of the traveling Lakotas surprised them. The Lakotas let the soldiers go, and the men promptly reported to their officers, who marched on the Lakotas as if they were going to war. Sitanka, who had always gotten along well with army officers, assured the commander that the band was on its way to Pine Ridge and asked his men to surrender unconditionally. They did.

By this time, Sitanka was so ill he couldn't sit up and his nose was dripping blood. Soldiers lifted him into an army ambulance—an old wagon—for the trip to the Wounded Knee camp. His ragtag band followed behind. Once there, the soldiers gave the Lakotas an evening ration and lent army tents to those who wanted them. Then the soldiers settled into guarding the camp.

And the soldiers celebrated, for they saw themselves as heroes of a great war, and it had been bloodless, and now, with the Lakotas’ surrender, they would be demobilized back to their home bases before the South Dakota winter closed in. As they celebrated, more and more troops poured in. It had been a long hunt across South Dakota for Sitanka and his band, and officers were determined the group would not escape them again.

In came the Seventh Cavalry, whose men had not forgotten that their former leader George Armstrong Custer had been killed by a band of Lakota in 1876. In came three mountain guns, which the soldiers trained on the Indian encampment from a slight rise above the camp.

For their part, the Lakotas were frightened. If their surrender was welcome and they were going to go with the soldiers to Red Cloud at Pine Ridge, as they had planned all along, why were there so many soldiers, with so many guns?

On this day and hour in 1890, in the cold and dark of a South Dakota December night, there were soldiers drinking, singing, and visiting with each other, and anxious Lakotas either talking to each other in low voices or trying to sleep. No one knew what the next day would bring, but no one expected what was going to happen.

One of the curses of history is that we cannot go back and change the course leading to disasters, no matter how much we might wish to. The past has its own terrible inevitability.

But it is never too late to change the future. [ A'ho]


#nativeamerican #Lakota

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