Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my feeble voice.
You lived first, and you are older than all need, older than all prayer. All things belong to you — the two-legged, the four-legged, the wings of the air, and all green things that live.
You have set the powers of the four quarters of the earth to cross each other. You have made me cross the good road and road of difficulties, and where they cross, the place is holy. Day in, day out, forevermore, you are the life of things.
Hey! Lean to hear my feeble voice. At the center of the sacred hoop You have said that I should make the tree to bloom.
With tears running, O Great Spirit, my Grandfather, With running eyes I must say The tree has never bloomed
Here I stand, and the tree is withered. Again, I recall the great vision you gave me.
It may be that some little root of the sacred tree still lives. Nourish it then That it may leaf And bloom And fill with singing birds!
Hear me, that the people may once again Find the good road And the shielding tree.
~ Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux
December 1863 – August 19, 1950
“I cured with the power that came through me. Of course, it was not I who cured, it was the power from the Outer World, the visions and the ceremonies had only made me like a hole through which the power could come to the two-leggeds.”
“If I thought that I was doing it myself, the hole would close up and no power could come through. Then everything I could do would be foolish.”
~ Black Elk
The intricacies of belief surrounding the pipe itself cannot be summed up in a few words. It is important to note, however, that each part of the pipe—stem, bowl, tobacco, breath, and smoke—is symbolic of the fundamental relationships among plants, animals, humans, elements, and spiritual beings that keep the cosmos in motion. In pipe ceremonies, numerous pinches of tobacco signify prayers of blessing for each part of creation and the whole cosmic community. Thus the bowl of the pipe is filled symbolically with the whole sum of existence. As the tobacco is lit by the fire, inhaled and exhaled as smoke, these prayers of blessing become visible offerings. The pipe ceremony is so symbolically resonant for the Lakota that many Lakota people compare it to the Christian sacrament of Eucharist.
The pipe ceremony provides the Lakota with the spiritual grounding and power for the negotiation of Native identity in the modern world. Among the Lakota and the other Native peoples who smoke the sacred pipe, this ceremony plays a crucial role in the struggle to survive under duress. Pipe ceremonies often anchor other traditional Lakota ceremonies, but they are performed, too, in nursing homes, hospitals, prisons, universities, protest gatherings, and political meetings. Lakota people are conscious that with each pipe ceremony they pray not only for themselves and their well being, but for all human beings and the whole of creation.
Native american medicine connects the mind, body, and spirit to the great mystery and all of life through nature.
Throw yourself into the pool of life, create those ripples if necessary, and watch them go out.
( ☆* Be well & joyful
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Life is good ~ sharing the good in life makes it better.