Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Blessing the Baby

Practiced in many Native American cultures, the Blessingway Ceremony was traditionally held to honor major life transitions. During late pregnancy and to prepare for birth, an important rite of passage for women, a woman's close female friends would host a Blessingway Ceremony to honor her transition into motherhood. This initiation helps to prepare a woman physically, mentally and spiritually for her journey through birth and into motherhood. It allows her to strengthen her social support, which she will need to nourish her postpartum, and to deepen the bonds that she has with her community of support.
Do your own Blessingway Ceremony: Invite a group of women friends/relatives for a relaxing time to share food, pamper mom-to-be and honor the new baby who is making the way to join the circle.

Monday, December 1, 2008


From the heart of Earth, by means of yellow pollen
Blessing is extended.
Blessing is extended.
On top of a pollen floor may I there in blessing give birth!
With long life-happiness surrounding me
May I in blessing give birth!
May I quickly give birth!
In blessing may I arise again, in blessing may I recover,
As one who is long life-happiness may I live on!
-Navajo chant from the Blessingway Ceremony

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Warrior Moccasin Project

A Native American tradition, especially among the Plains Tribes, was that any time a warrior went to battle he would wear only new moccasins. The reason for this was the new moccasins were to help insure his safe return home from the upcoming battle. Should he be killed or seriously injured, the new moccasins would ease his transition into the afterlife. The Warrior Moccasin Project draws from that tradition and honors the sacrifice being made by our Native American troops currently serving in harm’s way in the Middle East. You can learn more by going to the National Native American Veterans Association website: http://www.nnava.org/wmpindex.html
On this Veterans Day, many thanks to our brave men and women both past and present serving in the armed forces.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Gift of Beads

I like to give friends a simple strand of beads. I string beads frequently and give them as gifts of gratitude and good will. As a tradition, when a Native woman strings beads she thinks good thoughts and puts her positive energy into the beads. Perhaps her thoughts are of helping, healing, supporting or thanking when she is beading.....regardless, she is putting pride and power into her beadwork.
Beads are given as gifts from the heart. The season of winter is a slower time of prayer and reflection and this is when I string beads........so hopefully I get a bit more time in the coming months to do this!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Good Energy

Smudging is a a healing ritual performed by Native Americans using a smoking wand or stick made from dried herbs for cleansing the human aura, locations, or personal objects.
Most commonly used herbs for smudging are Sage, Cedar or Sweet Grass.
A smudge stick is generally ignited and then extinguished to a smolder, freeing the smoke to circle in the air. Whomever is performing the smudge will fan the swirls of smoke around a person's aura from head to toe.
Common occasions for smudging:
Ceremony / Cleansing / Purification / Releasing.
Smudging can be defined as "spiritual house cleaning." In theory, the smoke attaches itself to negative energy and as the smoke clears it takes the negative energy with it, releasing it into another space where it will be regenerated into positive energy.
My mother performs the most powerful smudges in her healing work. When she smudges me, I feel completely renewed and calm - not an easy feat in my hectic life!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Indian Paintbrush

Native Americans from many tribes used Indian Paintbrush for medicinal purposes. Chippewa brewed its leaves for a tea for rheumatism, Hopi women used the entire plant in a tea as a contraceptive, Navajos made a tea from the blossoms to treat burns and insect bites.
And according to a Native American legend, a young man was painting a picture of a sunset, but was unable to capture the vibrant orange hues to his satisfaction. He asked the Great Spirit for aid and he was given many paintbrushes dripping with vivid orange and red paints. When the artist finished his painting he tossed the brushes on the ground, and wherever a brush touched the earth an Indian Paintbrush plant appeared.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Legend of the Corn Husk Doll

If you ever saw a traditional corn husk doll and wondered why the face was blank here's why:

The Iroquois people have what they call the three sisters, the "sustainers of life". These sisters are called corn, beans, and squash. The corn Spirit was so thrilled at being one of the sustainers of life that she asked the Creator what more she could do for her people. The Creator said that a beautiful doll could be formed from the husks. The Creator set to work to form the doll. When finished he gave the doll a beautiful face, and sent it to the children of the Iroquois people to play with, and to make them happy.

The doll went from village to village playing with the children and doing whatever she could for the children. Everywhere she went everyone would tell her how beautiful she was, so after a while she became vain. The Creator spoke to her and explained that this was not the right kind of behavior, and she agreed not to be this way anymore. The Creator told her that if she continued with this behavior he would punish her, but he would not tell her how he would do it. She agreed not to act that way again, and things went on as before.
One afternoon she was walking by a creek and she glanced into the water. As she admired herself, she couldn't help thinking how beautiful she was, because indeed she was beautiful.At this time Creator sent a giant screech owl out of the sky and it snatched her reflection from the water. When she looked again, she had no reflection. This was the punishment the Creator put upon her. When an Iroquois Mother makes a doll for her child, she tells them this legend. This is to remind the child that it is wrong to think they are better then any one else, and they must know that the Creator has given a special gift to everyone.