Friday, August 15, 2008

Native American Connection

Over the course of most of my life, I can't say that I have been particularly drawn to Native American spiritual beliefs. Recently, however, things keep "popping" into my life that have slowly brought about an interest in at least learning tangentially about them. For example, a few months ago, while out walking, I came across a group of Native Americans blessing Town Lake. That proved pretty interesting, as I was brave enough to stop by and ask questions about what was going on. Then, sage has been around a lot lately, it seems. You may be aware that sage, according to a wide array of spiritual beliefs, including those of the Native Americans, removes negative energy and negative spirits so it can be used, for example, in a house to "clear" the energy or after coming in contact with a negative person to "clear" any lingering energy that may remain. You'd read about sage in most any feng shui book, too, actually. I also have a friend who seems to have quite a bit of a Native American connection that I keep feeling/sensing. At first I didn't understand what I was getting, but now I am starting to, especially since he reminds me of a tribal chief or royalty of some sort. Then, I ran into a Cherokee in the gym sauna, of all places, and we conversed about stones such as turquoise and other areas of Native American culture.

Of course, the Barton Springs area has quite a bit of Native American history, and I am there a lot volunteering. I had a recent communication experience there with a Native American spirit, which was interesting, as he played his drum for me. (Yes, you read that right.) And, in the camps, they try to incorporate a lot of the Native American beliefs into their programs, such as respect for the earth and elders, etc. I've done some fun things with the kids to enrich the learning experience in this regard: we made dreamcatchers and leather headbands, and we discovered and then made totem poles with our animal totems. The kids get a big kick out of all this stuff.

With the animal totems, for example, Native Americans believe that we have one main animal totem with us throughout our lives and then we have nine other animal totems that come to us at certain points in our lives to help us learn lessons. I told the kids that, according to these beliefs, the animal they have now may be there to teach them how to get along with others and how to respect their parents and teachers, etc. Later, like in college, a different animal might be there to teach them how to focus and study and how to think about their life in terms of the big picture. I was trying to communicate that we always can learn lessons from what is around us, these animals and their related characteristics and personality traits being one way. I wasn't sure the kids would get the premise and thought they would all lean toward everyday animals, like cats and dogs, but I got a remarkably wide array of animals from them - coyotes, snakes, butterflies, hawks, dragons, turtles, etc. Of course, kids are so much more open naturally to spirituality than are us (mostly) closed-minded, indoctrinated adults. I'm sure it helped how I explained it, too, though. God has a way of putting the right words in my mouth when I can positively impact others.

This picture shows me in one of the headbands I made, and I think it kind of makes me look like a Native American princess, if I do say so. ;) Keep in mind it was probably 100 degrees when this was taken, but I thought you might like to see it anyway. I don't know what all this Native American stuff means for my own life, but it's interesting so I go with it and explore. I'm always open to learning.


El Jefe Maximo said...

Hmmm...I carry a bit too much negative energy around sometimes, maybe I should get sage. I went to the grocery this a.m. and, what with one thing and another, I thought I was gonna have a meltdown. Ran into a friend and felt much better after chit-chatting, but maybe I should put sage all over the place.

Candidly Caroline said...

Or, carry a small hematite stone in your pocket - probably a little better than walking around smelling like burnt sage!
Hematite will break up bad energy around you. Then, when you have a particularly difficult encounter or conversation, rub the stone in between your fingers while you talk. I was amazed how well it works; you might be, too!