“It’s a very intense time, personally and globally.” ~Doreen Virtue~
We are fortunate to be Lakota people. In today’s world there are so many events and people working to distract us from walking peacefully on our spiritual path. There is always something or someone put in front of you as a test.
Those of us who embrace the spirituality which was handed down by our ancestors know how hard the tests can get. It seems as though the closer we get to the time of wiwang waci the more difficult life appears to be. There are days when the drama is non-stop. Lakota spirituality is a way of life and the true path has always been very narrow, it’s difficult to stay afoot.
Many Lakota people have colonized minds. That is, we have been brainwashed into believing that the original instructions we were given are no longer valid. The White Buffalo Calf Woman shared teachings to show us how to live on Mother Earth and be good relatives to one another. The ceremonies she gifted our people with have kept us alive and spiritually connected to our universe for hundreds of thousands of years.
Still, the organized religions of this country continue to have many negative impacts upon our minds. The churches have successfully infiltrated our Lakota way of life. Many church leaders work very hard to convince our Lakota people that our prayers are offered to an entity which is not as good as their “God.”
Recently, there were some flyers printed up and distributed around the Rapid City area. The online pictures I saw of the posters denounced the Yuwipi way of prayer as some sort of dangerous, unhealthy cult. There were many derogatory things printed on these flyers, most of which is too ridiculous to share.
Also, those of you who actually saw the flyers know how ugly that picture looked! The image kind of resembled one of my starving brother-in-laws! Those posters were meant to spread fear through distorted information and paranoid misconceptions. Many (but not all) Christians and/or church leaders use words like “darkness,” “guilt,” “hell,” “demons,” and “devil,” to plant seeds of fear/doubt/terror.
Once again, misconceptions surrounding Lakota ceremonies are the focus. I didn’t think it was fair for the person or persons to actually print and distribute those flyers condemning our Lakota ceremonies. Someone has too much time on their hands, maybe they should get counseling instead of making obvious their private battle with acute mental illness by the public dissemination of absurd posters.
Or maybe they really believe all the propaganda put out by some local churches about how Lakota ceremony is “evil energy.” The organized religions have successfully instilled pure terror in many Lakota minds about our own spirituality. It’s pathetic. Personally, I am grateful that my spirit showed me the way out of the mind trap which organized religion wanted to keep me in; I refuse of be a prisoner of fear in my own mind because of how my Lakota ancestors have prayed since the beginning of time.
Those of us who saw the flyers will continue to attend ceremony and pray for those who created and distributed them. Hopefully, they will one day understand that what they did was very ignorant.
I don’t see any Lakota people printing and distributing ridiculous flyers about other ways of worship. What would happen if I created a bunch of strangely paranoid posters about a random church or organized religion, added a menacing image distortion of the Pope/Priest/Bishop/Pastor and spread them all over western South Dakota? The local media would most likely jump all over an incident like that.
I could print things like how the organized religions are still working very hard to demonize our sacred way of life. After all, it was the churches which instilled most of the fear surrounding Lakota ceremony, right? Many leaders in the organized religions still preach to the masses about how we should all fear our own Lakota spirituality.
When I was younger I once worked as a receptionist for a local religious organization. One of my duties was to announce visitors who came to see the priest in charge. One time a local medicine man was summoned to come and see the priest. Soon I could hear the priest’s voice get louder and louder in the office next to mine as he scolded the medicine man for having ceremony. I don’t even want to share what the priest said to the medicine man — I will say it was similar to what was printed on those flyers.
Still, even though he was chewed out wickedly by the priest for his spirituality, the medicine man came out of the room looking totally unfazed. He smiled at me and quietly left the building. He continued to have ceremonies for the people until he passed on several years ago.
That priest tried very hard to scare the medicine man by implying that “God” didn’t approve of Lakota spirituality. This is exactly what the person who created those ridiculous flyers tried to convey. They want people to be afraid of Lakota ceremony. Yet, ceremony is all about prayer. Sincere prayer is not based in fear, it comes from love; singing ceremonial songs is love in its purest form, in my opinion.
Furthermore, attending church services on Sunday never did cure me of any illness. On the other hand, Lakota Yuwipi men are totally awesome! I was humbled at the first Yuwipi ceremony I went to when I was doctored with a gourd and MY PAIN DISAPPEARED. I didn’t have to take pills anymore. My experiences at Yuwipi ceremonies have always been miraculous. It’s so amazing to sit in the same sacred space with the ancient spirits of ancestors who marked the spiritual path for us to walk.
Remember, two-hearted tricksters come in many forms — they could be human beings close to you. Ignorance is a disease. Pray for Wicozani.