Rituals and Ceremonies
by Waynonaha TwoWorlds
Rituals are a part of my life each change of the season and new moon are reasons for rituals to be done.The preparation for ritual is simple and shared by the community for which it is given. No one person is totally responsible for the entire event.
Spring holds many such rituals and ceremonies for our people. One is the cleansing of the body and the mind called a vision quest. You can these days find people who will for a fee put you on a hill and let you find your own visions. This is not something that one does without preparation. If you serious about seeking a vision then there has to be a reason for you to pursue such a ceremony. You will have to fist find someone who will help you then you must make many preparations for this to happen. Just the asking for such a thing to happen takes many steps of proper channels to travel.
Once you have done this you then will have to live that vision for the rest of your life in order to fully understand the symbolic answers.
During the spring most people house clean this in itself is a ritual of renewal. We fist clear out all the winter cloths and bedding then we thoroughly clean the rooms. After this the weather is such that we turn our attention to the yard and gardens.Most people are concentrating on the house and yard never thinking that the body also needs some cleansing.Our people fasted for several days to cleanse the body in preparation for other ceremonies. One of the first fasts consists of drinking nothing but maple sap from the renewal of life in the trees. This can be done for a week, or just a few days, it all depends on your body and ability to abstain from food.There were many reasons for the fasting and cleansing of our systems in the spring. Some were medicinal and some were spiritual.
During the winter we eat more heavy food, preserved and dried food. This creates some sluggishness in our systems and also some unwanted parasites. The maple water sap is a wonderful way to clean our body of all the winter impurities. If you do not have access to maple trees then you can use bottled water and maple syrup along with lemon juice and some cayenne pepper. This combination will do just as well for the duration of your fast.Take one gallon of store bought water and one cup of pure maple syrup, add one cup of lemon juice (I suggest you use real lemons not bottled juice). Some people like the table spoon of Cayenne pepper others prefer to leave it out. Other trees that were used in purifying the body were Sassafras root tea. You many know this as Root Beer, the chopped root is available in herbal shops, you may also find the tea in bags. Again use this as a fasting drink and abstain from all solid foods. I usually do this for a week to ten days. At the end of the fasting we held our first lodge and prayed for the new beginning and for good hunting and food gathering.
The corn planters still today use this method for preparation when they gather to plant the corn.
Many blessings of the season may your corn grow high and strong.
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