Am I the only one to have an issue with sharing their spirituality or is this just another one of my weird spots? I have few issues in sharing my craft. Of course most do not believe as I do, which makes it easier, simply because I do believe most see me as a bag of wind, when it comes to my practice of the craft. Well maybe I should say the people here on Pagan Space, anyhow. Folks I know personally, well they get a bit annoyed when I insist they slow down and learn in order, what needs to be learned, but they never question my abilities as a Witch. I guess, seeing is believing huh.
But back to spirituality, seeing how that is what this blog is supposed to be about. I follow a Native Spirituality. It was taught to me by the most part by my Granny. Who was Ojibwa, a tiny bit from my Mom and a bit more from the different folks from the Anishinaabe-Algonquian tribes, such as the Chippewa. I spent more than a few summer in Northern Wisconsin, hanging with the cousins, though I was raised between the Ozarks of Missouri and central Illinois. There were quite a few influences on my spirituality over the years, such as my step-Grandda who was Scottish and followed a type of Celtic, druidery, tribal thing, with a touch of catholic/Christianity in it. Then there was my Dad, who was British and he did a bit of folk magic tradition/Golden Dawn/ Church of England kind of thing.
My Mom was also influenced by these same people and on occasion got a bit to chritiany for my Granny’s taste. She had a huge issue with the Christian religion. She had good cause to feel that way. Considering the history of the Natives in this country and what the good Christians did to them personally and their families in general. She didn’t much care for the United States government either. So of course these things were passed on to me. One of the reasons I do believe I am so political.
Well three paragraphs later here, finally is the issue. I am indeed Native in my spirituality. I worked very hard in my youth to become a part of the culture of my Mother and Grandmother. I went through many rituals and rites to say I am Ojibwa with confidence.
I was taught face to face. An age old oral tradition, by sitting around a pine fire while the mosquitos ate me alive and the sand burs dug into my skin type of learning. Walking hundreds of miles beside my Granny was she pointed out weeds that were edible and the ones used as medicine, the late night powwows that were private and secretive and filled with mystery and promoted awe from all that attended. Learning the different dances and performing them over and over until an Elder smiled. I learned the ways of the past, present and future.
The problem I seem to face is when folks ask me to help them learn my spirituality or just one point in my spirituality. So many are interested in the Native way. But there have been others before these modern times that said they were interested and then when they returned to their lives they spread half -truth and mixed in eastern idea’s and ways, then called it New Age. So what is known to the public is a watered down Native wanabee, almost could possibly if you look at it sideways through a microscope type of Native Spirituality. It was drilled into my young mind over and over not to share what I am taught beyond my clan, my family. But those Elders aren’t here anymore. The world is changing as the prophecies said it would. I don’t want to be one of the Elders that do not speak out of fear. But I also don’t want someone to take a small part of what is a part of me and add it to their eclectic spirituality/religion. Just on this site alone I see so many things people say that I know are wrong. But they are the accepted way and the few times I have inferred they are wrong in their thought many here state the well-known idea instead of the true idea. A totem, vision quest, spirit guides, naming’s, the list goes on and on. These are not just things people do on a whim, these are not things that should be changed to fit into what someone wrote in a book from watching a couple of public powwow’s and then wrote an article. These are intricate, highly engrossed actions of learning, claiming becoming your spirituality. You don’t do one without first doing the others. To take it apart and use only a piece of it is like trying to make a car with nothing more than a tire and expect it to go down the road.
My hackles rise every time I see a post on here about getting their spirit guide, or totem, spirit animal or what have you. As if it’s something you pick up at Wal-Mart. You can’t build a building from the top down and you can’t learn about Native Spirituality from the middle out.
There are over 40,000 people on this site and only one asked to learn the true way of my tribe and he disappeared when the first wall was set before him. So I ask again, how much information is too much information. Do I get pissy and explain that a spirit animal isn’t something you decide on, that there are almost a dozen things you learn just to get a spirit animal and then maybe; just maybe one will choose you. Would you people even understand that, truly care, or would you just take the idea and stick within your other ideas and never see the truth, the beauty of being chosen by an animal spirit. I have been betting on the last part of that sentence. Is it time for me to change my bet or is the table just another color and the players still the same?
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