The Gifts of Native American Spirituality and Grief Rituals that Help

In her book, Broken Open, How Difficult Times Can Help us Grow, Elizabeth Lesser describes a beautiful ritual for those that face grieving, suffering and broken heart. (pp 214-215)

She describes: Ed Benedict a Native American leader from the Mohawk Nation once leading a condolence ritual at the Omega institute-and gave her a doeskin pouch, dove feather, and a clay bowl used for the ceremony:

“Some of you have suffered the loss of a loved one. Perhaps it is something else that has caused you pain. It may be that your eyes have been clouded over by tears that you can no longer see the beauty of the creator. Perhaps the soreness of the grief that you have suffered through your eyes now blocks your vision. If this is the case, I offer you in symbolism a white doeskin that I take from the sky of the Creator. The skin of the doe is soft and comforting and with it wipe the tears of soreness of old wounds from your eyes, so that you may see clearly once again.

(Touch the doeskin to your eyes)

I fear that you have suffered the loss of a loved one. Perhaps you may have suffered many losses. It may be that the cries of grief now echo in your ears so that you no longer hear properly. If this is the case, I offer a white feather—a gift from the Creator—that I take from the sky. I take this feather and in symbolism I will clear the cries of grief from your ears, that the silence may rest and comfort you and that you have hear properly once again.

(Touch the feather to your ears)

It may be that you have suffered the loss of a loved one, perhaps something else caused you pain. If this is the case, perhaps you have uttered many cries of grief and done much weeping and a great sob has become lodged in your throat. This may be keeping you from speaking the truth of the Creator. If this is the case, I will reach into the sky and take for you a bowl of pure water. This water is sweet and pure and comes from the Creator. It will wash the lump of grief from your throat so that once again you may speak clearly and properly.

(Hold the bowl to the mouth and drink the water)

All of these things are offered to you in symbolism that you may be relieved of the pain of whatever losses you have suffered, that once again we may join hands and with open hearts and minds offer gratitude for this day to the Creator.

 

Advertisements

One Response to “The Gifts of Native American Spirituality and Grief Rituals that Help”

  1. Mare Cromwell Says:

    That is very beautiful. Thank you for sharing this with us. I too study with a Cherokee teacher but she has not taught us this ceremony. Thank you.. I honor you for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: