Category:Working Within the Native American Tradition

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The Great Serpent Mound of the Adena tribe of Ohio formed part of a complex Mississipian Valley culture in which snakes played an important sacred role, and large funerary mounds were erected.

Traditional Native American religions exhibit a great deal of diversity, largely due to the relative isolation of the different tribes that were spread out across the entire breadth of the North American continent for thousands of years prior to invasion and colonization by primarily European forces. Given such a vast territory, it is only to be expected that there are vast differences of beliefs and practices between tribes. The systematic destruction of Native cultural institutions and infrastructures, and the partial or complete adoption of various forms of Christianity among Native people, has led to the current diverse tapestry that describes contemporary Native religious traditions

Native American spirituality is often characterized by panentheism, a strong emphasis on the importance of personal spirituality and its inter-connectivity with one's own daily life, and a deep connection between the natural and spiritual worlds. Many adherents to traditional American Indian ways do not see their spiritual beliefs and practices as a "religion"; rather, they see their whole culture and social structure as infused with spirituality.

Hopi Kachina dancers in New Mexico, painted by Louis Akin in 1912; the Kachinas are the tribe's pantheon of deities
A Navajo healer creating a sand-painting using natural minerals for colour; sand painting is also practiced by the Hopi, Zuni, and some Plains tribes as part of healing or curing ceremonies; the pictures generally depict the coming of gods and heroes to the Earth


The Basis of Native American Spirituality

Native American religions are often closely connected to the land in which Native Americans dwell, with special attention paid to the passage of the seasons and to sacred places. While there are many different Native American religious practice, most accept the existence of an omnipresent, invisible universal force, in addition to which there are various tribal pantheons of deities and spirits. Emphasis may also be given to personal visions, the role of the medicine person or shaman, and the institutions of communal ceremonies.

In many Native cosmologies, all of creation has life. Rocks, trees, mountains, and everything that is visible lives and is part of creation and therefore has life which must be respected. God is known indirectly through an awareness of the relationships or links between various aspects of both the physical and supernatural realms. Spirituality of the Native Americans makes no distinction between these realms; the living and dead, visible and invisible, past and present, and heaven and earth.

Contemporary Native American Religions

Contemporary Native American religions tend not to be institutionalized but rather experiential and personal and may include, in addition to the veneration of deities and spirits, acts of individual asceticism, for instance through sweat lodge ceremonies. Native American religions tend to be carried out mainly in a family or tribal location first and may involve a process, journey, or a relationship experienced between Creator and created. Religion is not separated from daily life, but conversations about theology may be limited, for, to many, simply to live and breathe is to worship, and a relationship with God is experienced as a relationship with all of creation which is ever present and does not require an institution or building.

Native American religions had to respond to the invasion by white settlers. One response was new religious movements such as the Ghost Dance; another was the restriction of attendance to Native Americans, to prevent tourism.

Native American Spiritual Figures

For more information, see the page on Native American Spiritual Figures

Within the various Native American traditions, living prophets and spiritual leaders have made a strong impression on tribal beliefs and customs. Some of these people have gone on, after their deaths, to be revered by spiritual followers, both within their respective tribal traditions and from outside of them. Through spirit mediumship and the veneration of ancestors, these Native American spiritual figures have assumed great importance outside their original cultures. {Read More ...)

Native American Spiritual Figures as Spirit Guides

For more information, see the page on Spirits and Spirit Guides

Spirit work involves enlisting the psychic aid of various spirits in order to accomplish specific spell-casting goals. These spirits may include the spirits of ancestors and the dead; the crossroads; Guardian Angels; the spirits of places, animals, plants, water sources, and beings other than humans; and a rich and varied roster of spiritual entities such as the Native American Black Hawk and the Guatemalan Maximon (San Simon-Judas). (Read More ... )

See Also


AIRR Readers & Rootworkers Who Perform This Work for Clients

The Association of Independent Readers & Rootworkers (AIRR) is here to help you find gifted, sincere, and honest spiritual guidance, successful counseling, and professional magical spell casting and ritual conjuration. Every independent member of AIRR has been certified for psychic ability, magical skill, and ethical reliability. Every AIRR psychic, reader, seer, diviner, scryer, root doctor, and spiritual practitioner has completed a year-long program of training in conjure, hoodoo, witchcraft, rootwork, making mojo hands, and casting powerful magick spells. All of our psychics have served the public professionally for a minimum of two years -- and in many cases, significantly longer. Certified AIRR Readers & Rootworkers who will perform this type of work to help you find love, money, protection, and luck are listed below.

Pages in category "Working Within the Native American Tradition"

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