Gitche Manitou

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Carving of Gitche Manitou in the Petroglyphs Provincial Park, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Gitche Manitou ("Great Spirit" or "Great Mystery"), also known as Gizhe-manidoo ("venerable Manidoo"), Wenizhishid-manidoo ("Fair Manidoo") is the creator deity of the Algonquian-speaking peoples of North America. Manitou means not only a discarnate person with whom one can speak, but also – and especially – the creative, fundamental life force of the universe, as well as the whole collective of the individual spirits of all things that exist, whether stones, plants, animals – or machines. Belief in Gitche Manitou spread throughout the great plains, and the name was generally adopted into other Native American languages, with variations according to each language’s rules of pronunciation. In a few languages the name was translated, as in Lakota: Wakan Tanka, "Great Mystery." The name Gitche Manitou was eventually adopted by Christian missionaries as a title for their God.

Among these indigenous nations, Gitche Manitou is the source of all good gifts. He created Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon, Mother Earth, and Father Sky, and followed by creating life in every environment of the world. He crowned all this with the greatest mystery of all: the four seasons. Only then did he create the first humans -- the Anishinaabeg, now known among white people as the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Pottawatomi tribes. Gitche Manitou came to the first man in a dream, telling him to go out into the newly created world and give a name to everything and every creature he saw. When he had accomplished this task, Gitche Manitou named the man: Nanabozhoo. To this day, Anishinaabeg greet each other by echoing that name -- "Boozhoo," which means "hello."

Gitche Manitou has no human form and is rarely pictured or personified.Hoodoo psychic readers, spirit workers, and root doctors who petition the Native American deities within the Native American tradition on behalf of clients may work with Gitche Manitou when there are pending spiritual and magical issues regarding Blessing, Cleansing, Healing and Tranquility, Prosperity, Success Personal Power and Wisdom, Protection, or Spiritual Guidance.


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