Ceremony, Ritual & Raising Consciousness

Birth is a ceremony, a life way that is primary in re-affirming people’s relationship to each other, to their environment, to all of creation and themselves.
— Cook 1992: Grandmother moon
 Monument Valley, NM

Monument Valley, NM


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Life Energy

Waking dreams at dawn. Ancestors talk to you. Pick up your feathers. Use your medicine. Sing our songs. You are ready.

 

 

Birth is the most powerful experience any person can experience. It is our creation story. What we have been led to believe is that this powerful experience is a medical event, rather than a ceremony and renewal of life. In bringing forth our medicine children, preparing for their arrival means going back to the stories and teachings that which bring us life. Learning the stories of the plants that were here before us, because like our blood relatives, plant families are like our grandparents, ready to provide support if we allow them.

Supporting the creation of the sacred place that women create to birth in, is the work of Indigenous midwives. Calling on the elements of our sacred medicine teachings, whether we do so with tobacco, cedar, sage, or songs of our ancestors, we work to combat doubt, fear and bring about awareness of this ceremonial time. Acknowledging the many forces at work, the seen and unseen spiritual forces, is a human lesson and one midwives live and work in.

Blood Memory

My blood memory chanting songs of healing. It speaks of the other world. Stories of Monsters and Slayers. Stories of my people sung in order.

 

Using the cycles of nature to teach the blessing way education, stories of Talking God, Water Woman, and our revered Asdzáá nádleehé are often shared during this winter time. Our creation stories remind us where we came from, who are relatives are, and our relationship to the environment. Some stories sound like fairytales from our childhood, however the meaning behind these stories change as our own developmental consciousness deepens with age.  

One of these stories is our birthing process, as that Asdzáá nádleehé set precedents for the birthing process.

First Woman and First man were instructed by Talking God to place a beam inside the westside of the hogan. Place a red sash belt over it, draping it evenly on both sides of the beam. She will hold onto the belt and will give birth doing that. Corn pollen is to be placed along the sash from the top to the bottom after it is suspended. A shallow excavation below the beam is to be created, filled with sand and covered with a sheepskin.
— Key 1992: Molded in the Image of Changing Woman by Maureen t. Schwarz

The ceremony of bringing a child forth in our cultural teachings begins long before the time of conception, in which both parents are advised to adhere to a set of cultural behaviors to assure a safe and healthy pregnancy and birth.  However, many of the teachings behind these necessary cultural rituals have been lost in translation. Through the displacement of our traditional birth attendants and the medicalizations of birth, the ability to follow our ancestor teachings as we birth our nation is challenging. 

The practice of wrapping a new mother’s abdomen with warm layers of damp cloth soaked in cedar and allowing for quiet isolation for both mother and baby for up to fourteen days after birth are not common practices women of today adhere to. But, our ancestral blood memory knows the natural order of things and this knowledge is being awakened again. 

 

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Matriarchal Power

Healing. Healed. Healer. Washing in ash, cleanings in cedar. Once a patient, now the guide. People of the medicine.

Through our origin stories, lived experiences, and ancestral teachings, the ability to transform our birth experiences into ceremonial acts of harmony, resistance, and strength is within us all. These matrilineal teachings through blood memory and life way teachings have not gone away, nor have they died. As you re-align yourself to receive this sacred knowledge, these conversations around body autonomy, self-determination, ceremony, ritual, and recovery-be aware of how your raising your consciousness.  Moving through the stages of healing to make space for your matriarchal power of restoring balance and harmony is in your blood.


Father Sky Teachings

Mother Earth Love

Children of the Cosmos

 

I look to the crystals for the message,

I look to the stars for the way.

I sing the songs in order,

Healing is on the way.

 

The flaming sky,

Shades of orange, yellow, and red

You echo my corn pollen prayers with your colors

Transformed and born again through ceremony.

-Táchii'nii-