David Little Elk is a Lakota from the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. He composes music that promotes the Lakota ways which develop complete health: physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
David has been playing guitar since he was eight years old. At nine years of age, he began his classical training on other instruments such as various brass, wind, stringed instruments, piano, among others. David has been writing songs since then, and he records them in his own recording studio. He also plays all the instruments on his recordings.
In 2000, David released "ELKDREAMER: David Little Elk." All songs on this project are composed by David. All music is produced, arranged, recorded, and mixed by David. And as stated previously, David performs all instruments on all of his recordings.
David believes that Communication is the transfer of medicine (energy) through our thoughts, feelings, actions, and words. The Lakota Natural Law of Generosity states that the medicine (energy) we use to communicate with others will return to us fourfold. When a person tries to hurt someone else, that person is only hurting him/her-self more because the energy he/she sent will return to him/her fourfold. And when a person does something healthy to others, that healthy medicine (energy) returns to him/her fourfold, too. This is the foundation of the belief that, "The Honor of One is the Honor of All." Therefore, it is Lakota tradition to communicate in a most clear and effective manner with each other. In this spirit, David composes his music.
Music is also communication. Those who have been blessed with this gift to compose music are entrusted to compose music which is uplifting, comforting, encouraging, and healing; thus, promoting active living and encouraging inner harmony. This inner harmony is then reflected by Nature to the world around the self. This brings one into harmony with the outer universe, reinforcing the Lakota concept of Mitakuye Oyas'in: "we are all related."
Many of the songs on this project are based on the Lakota Perspective. For this reason, the following article is presented so that the lyrics of some of the songs on this project may be better understood. The foundation of the Lakota way is the expression "Mitakuye Oyas'in", which means "all my relations" or "everything is connected." To keep our connections with everything strong and healthy requires that we communicate as clearly and as effectively as possible.
Communication is the transfer of medicine (energy) through our thoughts, feelings, actions, and words. The Lakota Natural Law of Generosity states that the energy we use to communicate with others will return to us fourfold. When a person tries to hurt someone else, that person is only hurting him/her-self more because the energy he/she sent will return to him/her fourfold. And when a person does something healthy to others, that healthy medicine (energy) returns to him/her fourfold, too. This is the foundation of the belief that, "The Honor of One is the Honor of All." Therefore, it is Lakota tradition to communicate in a most clear and effective manner with each other.
To understand the Lakota Language and Culture requires knowledge of the Lakota Perspective. The Self is comprised of four parts (please note that the numbers four and seven are of especial importance to the Lakota people) which are the Mental, the Physical, the Spiritual, and the Emotional. And all four parts are connected to each other. How we take care of these four parts of our self is projected to the world around us by nature. Therefore, how one communicates with others affects everything inside & outside of that person. When one takes care of all four parts of his/her self, this creates balance within the self. This inner balance is then projected by nature to the world outside of the self, and this enables this person to be in balance with the world around him/her. This is also called establishing one's 7th Direction. The order or directions is West, North, East, South, Earth, Sky, and then one's Self.
When a person establishes and continually strives to maintain his/her 7th Direction, he/she is able to recognize that the challenges, which Life has to offer, are really opportunities to help us become who we really are. When a person does this, he/she is able to make the longest walk he/she will ever have to make which is on that road between the heart and the mind.
If one part of the self is neglected, the self becomes unbalanced. Since all four parts of the self are connected to each other, the other parts of the neglected self soon become unbalanced, as well. This leads to the self falling out of balance with the world outside of the self; thus, losing his/her 7th Direction. Therefore, how we perceive the world around us, how we communicate with others, and how we respond to others are reflections of our inner world. This demonstrates that everything inside of us is interconnected just as we are connected to everything around us, and this is the full interpretation of "Mitakuye Oyas'in."
Every member of creation in its natural state contains what we call Wakan which means energy of life within it. This energy connects the four parts within the self to each other, and it also connects the self to the world around the self. Therefore, one must be honest with him/her-self before he/she can be honest with others. Likewise, when one respects others, one respects him-/herself. To get respect from others, one must respect others first. When one accepts him/her-self, he/she is able to accept others. This is true for all 7 Lakota virtues: Wocekiya (Prayer), Waohola (Respect), Waunsila (Compassion), Wowicake (Honesty), Wawokiye (Generosity), Wahwala (Humility), and Woksape (Wisdom).
When a person loses his/her 7th Direction, he/she falls into a pattern in which he/she attempts to separate everything into two opposing extremes (i.e. good vs. evil); thus, creating a fine line between them. Also, this person will try to always agree with one of the extremes. Doing so creates tension and stress, as this person seeks to continuously either try to prove his/her opponent to be incorrect. This person will also try to convert his/her opponent to accept his/her views. If this person cannot convert his/her opponents to accept his/her views, then he/she tries to oppress these opponents. This reveals this person's need to control others who are different than him/her-self, as well as his/her fear of those who are different than him/her-self. If this opponent chooses to react to this oppressor, this opponent becomes a victim to the oppressor. Soon both the oppressor and victim need each other to exist. This creates an unhealthy cycle of abuse which leads to death and little (if any) soul development, as the thought processes of both the oppressor and the victim become addictive.
For example, if one person is constantly trying to be positive all the time. He/she immediately tries to stay away from that which is negative. He/she will do anything to keep him/her-self feeling positive. Soon he/she becomes drunk in one emotion and views the world through blurred vision. This is why in Lakota Culture, it is ok to laugh and cry, but if one chooses to do either one constantly, he/she loses his/her inner balance (7th Direction). Thus, he/she becomes unhealthy and is quick to make enemies for him/her-self. Hence, this is the definition of dualism. A healthy person would pray for those who call him/her their enemy.
When a person loses his/her 7th Direction, he/she becomes like Iktomi, who represents everything a Lakota should not be. However, there is still a way for an unbalanced person to regain his/her 7th Direction. One way is to begin to take care of the four parts of the self. This will give this person the ability to use both the positives and negatives to come back into balance and contentment.
Contentedness is the state and awareness of the connectedness of the universe inside the self, as well as the connectedness of the self to the universe outside of the self. Contentedness does not necessarily mean happiness. It is neither happiness nor sadness. It is neither good nor evil. Contentedness is attained by maintaining one's established 7th Direction.
Since Lakota Society perceives all of life to be connected, we hug both our strengths and our weaknesses because both can help us to grow and attain contentment in our soul-development. Every choice we make is an invitation to our next teacher (life experience) who will teach us what we need to learn at that point in our lives. Therefore, we view problems and mistakes as opportunities to grow by transforming them into our teachers. When we do this, they are no longer problems, mistakes, or failures.
The challenges that Life offers to us are opportunities to continue to define who we are: to grow in mind, body, heart, and spirit. Sometimes these experiences seem scary to us at first. It is healthy to be scared. When this happens, all we need to do is just take a step back to catch our breath, and then to examine the situation at hand with prayer and much thought. Also, to be scared only means to prepare well by maintaining our 7th Directions, and to think of all the areas that need to be tended to, and this is healthy.
Sometimes, certain things may happen to us in our lives in which we have no control over. However, when we establish and maintain our 7th Directions, we have a strong and healthy foundation that prepares us so that we are better able to survive the experience and to learn from it, as well. When we establish and maintain our 7th Directions, we are also more aware of the communication constantly occurring in the universe within us, and this may offer us guidance on our healing journeys.
In Lakota society, everything is accepted and respected for what it is, and not for what we would like to manipulate it to be for our selfish convenience. The Lakota Perspective is an established 7th Direction, and is a survivor-perspective based on compassion and free-will.
WHEN THE MOON CRIED:
In the beginning when the Wakan Tanka was forming, it's members were also young and made mistakes, as well. At the time this event happened in which the Moon cried, there were only seven members of the Wakan Tanka. They were Inyan (the rock), Wi (the sun), Maka (the earth), Skan (the sky/ozone), Wakinyan (the thunder-being), Hanwi (the moon) and Tate (the wind). Inyan and Wakinyan were companions. Wi and Hanwi were also companions and they traveled together at that time. Skan and Tate were like best friends.
At this time, there were two times which are the day and the night. The plants and animals were created and began to live on the surface of the earth. But the Pte Oyate were still living under the ground. The Pte Oyate would gather fruits which looked like white lights, and they would put on feasts inside the earth for the Wakan Tanka when they had their meetings.
Ksa, who was the counselor to the Wakan Tanka, was the offspring of Inyan and Wakinyan. And since Wakinyan has no shape, half of Ksa's body looked peculiar. When people first saw Ksa, their first impression was to laugh because he looked so funny. After a time, Ksa began to get tired of people always laughing at him so he decided to play a trick on as many people as he could. Then Ksa went under the ground to the Pte Oyate.
The chief of the Pte Oyate was Wazi and his wife was Wakanka. Their daughter was Ite, who was a very beautiful Pte woman. Ite was also the wife of Tate and she had four sons by him, and at this time she was pregnant with their fifth baby. Because Tate is a member of the Wakan Tanka, Tate and Ite's sons would also one day become part of the Wakan Tanka.
Ksa told this family that Ite was even more beautiful than Hanwi, and that Ite should replace Hanwi as the Wi's new companion. Ksa said since Wazi and Wakanka's grandchildren would one day become part of the Wakan Tanka, Ite and her parents should become part of it, as well. He told them that if they wanted this he could help them achieve it. So Ite and her parents secretly agreed to this pact with Ksa, who then gave Ite's parents a potion which would make Ite more beautiful every day.
Before the next feast for the Wakan Tanka was to be held under the ground, Ksa lied to Hanwi by saying to her that the Wi wanted her to come a little bit late and to not fix herself up because it was not an important social occasion. Since Ksa was known for his wisdom, Hanwi believed him.
Next, Ksa told Ite to come to this feast early and to sit in Hanwi's place. And when she did, Wi could not take his eyes away from Ite. Then Hanwi came to the feast. She saw that another woman was sitting in her place and that her husband Wi could not take his eyes off of the other woman. Hanwi hid her face and began to cry as she hurriedly fled from the feast. She ran to Skan and explained to him what had happened to her and she pled to him to settle this matter.
So Skan went to the feast and questioned every one there and no one could justify their behavior. Skan proclaimed that Ksa would no longer be the Counselor to the Wakan Tanka. Skan also proclaimed that Ksa would no longer be known for wisdom, but instead would become a trickster and that Ksa's name would now be known as Iktomi.
When a person does not live in harmony with nature (Natural Laws), it is easy for Iktomi to trick that person and that person is sometimes described as being "Ikto." Iktomi's tricks constantly backfire on him, and those who do not live in harmony with nature (Natural Laws) also end up tricking themselves. When a person strives to live according to Natural Laws, Iktomi only tricks himself.
Skan next proclaimed that Wi and Hanwi would no longer be companions, neither would they ever travel together again. So when Wi shines on Hanwi, she turns her back to him so she will not ever have to see him again. Skan said Hanwi could now journey around Maka and he gave her the third time which is when she comes closest to Wi until she returns there again. This is called the moon's time, or the month.
Before when Hanwi was married to Wi, she traveled with him. It does not mean she was traveling beside him. It meant she was traveling around him like the rest of the planets. After Skan divorced Hanwi from Wi, Hanwi began to travel around Maka. And so this was the beginning of two cycles. Hanwi represents the cycle of a woman, and Wi represents the cycle of a man. Both cycles compliment each other, and neither is more important than the other. This is why in Lakota Society, the term is "complimentary" sexes, (and not "opposite" sexes, as in a dualistic society). This concept is also evident in the Lakota Language. Many times, women will end their sentences one way, while a man will say that same sentence in another way. This reflects the fact that men and women each have their own perspective and that both perspectives compliment each other.
Since both the man and the woman each have their own cycles which compliment each other, this also means that the man's role and the woman's role in Lakota society compliment each other, as well. Since only a woman can have a woman's cycle, only a man can have a man's cycle. The Sun Dance is one of the 7 Lakota Ceremonies, and this has to do with the man's cycle; meaning, the participants inside the Sun Dance Circle can only be men. However, there are special individuals who can comprehend both the man's cycle and the women's cycle.
When a man establishes and maintains his 7th Direction, he becomes aware of his cycle. When a nation's men does not know about it's (men's) cycle, this is an indication that that nation has become unhealthy. This unhealthy nation has lost it's 7th Direction and thus, has become dualistic. Hence, it is very important for the men to know about their cycle and learn from it, so they and their nation can truly live in health.
In this story, the phrase "the sun and the moon were once companions" means that the moon once traveled around the sun. This story is also symbolical of an event which occurred when our solar system was forming. Certain events caused the sun to send a huge fireball out which glazed by the moon. This sent the moon out of it's orbit from around the sun and the earth's gravity caught what was left of it. Hence, since that time the moon has been revolving around the earth.
This means that someone must have been around to see this event as it occurred. How ever long ago this event happened indicates how long the Lakota People have been in existence. We have words for dinosaurs and we even have a word for micro-organisms, as well. This indicates how ancient our society is. Lakota people know these things which happened long ago and some of this knowledge is found in our Lakota Star Knowledge stories. Western scientists still have a long way to go in their discoveries of knowledge of that which we already know, as evident in such matters as quantum physics.
Next, Skan proclaimed that since Ite, who was already married, had children and expecting a fifth child, and yet she sought after another woman's companion, that now her and Tate would no longer be married. Skan caused the fifth child to be born early and his name was Yum.
Skan said that Ite could keep her exquisitely beautiful face; however, Skan caused a second face to grow beside her pretty face which would be extremely ugly. Skan also changed Ite's name to Anun-Ite (the double faced woman) to represent duality, and that an unestablished 7th Direction does not enable soul to develop.
Then the Pte Oyate removed Wazi as chief because of his actions. From that time on, the people in all nations can remove their chiefs, if those chiefs brought great difficulties upon their own people. So they chose Tatanka, who was another wise man, to replace Wazi as chief. Anun-Ite, Wazi, and Wakanka were now cast upon the earth to live alone.
Even though Anun-Ite will always represent dualism, she can show how dualism can be transformed into something which can help unbalanced persons to re-establish balance in their lives. Her two faces represent two perspectives which compliment each other. Both of these perspectives can help a person who is out of balance to regain balance back into their lives. This means that neither perspective is better than the other. They are just two different perspectives, such as negative and positive. Both positives and negatives can be used to bring a person back into balance; thus, restoring his/her health.
A person chooses to become healthy by living in harmony with nature. If a person chooses to not become healthy, then he/she will remain in his/her dualistic tendencies (addictions). To remain dualistic would be to always try to be only positive or negative. This is the reason why it is dangerous to laugh too much or cry too much. Sometimes it is ok to cry, and sometimes it is ok to laugh. But if one chooses to laugh or cry too much, then this person will become dualistic and lose his/her balance with nature, and would become like Anun-Ite.
When men and women dream of her, they wake up being gifted with creativity such as in beadwork, sewing, cooking, quillwork, to name only a few. Some men who dream of her may become "Winkte" and will gain the insight of a woman's perspective. "Win" is a shorter way to say "winyan" which means "woman", and "kte" means "about to happen." Some women who dream of her may become "Wicakte" and will gain the insight of a man's perspective. The term changes to "Wicakte", as "wica" is a shorter way to say Wicasa, which means "man."
A Winkte and a Wicakte both have the gift of understanding and comprehending both a man's perspective and a woman's perspective. This allows the Winkte to give counsel to men to better understand their wives. It also allows the Wicakte to give counsel to women to better understand their husbands. Winktes and Wicaktes also had their own societies and ceremonies, and sometimes they could cure diseases which many medicine people could not cure. Thus, Winktes and Wicaktes were highly esteemed and it was an honor to be given an Indian name by one.
There are Lakota Star Knowledge stories that tell about the technology we once obtained at the expense of upsetting the balance of nature. And because of our violation of the ozone, the earth, the water, and the fire, in those ancient times, the Lakota Society learned the hard way that we are connected to everything and that everything we do affects everything around us and inside of us. This means that the Lakota Society has already gone through what this infantile western society is going through at the present. We already made the same mistakes they are making concerning violating the ozone, the earth, the water, and the fire. We know very well everything is connected because we learned it the hard way. The western society is going through it's terrible two's (as in dualism) right now.
THE MOTHER EARTH SONG:
There is a Lakota Star Knowledge story/teaching which says that a long time ago, all the land was as one. The people came out of the earth and began to develop their minds, bodies, emotions, and spirits; thus, establishing their 7th Directions. There was much contentment and compassion everywhere. After a time, the people become highly developed. They could fly, and travel underground and underwater very easily. Then the people began to have too much pride in themselves. They became intensely selfish and greedy. They began to forget they were connected to Nature, and began thinking they were above and separate from Nature. They boasted of their greatness while proclaiming humankind as the ultimate creation of the universe.
They began to think they could manipulate anything for their own selfish pleasures, such as genetic engineering. They began to violate the earth performing such activities as mining, irrigating, polluting the water, burning up the ozone, etc., while profiting at the expense of Nature and others. In time, several classes of people were created in which the materially wealthy had more privileges than the lesser classes. Eventually, the people revolted against each other, and still the violation of the earth continued, gravely upsetting the balance of Nature. Most of the people lost their established 7th Directions; thus, creating an addictive and dualistic society based on fear and control.
Hence, the Wakan Tanka members Inyan (the Rock), Wakinyan (the Thunder Being), Tate (the Wind), along with several other members, all agreed to help Maka (Mother Earth) to restore the balance of Nature. After their meeting, Mother Earth called for her children to come inside of her because she was going to cleanse herself to restore the balance of Nature. Only a few spiritual people heard her calm voice because they had established 7th Directions, and they went inside her for safety. Then the cleansing began. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions, fire, meteor showers, and other types of storms occurred everywhere. Those who did not have established 7th Directions did not hear Mother Earth calling for them; hence, they were destroyed. Their technology was achieved at the expense of Nature and others, and was developed to make life more convenient for themselves; and yet, it made them lazy. Thus, their technology was also destroyed. When the cleansing was over, Nature was once again in balance. The water was pure, the ozone was repaired, etc. Our ancestors then emerged from what is now known today as Wind Cave in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
This story relates that Mother Earth is a person and is alive. She can and will provide us whatever we need to survive. When we take this for granted, we become selfish and greedy with her resources. We also begin violating her to get materially rich at the expense of Nature and others; thus, upsetting the balance of Nature. Our society becomes abusive and addictive as we begin oppressing others for personal gain. Our society then becomes dualistic.
However, this story also relates that we are connected to Nature, and that when we violate Mother Earth, we are violating ourselves more, because our Natural Law of Generosity states that whatever we think, feel, say, and do, to others will return to us fourfold. This also means that since everything is connected, whatever we do, say, feel, and think, also affects the weather. So when we do our best in violating Mother Earth, She will always definitely restore the balance of Nature with another cleansing, as told in this Lakota Star Knowledge story.
When we have established our 7th Directions, we are able to hear Mother Earth's calls to us to come into her for safety, after which the violating society without 7th Directions, who are responsible for upsetting the balance of Nature, will be destroyed during the next cleansing. When we have established our 7th Directions, we truly live. Mother Earth has an established 7th Direction and communicates in a healthy manner. She is compassionate. Those who have established and maintain their 7th Directions live in balance within themselves, with each other, with all of creation, and especially with Maka (Mother Earth). They honor her, respect her, and thank her, and are able to hear her when she calls for them. This is a healthy communication between all involved in this relationship. Thus, to have a healthy relationship with another requires a healthy relationship with one's self.
The foundation of the Lakota way is the expression "Mitakuye Oyas'in", which means "all my relations" or "everything is connected." To keep our connections strong and healthy requires that we communicate as clearly and as effectively as possible. Communication is the transfer or medicine (energy) via our thoughts, feelings, actions, and words. The Lakota Natural Law of Generosity states that the energy we use to communicate with others will return to us fourfold. Therefore, how we choose to communicate with creation is an invitation to our next teacher who will teach us what we need to learn at that moment in our life. Depending on how we live, that next teacher could be the next cleansing. Thus, how we communicate with creation also affects the weather.
Skan created two belts in the sky which surround the earth at the areas known today as the tropics. The way the life of these belts is maintained is by several means. One is the rain forests. Another is the establishment and maintenance of our own 7th Directions. Another way the belts are maintained is by the entities in the Wakan Tanka organization working together which are the resulting tornadoes (Wakinyan battling the Unktehi/Unkcegi monsters on the land), blizzards (Waziah coming from the North), hurricanes (the Unktehi/Unkcegi monsters battling on the water), earthquakes (Maka), floods (Maka and Unk) and erupting volcanoes (Inyan and Maka). Each of these ways is connected to each other. If we all begin to establish and maintain our 7th Directions, the weather patterns calm down and the belts regain their livelihood, as well. So when you witness a storm, you are witnessing the Wakan Tanka entities at work maintaining the balance of nature, which is contentment.
Wakinyan has instructed us to burn cedar during the thunderstorms, as Wakinyan's lodge is in the west and is made of cedar, and cedar is also cleansing. Hence, when Wakinyan flies over our houses, he will view favorably the houses which burn the cleansing cedar and he will leave our homes alone as he continues on in his cleansing journey to that which does require his cleansing.
Everything has a frequency, and all life on earth forms a global frequency. Everything inside of us is connected to each other just as we are connected to everything around us. So when we do not strive to establish and maintain our 7th Directions, we also cause storms to begin within us leading us to death and our frequencies become weak and dis-eased. This then weakens the global frequency of contentment. The Hurt of One is the Hurt of All. Hence, how we strive for contentment within ourselves decides how nature will react accordingly. When we lose our 7th Directions, we cause these belts to weaken. One result of this is the deserts. Should we as a global society become entirely addictive and dualistic, the Wakan Tanka entities will restore the balance of Nature. Thus, we affect the weather.
One day in a church, a Dine woman was bearing her testimony to the congregation. In her testimony she stated that this native man from her tribe was trying to ask her for a date but she kept turning him down. It seems that this woman would only communicate to those who she felt were good enough for her. This man who wanted to date her was from the reservation and she grew up in the big city. Since this man was from the rez, she felt that he was not as refined and cultured as she was. Thus, she stated to him that she had no desires to even give him the time of day just because he was only a rezboy. The first verse of this song speaks about an encounter with such a woman. The chorus is about Jesus Christ being a rezboy, too. For those who have studied the scriptures, it clearly states in the bible how the savior would "hang out" with the sinners. His disciples would get mad at him. In plain english, Jesus would reply, "I came for the sinners."
The second verse speaks of fake medicine people who are Natives and who also exploit their own spirituality for personal gain. In these ceremonies, the only way to participate is to pay the fake medicine person a lot of money. Many of these fake medicine men will only let women sit beside them so that when then sweatlodge door is closed, the fake medicine man can sexually abuse her, and say that it is the spirits who are cleansing her. These fake medicine people travel all over Europe, and within the USA especially in areas where the Native population is very small. These people are what are known to Natives as plastic medicine people because they charge outrageous prices to non-Natives to participate in ceremonies which are either based on actual ceremonies or are not valid ceremonies at all.
Western society is an abusive & addictive society because it attempts to separate everything into two opposing extremes which say to each other: "If you do not agree with me, then you are wrong." This creates a dualism in which focusing an unhealthy amount of attention to one side creates a temptation (tension) to go the other side. Dualism is based on fear & control, which are both illusions. Dualism also creates an oppressor/victim-perspective in which sadly each component needs the other to exist; thus, creating a cycle of constant abuse inevitably leading to death and little (if any) soul-development.
The products of western society include the loss of one's identity and the loss of one's ability to be intimate with all of creation. Often, such people find that various religions do not work for them. These individuals sometimes turn to other forms of spirituality in a desperate effort to fill the void within their self by attempting to adopt another cultural identity as their own. This opens the door for the plastic medicine people to take advantage of these spiritually-starved people by teaching them half-truths or outright lies for very high monetary prices; thus influencing these people to develop unhealthy ideas, as well as unhealthy identities. When a truth is taught accompanied by a high monetary price, then that truth has become polluted for all parties involved in such transactions.
One's identity is composed of two parts: individual & tribal. One establishes his/her individual identity by taking care of the four parts of his/her TOTAL self-the spiritual, the mental, the emotional, and the physical. These four parts are connected to each other and when at least one part is neglected, the other parts soon become diseased, as well. Taking care of our four parts establishes inner peace (intimacy), and by the Natural Law of Projection this peace is projected outside of our bodies to the universe around us. Hence, whatever we do, say, think, and feel affects the universe within us and it also affects the universe around us. And so everything within us is connected, as we are connected to the universe around us. A Natural Law is a law given from nature, as nature is the embodiment of an established 7th Direction.
Every culture has a 7th Direction concept, but each culture has its own name for it. "Mitakuye Oyas'in" means "we are all related", or that "we are all connected." Each member of creation has a 7th Direction, and we are all connected to each other by our 7th Directions. Therefore, a nation can only share it's teachings which give strength and health to our 7th Directions with all members of creation.
Each nation receives it's ceremonies and language from the piece of Mother Earth it lives on. Each nation's ceremonies and language gives that nation its tribal identity. Each nation's ceremonies and language also connect its members to each other. A nation's ceremonial teachings also strengthen and give health to its tribal identity, as well. Therefore, a nation's ceremonies and ceremonial teachings can only be shared with those who belong to that nation.
When a Lakota person Hunka-s (ceremonial adoption) someone from a different nation as his/her relative, this "relative" becomes a member of that Lakota person's family, and NOT a member of the Lakota Oyate (nation). A bear cannot become a buffalo, nor can a buffalo become a bear. They each maintain their own identities. Likewise, only a Lakota can be a Lakota --heart, mind, body, and soul.
Spirituality is priceless, and to charge outrageous sums of money to participate in ceremonies is a show of disrespect to the ceremonies and to the people from which the ceremonies originated from. Also, spirituality begins from within by taking care of one's four parts to their TOTAL self, and not necessarily from the ceremony itself. Spirituality (not religion) is about how one communicates with his/her own Higher Power, and how one chooses to establish that connection is his/her choice based on free-will. Hence, Lakota beliefs are not dogmatic.
The Lakota virtue of Generosity is a Natural Law which states that whatever one chooses to do will return to him/her fourfold. The plastic medicine people blind themselves from total awareness of all Natural Laws by choosing to satisfy their appetite for personal and financial gain. This indicates their state of being which includes an unestablished 7th Direction, lack of respect, loss of identity, etc. Hence, the plastic medicine people only see partial reality.
The plastic medicine people oppress the non-Natives paying high prices for their services. This is comparable to western society, as the foundation upon which plastic medicine people function is based on fear and control, as well. Eventually, the plastic medicine will also be paying a high price for their actions. Also, since Mother Earth gives each nation its own language and ceremonies, when someone exploits a nation's ceremonies that person is also violating Mother Earth.
Legitimate spiritual people are able to comprehend all Natural Laws because of their established 7th Directions. This is a choice they have made, as Lakota spirituality is also based on free-will. When one can see the total picture, one knows to respect our karmic principle known to us as our Natural Law of Generosity, and to not stand in its way. To do so, may be to deny the plastic one its own teachers (opportunities to grow from mistakes). This is all based on compassion. After all, we are all connected and this is the beauty of it all.
The Lakota Oyate (People) are not a fatalistic people. Because of free will, prophecies are created by our frequencies. Every member of creation has a frequency. A healthy frequency is established when one's 7th Direction is established. This involves the care of the TOTAL self-spiritual, mental, physical & emotional. When even just one component of the self is neglected, the self becomes dis-eased and the person's frequency begins to weaken.
Lakota Society places focus on the present because the present thought patterns decide what will happen in the future. Whatever is within us is what we project out to the world around us. Likewise, how we perceive the world around us is a reflection of our current state of being within ourselves. As we change within ourselves, we are also changing the way we perceive the world around us.
Our subconscious may reveal to us a future based on our current thought patterns and by how we are taking care of our TOTAL self. If we do not like what a future looks like, all we have to do is change our thought patterns and start taking better care of our TOTAL self, as Life is just what we make it.
Relying on prophecies in a fatalistic manner and blindly following them indicates a lack of awareness for the present moment. Ironically, it is the thought patterns of the present moment which decide what will happen in the future. Eventually, the connections among the four parts of the self will become weak and this will then be projected outside of the self. Thus, the self's connection to the universe around him/her also becomes weak. When one's connections within the self and to the universe around him/her become weak and dis-eased, very little (if any) soul development occurs. The result is worse than what was foretold.
Prophecies are like guides who show us what is going to happen if we continue our current thought patterns. If we do not like what a prophecy tells us, then it is up to us to make it work for us by first altering our thought patterns and taking better care of our TOTAL self: spiritual, mental, physical & emotional.
Prophecies begin from within us and are based on our thought patterns which produce certain frequencies, which in turn form the global frequency. This also means prophecies can be changed if we want to. Life is just what we make it.
In Lakota tradition, the order of the directions is West, North, East, South, Earth, Sky, and Self. One's Self consists of four parts-the spiritual, the mental, the emotional, and the physical. These four parts are connected to each other and when at least one part is neglected, the other parts soon become diseased as well. Taking care of our four parts establishes inner peace (intimacy), and by natural law we then project (reflect) this peace outside of our bodies to the universe around us. This is called establishing our 7th Direction.
Whatever is within us is what we project out to the world around us. Likewise, how we perceive the world around us is a reflection of our current state of being within ourselves. As we change within ourselves, we are also changing the way we perceive the world around us. Whatever we do, say, think, and feel affects the universe within us and it also affects the universe around us. Thus, everything within us is connected as we are connected to the universe around us.
Establishing our 7th Direction, creates a survivor-perspective based on compassion & free-will which breathes life into all of creation, thus enabling soul-development. This also helps us to be in the present moment because whatever happens in the present moment decides what will happen in the near future. This is also how we set up good things to happen to us in the future as we continue on our journey of soul-development. Life is just what you make it. When we are willingly and respectfully generous, it returns to us fourfold from other sources. Likewise, when we wrong any member of creation in any way, that returns to us in the same manner...fourfold. The Honor of One is the Honor of All.
Sometimes, certain things may happen to us in our lives in which we have no control over. However, when our 7th Direction is established and we are maintaining it, we have a strong and healthy foundation that prepares us so that we are better able to survive the experience and to learn from it, as well.
When we establish our 7th Directions, we are aware of the communication constantly occurring in the universe within us. The Natural Law of Projection then makes it possible for us to communicate effectively with the universe around us. Thus, healthy communication is vital to our existence.
When we establish our 7th Direction, we can also understand how our dreams and visions may guide us as we journey through Life. Our subconscious may reveal to us a future based on our current thought patterns. If we do not like what we see, all we have to do is change our thought patterns, as Life is just what we make it.
THE ORIGINAL FASHION:
Communication is the transfer or medicine (energy) through our thoughts, feelings, actions, and words. The Lakota Natural Law of Generosity states that the energy we use to communicate with others will return to us fourfold. When a person tries to hurt someone else, that person is only hurting him/her-self more because the energy he/she sent will return to him/her fourfold. And when a person does something healthy to others, that healthy medicine (energy) returns to him/her fourfold, too. This is the foundation of the belief that, "The Honor of One is the Honor of All." Therefore, it is Lakota tradition to communicate in a most clear and effective manner with each other.
In this spirit, we willingly wanted to help these new arrivals. When they first arrived, they nearly starved and froze to death during the first winters on this continent. So we took them into our homelands and fed them. Then we taught them all about the land and the plants. We taught them how to grow the crops that can grow only in this land. We did this so they would live. Also, according to the Natural Law of Generosity, the energy you used in helping others will return to you fourfold. So by helping these early Europeans to learn how to survive in our homelands, all would benefit in these transactions and all would live.
Once these Europeans adapted to the land, they began to embrace their beliefs, which revolved around the christian bible. This book states that man is to have dominion over the earth and that man is above all creation. This means that man can do as he wishes with nature, to manipulate it for his own selfish pleasures. This was evidence of a loss of 7th Direction among these Europeans, and that their philosophy is dualistic. On the other hand, the Native view of creation is that humans are connected to nature and that what we do to nature, we do to ourselves.
They felt that their beliefs were superior to ours and thus, they felt it was their duty to save us from our own ways, which according to their beliefs would send us to a hell. These new arrivals saw what we had and they wanted it for themselves. Then they started battles to try to steal something that belongs to no one. However, we defended our belief that we are only the caretakers of the Earth.
They came to our villages during the night and burned them down, killing women, children, and our respected elders. Oftentimes, our murdered relatives' bodies were sold to scientists so they could examine our skulls to prove that we are not human and thus, possessing no soul. Some of these bones were placed in museums, as well, to be displayed as artifacts and then later to be placed in storage rooms. Today, there more bodies of dead Native peoples in these museums than there are of living Natives.
Paternalism is a policy or practice of treating or governing people in a fatherly manner, especially by providing for their needs without giving them rights or responsibilities. When non-Native people want to do something good for us, many times they do it without knowing what we consider as "good." When they do not ask us what they could do for us, they assume that we are not intelligent enough to know what is good for ourselves. Therefore, they feel only they know what is best for us.
In the early part of the 20th century, many prominent Americans from eastern America organized into groups such as Friends of the Indians. These groups wanted Natives to adjust to the modern world, and they thought that the best way to realize this was to teach the Indians skills to survive. They felt that Indians were still low on the intelligence ladder; meaning, they thought we were naturally dumb and that this was our eternal fate. Therefore, it was their opinion that all we should ever hope to become was farm workers, janitors, factory workers, house servants, and such. These eastern reformers thought that the best way to create the modern Indian would be to take them as far away from their primitive world as possible, and as young as possible.
These prominent eastern reformers influenced the United States government to create schools off the reservations, enabling them to accomplish their goals of taking the primitiveness out of the Indian. This meant that the Indians would also have to undergo a change in appearance, as well. Thus, the off reservation boarding schools were born and Indian kids from all over the USA were sent to such places as the Carlisle Indian school in Pennsylvania or to Genoa Nebraska, and other very faraway schools. When the Indian children arrived, immediately their hair was cut and they were given christian names. They were also told to not speak their language because this would make it easy for them to become modern. And if they did speak their language, they were severely punished as an incentive to never speak their language again...so they would become modern Indians more easily.
Incredibly strict teachers were hired to give these incentives to the Indian children. Oftentimes, these teachers could not find employment anywhere else because they were child molesters or participated in some other type of unlawful activities. Some of the schools were run by churches, and many of these priests and nuns were perverts and child molesters. As a result of these children receiving these incentives to become modern Indian, many of them died from with beatings by the teachers, priests, or they died from broken hearts. Soon these children became ashamed to be Native, as religion and duality was forced upon them.
When these Native children grew up, many did not want to teach their own children anything about being Native because they did not want their children to experience the difficulties they experienced. Some of these Natives became so infected with dualism that they felt the best way to deal with it was to oppress those they felt who were weaker than themselves, as dualism begets a constant cycle of abuse.
Dualism occurs when someone or something loses its established 7th Direction by attempting to separate complete ideas or thoughts into two opposing extremes. Then the dualistic person focuses an unhealthy amount of attention on one side and labels it good. Likewise, the dualistic person then labels the other side as bad, the enemy, the opponent, etc. This process immediately creates tensions (temptations) which in turn create addictions: process and substance. Paternalism carries the same message of dualism, which is, "I am right and if you do not agree with me, then I must prove that you are wrong. I am smarter than you so I know what is best for you."
When the others focus on reacting against the oppressing dualistic person, the others become the victims. Oftentimes, these victims will oppress those who they consider as weaker than themselves. And so a cycle of constant abuse is created inevitably leading to death and little (if any) soul-development. The oppressor can only exist with a victim. Thus, dualism is based on fear & control (both of which are illusions), and this creates an addictive society possessing an oppressor/victim-perspective.
When a person or organization reacts against an oppressor, that person or organization is giving the oppressor power over him/her/it. Reacting to an oppressor feeds dualism & addiction, and it keeps one from establishing and maintaining his/her 7th Direction. Thus, these eastern Friends of the Indians were in fact oppressors, and reacting to their paternalism results in feeding their addictive thought patterns.
In traditional Lakota thought and philosophy, communication is the transfer of energy via thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. The Natural Law of Generosity states that the energy we choose to communicate with will return to us fourfold. Paternalism is also communication. In this case, it is a transfer of unhealthy medicine. Thus, paternalism is another evidence of a society without an established 7th Direction.
Paternalism, like dualism, is learned. We experienced paternalism to the umpteenth degree, and sadly some us have learned to do this, as well, and are doing the same thing to others, which these easterners have done to us. To overcome this illness is accomplished by re-establishing our 7th Directions. This experience can be transformed into a learning experience much like the way the body deals with a pathogen. When a pathogen (i.e. viruses) enters our physical bodies for the first time, our bodies learn about it as much as possible and oftentimes find ways to deal with it effectively so our bodies return to health afterwards. Then when our bodies encounter this pathogen again, our bodies deal with it immediately, as it has knowledge of how this pathogen works. This is also the most effective way to deal with dualism, as this helps us to become healthier than we ever were before.
In the Lakota Creation story, there was a nation of beings called the Pte Oyate who lived under the earth. They resembled humans but they were not human. At one time, their leader was Tatanka and there was a younger man named Tokahe who did not want to follow the advices of Tatanka. When Tokahe first rebelled against Tatanka (when they were both still Pte Oyate), Tokahe sent negative energy towards Tatanka. Tatanka communicated back to Tokahe by sending him positive energy. Tatanka wanted Tokahe to always have the truth. Even so, Tokahe continued to rebel against Tatanka.
In time, Tokahe and his followers become the first humans and became known as the Ikce Oyate. For a time, Tokahe continued to rebel against Tatanka, as he was following the advices of Iktomi and Anun-Ite, (who was only showing her beautiful face to them at that time). However, this did not last very long and Anun-Ite tricked them and chased them away with her ugly face. When she was able to catch some of the Ikce Wicasa from this chase, she enslaved them and treated them really bad. Iktomi also led the wolves to kill the Ikce Oyate for their food, to fulfill the contract he made to the wolves. After this, the wolves became his companions.
Tokahe and his followers were hiding in caves, as they were searching for the cave which would lead them back to the underworld. Soon, Tokahe and his people were out of food. It was winter and they were beginning to freeze. In their laziness while living with Iktomi and Anun-Ite, they did not take care of the fancy clothes that Anun-Ite gave to them and their clothes soon became tattered.
Tatanka was always mindful of Tokahe and his followers ever since they left the underworld. He prayed for them that all would be well with them and that they would be able to survive living on the surface of the earth. One time while he was praying, he received a vision which showed to him that Tokahe and his people were in a life-threatening situation. Tatanka asked Skan (the leader of the Wakan Tanka) if he could take some Pte with him and go on the surface of the earth to help Tokahe. Skan let them do so. However, when Tatanka and his people came on the earth, the hole in which they came though from the underworld closed up, and their bodies transformed into what is now known as the Pte Hcaka, or Buffalo People.
Tokahe received a vision in which Skan showed him an animal which could give them food, clothing, and even homes. Tokahe also received instruction on how to respectfully hunt these animals and to always have respect for all life, as well. Tokahe's people were to take only what they needed and to always give thanks to the Tunkasilapi for this blessing. And they were not to waste any part of this animal, which is the buffalo.
After the first buffalo hunt, Tokahe was very thankful because he knew that it was Tatanka who made it possible for them to survive. In time, Tokahe became a wise man. From this story, Tatanka shows to everyone what compassion is. He taught the Ikce Oyate through Tokahe's dreams to live in this manner. To communicate in healthy ways is to have compassion for all creation. And for this reason, ideas such as revenge and jealousy have no place in Lakota Life. For thousands and thousands of years, the Ikce Oyate have observed this instruction from Skan and Tokahe to always be mindful of our closest relatives, the Pte Hcaka. When we go through difficult times, they do, too. And when we go through good times, they do, too. No matter how difficult our lives become, Tatanka has taught us to always have compassion in our communication with everything we come into contact with. This communication includes our thoughts, emotions, words, and actions. No matter how bad someone has hurt us, Tatanka has shown us how to deal with this matter.
Hence, the Lakota ways are compassionate; whereas, the western people have demonstrated to us that their ways are dualistic and based on greed. When someone communicates to us in a negative manner, we have compassion for him/her. However, in the western culture, when someone communicates in a negative manner to them, they use revenge against the one who sent the negative energy to them and then they call this process justice, which appears to be the complete opposite of the our ways. Evidence of this process can also be seen when comparing sentence structure of the english and Lakota languages, as well. Basic Lakota structure is: object, adjective, s+v conjugation. Basic English sentence structure is s, v, adj, obj, which is the opposite of the basic Lakota Sentence Structure Form. Thus, from a Lakota Perspective, the English language is a backwards language. Since language also reflects the thought process, it could also be said that English thought processes are also backwards.
This song is about the Lakota views of Intimacy and relationships. The word "Mahasani" is a Lakota term of affection which both partners in a relationship call each other. The word literally means my other skin; however, the true meaning is much deeper. Mahasani means that both partners are connected to each other in all four areas of the self: spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally. The meaning is defined as both are journeying together holding each other's hands. Within the palms of the hands are medicine wheels in which energy flows through. When partners hold each other's hands, their energies unite them as they continually define what Mahasani means.
A Lakota relationship follows the example and teachings of the Sacred Pipe which the White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman brought to our people. The Pipe-stem represents the male and the Pipe-bowl represents the female. When the Pipe is assembled, the universe unites and the Pipe becomes effective and alive, creating the 7 Lakota virtues of:
1. Wocekiya (Prayer)
2. Waohola (Respect)
3. Waunsila (Compassion)
4. Wowicake (Honesty)
5. Wawokiye (Generosity)
6. Wahwala (Humility)
7. Woksape (Wisdom)
A Lakota relationship emulates these 7 virtues, because it is these 7 virtues. Like the teachings of the Sacred Pipe, it takes both partners in a relationship a lifetime to understand the meaning of Mahasani. When both partners call each other Mahasani, this is a transfer of medicine (energy) to each other which strengthens the union of their relationship and this also helps them in their journey with each other, as they continually learn about this teaching. Hence, even the word Mahasani contains healthy medicine. The prerequisite to accomplish this is each partner must have an established 7th Direction. In my life, one woman gave this gift to me which no other woman could do, and for this I am eternally grateful to her.
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1. When The Moon Cried
2. The Mother Earth Song
3. Justa Rezboy
5. Canku Luta (The Red Road)
6. The Original Fashion
8. Blessed Union
10. Back To The Womb
11. Planet Samia