Native American Religion

 

Residing in New Mexico I am intrigued by the Apache tribe’s religion. In the area of the Rio Grande River from Northern Mexico to Oklahoma about ten different Apache tribes occupied an area known today as Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Those tribes believed in a unified universe, most of it hidden from the eye.

 

Indians did not distinguish between the natural and the supernatural. On the contrary, Native Americans perceived the material and spiritual as a unified realm of being—a kind of extended kinship network. In their view, plants, animals and humans partook of divinity through their close connection with “guardian spirits,” a myriad of supernatural entities who imbued their natural kin with life and power.

 

The Native American ritual's main aim is to attract natural forces into human actions thus treating those forces as tools ready to be used when the right preparations are made to host them.

 

The tree is not only root, trunk, leaves and fruit but a living force emanating from mother Earth resembling growth, development nourishment; it is up to the practicing Shaman to acquire this force by attuning himself to the same energetic frequency. The same is with birds and animals. Hunters prayed forgiveness after killing a Bison, declaring that it is only for continuing their physical life, this is the reason why there are no mass killing of wild life but only the necessary amount to preserve the tribe’s life.

 

As all plants, animals and stones have their own natural force or spirit so each human being, this spirit remains after the physical death and can be reborn in the form of animal, bird or stone.

 

What meets the eye is but a minute spectrum of being of what the universe has to offer.

 

In the Appalachian cave art dated 6000 years ago there is a threefold division of the world.

 

The Underworld residing in caves and water in which physical known forms transform to other forms as human to birds and animals.

 

The Middle world, the NOW, the current human life materialistic world governed by the physical aspects as food, water, season’s cycle.

 

The Upper world where spirits, fairies, the stars, govern the energetic state of all living creatures on Planet Earth.

 

The Native Americans didn’t call their ceremonies religious, I don’t think they had this word in their vocabulary because for them everything existing on this planet is divine and holds natural energetic force that can be transferred to humans and extracted from humans. The major ceremonies where to transfer the Upper world energies into the NOW, the current state of living, and by that ensuring upgraded transformation of the remaining spirit after the physical body perishes.

 

In their eyes the stars (nothing like the starry nights in New Mexico) are where guardians of the Upper world remind each human being that he is but a tiny unnoticed element in a vast universe, but with that there is no division between it and the universe. All of what is seen and unseen is part of a unified universe and all life is but shifting energies from the Under, Upper and NOW worlds.

 

Have magic in your life

 

Ted Barr

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico

July 2016