In the indigenous perspective, medicine simply means “it is good.” So, anything that is of good is considered to be “Good Medicine.” Humility, compassion, love, truth, courage, kindness, patience, fortitude, integrity, gratitude, generosity, honesty, honor, and loyalty are all virtues representative of Good Medicine.
The Native aspect of Good Medicine is a guiding principle of our healing work. Within both the traditional Native American aspects of our work, and the more syncretic aspects of our work, we believe that anything that is of good, is useful in healing.
Animal Medicines: For centuries, the indigenous people have been using the animals to point out insights into different aspects of two legged behavior. For example, the Bear represents introspection. Because the Bear hibernates for six months out of the year, this big masculine animal has learned the art of going within to digest the year’s experience. The porcupine, on the other hand, represents childlike innocence, and the tendency to become prickly when we feel scared. By observing these animals over time, the Native Americans have come up with a beautiful way of being, healing, and living. Simply by taking on the nature of an animal, the Native American people have found a better way to live. There are 52 animals in the tradition we use for viewing the human experience through animal medicines, however many others come forward and reveal their medicine as well.
Native Ceremonies: 2000 years ago White Buffalo Calf Woman came to the Lakota people. She brought them the pipe and taught them how to pray. The pipe smoke was considered to be visual prayer and the tobacco a tool to solidify our connection wth the Great Mystery. Lakota vision, the supernatural appearance of White Buffalo Calf Woman, tells of her divine revalations to the Lakota regarding the Seven Sacred Rites to bring about Spiritual rebirth and World Harmony.
1. Canupa – Pipe Ceremony
2. Inipi – The Sweat Lodge
3. Hamblecha – Vision Quest
4. Wiwanguacipi – Sundance
5. Hunkapi Wedding – The making of relatives
6. Yawipi – The Keeping of the Soul
7. Ishna Ta Awi Cha Lowan – Preparing a girl for Womanhood.
These are the seven rites that Ptesanwin/ White Buffalo Calf Woman brought to the Lakotas. Ironically, Chris was born around the same time. We use these ceremonies, and aspects of them, within our healing work.