I am sharing this Lakota Prayer (one of many) for its deep connection to Spirit. I hope you find it as meaningful as I have. ~Lynn Manyfires
Soyal is a Hopi ceremony that begins on Dec 21st and ends 16 days later. The Hopi say that by performing this ceremony, we are creating the next year of our lives. I have celebrated this ceremony for the last 20 years of my life and there are many wonderful suggestions to ‘living’ this ceremony such as using wholesome words; uplifting and doing no hurt; asking the Spirits to listen to you to bring the rain of Loving Care down upon the whole world, etc. And while there are many worthwhile elements to this 16-day ceremony, what has been the most important to me has been the daily morning Prayers.
In the beginning of celebrating this ceremony, I offered to Pray for anyone who asked for whatever was needed/required in their lives. Over the years, I received many powerful visions and answers to those Prayer requests. As time went on, people did not ask for Prayers. Perhaps because they had ‘walked on’ from this world…perhaps because they felt they no longer needed or believed in Prayers. Whatever the reason, requests for Prayers trickled down to a few.
It was extremely challenging in the beginning to maintain the positive loving nature of this ceremony. The holiday season seemed to put such stress on people and I struggled to remember my focus. Some years, my life was so hard and disheartening that I felt too discouraged to even want to Pray. But every year I managed to get up in the morning and say my Prayers…and every year, it was truly worth it. Sometimes, I had to delay my morning Prayers for later in the day because of Life. I was loath to do that as I would often forget to do them. However, there were times that delaying the Prayers provided meaningful and powerful lessons for me.
2 years ago, I spent the night as an overnight host to the homeless guests of an Interfaith Shelter. And instead of early morning Prayers, I spent time with them and their families at breakfast. I was continually humbled by their courage and vulnerability and I felt honored to be there with them, witnessing their journey. Coming home, I thanked the Creator for letting me be there that morning for my Prayers were clearer, stronger and purer. Being there allowed me to see not only the compassion but the wisdom in serving each other. It keeps us truly connected to Spirit…and to each other!
In Love, I offer my Prayers…in Love, let them be known…and in Love, let them be done. For the good of All and harm to none and against no one’s will.
Excerpt: “It was about that time, that the Grandfather next to me spoke in my ear. With gentle Compassion in his voice, he whispered that when the heat became more than I could bear, to lie down upon Mother Earth, for that was where the cool air was, and that Mother would show mercy to one whose prayers were true. His last words were “When it gets hot,” he said “Pray harder.”
“‘The Red Road ain’t for sissies!’ I was caught off guard by the brother’s firm statement as he sat with his eyes focused distantly on the horizon. He had been silent up to that point as I had ‘whined’ about the many things I found archaic and impossible in these ways. I stopped mid sentence, hurt at the insinuation that I was a sissy. I felt like a scolded child. I started to come back with a smart comment but the sting of tears in my eyes caught me by surprise and I kept silent. The brother dropped his eyes to the ground and continued, “I felt the same way as you growing up in these ways. I lived with my Auntie and Uncle and I resented them for insisting that I go to the Ceremonies.”
On Amazon now: CEREMONIES OF THE RED ROAD
One night, as I sat watching the “Return of the King” (the last in the trilogy of the Lord of the Rings), a particular scene in the movie caught my attention. Aragorn and his friends enter a cave that holds the cursed spirits of a long dead army that betrayed their promise to fight for the King of Gondor in his hour of need. Aragorn…who has been given a mighty sword that represents his reluctant acceptance of his destiny as the new King of Gondor…comes to this place of the dead to demand that the spirits make good on their old promise and thereby win their freedom from the curse. When his friends tell him it is madness to go into such a place, Aragorn suddenly holds up the sword and with great determination simply states “I am not afraid of death” and strides purposely into the darkness.
At the end of that scene, I was struck by one thought: “I once felt that same sense of ‘destiny’ in my life’. That lack of fear, not only of death but of anything that tried to sway me from my purpose. Just remembering that time hit me with such force. There in Prescott, I felt so far away from that time…that faith…that strength…that ‘knowing-ness’ that I was truly following my destiny. Back then, anything I did I knew with a certainty that I was doing what I was meant to be doing. And I always knew that it would all work out in a good way. I did not fear death during that time because, for me, I was following what the Creator wanted me to do. And it was that sense of destiny, culminating in 1996, that stayed with me through the cancer and afterwards…at least, for awhile. If I strayed from my spiritual path, the Visions, Intuition and Dreams always brought me back.
After getting off of disability in the early 2000’s, I had to return to work…the stress of bills needing to be paid took precedence over my spiritual path. That is the year I began to feel “not needed”…being rejected over and over by employers caused me to wonder at my worth…and that’s when the fear started to creep in…and set up housekeeping. Unbeknownst to me, it became my roommate.
I always wondered why the Creator had guided me to Prescott. I, like many others in my circles at the time, had been having dreams. I felt ‘pushed’ to leave. I believed that there was some great disaster coming and that my family and I needed to leave. When we made the decision together to go to Prescott, all the ‘warning’ dreams stopped so I felt that I was meant to be there. However, to be truthful, I had reservations. I had just gotten a really good-paying position in San Diego and had only been there for 6 months and I had this feeling that I could stay there as long as I wanted. I was treated well and they were generous. Having just struggled through years of poverty, it was good to have abundance again and I was reluctant to give that up. But I left anyway and to be honest, I went partially out of fear.
Perhaps it was no surprise then that I struggled there. No friends, no ceremonies, no spiritual community and more importantly, no work. The lack of work really took its toll on me. Some months I barely made it…other times I almost lost my place and wondered if I’d be out on the street the next month. Fear was taking everything. More importantly, there were no Dreams, Visions or Intuition to guide me there. I felt lost.
Then in December of 2006, during a 16-day Hopi ceremony known as Soyal, the Dreams came again. One in particular was extremely important. In this dream, I was shown magma running under the mountain of Prescott and I was told that Prescott was a place that sucked the life-energy from the People. That elders couldn’t feel the drain because they were close to crossing over and that the families with children didn’t feel it because the children had such an abundance of energy that it camouflaged the feeling. I was told that those who were single would feel the ‘drain’ the greatest and that it was a place of ‘Give-Away’. That people came there to get rid of those things that kept them from progressing and that once they got rid of them, they could move on. This was an important Dream to me and actually gave me Hope that there would be an eventual end to the misery I was experiencing.
Seeing that scene in the movie seemed to shake me out of a spiritual fog. I had been walking down the memory lane of my early 40’s…the highest spiritual time of my life…wondering if I would ever feel that way again. Had I simply just moved over to the other side of that mountain, relegated to a spiritual life of ‘kibbles and bits?” Had the Creator discarded me, having now served my purpose? Was I was just marking time until the end?
That scene jumping out at me with such strength, forced me to consider that word “Destiny “ carefully. What did it mean to me? Did it mean that there was a pre-destined path to our lives and that you got ‘smacked upside the head’ if you failed to follow that path? Was Surrendering to the Creator following my destiny…or was it fulfilling some kind of contract I had made with the Creator?
Finally, after a night of Dreams, I came to understand what Destiny meant to me…Destiny is doing what you really want to do. Now, you may say to yourself, “Well, I knew that.” Yes, I guess we all inherently know this at a cellular level. But I got caught up in the “Your will, not mine” mantra. I was trying so hard to figure out what the Creator wanted me to do that I simply forgot what it was I wanted to do. No wonder I wasn’t ‘getting it.’ Hearing that one statement from the movie, “I do not fear death”, made me think that perhaps following our heart’s desire is the Creator’s will.
When I thought back to the 90’s, and that strong sense of Destiny, I realized that what I felt back then came from pursuing a dream of mine that I’d had since my teens…and I was going to attain it no matter what. I was doing what it was in my heart to do. I was fulfilling my Destiny…and at the same time…following the Creator’s will by using my own free will. While it’s true that Destiny is sometimes thrust upon us…and maybe that’s part of the ‘contract’ we make with the Creator…it’s just as true that we are happier when we are doing what we truly want to do.
And that’s what I forgot. I had been so worried about getting a job and paying the bills that I forgot what was in my heart that I wanted to do here. I’m not here to just mark time until the end. I’m here to do what is in my heart to do.
Moving once again towards the desires of my heart…I feel Destiny moving in my soul and I know now that “I do not fear death.”
Love and Destiny to us all.
“There will come a time when the Earth grows sick
and when it does a tribe will gather from all the cultures of the World
who believe in deed and not words.
They will work to heal it.
They will be known as the “Warriors of the Rainbow”.
~ Cree Indian Proverb~
The Cree tribe tells of an old woman named “Eyes of Fire”, who prophesied that one day, because of the white mans’ greed, there would come a time, when the fish would die in the streams, the birds would fall from the air, the waters would be blackened, and the trees would no longer be, mankind as we would know it would all but cease to exist.
There would come a time when the “keepers of the legend, stories, culture rituals, and myths, and all the Ancient Tribal Customs” would be needed to restore us to health, making the earth green again. They would be mankind’s key to survival, they were the “Warriors of the Rainbow”. There would come a day of awakening when all the peoples of all the tribes would form a New World of Justice, Peace, Freedom and recognition of the Great Spirit.
According to Manataka American Indian Council, “the “Warriors of the Rainbow” would spread these messages and teach all peoples of the Earth or “Elohi”. They would teach them how to live the “Way of the Great Spirit”. They would tell them of how the world today has turned away from the Great Spirit and that is why our Earth is “Sick”.
These Warriors would give the people principles or rules to follow to make their path light with the world. These principles would be those of the Ancient Tribes. The Warriors of the Rainbow would teach the people of the ancient practices of Unity, Love and Understanding. They would teach of Harmony among people in all four corners of the Earth.
Like the Ancient Tribes, they would teach the peoples how to pray to the Great Spirit with love that flows like the beautiful mountain stream, and flows along the path to the ocean of life. Once again, they would be able to feel joy in solitude and in councils. They would be free of petty jealousies and love all mankind as their brothers, regardless of color, race or religion. They would feel happiness enter their hearts, and become as one with the entire human race. Their hearts would be pure and radiate warmth, understanding and respect for all mankind, Nature and the Great Spirit.
They would once again fill their minds, hearts, souls, and deeds with the purest of thoughts. They would seek the beauty of the Master of Life – the Great Spirit! They would find strength and beauty in prayer and the solitude of life.
Their children would once again be able to run free and enjoy the treasures of Nature and Mother Earth. Free from the fears of toxins and destruction, wrought by the Yo-ne-gi and his practices of greed. The rivers would again run clear, the forests be abundant and beautiful, the animals and birds would be replenished. The powers of the plants and animals would again be respected and conservation of all that is beautiful would become a way of life.
The poor, sick and needy would be cared for by their brothers and sisters of the Earth. These practices would again become a part of their daily lives. The leaders of the people would be chosen in the old way – not by their political party, or who could speak the loudest, boast the most, or by name calling or mud slinging, but by those whose actions spoke the loudest. Those who demonstrated their love, wisdom and courage and those who showed that they could and did work for the good of all, would be chosen as the leaders or Chiefs. They would be chosen by their “quality” and not the amount of money they had obtained.
Step forward, Warriors of the Rainbow…help our Mother Earth…help The People and All Relatives upon Mother Earth!
Reflecting back on the men of my life…you’ve always been the first to shine out…like a Beacon on the shore…always calling me. Whenever I touch our memories…gently…hesitantly…I feel the joy of knowing that what we created still exists…gurgling sweetly at the core of my Soul. Of all who genuinely touched the very Heart of me and who made a real difference in who I became…it is your face, with that scruffy beard, that surges forth in my mind…pushing away all other thoughts…leaving only those moments of us together. It was you who ignited the Spiritual Fire within me…who taught me to ask questions and think deeply…who challenged me to not only think but to feel. You, my Love, made me want to become a better human being. And when you came into my dreams to reassure me…to tell me we would be together again…to explain why we had come to this time…and then shared how deep our soul-to-soul love was…did you know it would save me? I Pray I have honored your memory well, Dearest. Wherever you are, Daniel…I Remember you, my Beloved…I Remember you.