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
“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!
I share the beauty and sacredness of a true Brother in Spirit, Aaron Paquette:
“For All My Relations…
Always Give before you take.
It could be a gift, the tobacco, a prayer, a song, whatever you have. Give first before receiving.
Always be Kind.
You never know the journey someone else has had to take, and they don’t know yours. We all have burdens. If we are kind we lighten all our loads.
Always be in Prayer.
Thank the Creator for your life and for all life on this beautiful Mother Earth. Our time is short, but we can make our mark last forever.
Always live in your Purpose.
If you don’t know what it is, then serve. Serve others and your purpose will find you. But serve as a warrior, not as a slave. Serve to strengthen others through your example; do not weaken them by doing everything for them.
Always Honor the Hoop.
We live together, we die together, we laugh together and we cry together. No one is higher, no one is lower.
Always speak in your True Voice.
There is strength in you the world has never seen. Show your strength. Build it. Use it to create peace and as a blessing to those around you.
Always drink clean Water
Water is Mother Earth’s milk. Drink deeply many times a day and clean your body.
Always exercise your Body.
You have been given a vessel to house your spirit. Treat it with the deepest respect and give it the gift of health, stamina, and endurance.
Always Sleep deeply.
Sleep long and sleep deep, for it is in your dreams inspiration comes. Give the Creator ample time to speak to you.
Always, always Love Yourself.
If you will find one good thing about yourself and another and another, you will learn to fulfill your purpose. And when you love yourself, you will know how to honestly love another.
One Lakota Creation story tells of how the Lakota people came into world thru a hole in the Earth. One person stayed behind and when he came out, he saw the people dying of famine and so he turned himself into a bison (Tatanka) and multiplied himself until he covered the Earth. While some tribes do not place an emphasis on sacrifice, in the Lakota/Dakota traditions, Sacrifice is Honored as an important Value to one’s character, as well as to the care and survival of The People. Waíč’iuŋyan (to sacrifice oneself) or Ič’íčhupi (to give oneself, volunteer or enlist) describes the basic understanding of how integral Sacrifice is to the Lakota/Dakota People.
Most people have some familiarity with the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers, a Warrior Society of extraordinary skill and courage. One of their roles as Dog Men was to protect The People at all costs, often in the face of overwhelming odds. If the situation looked hopeless, they would stake themselves to the ground in front of the oncoming enemy, knowing that it would likely be their last breath, in order that The People could escape.
The Sun Dance (Wiwanyang Wachipi), of which I previously shared, is a demonstration of Sacrifice. Sun Dancers dance for 4 days in the hot sun, with no food or water. Why would they do this? Often times it is to ask for a Healing for a Loved One or to offer Gratitude to the Creator for all the blessings they have received in the past year…but mostly, they Sacrifice to Pray for The People.
Perhaps, we have forgotten that we too Sacrifice. Mothers Sacrificing for their Children that they may grow to be healthy, fed and protected. Giving our bone marrow to save another life. Sacrificing our ‘normal’ lives to care for our aging Parents. Volunteering our time at local food banks and shelters that others may be fed and safe. Even the simple act of opening a door for an Elder. Often, the only rewards we receive is the knowing that our efforts have hopefully improved other lives. The Lakota recognized, and Honored, what we have forgotten…that Sacrifice…no matter how painful…IS necessary and that it is in our very nature to make Sacrifices for ourselves or for others. Sacrifice gives us all Dignity and gives those who follow after us an example. Haho!
I have wondered many times if the Spiritual Ancestors of this land…Turtle Island…speak to us at night in our Dreams…in our Prayers. Whispering to those of us who are truly open and seek to Honor the Creator…by truly caring for Mother Earth…acknowledging that All Relatives are truly our Brothers and Sisters…and seeking to return to a way of Respect, Generosity, Compassion…and most importantly…Balance. Perhaps those ‘Whispers’ (I’d called them Dreams) come to remind us that no matter what our physical DNA…it is the Spiritual DNA that is meant to guide us. So many of us were steered to the ways of the Red Road…not to make money off of a way of life…but to return the 2-legged to the true path of Spirit. I pray that I have heard, and honored, the Whispers of not only my Ancestors…but of my Spiritual Ancestors as well. Hetchetu. Haho.
For the purposes of understanding my relationship with my Dreams, I share how it came to be that I receive these Dreams/Visions. While praying one day at Bear Butte, South Dakota in the late 90’s, I asked the Creator to communicate with me in Dreams. I asked that if the Creator needed me to know something, do something or help someone, to clearly and specifically make this known to me in my Dreams. To this day, I receive ‘REAL DREAMS’ (that is what the Elders called them)…dreams where you see, sense, taste and feel in the dream. As it was told to me, we were never to dismiss those dreams for they came with a message from the Creator. It has been as I asked from that time on.
In a Dream that came to me this morning…I was sharing what I had learned from the Dakota/Lakota spiritual ways. At first, I was sharing with just a few people but then more and more came. It has always been that when I would speak on spiritual values, I would go into this kind of ‘Zone’. Time would stop and it felt as if my true Spirit stepped forward and spoke. One of the ladies, sitting in the back of the room, was staring HARD at me. Listening and watching every word I said. I recognized the look because I had used it on ‘Plastic’ medicine men when they traveled thru.
Suddenly, right as I started to share about “Tióšpaye”, this woman yells out across everyone into the next room “Constanza! Come in here! This is verrrry close!” Everyone stopped and looked at her. But she ignored them and continued to stare hard at me. I started to say to her “that was very disrespectful”, when I hear this Voice tell me ‘don’t’. I just returned her stare, quietly…directly gazing into her eyes. After a few moments, I stood up, looked around at everyone and quietly left. I woke up with this sense that I not only needed to Respect myself…but that I needed to demonstrate, and call attention to (in a quiet way) when others Disrespected me. I had this sense that we all need to do this…not just with words, but with actions…demonstrate our Self-Respect. And that there will always be “Young Ones”…either out of thoughtlessness or being mean-spirited… who will be disrespectful.
I am grateful for this teaching from Creator and I ask for help in always remembering it. Haho!
It is the Red Nation whose duty is to carry the Spirit for all Nations…to remind us of who we truly are…to remind us that as part of our Sacred Duty, we are the Caretakers of Mother Earth…and of each other. We are truly part of, and inter-connected with, All Our Relations on our Mother. Sometimes, I feel their burden is the largest of all the nations…for they are tasked to listen to the Creator above all else…and in this world of distractions, that is challenging. I am grateful to my Tsalagi (Cherokee) ancestors, who called to me across the years, and guided my heart and my spirit towards the Lakota/Dakota nations….for they have taught me to be guided by the Creator and to serve The People.
Ho hecetu ksto. Haho!