Grandfather, Great Spirit,…

The Great Spirit is in all things, is in the air we breathe.
The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother.
She nourishes us; that which we put into the ground, She returns to us….
~ Big Thunder (Bedagi), 19th century Wabanaki Algonquin

Traditional Native American worship practices vary from region to region and tribe to tribe. They are typically a part of tribal gatherings including dance, rhythm, songs and trance. Sacred narratives and beliefs are deeply based in Nature and are rich with the symbolism of seasons, weather, plants, animals, earth, water, sky and fire. The principle of an all embracing, universal and omniscient Great Spirit, a connection to the Earth, diverse creation narratives and collective memories of ancient ancestors are common among tribes. When Native Americans pray to the four directions it is a prayer to the spirits of the world, to life and the Great Spirit that encompasses the four directions and everything that is.

Grandfather, Great Spirit, once more behold me on earth and lean to hear my
feeble voice. You lived first, and you are older than all need, older than
all prayer. All things belong to you — the two-legged, the four-legged, the
wings of the air, and all green things that live.

You have set the powers of the four quarters of the earth to cross each
other. You have made me cross the good road and road of difficulties, and
where they cross, the place is holy. Day in, day out, forevermore, you are
the life of things.

(Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux)

It is lovely indeed, it is lovely indeed.
I, I am the spirit within the earth …
The feet of the earth are my feet …
The legs of the earth are my legs …
The bodily strength of the earth is my strength …
The thoughts of the earth are my thoughts …
The voice of the earth is my voice …
The feather of the earth is my feather …
All that belongs to the earth belongs to me …
All that surrounds the earth surrounds me …
I, I am the sacred words of the earth …
It is lovely indeed, it is lovely indeed.

(Navajo Song)

This Week’s Affirmation:

“We are all related.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

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Prayer for Friday

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
~ Emily Dickinson

Mysterious One,
We search for you along this
Great Red Road you have set us on.

Sky Father, Tunkashila1,
We thank you for this world.
We thank you for our own existence.
We ask only for your blessing and for your instruction.

Grandfather, Sacred One,
Put our feet on the holy path that leads to you,
and give us the strength and the will
to lead ourselves and our children
past the darkness we have entered.
Teach us to heal ourselves,
to heal each other and to heal the world.

Let us begin this very day,
this very hour,
the Great Healing to come.

(Leonard Crow Dog – Shackled Eagle, Lakota)

1 A Lakota word for the Great Spirit (or God), literally translated as “Grandfather”.

This Week’s Affirmation:

“I radiate hope and blessed promise.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

Prayer for Monday (Corn Dance Ceremony)

Today begins the Zuni Corn Dance Ceremony. Today is also the Islamic holiday of Nisf Sha’ban.

Each man is good in the sight of the Great Spirit.
~ Chief Sitting Bull

Prayer To The Four Directions

Great Spirit of Light, come to me out of the East (red) with the power of the rising sun. Let there be light in my words, let there be light on my path that I walk. Let me remember always that you give the gift of a new day. And never let me be burdened with sorrow by not starting over again.

Great Spirit of Love, come to me with the power of the North (white). Make me courageous when the cold wind falls upon me. Give me strength and endurance for everything that is harsh, everything that hurts, everything that makes me squint. Let me move through life ready to take what comes from the north.

Great Life-Giving Spirit, I face the West (black), the direction of sundown. Let me remember everyday that the moment will come when my sun will go down. Never let me forget that I must fade into you. Give me a beautiful color, give me a great sky for setting, so that when it is my time to meet you, I can come with glory.

Great Spirit of Creation, send me the warm and soothing winds from the South (yellow). Comfort me and caress me when I am tired and cold. Unfold me like the gentle breezes that unfold the leaves on the trees. As you give to all the earth your warm, moving wind, give to me, so that I may grow close to you in warmth. Man did not create the web of life, he is but a strand in it. Whatever man does to the web, he does to himself.

(Chief Seattle)

This Week’s Affirmation:

“I AM what I believe I AM.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

Prayer for Thursday (Sun Dance Ceremony)

Today begins the Sun Dance Ceremony celebrated by the Sioux Nations and other North American Plains tribes.

And I saw that the sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.
~ Black Elk

The Sun, the Light of the World,
I hear Him coming
I see His face as He comes
He makes the beings on earth happy,
And they rejoice
O Wakan-Tanka, I offer You this World of Light.

(from The Sacred Pipe: Black Elk’s account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux by Joseph E. Brown [1953])

This Week’s Affirmation:

“I transcend all limitations. I live in a limitless world.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

Prayer for Saturday

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
~ Leonardo da Vinci

To be human being is an honor,
and we offer thanksgiving for all the gifts of life.
Mother Earth, we thank you for giving us everything we need.

Thank you, deep blue waters around Mother Earth,
for you are the force that takes thirst away from all living things.
We give thanks to green grasses that feel so good against our bare feet,
for the cool beauty you bring to Mother Earth’s floor.

Thank you, good foods from Mother Earth,
our life sustainers, for making us happy when we are hungry.
Fruits and berries, we thank you for your color and sweetness.
We are all thankful to good medicine herbs, for healing us when we are sick…

All the trees in the world, we are thankful for the shade and warmth you give us…

We give thanks to you, gentle Four Winds,
for bringing clean air for us to breathe from four directions.

Thank you Grandfather Thunder Beings for bringing rains to help all living things grow.

Elder Brother Sun, we send thanks for shining your light and warming Mother Earth…

Spirit Protectors of our past and present,
we thank you for showing us ways to live in peace and harmony with one another.

And most of all, thank you, Great Spirit, for giving us all these wonderful gifts…

(Chief Jake Swamp from Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message
Source: Mystic Momma)

This Week’s Affirmation:

“All that I seek is already within me.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

Prayer for Friday (Taue Matsuri)

Today is the Shinto celebration of Taue Matsuri, the rice-planting festival. The five day Zoroastrian festival of Ghambar Maidyozarem, the Zuni Green Corn Dance, and the Mayan Rain Festival continue today.

Each of us is put here in this time and this place
to personally decide the future of humankind.
Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary
people in a time of such terrible danger?
Know that you yourself are
essential to this World.
~ Chief Arvol Looking Horse (Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Nations)

This is what I want to happen: that our earth mother
may be clothed in ground corn four times over;
that frost flowers cover her over entirely;
that the mountain pines far away over there
may stand close to each other in the cold;
that the weight of snow crack some branches!
In order that the country may be this way
I have made my prayer sticks into something alive.


This Week’s Affirmation:

“My possibilities are endless.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)

Prayer for Saturday

The ten day Mayan Rain Festival continues today.

Every thought is a seed.
If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious.
~ Bill Meyer

The mountains,
I become a part of it.
The herbs, the fir tree,
I become a part of it.
The morning mists, the clouds, the gathering waters,
I become a part of it.
The wilderness, the dew drops, the pollen,
I become a part of it

(Navajo chant)

This Week’s Affirmation:

“I attract into my life what I AM, not what I say that I want.”

(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)