On Healing

More on the subject of deeper level thinking….

On things like fasting, healing, and the general cultural happenings within tribal groups, here we are talking specifically about Bodewadmik.  

Healing and Curing are by faith.

Both healing and curing are by faith, but healing has to do with faith in Mamogosnan, whereas curing has to do with having faith in the Healer/Curer and in the medicine(s) he/she represents.

There are two kinds of healers/curers; those that have supernatural gifts and those that are bound by the Earth, i.e., having a trust and gift(s) in line with the medicines of the earth only. Some healers/curers can have both supernatural and common powers, but all powers are fully capable of being efficacious, that is of, getting the job done, but the supernatural healer/curer has added power(s) or responsibility. 

All healing and curing from the Neshnabe perspective is done by and through faith.

Curing, has to do with the spiritual, but not in the same way that healing is spiritual.

Some people do die, so not everyone gets cured. This is one of the mysteries of this life. Some people appear to be allowed to live, while others seem to be taken out of the way. It is not Mamogosnan who takes a person out of this world. That would make him responsible for all deaths, including all those that are tragic. 

People and the stuff they harbor and commit are the deciding factors in what may happen to them in the curing process. I have witnessed some people who come for curing of an ailment or a disease who are not very apologetic about their lifestyles and reasoning, and may even expect the Healer to perform a miracle anyway, in spite of the way they have lived and some continue to live that way. Some people can be quite evil when it comes to what they have done to others and will still expect the Healer or Mamogosnan to act positively in their behalf. 

If one person can, or should not, be cured, for whatever reason(s), Mamogosnan may decide not to interfere and change the situation. That is what makes Him sovereign! Being sovereign gives him the ability to be merciful to whom he will, for he alone knows if the person seeking the healing or curing, will change for the better. Some people have no intention to change, and there are those who see the error of their ways and are quick to reconcile their ways, thus are forgiven. There are those who have waited too long and their bodies cannot withstand what it shall take for them to be healed or cured. 

How is it that some people get cured and others don’t?

A lot of it depends on what that individual may be thinking and what he/she expects. It may also depend on how they have lived their lives and how they intend to live from that point on, after a curing takes place in their lives. 

We no longer have functional communities as we did a long time ago. The traditional way of doing things, such as a ceremony, is more important to a traditional practitioner, than curing someone. Curing someone becomes important only in the context of what it teaches a given community about faith and the sacred ways. When one witnesses a healing, it gives them faith that God is still active within those ways that have been used. It can give a community the strength to believe. Sometimes prevention is more important that treatment when it comes to the community and individuals are concerned. 

Healing now, on the other hand, has to do with helping a person to be right with Mamogosnan and all other life forms. It has to do with forgiveness! Then if death comes, the person can die peacefully and not be angry or resentful about any of it. He/she learns through the healing rituals to think in terms of the quality of life rather than the quantity of life. Healing or forgiveness is a priceless gift that can be given to anyone who will accept it. Healing has to do with forgiveness!

The word Nesea in Bodewadmimwen has to do with curing, that is to help someone in the healing process by curing whatever it is that troubles them.

The word Wnadoa has more to do with assisting someone by asking in their behalf face something, such as seeking forgiveness from whatever it is that has brought on the sickness/illness. In this context, the Healer/Curer is more of an Intercessor/One who Intercedes in behalf of the patient or person seeking healing/curing.

The word Neseashkan has to do with assisting someone with a medicine given to them to find relief from the sickness or ailment, that is more of a topical application.

Some more Potawatomi words that have to do with healing are;

Nadwéo has to do with healing oneself, taking medicine for something.

Nadowé he/she healing others, referring to doctoring people. nnado’a, I heal him/her.

Nénado’wét has to do with doctoring, Neshnabe doctor/healer.

Nadowén has to do with healing.

There are several ways to doctor or heal in the Potawatomi way. One is to administer the medicinal plant, either as a decoction, smudge, powdered form to oneself, etc., or to have it given to to you by a qualified Neshnabe doctor or Healer.

Some Nénandawik have supernatural gifts to aid the doctoring process, acquired through years of study coupled with fasting. There are varied ceremonies for doctoring utilizing the Sweat Lodge, the Medicine Lodge, Shaker Lodge, though the latter is primarily used to gain information, but has been used to administer the doctoring process also. 

There are various Societies that perform healings also for each other, but mostly serve the Tribal Group they are affiliated with. As has been stated, the traditional way of doing things sometimes becomes more important than the curing.

Curing has to do with healing the symptoms, the illness/sicknesses, but Healing has to do with Forgiveness. Sometimes the patient is Healed but not Cured and does not survive the sickness or illness, but has been Forgiven, thereby preparing them for leaving/dying, thus being ready to meet the beyond world or Powers.

More on this in time……it is a vast and deep subject.

Nin se Neaseno.