Simple Ceremonies

Some suggestions for personal prayer.

Many times I have been asked what folks can do for themselves in the way of personal prayer. Here are some simple suggestions one might try.

try these….nin se Neaseno.

Some simple ceremonies

These several simple ceremonies are suggestions that one can do for themselves and their families when in need. They are not the type of ceremonies that are performed by a medicine man/woman, although they can be done for you in your behalf by a spiritual leader. They are offered to you in lieu of having a spiritual leader do them for you, for those times when you might be alone and cannot reach someone who can pray more effectively for you and your needs.
Please do not underestimate the power of your own heartfelt prayers though, as many folks do not fully comprehend that a loving Spirit appreciates hearing from His/Her Creation once in awhile, just to say thanks sometimes, but also when there are pressing needs in one’s life or the lives of your loved ones.

1. Building a Neshnabe fire.
a. Flint and steel type of fire with shketagen.
b. The offering of sema afterwards.
c. *The occasional offering of food, sema and water.
d. You can also ‘smudge” yourself with cedar/sage.
2. If you have access to a “*personal pipe,
a. Build a Neshnabe type of fire again,
b. Then fill your pipe and pray,
c. You can also make a yellow prayer flag to go with it,
d. Dimensions: a flag, 12 “ x 36 “ with sema in the right corner.

*A personal pipe is not the same as a pipe carried by a medicine man.

*Not to be confused with the Ghost Supper. That is a separate ceremony itself.
Usually hosted by a family elder or a spiritual leader.

If you have a family, husband and wife with children, one of the main things I encourage folks to do is to have a “family altar”, i.e., a designated time for the family to pray together about common needs they all have. A “family altar” is not to be confused with a medicine man’s altar. In this way, the children will learn how to pray and deal with common problems and occurrences within their lives. You, the parents, have the awesome responsibility of role modeling these several ways to the children the Spirit has blessed you with. You will derive a great many blessings from following a carefully scheduled time for family prayer, and the observance of the other simple ceremonies one can do for oneself.

If one practices these types of ceremonies religiously during one’s life, it becomes a way of maintaining one’s spiritual health. One needs to pray about things occasionally on their own. One needs to search their souls and spirits once in awhile and make restitution by asking the Creative Force to forgive for wrongs committed and restoring the harmony and balance we all need in our lives.

One should always keep a supply of good flat cedar and sweet grass around their homes. It wouldn’t hurt to keep some white sage for smudging purposes also. A good tobacco or sema that does not have all those additives should also be kept around as well. All of these articles can be used for smudging and of course, one fills their personal pipe with the sema too when needed. Shketagen, with some good flint and a steel striker are essentials in the Neshnabe home. Keeping a ready supply of dry kindling and grasses one can harvest from nature is something one should think about keeping also. Being prepared to pray is a commitment one has to make and be ready to do at a moments notice within their lives.

The lesson here: Be prepared, pray always……

Iw enajmoyan…. Posted by neaseno at 4:47 AM

Author: neaseno

I was born on Powers Bluff in Wood County, Wisconsin, into a traditional community of Neshnabek. I was raised speaking only native languages, and learned to speak English upon entering school at the age of 6. As of this writing, I am one of 5 remaining Heritage Fluent Speakers of Potawatomi.

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