This trip probably started about three years ago when I received a phone call out of the blue from a cousin of mine. He use to come stay with me when we were young and unmarried, but after he graduated from college and life got busier for the both of us, we just didn’t keep in touch for a while. Eighteen years or so of a while.
I find it ironic as I write this to realize that at the time he was phoning that he having his own RAW Challenge (being that I started this blog because of the Australia RAW Challenge). His RAW stood for “restoring ancient wisdom”. He phoned that he was going to be passing through from Arizona where he had lived on a Hopi Indian Reservation for several months and going up to South Dakota to visit the Lakota Indians. I won’t go into his vision too much as that is his story to tell, but let me say that he has incredible, beautiful stories to tell as he has visited tribes of many cultures on several continents and has come away with marvelous knowledge and glimpses of cultures that few of us ever get to experience. He knows the value of these ancient rituals and he endeavors to help to keep them alive.
As part of his journeys and meetings, he met a Lakota Medicine man who had a vision to teach other cultures about even the most sacred and previously secret ceremonies so as to show the power and prayerfulness of their ways with the knowledge that to teach others is to take away the fear and ridicule that manifests in persecution.
My cousin started participating in these sacred ceremonies and not only learned about the people he was working with and their traditions, but of himself.
Skip ahead a year – to two years ago when he phones me and during the discussion he mentions that he is to participate in a Native American Sundance Ceremony. Having only heard of such a thing in a movie, I asked if there was any possibility that I could come and watch. It was one of those times that I felt that there was a chance to experience something most never will and didn’t want to miss the chance. I did go and was amazed at the serenity of the rite and prayerful time.
The medicine man had passed away just a month or two prior to the Sundance and at the end there was a memorial for him. Because of this, I was immersed in a time of sharing and reflection for what had transpired with many folks there for many decades with him. The stories of how each person met him that unfolded to me over the five days was nothing short of miraculous.
I’ll save the stories for another time. More tomorrow on how this leads to going to Tennessee.