All My Relations
N’dall8gom8mek (James Mehigan)
First Nations people have this affirming greeting in all of our languages. Mine happens to be in aln8ba8dwa, or Abenaki.
That is who my Mother’s people were and are. I was not raised what you may call ‘traditional’; but the Ancestors decided to introduce themselves anyway, and they put me on a path that has been both interesting and heartbreaking.
Although I was raised a Catholic, that is not who I am. Never was. I stand here in my Truth, neither greater than, nor less than, all that Kci Niwaiskom, Great Spirit Creator, has caused to be.
We are all expressions of the Creation, the Divine Thought that sent ripples of Life vibrating into the Void. That thought is LOVE, so pure, so unconditional that touches all Things, all Beings.
I have been touched by that LOVE, and have never been the same. When I was stark-raving sober, confronting all of the damage I had done to my Self and all whom I had touched, I was ashamed. But I was driven to find just why I had not died yet…time after time I was saved from situations of people, places and things where Death should have claimed me.
The elder Grandmother sat hunched down in the passenger seat of the beat-up old Cadillac outside the sacred circle where the dancers in their feathers and buckskins moved clockwise around the fire to the shrill voices singing to the beat of a big drum. She wore a woolen coat that was bigger than she was, and then her voice demanded to know where I had been – what took me so long to get up here – they had told her I was coming.
Who had told her? She laughed at me and my silly question, and told me ‘the Old Ones’. And then she told me to give her my hand, and as I did, it was as if she had plugged me into an electrical outlet.
The deep booming of the Drum was coming from miles away. I began to sob, as the years of pain and anger melted away. PURE LOVE washed over me, enveloping me, vibrating through me. I watched as my life flashed like videos on fast-forward before my eyes, and I knew that the CREATION was showing me how I saw myself.
There was no judgment, no rebuke…only UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. I knew there and then that we are this LOVE; we originate and manifest because of LOVE, and when our physical bodies are finished, we return to LOVE. All the while this was occurring, Grandmother spoke to me of Medicine, of Spirit, of who and what I am, and of the path I was to walk, if I accepted it.
Then she gave me a sacred name and laughed because I was a mess!
‘Grandmother’ is a term of respect that we give to our Elder women because they give so much to us. Likewise, the Elder men are the Grandfathers. They are our Teachers. They have wisdom and love to share, and give freely by word, deed and example, so that we may know how to walk in balance upon our Mother the Earth.
This Grandmother was Medicine; she walked and talked with Spirit, and I was honored that she sought me out and gave me many hours of her love, time and counsel over the next two winters. She told me many things, answered so many of my questions, and laughed at me.
She ate what I cooked for her as if it was her last meal. She told me of the many Star Nations, and that we came originally from ‘out there’. Her house was a shack covered with asphalt shingles and had cracked window panes that howled in the frigid Vermont winds.
Many came to see her, to ask questions about their futures, their love lives, their children. She gave freely to all, regardless of whether they were Native or not. Those who knew to come in a Good Way would bring food, or tobacco, or a few dollars to keep her lights on.
Many did not know our Ways, and disrespected her by demanding that she give to them without return. All the while, she was dying. She received her many visitors propped up in bed in the front room, and her voice was strained from bouts of coughing that left her weak and in pain.
I received a phone call that sent me driving the couple of hundred miles north to see her one last time, a week before she crossed over. She told me what she saw that would come to pass in this world, but told us she would always be with us…that hers would be a body of Light, and she would be able to help us much more from the other side than she ever had done in this lifewalk.
Grandmother passed away a week later. I share this because the issue of ‘shamanism’ has been brought out on this site [The 2012 Scenario] lately, in connection with Native American spirituality. Let me say that I have been honored to know several individuals who have been blessed by CREATOR with varied gifts of healing and Spirit sight…they are Original People, and speak the languages of their Ancestors.
To a one, these people are MEDICINE, yet would not refer to themselves as such. They walk in SPIRIT, and admit to doing so. Their works and LOVE are manifest of CREATION, and they seek only to serve others with the great responsibilities they have undertaken.
‘Shaman’ is a word derived from the area in Russia known as Siberia, used by the Yakut to describe their Medicine people. We do not have this word here on Turtle Island, what the Europeans have called North America; our First Nations do not call our Medicine People ‘shamans’, nor do our Medicine People refer to themselves in this manner.
It has unfortunately become a part of the lexicon that non-Natives use to place Native healers and seers into a nice, neat category. It is also a term that has been applied to a mixture of Native-based spirituality mixed with Druidic, Celtic, astrological and other influences, practices and ideas.
Often we see a kind of homogeneity that has emerged, where some individuals have used Native teachings in a disrespectful manner to make money and further their own egos. When Native people are confronted with this, some can understandably be scornful, or even harbor feelings of disgust, which only serves to keep humans separated from each other, instead of promoting universal understanding, peace, harmony and balance.
Today, while corresponding with Steve, I was watching a video from Drunvalo. I could not help but laugh as the synchronicity of what I was seeing hit me! He was showing the Flower of Life, and it is our Medicine Wheel! Thirteen and twenty-one…sacred geometry, Fibonacci Spirals, DNA. All of CREATION contains and bears witness to the CREATOR.
It is code that is the basis of all Things, all Beings, all that IS…and all First Peoples have known these things, even though separated by time and geography.
They have always known that ALL IS ONE, and the ONE IS ALL. Our Mother, the Earth, is changing, as she has always done, from the time of the Creation. We know that the Star Nations are here with us, watching and assisting us upon our journeys as we undergo our own changes.
The pace of all Life is quickening, and there is much discord and confusion as we seek answers to our many questions about who we really are and where we are going. I have been told again and again that we must stop fighting each other and ourselves, and learn how to come together in PEACE and UNITY, regardless of any perceived differences.
As a species, we have forgotten how to HONOR our Mother, and in doing so, have forgotten to honor ourselves and all of Creation. But many are waking up all over this world; every day we hear of demonstrations and peaceful struggles of the people to demand justice, truth, freedom.
I pray that we come to realize that we are all ONE, and part of the Divine Creation, no more than, no less than any other. Only then can we take our place among the Star Nations.
This is my Truth. N’dall8gom8mek…All My Relations.
James Mehigan (Abenaki Nation)