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PEACE PIPE CEREMONY

There is much spirituality in the ceremonial smoking of the peace pipe. The impersonation of heaven during the smoking of the pipe was to act as if one was actually in heaven.The smoking of the peace pipe is an extremely spiritual process and the pipe itself is considered to be a spiritual instrument. Many believe that a powerful good for all things can emanate from the respectful and proper use of the pipe, but it must be regarded as a spiritual instrument by the pipe holder, whatever their lineage or color happens to be. The pipe can become a strong catalyst to import a powerful feeling for our Mother Earth and all living things.

Those who desire to benefit their spiritual path by learning Native American knowledge and wisdom, some of which will come through the ceremonies, are recommended to get a peace pipe. The peace pipe is not restricted to only Indians. It has been jealously guarded by Native Americans, however, because many are fearful that the pipe may be used disrespectfully by non-Indian people.

The peace pipe ceremony begins many ways, depending of the tribal traditions. In one ceremony the beginning is the purification of the pipe. A ceremony can come before the pipe, or the peace pipe ceremony begins with the loading of the pipe. The ceremony itself is usually similar with slight differations among tribes.

Tobacco is the only substance used. Once the pipe is loaded, the individual acknowledges the four directions, Mother Earth, and Father Sky. The pipe holder faces a direction, sprinkles a portion of tobacco on the ground, and then places the rest into the pipe. The sprikeling of tobacco on the ground represents the giving back to Mother Earth. The Native Indians lived and worked with and on the earth. The had an extremely spiritual bond with the earth and all living creatures. The offering to the four directions "represents the four elements that the Native American had contend with all life". The final offering is to the Great Spirit.

One chief would have the pipe brought to him and he would smoke it, then he would point the mouth piece twice downward and pass it to his neighbor to his right. the pointing of the pipe downwards symbolized that they were in heaven and were offering heaven down to the others in the tribe. The idea of being in heaven was important to the American Indians for they believed that there was a place for everyone in heaven. By sharing the peace pipe the Indians believe that "giving lips" a common bond and bringing to all a spiritual unity that is allowing only for Truth".



The ceremony is really very simple.

The pipe holder stand holding the bowl and pointing the stem to the East. He sprinkles a small amount of tobacco on the ground as an offering to Mother Earth and The East. As he loads a small pinch of tobacco into the pipe, he might say something like.

"The East is Red. The East is where the Morning Star rises, the Star of Knowledge. Red is for the Rising Sun which brings us a new day and another chance to learn. We thank the great spririt for each day we are allowed to live upon Mother Earth under Father Heaven. We pray for Knowledge, for from Knowledge comes Peace"

. The pipe holder faces the South and again gives tobacco to Mother Earth, and while loading the pipe might say something like:

"The South is Yellow. Yellow is for the color of Spring and the warm south wind, and the yellow hoop. While we load this pipe, we give thanks for our strenght, growth, and healing that is brought forth from the south wind. We use this as a time of planting so that the seeds may grow into a new life."

The pipe holder faces the West and again gives tobacco to Mother Earth, and while loading the pipe might say something like:

"West is Black. West is where the Sun sets. West is were the Spirit Helpers live and black stands for the Spirit World & Mysterious Void. We will all go to the Spirit World and we will all know one another and our deeds. We seek our spiritual wisdom in the West and pray for help from our Spirit Guides".

The same is done for the North:

"White is for the North. The White Giant covers Mother Earth with the white blanket of snow. White Buffalo Woman came to us from the North. We stand here seeking endourance, and health from the North".

The pipe holder now touches the stem to the ground and might say something like: "Green is the color of Mother Earth. We are all part of Mother Earth, each rock, each four legged, each two legged, all creature, plants and minerals. We are all related. We respect our Mother Earth and protect her".

The pipe holder now holds the stem up at an angle, perhaps at the Sun or Moon: "Father Sky in union with Mother Earth are our true parents. Father Sky gives us energy for our lives and heats our bodies and our lodges. We are thankful for Father Sky". The pipe holder now holds the stem straight up:

"Great Spirit, Creator of us all, Creator of all things, Creator of the four directions, Mother Earth, and Father Sky, we offer this pipe to you". Now the pipe is capped with sage a set aside until it is smoked.

Pipe Etiquette

Above all treat the pipe and the ceremony with respect.

The pipe is a religious alter.Once it is put together with the stem it is sacred. Therefore, it should be stored seperately, in fact most pipe bags have two compartments one for the stem and one for the pipe, this way they will never touch The only time the pipe is put together is when you are in prayer.

Never smoke alone.The ceremony is meant to be shared. Smoking tobacco alone or abusing it to excess is not welcomed.

The smoke symbolises the truth of the spoken word.Just as if you had sworn an outh of truth upon a Bible, while smoking the pipe you must be truthful.

The rising smoke provides a pathway for the Great Spirit.While smoking you are in the presence of the Great Spirit. Act like it.

Those who desire to benefit their spiritual path by learning Native American knowledge and wisdom, some of which will come through the ceremonies, are recommended to get a peace pipe. The peace pipe is not restricted to only Indians. It has been jealously guarded by Native Americans, however, because many are fearful that the pipe may be used disrespectfully by non-Indian people.

Many believe that a powerful good for all things can emanate from the respectful and proper use of the pipe, but it must be regarded as a spiritual instrument by the pipe holder, whatever their lineage or color happens to be. The pipe can become a strong catalyst to import a powerful feeling for our Mother Earth and all living things.

WALK IN PEACE AND BEAUTY

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