Last Ghost Dance: A Guide for Earth Magesby Brooke Medicine Eagle
In the celebrated Buffalo Woman Comes Singing, Brooke Medicine Eagle revealed her extraordinary spiritual odyssey from her first guided steps on the medicine path to her ongoing work as one of the most respected Native American teachers of the modern era. Now she shares a groundbreaking approach to spiritual transformation--by revitalizing the powerful ancient ritual The Ghost Dance.
Four centuries ago, when European invaders were ruthlessly plundering indigenous cultures, a Paiute tribesman received a vision of hope and resurrection, given by Father Spirit, to help survivors of the onslaught create a beautiful new life in the face of defeat, broken dreams, and death. That vision was celebrated in an ecstatic ghost dance honoring those who had perished.
Brooke Medicine Eagle explains how and why we are profoundly connected to The Ghost Dance. As she herself becomes initiated into the "illusion of death" and the wisdom of "heart-centered ascension," she teaches us how to confront our deepest fears, overcome our resistance to change, and renew our lives. Through prayer, music, and dance, Medicine Eagle provides us with the tools to bring about the final fulfillment of this profound ritual--by living in harmony with earth's rhythms, practicing sustainable living, honoring and sharing with all our relations, and freeing ourselves from the burden of possessions and possessiveness.
Perceptive, practical, and luminous, The Last Ghost Dance is a call to action, a challenge to raise up from the ashes of our desecrated planet a world that welcomes the full flowering of the spirit--and a new age of abundance, love, and peace.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Read an Excerpt
"We are in the time of the New Ghost Dance."
- A Message from an Old Woman of the Earth
Brought through by Carol Aithison
All of us alive on Lady Gaia at this time have the opportunity to be an active part of the Rainbow of Light that creates the bridge into a new and Golden Time for All Our Relations and us. At this point in human history, we have the opportunity to literally bring Heaven to Earth. Our ability to visualize and believe that it is possible for us to lift ourselves up, to pick up the profound work of our Earthly ancestors and move responsibly into our own piece of the action, and to fully embody Spirit is what will make this ascension possible. The exciting part is that we have the opportunity to complete something Mother Earth and humanity have been working on for aeons.
The Rainbow Bridge to a renewed Earth was first shown to me in a vision given me by White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman, the mysterious holy woman who came many generations ago to a small group of Lakota people, bringing the Sacred Pipe that represents the Oneness and holiness of the Circle of Life. She, whose name is often shortened to White Buffalo Woman, has been an inner guide and teacher to me and to many others of this generation, as her wisdom invites us to walk in a sacred manner on Earth, honoring All Things, not only as our family, but literally as part of our wholeness.
This particular time, she took me to stand at the edge of an enormous chasm made of black, shiny stone and asked me to look around. Looking across the gap, I saw a sight that thrilled my heart. On the other side was a radiantly golden world. Everything had an iridescent aura, like we sometimes see on a spring morning after rain when the dew picks up the many-colored light. There were a lot of people and animals there on a broad, flowering plain under crystal snowcapped peaks--with no sound but a soft breeze and happy laughter. Out of the sacred groves of enormous trees on hillsides came rushing pure, clear water. Children and young animals played there together, splashing and laughing and drinking the water without fear. Two-leggeds went about peacefully and joyfully, developing and exchanging gifts and talents, taking in the radiant energy for nourishment and nibbling for their sweet taste the fruits and plants that grew about them in profusion. Happy songs of birds and people and the calls of contented animals echoed across. It was a glorious place--a golden dream for us and All Our Relations. I yearned to go there.
Then I turned to look behind me and was aghast at what I saw. There was smog on the horizon and acridness in the air, which I could see was harming all the living things upon which it settled, for everything had a dull, gray hue. There was arguing and fighting and warring, repression and prejudice, with everyone grasping what they could for themselves while snarling at the others. Noise-screeching and pounding and roaring-filled the air. The scream of chain saws bespoke cutting the precious trees on the hills. Everything possible was being eaten, which made the people heavy yet did not nourish them. The lost, homeless, dispossessed, and sick lay all about, with many dying at the feet of those who hurried past. People wandered about, seeming alone and frightened even among their own kind. The deep hunger and need and grief of all filled the air.
I wanted desperately to get to the radiant life on the other side of the chasm. Yet as I leaned cautiously to peer over the edge, I could not see the bottom: the dark, slick rock dropped out of sight in the mist on both sides. The gap was much too wide to jump, and I had no other means to cross. A wailing cry erupted from my throat as I realized I could not get there.
All the while, White Buffalo Woman had stood beside me. Now she looked at me with compassion and said, "The bridge upon which you will cross into that beautiful life on a renewed and flowering Earth will be a bridge of light." Then she sent from within herself a rainbow of light that jumped across the chasm to rest on the other side. "To make a bridge, the light must become a rainbow. It's the only way!"
I looked at her, still in desperation, because I did not know how to make a rainbow.
"To make a rainbow, all colors of light must be included. None of them can be left out, or there will be no bridge." And she went on to help me understand the deeper meaning of this symbol she had given me: "When I say 'all colors,' I am referring to all things, all peoples, all beings. None can be left out. You must walk a sacred walk, acknowledging, honoring, respecting, communing, and cooperating with all things and beings in the Circle of Life. No one, nothing, can be left behind. You must life a life of inclusiveness, union, and sharing--letting the Light of Love flow freely among you. When all are included in a good way, the discordant song will become harmony and the light will automatically become a rainbow. Thus all of you who are alive become the rainbow upon which the generations cross into this new and Golden Time.
"The rainbow also represents another aspect of our movement into this new time: lightening up! It reminds you that you will find joy and happiness by creating them through singing, dancing, and celebrating together in gratefulness for the beauty Creator has given you. You must release your heaviness and those things that burden you--lifting your attitude, practice, and vibration to a higher level. You must let what you love and what brings you joy call you forward from moment to moment, for in no way can you bring this radiant time by doing things that displease or de-energize you. Rather than working for it, you must dance your lives as the old ones did. Nurturing ceremony and joyful celebration will be not only the hallmarks but also the means into this wonderful time.
This vision, which affected me so poignantly then, still calls to me deeply. The iridescent scene of a renewed Earth beckons me every day of my life. I seek to unroll that dream before me as I walk, as one would lay out a beautiful carpet. Having stepped forward, I realize that the polluted scene lives within me as well as outside of me, and that, for me, awakening the dream into reality means cleansing myself of the attitudes, beliefs, and actions that comprise it, in order that I may invite others to do the same.
I also realize that the beautiful, iridescent place already exists on a certain plane of reality. It is the gift Creator has offered us from the beginning of time, if we will only cleanse the smog from our eyes and choose that sacred path.
Now, another vision has joined this one--a vision of another Rainbow, half of which has already been created and sent forth. During the time of European expansion and aggressive conquering of the Americas, Father Spirit sent a Messianic vision of this radiant land on "the other side" to a succession of tribal people, the most famous of whom was a Paiute names Wovoka, who shared it with the natives far and wide. They were shown a radiant life similar to that which White Buffalo Woman opened before me. Their visions came over a four-hundred-year period when subjugation, decimation and finally genocide were taking were taking place among American Native peoples. The white man's greed for land and wealth was laying waste to the native tribes. Their lives were shattered, their homelands ravaged, the buffalo slaughtered and rotting in the sun, their families murdered, their dreams broken.
These radiant visions, and the Christ figure known as Dawn Star who brought them, gave the ravaged people renewed hope, offering them a way to re-create an even more beautiful life. Through the Spirit Dance they had been given, they would bring to life their golden dream. Their murdered relatives would walk again on the green and flowering land; all that was destroyed would be made whole. It was to be a new world in which Earth and spirit are as one. So in the latter days, they made the shirts shown as Wovoka's vision, using what little leather was left of flour sacks from the meager rations given them on the new reservations; and they circled in the entrancing dance that was shown them. They called upon their loved ones, so many hundreds now on the side of Spirit, to lift them up into this radiant dream. They danced that golden dream into the ground, set it into the reality of the Earth Plane, made their half of the Rainbow. Then even that dream was shattered. At Wounded Knee, innocent, peaceful people of the Ghost Dance were murdered by the cavalry because the fearful white nation did not see the peaceful, beautiful dream that could unfold from it.
Those dancers lifted into Spirit, to hold their half of the Rainbow until we of the present human generation could awaken and dance the other half into the ground of reality in this world. The vision White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman gave me is the same vision; it has been given into the hearts and minds of many of this generation--it is alive and well. The Ancient Ones and native peoples have known and held these powerful dreams down through time. Although they seem to fade with our attention on other things, a fine, strong thread connects us to them. Our present task is to draw their essence forth and to weave a web of beauty upon which to dance our lives.
We can use our understanding of the past to move forward into our future. Whatever "facts" and knowledge I bring to you are meant as a way of grounding these prophetic principles in Earth clothing. Although you will undoubtedly learn from this book, it is not primarily instructional; instead, its purpose is inspiration and empowerment. It comes from the deep knowing that life is unfolding something marvelous and miraculous, and that the more quickly and completely we embrace this opening with our understanding, our trust and joy, and take our own personal action, the sooner the unfolding magnificence will spring full and bright into our everyday reality. Far greater energies are moving than what I can humbly describe in words: The ages and aeons are coming around to fullness, to fulfillment of prophecies more ancient than time, as universal as the very source of All Life.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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