American Indian Prayers and Blessings
~TO WALK THE RED ROAD~
Long road winding began in the stars,
spilled onto the mountain tops,
was carried in the snow to the streams,
to the rivers, to the ocean…
It covers Canada, Alaska, America,
Mexico to Guatemala,
and keeps winding around the indigenous.
The Red Road is a circle of people
standing hand in hand,
people in this world, people between
people in the Spirit world.
star people, animal people, stone people,
river people, tree people…
The Sacred Hoop.
To walk the Red Road
is to know sacrifice, suffering.
It is to understand humility.
It is the ability to stand naked before God
in all things for your wrong doings,
for your lack of strength,
for your uncompassionate way,
for your arrogance – because to walk
the Red Road, you always know
you can do better. And you know,
when you do good things,
it is through the Creator, and you are grateful.
To walk the Red Road
is to know you stand on equal ground
with all living things. It is to know that
because you were born human,
it gives you superiority over nothing.
It is to know that every creation carries a Spirit,
and the river knows more than you do,
the mountains know more than you do,
the stone people know more than you do,
the trees know more than you do,
the wind is wiser than you are,
and animal people carry wisdom.
You can learn from every one of them,
because they have something you don’t:
They are void of evil thoughts.
They wish vengeance on no one, they seek Justice.
To Walk the Red Road,
you have God given rights,
you have the right to pray,
you have the right to dance,
you have the right to think,
you have the right to protect,
you have the right to know Mother,
you have the right to dream,
you have the right to vision,
you have the right to teach,
you have the right to learn,
you have a right to grieve,
you have a right to happiness,
you have the right to fix the wrongs,
you have the right to truth,
you have a right to the Spirit World.
To Walk the Red Road
is to know your Ancestors,
to call to them for assistance…
It is to know that there is good medicine,
and there is bad medicine…
It is to know that Evil exists,
but is cowardly as it is often in disguise.
It is to know there are evil spirits
who are in constant watch
for a way to gain strength for themselves
at the expense of you.
To Walk the Red Road,
you have less fear of being wrong,
because you know that life is a journey,
a continuous circle, a sacred hoop.
Mistakes will be made,
and mistakes can be corrected
if you will be humble,
for if you cannot be humble,
you will never know
when you have made a mistake.
If you walk the Red Road,
you know that every sorrow
leads to a better understanding,
every horror cannot be explained,
but can offer growth.
To Walk the Red Road
is to look for beauty in all things.
To Walk the Red Road
is to know you will one day
cross to the Spirit World,
and you will not be afraid…
You must become the rock the river cannot wash away.
Speak your voice.
The Ten Red Indian Commandments are:-
Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect,
Remain close to the great spirit,
Show great respect for your fellow beings,
Work together for the benifit of all mankind,
Give assistance and kindness wherever needed,
Do what you know is right,
Look after the well-being of mind and body,
Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good,
Be truthful and honest at all times,
Take full responsibilty for your actions.
The Famous Ten were:-
Sitting Bull – Hunkpapa Sioux leader
Geronimo – Apache chief
Rain in the face – Hunkpapa sioux
Two moons – Cheyenne war chief
Chief Joseph –
American horse – Oglala Sioux chief
Red Cloud – ” ” “
High horse- Sioux chief.
AN AMERICAN INDIAN (CHEROKEE) PRAYER
PRAYING TO THE GREAT SPIRIT (KIJIMONITO)
Oh! Great Spirit, whose voice I hear
In the wind, and whose breath gives life to everyone of your many children
I am weak…I am small…I need your wisdom and strength.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunsets,
Make me respect the things you have made, and my ears sharps so that I may hear your
Make me wise so that I may understand what you have taught my people and lessons you
have hidden in each rock and leaf.
I ask for wisdom and strength, not to be superior to my brothers and sisters, but to be able
to fight against my greatest enemy, myself.
Make my vision clear to come before you, with clean hands and straight eyes so that as
life fades away as a fading sunset,
My spirit will come to you, without shame, across the great valley on a snow white pony.
Kin-di-wah Saga-wah-tee-ah (Eagle Feather) Watts
Special Emphasis Program manager for American Indians, VA Medical Center,
September 14, 2004
Life offers us the opportunity to become a Spiritual Warrior.
A warrior is one who bravely goes into those dark areas within
themselves to ferret out the Truth of their being.
It takes great courage, stamina and endurance to
become a Spiritual Warrior.
The path is narrow, the terrain rough and rocky.
You will walk alone: through the dark caves,
up those steep climbs and through the dense thick forest.
You will meet your dark side. The faces of fear, deceit, and
sadness all await your arrival.
No one can take this journey but you.
There comes a time, in each of our lives,
when we are given the choice to follow this path.
Should we decide to embark on this journey,
we can never turn back…. Our lives are changed forever
On this journey, there are many different places we can
choose to slip into and hide. But the path goes on.
The Spiritual Warrior stays the course, wounded at times,
exhausted and out of energy. Many times, the Warrior will
struggle back to their feet to take only a few steps before
Rested, they forge on,
continuing the treacherous path.
The journey continues. The Spiritual Warrior
stays the course. Weakened, but never broken.
One day, the battle, loneliness and desperate fights are over.
The sun breaks through the clouds; the birds begin to sing
their sweet melodies. There is a change in the energy.
A deep change within the self.
The warrior has fought the courageous fight.
The battle of the dark night of the soul is won.
New energy now fills the Warrior.
A new path is now laid before them.
A gentler path filled with the inner-knowing
of one who has personal empowerment.
With their personal battle won, they are filled with joy.
A new awareness that they are one with the Spirit beams
as they go forth to show others the way.
They are not permitted to walk the path for others.
They can only love, guide and be a living example
of the Truth of their being.
“Stand still. The trees ahead and the bushes beside you are not lost. Wherever you are is called here, and you must treat it as a powerful stranger, must ask permission to know it and be known.”
“The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, ‘I have made this place around you. If you leave it, you may come back again saying, ‘here.’ No two trees are the same to Raven. No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you, you are surely lost. Stand still.
The forest knows where you are. You must let it find you.
Here, also, were a great many Indians.
Here where they were many, also, only one knew in a good way about the Mountain Spirits.
It is possible that these are the same ones of whom I spoke a while ago who knew about the Mountain
Spirits, but perhaps no one has spoken of them.”
What I am I must become
What I see I must try to find
What I hear I must play music to
What I touch I must leave alone
I turn then to all reflections of myself
In trees and sacred things
That nature gives to me
This was our land.
The land that the mountain needed in order
To raise in majesty.
The land my people needed in order
To roam its secrets in reverence.
This land was the land
Of our great waters
The beating heart of nature flowing through time
That we could not remember.
This was our land.
The land that provided everything good for my people.
The land was always our land
And the sun set upon it
The rain washed it
And the fire was kind in its fury.
It was so for all time.
Then the land was taken from us.
It is your land.
Do you know how to speak to the land, my brother?
Do you listen to what it tells you?
Can you keep its secrets to yourself?
Sell the land, my brother?
You might as well sell
The sun, the moon, the stars.
I have killed the deer.
I have crushed the grasshopper.
And the plants he feeds upon.
I have taken fish from the water.
And birds from the sky.
In my life I have needed death
So that my life can be.
When I die I must give life
To what has nourished me.
The earth receives my body
And gives it to the plants
And to the caterpillars
To the birds
And to the coyotes
Each in its own turn so that
The circle of life is never broken.
My father’s face is in the rock on the
mountain; the rock to which I turn
and all sons turn to see the face of all our
fathers on the mountain.
The voice of my father is on the wind
and my voice also when it becomes strong
for only my sons to hear and keep on hearing after I am gone.
To fly higher than the eagle, to run faster
than the deer, to swim as freely as the
fish, to have the cunning of the coyote
and the sleekness of the lion – this is to
possess the spirit that sings in the wind
and cries in the fire, the spirit that shall never leave my home.
My help is in the mountain
Where I take myself to heal
The earthly wounds
That people give to me.
I find a rock with the sun on it
And a stream where the water runs gentle
And the trees which one by one give me company.
So must I stay for a long time
Until I have grown from the rock
And the stream is running through me
And I cannot tell myself from one tall tree.
Then I know that nothing touches me
Nor makes me run away.
My help is in the mountain
That I take away with me.
Earth cure me. Earth receive my woe.
Rock strengthen me. Rock receive my weakness.
Rain wash my suddenness away.
Rain receive my doubt.
Sun make sweet my song.
Sun receive the anger from my heart.
Let us move evenly together.
Let us stand as one.
Let evil be cast from us.
Let no man cry for himself
Or listen to those without faces.
Let us move evenly together.
Let us walk as tall trees.
Let fear be crushed within us.
Let no man speak for himself
Or give secrets to those without blood.
We shall live together;
We shall walk with you;
We shall find in each new day what hides inside of you,
We shall wait together;
We shall see the day when we go hand in hand.
To the fire in the mountain,
To the water in the sand.
The world out there called to my son. And so he went to see if it was a good world. He went because he had to. A long time passed and then my son returned. He said the world out there is like the porcupine that fights with the turtle or like the fire that has fallen into the water.
There is no music either.
I went to learn how the white man lives.
I went to learn if he’s free.
I went to learn the white man’s ways
But I found them a stranger to me.
Shall I teach you, my brother?
Shall I teach you the Indian way?
Listen, my brother.
My words are those of dead generations
And of generations still to be.
My words I give to you.
The meaning is for you to find.
How should I live?
Among my people a small voice?
In your world silent?
Among my people there is no horizon.
In your world I have seen
Shall I teach you to live and to see?
The universe contained in glass.
You tell us that times are changing.
You say that we do not know
The times in which we live.
We say to you that this time is like any other time
If a man’s feet are on the ground
And his heart is in the right place
And he does not try to make
The eagle into an airplane.
What is there for me when I have finished planting?
What is there for me at the end of the row I must hoe?
What is there for me when the harvest is over?
That is all.
Pieces of sun on the lake of my spirits;
Pieces of sun on waters of eagle and hawk;
Pieces of sun lie broken on the waters of the lake
From which come the voice to all my singing,
the eyes to all my beauty,
the peace to all my longing.
Above all is the long-living spirit which is the thread
from generation to generation,
as long as the land we live on is everlasting
and our children have a place to lie down.
All as it was, love.
All as it was, beauty.
All as it was, order.
All as it was, in exactly the right place.
This place of the sun trail
The buffalo-grass plain
The hummingbird spring
The grass hat
The frog mesa
And the Big House in the lake where good spirits live.
This place of my people
This place of my grandsons still unborn.
All as it was, peace.
Everything good is to be found here.
Everything good is to be kept here.
My brother the star, my mother the earth
my father the sun, my sister the moon,
to my life give beauty, to my
body give strength, to my corn give
goodness, to my house give peace, to
my spirit give truth, to my elders give
My horse took me down the life-giving road
Drawing his breath of strong spirit
His breath of power to plow and to pull.
But now he is old
And his breath is of feathers and corn.
I add to his breath
The breath of my own
And pray to his old age of riches.
Every morning I walk to the tent of the mountain.
I stand secure. I am in peace.
The wind comes. There the breath of the
mountain telling me the path to take.
I am gone and am going to the mountain
so that I may see the lightening break the
sky in two and rain come to heal it up
I come to the place where I have stepped
before. The wind blows my steps away in
the dust. The steps of all who walk here
go with the wind and walk with the sky.
Up here is quiet. My feet are quiet. My
hands are quiet. My eyes are also quiet.
They see a bird flying quiet, a tree blow-
ing quiet, a moon rising quiet. Only my
soul is not quiet. My soul does not rest
until the corn is planted.
There is an eagle in me
and a spotted bird
hurrying corn to grow.
The eagle flies to the
mountains of my dreams, flies
to the corners of my distant hopes.
But the spotted bird
stands among the cornstalks
telling me to hoe.
My hands are the tools of my soul.
They make the drum, the bow, the
flute, and stretch the skin of the
deer. They work the earth and
care for the sheep and plant the
corn. They greet my homeland
each morning that I awake.
Mountain of discontent.
Mountain of talking gods
And cold fire.
Mountain of dry bones
And silent ashes
I cry to your empty womb.
Where is your comfort
In this time for staying still?
I lay on the rock in the stream
Long enough so that what was
not good in me washed down
and away, gone from my body
When trouble comes to me
I have to dance until the dust receives my trouble.
The dust takes my trouble to the mountain.
The mountain grows with the dust of trouble.
The place for my trouble to be.
My feet touch earth and dance to the drums
which are in my heart as well. If my feet do not
touch earth the dance will not be good. And
the music in my heart will all be still.
Native American Wisdom
“Those that lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.” Blackfoot
“Life is not separate from death. It only looks that way.” Blackfoot
“We do not inherit the world from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children. Duty on us to return it to them in the absolute situation” tribe unknown
“Listening to a liar is like drinking warm water.” tribe unknown
“When a fox walks lame, the old rabbit jumps.” Oklahoma
“A starving man will eat with the wolf.” Oklahoma
“The moon is not shamed by the barking of dogs.” Southwest
“Even a small mouse has anger.” tribe unknown
“Make my enemy brave and strong, so that if defeated, I will not be ashamed.” Plains
“Not every sweet root gives birth to sweet grass.” tribe unknown
“The coward shoots with eyes.” Oklahoma
“If a man is to do something more than human, he must have more than human powers.” tribe unknown
“If you raindance… You will get your teepee wet.”
“Tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand.”
“Tell the truth always even if it is bitter to taste.”
“If you chase two rabbits, you will lose them both.”
“The Great Spirit gave you two ears and only one mouth, so you can talk half as much as you listen.”
“If you take [a copy of] the Christian Bible and put it out in the wind and the rain, soon the paper on which the words are printed will disintegrate and the words will be gone. Our bible IS the wind.”
“Each bird loves to hear himself sing.” Arapaho
“All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them.” Arapaho
“If we wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come” Arapaho
There is a road in the hearts of all of us, hidden and seldom traveled, which leads to an unknown, secret place.
Do not lead me,
For I may not always follow.
Do not follow me,
For I may not always lead.
Lets walk our paths together,
As brothers, friends forever as one.
ah tey wa chee un kink tay
“…and, again I will see You”
It is less of a problem to be poor, than to be dishonest. Anishinabe
What the people believe is true. Anishinabe
It is better to have less thunder in the mouth and more lightning in the hand. Apache
Each bird loves to hear himself sing. Arapaho
All plants are our brothers and sisters. They talk to us and if we listen, we can hear them. Arapaho
Take only what you need and leave the land as you found it. Arapaho
Before eating, always take time to thank the food. Arapaho
When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us. Arapaho
If we wonder often, the gift of knowledge will come. Arapaho
Most of us do not look as handsome to others as we do to ourselves. Assiniboine
What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset… Blackfoot
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, he world cries and you rejoice. Cherokee
Don’t let yesterday use up too much of today. Cherokee
The weakness of the enemy makes our strength. Cherokee
A good soldier is a poor scout. Cheyenne
If a man is as wise as a serpent, he can afford to be as harmless as a dove. Cheyenne
Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark. Cheyenne
Do not judge your neighbor until you walk two moons in his moccasins. Cheyenne
A danger foreseen is half-avoided. Cheyenne
Our first teacher is our own heart. Cheyenne
All who have died are equal. Comanche
One rain does not make a crop. Creole
Man’s law changes with his understanding of man. Only the laws of the spirit remain always the same. Crow
Old age is not as honorable as death, but most people want it. Crow
You already possess everything necessary to become great. Crow
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. Dakota
There is no death, only a change of worlds. Duwamish
Day and night cannot dwell together. Duwamish
In age, talk; in childhood, tears. Hopi
One finger cannot lift a pebble. Hopi
All dreams spin out from the same web. Hopi
The one who tells the stories rules the world. Hopi
The rain falls on the just and the unjust. Hopi
Don’t be afraid to cry. It will free your mind of sorrowful thoughts. Hopi
Wisdom comes only when you stop looking for it and start living the life the Creator intended for you. Hopi
The rainbow is a sign from Him who is in all things. Hopi
A brave man dies but once, a coward many times. Iowa
Walk lightly in the spring; Mother Earth is pregnant. Kiowa
When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard. Lakota
Force, no matter how concealed, begets resistance. Lakota
Many have fallen with the bottle in their hand. Lakota
Everything the power does, it does in a circle. Lakota
A man or woman with many children has many homes. Lakota Sioux
Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, Wisdom is of the future. Lumbee
Everyone who is successful must have dreamed of something. Maricopa
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies in yourself. Minquass
A good chief gives, he does not take. Mohawk
Remember that your children are not your own, but are lent to you by the Creator. Mohawk
Regard Heaven as your father, Earth as your Mother and all things as your Brothers and Sisters. Native American
The soul would have no rainbow if the eye had no tears. Native American
Coyote is always out there waiting, and Coyote is always hungry. Navajo
There is nothing as eloquent as a rattlesnakes tail. Navajo
You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. Navajo
A rocky vineyard does not need a prayer, but a pick ax. Navajo
Every animal knows more than you do. Nez Perce
White men have too many chiefs. Nez Perce
To touch the earth is to have harmony with nature. Oglala Sioux
When a fox walks lame, the old rabbit jumps. Oklahoma
A starving man will eat with the wolf. Oklahoma
The coward shoots with shut eyes. Oklahoma
It is easy to be brave from a distance. Omaha
Ask questions from you heart and you will be answered from the heart. Omaha
A hungry stomach makes a short prayer. Paiute
Do not wrong or hate your neighbor for it is not he that you wrong but yourself. Pima
Cherish youth, but trust old age. Pueblo
Sharing and giving are the ways of God. Sauk
We are all one child spinning through Mother Sky. Shawnee
Each person is his own judge. Shawnee
Sing your death song and die like a hero going home. Shawnee – Chief Tecumseh
We are made from Mother Earth and we go back to Mother Earth. Shenandoah
It is no longer good enough to cry peace, we must act peace, live peace and live in peace. Shenandoah
There are many good moccasin tracks along the trail of a straight arrow. Sioux
With all things and in all things, we are relatives. Sioux
Poverty is a noose that strangles humility and breeds disrespect for God and man. Sioux
The frog does not drink up the pond in which he lives. Sioux
A people without a history is like the wind over buffalo grass. Sioux
The moon is not shamed by the barking of dogs. Southwest Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand. tribe unknown
Listening to a liar is like drinking warm water. tribe unknown
Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf. tribe unknown
If a man is to do something more than human, he must have more than human powers. tribe unknown
The soul would have no rainbow if the eye had no tears. tribe unknown
Even a small mouse has anger. tribe unknown
Not every sweet root give birth to sweet grass. tribe unknown
Man has responsiblity, not power. Tuscarora
Those who have one foot in the canoe, and one foot in the boat, are going to fall into the river. Tuscarora
They are not dead who live in the hearts they leave behind. Tuscarora
The way of the troublemaker is thorny. Umpqua
God gives us each a song. Ute
A man must make his own arrows. Winnebago
After dark all cats are leopards. Zuni
When you die, you will be spoken of as those in the sky, like the stars. Yurok
Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints. Chief Seattle
When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear, when that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them. Chief Seattle
All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life. He is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. Chief Seattle
So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view and demand that they respect yours. Chief Tecumseh
Peace comes within the souls of men, when they realize their oneness with the Universe, when they realize it is really everywhere… it is within each one of us. Black Elk, Lakota Medicine Man
A very great vision is needed, and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.Chief Crazy Horse
Hoka Hey It is a good time to die. Chief Crazy Horse
My elders have told me that these teachings are important to humanity. And that the more people understand them, the better things will get. Although the essence of tradition belief and spirit is the same the world over; they say, that if you are able to search out your own roots, it is best if we can preserve our own traditions. We need them all. All the Earth’s indigenous ways. Furthermore, they were created to work in the land of their birth.
Native American Poems and Prayers has been provided by Phillip B Gottfredson of Black Hawk Productions, LLC as a courtesy. Respectfully we have elected to make this page free of any headings, ads, or other graphics or materials that would detract from the sacred and spiritual nature of the material herein. However because many of our visitors to this page came from other sections of our website we have had to provide a means for them to navigate back should they wish. For this reason we have created this simple link, otherwise we would have preferred to not have anything at all. :-)Return to Black Hawk Prod.
may we find where we all belong, and may we find out where we all belong: We are sacred, holy vessels of the earth granted a momentary chance to make imprints …………………………………
|It is amazingly thought provoking the resemblance of thoughts and beliefs of our fellow man throughout the world with regard to “World Peace”. Here are various prayers for peace from a broad spectrum of religions and cultures. Please take the time to read these and compare the compelling thoughts on this subject to one another. In essence, we truly are all but one. When humankind arrives at this realization, then peace shall come to us all. To obtain peace within ourselves, our own priorities and perspectives must be properly placed. Love is the highest of all emotion and thought, and with that perspective inner peace will come. We must remain open-minded and value the thoughts of others just as we do our own. Because one thinks differently does not mean their thoughts are wrong. You must weight this without prejudice for a heart without prejudice is a heart at peace.|