Reflections on Ceremony, by Megisikwe

Healing Minnesota Stories member Bob Klanderud passed along this beautiful reflection on ceremony by Megisikwe, originally printed in the newsletter DrumBeat under the heading “Voices From Our Elders.” Bob got permission to reprint it. Some of the original formatting couldn’t be replicated. We added the photos. Thank you DrumBeat and Megisikwe.

Ceremony is not a series of memorized steps in a set choreography of stifling repetition.
Ceremony is not a strict protocol held only by a chosen few.
Ceremony is not an argument or debate over who has more authority and thus more control.
Ceremony is not about control.
Ceremony is not about authority.
Ceremony is not a bludgeon.
Ceremony is not a script.
Ceremony is not dead.

Sweat lodges at Standing Rock.

Ceremony is the process of entering the Living Spirit of Creation and being transformed.
Ceremony is not to be used to elevate some over others.
Ceremony is not to be used to make some feel important and others feel diminished.
Ceremony is not to be used to used to silence some and allow others to speak.
Ceremony is not to be used to bolster anyone’s individual ego.

Ceremony is to be used as an ultimate gift of Service for Healing for EVERY single person present.

Ceremony does not belong to the oshkibewig.
Ceremony does not belong to the MKD.
Ceremony does not belong to any single person, group or organization.
Ceremony is not a property to be owned.
Ceremony is not a secret to be kept.
Ceremony is not just deadly serious.
Ceremony can be full of laughter and joy and playfulness.
Ceremony is not a prescription.
Ceremony is the answer to our need for Connection and Interconnection with ALL BEINGS.

Ceremonial leadership is a sacrament.

It is a willingness to stand on the threshold of Life and Death and Sing.
It is a service.
It is a giveaway.

Grandmother Lake (Lake Nokomis), Minneapolis (Photo: Wikipedia)

Everyone, anyone, a child, can lead Ceremony.

Ceremony should be embedded in the daily life of each household.
Ceremony is for each meal.
Ceremony is for each bedtime.
Ceremony is for each morning.
Ceremony is for watering the plants, preparing the meal, washing the dishes, tending the garden, caring for children, loving your parents, forgiving your enemies, supporting your friends, forgiving yourself, continuing to grow, change, learning from your own failings and shortcomings.

Ceremony exists to as a way to express true compassion toward yourself and all other living beings.
Ceremony is for each individual life,each family, every community, nation, people.|
Ceremony is for each sunrise, each moon cycle, each season.
Ceremony is not simply for show in fancy gatherings or important moments.
Ceremony is not just for Solstice or Full Moon.
Ceremony is not just for Births, Deaths and Weddings.
Ceremony is not just a Vision Quest.

Ceremony can be Spontaneous.

Ceremony is a method for making your heart’s true belief manifest in your life.

Ceremony comes from a Feeling of Profound Gratitude.

Ceremony is Humbling.

Ceremony changes and it changes us.

One can master techniques, memorize prayers, recite songs, repeat gestures, but all of these things added up IS NOT CEREMONY unless the heart is humble and bent towards service in the Spirit of Peace and Harmony among ALL BEINGS.

This internal state of the heart cannot be taught. I can only be learned.

With Love,
Your Sister, Migisikwe


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