Saturday, February 19, 2011

Becoming a Medicine Woman (Seneca)

The life of women follows a particular cycle: birth, maturity, decline and death. But there is much more than that. The Seneca (American Indian) tribe had strict requirements of who could become a medicine women. Only a woman who has gone through the years of childbearing and entered menopause.

The Five Requirements (Seneca):

a) She must be counselor who can assist others to find their personal talents and life path with the Medicine Wheel, tribal law and her own wisdom.

b) She must be a historian of earth, air, fire and water, as well as prophecies of the future world.

c) She must be an herbalist and a healer, and able to diagnose what ails the body, mind, and spirit.

d) She must be a seer and must be able to contact the spirit world and interpret their signs and symbols

e) She must have the ability to teach all aspects of this wisdom to the next generation.

I remember seeing (and comparing) many variations of these Five Requirements. They were all similar in one thing: only those who have experienced life can guard and protect it, and only those who have "been there" can pass on that wisdom to their children.

That responsibility falls on all of us. Are we ready for it?
All original writing and art copyright A. Dameron 2000-2011

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