Sacred Texts  Index  Previous  Next 

sacred-texts |  Web | Powered by Google

Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

               By Usen's grace, Ho-dah.... 
               1.) PURPOSES: 
                               Thisis aneraofdecision.Dowe allowourselvestocutthe
                               throatoftheMotherWhohasnourishedus asaspeciessince
                     we "came down from the trees"?  Or do we work to walk in 
                     Beauty and Harmony with Her, and cherish Her, and work to 
                     see Her healed?  The resurgence of Shamanism, the primal 
                     Earth Religion of practically all of the Earth's 
                     pre-Agrarian cultures, is an important thing, foretold by 
                     the Paiute prophet Wovoka and in the Hopi Prophecies.  It 
                     was said that both the Red Man would return to the Ways of 
                     the Old Ones and that the non-Native would also embrace the 
                     these Ways, and are carrying them on in a reverent way. If 
                     the Lifeway was only given for the Native peoples, it would 
                     die out within our lifetime.  There are simply not enough 
                     traditional Elders left. 
                               Ithasbeenshown tosomeofus thatOurMotherThe Earthis
                     not willing to die quietly.  She has demonstrated this by 
                     the increase in natural disasters of the past decade, which 
                     continue day by day.  The Hopi prophecies state that, when 
                     the "bowl full of ashes" (most interpret this as the 
                     Thermonuclear Bomb) is overturned, that Our Mother shall 
                     rise up in Her righteous anger and destroy humanity.  This 
                     prophecy is coming true, although it may yet be reversible. 
                     Perhaps it is we who reverence the Ways and walk in harmony 
                     with Our Mother that may stay Her hand. 
                     The Lifeway Fellowship is here for those who wish to honor 
                     Our Mother and Our Father, Earth and Sky, and to honor The 
                     Giver Of Life, from whence all things flow in the Universe. 
                     Our world-view is primarily allied with that of the 
                     Navajo/Dineh, Apache/Teneh, and Hopi peoples. However we do 
                     not represent ourselves as the keepers of those ways.  The 
                     secrets of those Nations are for them alone, unless Usen' 
                     wishes to reveal them to us.  Our mission is to help heal 
                               OurMother,TheEarth,andtohelpeachotherwalk incloser
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 
                     harmony with Her.  We also exist to provide a way for urban 
                    techniques that aid us in finding our True Vision and True 
                     Way of Power, and following that Vision and that Way. 
                     We identify ourselves as Pagan (Webster's New World 
                             orJew (byfaith);heathen.Paganspecificallyreferstoone
                   of the ancient polytheistic (or pantheistic) peoples.") and 
                     as unashamed Pantheists and Polytheists.  The Lifeway 
                               is trulyareligious commitment. No-onecan makea    
                             commitmenttothe Lifewayandtothe worshipofLifeGiver, 
                         TheEarth Motherand TheSky Father andremain aworshiper   
                   of other Paradigms of the Deity,much as one cannot be a       
           Christian and worship the  Greco-Roman pantheon.   However            
           this does not  imply the condemnation of other Paradigms, nor         
           impel a duty to "convert" others. 
                               WestandbyotherPaganswhodonotshareour paradigms,IE.
                             Wiccans,Asatruans, Hellenists,and otherShamanic     
           traditions, (African and  neo-African(Santeria & Voudoun),            
           Australian,  Siberian, Traditional  Native American,  and             
           Polynesian,  to name a few) and even  though we may disagree          
           with some or all of  their practices and beliefs, they  are           
           Brothers, Sisters and Cousins, and  in times of persecution           
           as  well as times of goodwill we  must defend them.  We  may          
           even  share in their open rituals and allow them to share  in         
           our open  ceremonials.  But that which  is ours must remain           
           ours, just as that which is theirs must remain theirs. 
               2.) THE(A)OLOGY: 
                     The(a)ology. (The strange spelling refers to the fact that 
                     we acknowledge a Goddess as well as a God) 
                     This is summed up very easily.  There are three main powers 
                     we worship, Usen' the Life Giver, The Earth Mother, and The 
                     Sky Father.  The latter Two are emanations of the First, as 
                     all, including the God and the Goddess, are emanations from 
                     Usen', which is the primeval First Cause. 
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 
                               Usen':OnecannotlookuponTheLifeGiveras eitherMaleor
                    Female, for The Life Giver is beyond those distinctions. 
                     Usen', and The Life Giver, are names for this First Cause, 
                     this Force that pervades all and caused all to come into 
                     being. From Usen', the God, Sky Father, and the Goddess, 
                     Earth Mother, emanate, as the lesser Deities emanate from 
                     The Earth Mother: We live and walk and are sustained from 
                     The Earth Mother, which is our Earth.  She is alive, and we 
                     all exist within Her as part of Her structure. Science, 
                     through the Gala Hypothesis, has finally acknowledged Her 
                     existence, and some even have learnt the lesson that our 
                     duty in this life is to care for and honor Her.  This is a 
                     lesson that all must learn, for as long as we despoil Her, 
                     we risk Her wrath.  She is expressed through the faces of 
                     White Painted Woman, Who is The Woman Warrior, through Corn 
                     Mother, Who is The Nourishing Mother, and through Spider 
                     of Wisdom. Women are acknowledged as being human represent- 
                     atives of The Earth Mother. 
                     The Sky Father: Just as among we Humans, there is both Man 
                     and Woman, so there is no Earth Mother without Sky Father. 
                     Sky Father is the air we breathe, the flame that gives us 
                     warmth and cooks our food, and brings forth the rain that 
                     fertilizes Our Mother and allows Her to provide us with 
                     the crops and animals that sustain us.  Sky Father is also 
                     expressed as The Hunter, The Warrior, and First Shaman, and 
                     is also expressed in Killer Of Enemies and The Child Of 
                     Water. He is also present and acknowledged as being present 
                     in every Man. 
                     There are other spirits that exist in the Universe, some 
                     beneficent, some maleficent.  But most important is Usen', 
                     God(esse)s, one can tell the Good from the Evil, welcoming 
                     in Good, and protecting each other from Evil. 
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 
                     We have our code of Ethics.  It is neither lengthy nor 
                     overly restrictive.  We do not include ancient taboos in 
                     this list, such as Mother-In-Law avoidance or the taboo 
                     against Fish, because they may not apply nowadays.  If you 
                     wish to not eat fish or to avoid your Mother-In-Law for 
                     religious reasons, it is your prerogative.  But it is not a 
                     1.) If the action does not harm yourself, other people or 
                    do as you wish. 
                     wrong and extremely offensive.  Also, to charge excessively 
                     for teaching is equally offensive, but a modest fee 
                     over expenses is allowable.  Your conscience is the best 
                     guide, that and the Will of the Deities. 
                     3.) Magick should be limited only to protection of Self and 
                     Loved Ones, and to healing and helping those in need, 
                     provided that permission is given by the patient and that 
                     help other than healing does not interfere with the Will of 
                     others. Magick that is used in a coercive (IE. Love spells) 
                     or destructive (harming or killing magick) way is patently 
                     wrong and is considered Black Magick. 
                     4.) Contact of spirits by any means other than Shamanic 
                    is a real possibility.  The practice of mediumship, or 
                     "channeling" has no place in the Lifeway, and exposes not 
                     only Self but others to danger. 
                    and/or animals before taking them for either sustenance or 
                     for medicine. 
                     6.) One's visions and one's personal ceremonies are one's 
                     own.  Personal visions should not be spoken of, but shared 
                     visions are for all of the group. 
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 
                     7.) It is wrong to criticize another within the group or 
                     outside the group.  Racism, sexism, xenophobia or general 
                     disrespect of others has no place in the Fellowship. 
                     Individual decisions about lifestyle and other ethical 
                     issues not covered here are an individual's own affair. 
                     There is only one Initiation, which is the Initiation that 
                     makes one Kin within the group and in the sight of The 
                               Deities.Itisgivenafterone hastakentheirfirstVision
                    Quest, has found their Power Animal(s) and has met the 
                     Shaman Within.  It can only be denied to those who have met 
                    (in most places, 18 years) is not of sound mind, and/or is 
                     under suspicion of being a Law Enforcement Officer or other 
                     person antipathetic to Pagan and/or Shamanic belief 
                     who requests initiation for fraudulent purposes (usually to 
                     infiltrate to either sabotage or publicly discredit the 
                     Fellowship) Initiation must not be denied on account of 
                     physical disabilities, blindness, deafness, or sterility, 
                     nor on account of sex, race, nationality, political belief, 
                     or sexual preference. 
                     There are no set offices within the Fellowship.  Ideally, 
                     leadership should be by consensus, with true leaders being 
                    be done by any Initiate of the Fellowship.  ANYONE WHO 
                     Support of the Fellowship is done on a purely voluntary and 
                     mutual basis. No tithe or dues should be assessed unless 
                     they have been agreed upon by all members, initiates and 
                     non-initiates alike. 
                     Membership is extended to all.  But initiation is reserved 
                     for those who meet the criteria mentioned above. 
                     Non-initiates can participate in open ceremonials and in 
                     basic workshops, but may be denied participation in certain 
                     ceremonials and advanced workshops. 
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 
                     In traditional societies, the title Shaman was not just an 
                     honorific, or recognition of talents.  Nor was it the 
                     highest initiatory level in a Shamanic society.  The Shaman 
                    and was judge, doctor, father-confessor, and intercessor 
                    now providing their membership with "Shaman training 
                     seminars" and "Shaman apprenticeships" that can be had for 
                     an exorbitant price.  This implies that the cost of being a 
                     Shaman can be paid in money and in a set amount of time. 
                     This is not the case.  Many tribes believe that the office 
                     of Shaman is not one that is earned, but one that one is 
                    born with, and this is not merely hereditary.  Rather, when 
                    child had the POTENTIAL of being the next one, and the 
                             by theShaman.At adulthood,theywould betested. Ifthey
                           passedthetest, theywould becomethenext Shaman.If they 
                         failed, usuallythe testwas suchthatthey wouldeither die 
                 outright, or they would go insane.  Many "heroic quest" 
                    this practice within the ancient Shamanic traditions of 
                     But the point that is being made here is that we should not 
                               goback tothatsortofwayof doingthings,becauseinthis
                    society it is nigh on impossible.  The stand I am offering 
                     here is that recognition as a Shaman can be conferred only 
                     through shared vision, and signs from the Deities.  It is 
                     not my place to say what the signs will be obvious 
                     to the Fellowship.  I am not Shaman myself, and will not 
                     brook anyone calling me that.  This is something I place in 
                     the lap of the Deities to decide.  I cannot do anything 
                     more.  It is a mockery of those people that can truly be 
                     called Shamans, who are respected, powerful people of 
                     traditional tribes, to do anything less.  In any event, to 
                     claim such a title is definitely not enough, and is 
                    to be Shaman falsely. 
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 
               6.) FESTIVALS AND WORSHIP DAYS 
                     The festivals are reckoned as they have been for centuries 
                     by most Southwestern tribes, by both the Sun and the Moon. 
                               Theseasonsbeginonthefirst fullmoonafteraSolsticeor
                    an Equinox.  The Solstices and Equinoxes themselves are 
                    the two (which usually works out to be no more than a week 
                     or so) could be considered a time of Holiday.  Lesser 
                    first Full Moons of the seasons.  Optionally certain Pagan 
                     festivals could be celebrated in conjunction with other 
                     groups, but they are not to be adopted as official Lifeway 
                     Fellowship ceremonial days. 
                    can be held at any time, although synchronizing them with 
                     the Festivals and the New and Full Moons is advisable. They 
                     are Naming, where a newborn child is named in the presence 
                     of the group and their Life-beads given; Coming Of Age, 
                     where the child's physical maturity is acknowledged, and 
                     where, for a short time, they become Child of the Water (if 
                    a person becomes a full-fledged member of the group, given 
                     after a person becomes a legal adult; Joining, where a man 
                     and a woman consent to be married; Unjoining, where a man 
                     and woman who are married consent to have the bond 
                     dissolved, which is to be done only after four reconcili- 
                     ation attempts fail or after evidence of marital infidelity 
                     or abuse is given before the group; the Moonlodge, which is 
                     a special sweat for women in their Moon-time; and Release, 
                               whereaceremonyforadead memberoftheFellowshipisdone
                    to guide their soul Back Home.  Other ceremonials that are 
                     dreamed or envisioned by a person or group are also 
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 
                7.) SUMMING UP 
                     A few quick ones: One can be either clothed or unclothed at 
                     ceremonies, but it should be known that none of the 
                     Southwestern tribes did ceremonies in the nude.  However, 
                     one should disrobe for the sweat lodge, as clothes are not 
                     only uncomfortable within the sweat lodge, but interfere 
                     with the cleansing process of the lodge. 
                     This Statement can be accepted or rejected by individual 
                    federation can be denied to those groups who stray too far 
                    sully the reputation of the Fellowship in general. 
                     Hi-dicho...this is finished. 
                     May these proceeds please Life Giver Usen', and the Mother 
                     and the Father. 
                     Chihacou White-Puma, 1988. 
                          Last amended June 11, 1989  --  Page NEXTRECORD 

Next: Pantacle, The (Gary Dumbauld)