1. INDIGENOUS WORLDVIEWS OF NORTH AMERICA

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The North American indigenous worldview has a tradition of thousands of years that was conformed as a complex system where a set of ideas that are deeply integrated with each other stands out. Those central ideas or principles are: totality, energy, communion, sacredness and the communal meaning of life. This model is an approximation to present the complexity of the indigenous worldview, which tries to account for the following facts:

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  1. The notion that different American Indian cultures have many commonalities in their worldviews

  2. That these common points can be synthesized in the five principles or central ideas mentioned above, which in turn are nourished by other vital concepts

  3. That shamanism plays a very peculiar role in linking communities and their respective worldviews

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The North American indigenous worldview nurtures a conception of life that is based on an integrating notion of the different elements that surround man. Man must maintain a delicate relationship with each part of the whole. The entire indigenous world is regulated by this vital need for balance, which is a condition, a key that articulates the different principles of the worldview. Balance is one more principle that is added to this complex system of the indigenous worldview.

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The mythologies of the Native Americans of North America comprise many sets of traditional stories associated with religion from a mythographic perspective. The indigenous belief systems of North America include many sacred accounts. Such spiritual stories are deeply grounded in nature and possess rich symbolism of seasons, weather, plants, animals, earth, water, sky, and fire. The all-encompassing, universal and omniscient Great Spirit principle, a connection to Earth, various accounts of creation, and the collective memory of common ancestors are common. Traditional worship practices are often part of tribal gatherings, which include dance, rhythm, song, and trance (eg, sun dance ).

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'There is a way of life that the Lakota call "Walking in Beauty." It is said that one Walks in Beauty when he has his Earth (physical part) and his Heaven (spiritual part) in Harmony.

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The American Indians have always considered wolves to be teachers or waymen. Wolves are fiercely loyal to their mates and have a strong sense of family, while maintaining their individuality.

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All things in the Universe have spirit and life. Rocks, earth, sky, waters, plants, and animals are different expressions of consciousness, in different realms and realities. And all things in the Universe know of their Harmony with everything else, and they know how to give each other. Except for man, of all the creatures in the Universe, only we do not begin our lives with the knowledge of this great Harmony. Our spirit can become complete by learning to seek and perceive, learning about our own Harmony with all our brothers in the Universe.

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Each of us has a particular animal as his personal Medicine. The Totems or personal Power Animals are the protective spirits that help us both in our daily life and in our spiritual search for Harmony. These Power Animals are commonly a reflection of your deepest self, and they also represent qualities that you need in this world, but which are often hidden or obscured.

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Some of the tribes that practiced this worldview:

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  • Apaches

  • Potawatomi

  • Abenaki

  • Anishinaabe traditional beliefs

  • Believe

  • Lenape

  • The Black Feet

  • Crow

  • Lakota or Sioux

  • Pawnee

  • Muskogueans

  • Iroquois

  • Cherokee

  • Choctaw

  • Ho-chunk

  • Wyandot

  • Seneca

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Characteristics of some power animals:

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EAGLE: Spirit / Courage.

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Eagle feathers are used throughout the world as ceremonial tools, and are considered the most sacred healing tools. They're a power simbol, healing and wisdome. Eagle represents a state of grace that is reached through work, understanding and completion of the initiation tests that result from regaining our personal power.
Eagle Medicine is the Power of the Great Spirit. It is the spirit of tenacity. It is the gift of clear vision, with which you can truly see the things you are looking at. It is the patience to bide his time. It is living in balance with the earth and the heavens.

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Eagle reminds you of your connection to the Great Spirit. It warns you that the universe is presenting you with the opportunity to fly above the mundane levels of your life, or above the shadow of past realities. Eagle teaches you to look up to touch Grandfather Sun with your heart, to love the shadow as much as the light. Eagle asks you to give yourself the permission of freedom, to achieve the joy that your heart desires.

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BUFFALO: Abundance / Gratitude.

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The buffalo is considered by many tribes as a symbol of abundance: its meat fed people, the hides provided clothing and shelter, the bones and tendons provided survival tools, the hooves provided glue. According to the Lakota tradition, the White Buffalo Calf Woman gave them the Sacred Pipe, promising abundance as long as they honored through prayer the Great Spirit and all their relationships, that is, the other creations of nature.

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Buffalo Medicine signifies a special honor, reverence, or appreciation for all the things that Earth offers to your children. It is also knowing that abundance is present when all relationships are honored as sacred, and when gratitude is expressed to every living part of Creation.


Buffalo signals the time to reconnect with the meaning of life and the value of peace, praise the gifts you already possess, and acknowledge and honor the sacredness of all paths, even if they are different from yours.

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OWL: Intuition / Clairvoyance.

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There are owls of all sizes, from a miniature one that lives in desert cacti, to the great horned owl, which is the only bird that can beat the golden eagle in flight. An adult great horned owl is a creature that inspires admiration. Its claws are covered with feathers, closely resembling the feet of a young bobcat. He is a carnivore, which means that he can be a fierce warrior if challenged, or if something close to him is threatened. It is often referred to as the Night Eagle.

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Owl lives at night. He has a great awareness at all times of everything around him. It has predatory vision, which means that it sees everything clearly. It has a great intuition: it is the totem of psychics and clairvoyants. Have the courage to follow your instincts.

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Owl's medicine includes the power to see behind the masks, the silent and swift movement, the sharp vision, the messenger of secrets and premonitions, the change of forms, the link between the dark and invisible world and the world of light, the feel comfortable with the shadow, the power of the moon, the freedom.

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HORSE: Power / Stamina.

The horse appears in almost all mythological writings, legends and realities. There is the mighty-winged Pegasus, the eight-legged horse of the Norse god Odin, the steeds of the Hindu sun god, the steeds of Apollo, and many more. Many legends mention that the horse is clairvoyant and capable of perceiving humans with magical powers. No other animal has given man the physical freedom of movement that the horse has given him.

If you are attracted to Horse, you feel a power in your spirit that is sometimes difficult to control. Horse is a symbol of loyalty and devotion, of unquestionable love and faith towards his master. You like to travel a lot, and you have more than a hint of gypsy in your soul. Horse is also your warrior spirit - the brave warrior who gives you security in your travels, both physical and metaphysical.


Horse medicine includes power, vigor, endurance, fidelity, freedom to run free, control of the environment, awareness of power achieved with true cooperation, communication between species, the power to expand one's abilities. potentials, friendship and cooperation, travel, astral travel, guardian of travelers, warns of possible dangers, guide to overcome obstacles.

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WOLF: Teaching / Guide to the Sacred.

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The American Indians have always considered wolves to be teachers or waymen. Wolves are fiercely loyal to their mates and have a strong sense of family, while maintaining their individuality. In the stars the Wolf is represented by the Dog, and many aboriginal tribes consider it to be the home of the Ancients.

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Wolves are probably the most misunderstood wild animals. Tales of his cold blood abound, despite having friendly, sociable, and intelligent features. They are truly free spirits, although their packs are highly organized. They seem to go to great lengths to avoid confrontations, which are rarely necessary when with a change in posture, a grunt, or a glance, you successfully make yourself understood.


Traditionally, someone with Lobo medicine has a strong sense of self and communicates very well through subtle changes in voice inflection and body movements. He often finds new solutions to problems, while providing the stability and support one normally associates with a family structure.

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Lobo's medicine includes the power to face his own cycle with dignity and courage, death and rebirth, the teaching of the Spirit, guidance in dreams and meditations, the instinct linked to intelligence, social and family values , cunning about the enemy, the ability to go unnoticed, perseverance, the ability to protect himself and his family, the ability to take advantage of changes.

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BEAR: Introspection.

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Bears hibernate in the winter, which could explain their association with "dreaming the Great Spirit" or hindsight. The Bear's cave symbolizes the return to the womb of Mother Earth. It also suggests a strong feminine, nurturing and protective look. The cubs, which are born in the spring, can stay with their mother for up to seven years before reaching maturity.


People with Bear medicine are self-sufficient, preferring to stand on their own two feet rather than depend on others. They are often considered dreamers. Many have developed the ability to visualize new things, but as a result they may get caught up in their dreams and not make much progress in "waking reality."

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Bear's medicine includes introspection, healing, loneliness, wisdom, change, communication with the Spirit, death and rebirth, transformation, astral travel, and is a creature of dreams, shamans, and mystics. It must be added that the Bear is the only animal that creates medicine, the Lakota observed how the Bear created his medicine for different ailments, and they tried that medicine.

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DOG: Loyalty / Protection.

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The Dog was the servant / soldier who guarded the tribe's dwellings and protected them from surprise attacks. Helped with hunting and provided heat in the winter. It is a symbol of loyalty, unconditional love, protection and service. His Medicine incorporates the loving gentleness of the best friend and the protective energy of the guardian.

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If your Power Animal is the Dog, your devotion to your family and friends is infinite. You get great satisfaction from serving others, offering your hand to a friend in need. A kind word, a caress, an act of kindness mean much more to you than material things. However, there is a danger of getting too close to the other extreme: allowing people to take advantage of you for your gentle nature.

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The Dog reminds you that your loyalty should always be to yourself, to your goals, to your own truth. It reminds you that as you respect and value yourself, you can truly serve those who honor what you can give them.

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The Raven: The Magic.

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In all times, the Raven has carried the Medicine of Magic with him, this has been the case in many cultures around the planet. In the rites of medicine it is sacred to honor him as the bearer of magic. If magic is bad medina, you have to honor the bearer more out of fear than respect, understand that you will only fear the Raven if you need to learn about your internal fears or about the demons that you have created yourself.

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The Raven medicine is powerful and can provide you with the courage to enter the darkness of the void, the home of all that has no form yet, 'The Great Mystery'. In indigenous teachings the color black means many things, but not evil. It can symbolize the search for the answers, the emptiness or the spiritual path. 'Raven, black as pitch, magical as the moon, speak to me of magic, soon I will fly with you.

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The Lizard: The dreams.

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The Lizard is the Medicine of dreamers, dreams live in darkness. Lizard medicine is the dark side of reality, where dreams are examined before you decide to manifest them in physical reality.


The Lizard may be telling you to pay attention to your dreams and their symbols. Dreams are very important. Give them attention. 'Lizard, will you dream of me? Will we travel to the stars?

'Beyond time and space they live distant visions.

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I believe that we are all part of the Spirit of God and the Spirit of God dwells within everything that lives.

To understand the concept of the Native American Way, it is necessary to redefine the word Medicine. Medicine is anything that improves your connection with the Spirit of God, with the Great Mystery of life, and with all of life.

Main symbols of the Native-American Religions:

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