We continue to move along the Spiral Dance, the Wheel of the Year, with Original Reggae/Jazz Fusion & World Music. The next concert will be Sunday January 29 from 7-9pm. The Middle of Winter is known as Imbolic or Brigid to the Indigenous People of the North. Later on, the Church adapted this “Pagan” Holy day, and called it Candlemas. To the East, this the time of the Chinese New Year: in 2023, this occurs on January 22, at the New Moon closest to Mid-Winter. This is the Year of the Rabbit. In America, the spirituality is left out completely and known as Groundhog Day. No matter what culture, it is the Middle of Winter and lets us know that we are halfway to Springtime.
The Midwinter ceremony is celebrated five days after our new year moon (January). This is a time of renewing our responsibilities for the coming year.
The first day, there are three Great Feather Dances that are done. The first one is in honor of all of the title holders: Lotiyan#shu (the chiefs), Kutiyan#shu (the clanmothers), and Kay# Niyol$=wake Lonatlihu=t& (the faithkeepers). The second is in honor of K<ytohkwake=k&, all of the people who hold no title form the youngest newborn to the eldest. The last one is in honor of Shukwaya>t$su, our Creator.
The second day is <twakh<la=w^li, “Stirring the Ashes”. The ashes from the wood stoves are used to symbolize our Mother Earth. Wooden paddles are used to turn the ashes over and replenish our Mother Earth so that she can renew herself.
The third day starts out with
Kayu>kw^thu, the Tobacco Burning Thanksgiving Ceremony. Oyu>kwa>u=w#, the real tobacco, is collected from all of the people. Through the burning of the tobacco, an acknowledgment, a thanksgiving, and an encouragement are conveyed to all of creation for the renewal and continuation of their responsibilities.
After the tobacco burning, the Hatu=w,@ the men’s songs, are sung. This a time when our real names are uplifted (put through to the Creator for recognition). Faithkeepers can also be “put up” during this time, and the Friendship Medicine Society can also be renewed. Oneho=l&, the Water Drum Dance, is then done and everyone dances. A speaker is chosen to give thanks to all things on earth.
The significance of the drum is that it is round, representing everything in creation and the connection between everything on earth, including the human family. The beating of the drum and the people dancing in a circle, constantly moving in a circle, symbolizes the ongoing cycle of life. Sa=yes, the wild blackberry is mixed with water and made into a drink which is used as a medicine at this time.
The fourth day is Kay<towa=n^, the Peach Stone Game. Lotiskle=w@ke, the Bear Clan, and Latiny^tha, the Turtle Clan, play against Latikw@ho, the Wolf Clan. Things that
Oneida Cultural Heritage Department
are highly looked upon to bet are wampum, traditional clothing, lacrosse sticks, or turtle rattles. Things not to bet are anything that is solid red in color, which represents anger, anything black, which represents death, or anything is shiny, which represents greed.
After the Peach Stone Game is done,
Ohstowa>k%wa, the Great Feather Dance, is done as a thanksgiving. Following this dance, Kunukwehn#, the Old Women’sDance, and Osah#t=a Aotil<=n,@ the Bean Dance are performed.
Lastly, hat&wi, the False Face Medicine Society, and Shatsits$sha, the Cornhusk Masks Medicine Society, come in to remind the people of their day of renewing themselves.
The fifth day is set aside as a renewal for these and other medicine societies.
The Winter Solstice marks the beginning of Winter, and is the time when the Sun is reborn: the days begin to grow longer. By Mid-Winter, the days continue to grow longer, and yet in Chicago, the days seem to grow colder! With record breaking low temperatures at the Winter Solstice 2022, -7 degrees in the Sunlight, it is hard to imagine it getting colder than this….Springtime feels so far away, so we light candles, shoot off fireworks, or observe groundhogs to remind us that Spring is just around the corner. “This is a time of renewing our responsibilities for the coming year.” (Oneida, Iroquois) Of course, if you are in Southern Hemisphere, it is a sign that Summer is halfway over and you better have lots of fun before the leaves begin to fall…
The Original Music of Arit Tchiya Amet presents wisdom teachings of the Indigenous People of the 4 Directions. Many songs contain Celestial Wisdom of cultures from around the World. It is the intention of the artist that the People of the 4 Directions will come together and share the traditions and teachings of each direction. According to Hopi Prophecy, now is the time for us to Unite. Now is the time to break free from the shackles of mental and spiritual slavery, placed on us by colonialism, western imperialism, caucasity and manifest destiny.
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If you are looking for something to warm your Soul, some great music for dancing, look no further than the Katalyst 13257 S. Baltimore! Sunday January 29th from 7-9pm. We are looking forward to adding a guest chef for these events. If you would like to drop by early, you will be able to experience musical sound healing from Kahari Lemuel and his celestial compositions of cosmic love.
The more that you move with the Spiral Dance medicine Wheel, you will see that the majority of Western Holidays coincide with Natural Holy days. During the time of the Nicene Council, 325 AD, the inventors of Christianity forced many Indigenous Nations of the North to adopt Christianity or be killed. They told them that they could still practice their own traditions, but had to insert elements of Christianity. This is the way that they were able to become a global religion, with force, violence, war and by “adopting” elements of indigenous peoples, then erasing their culture or making it illegal to practice their own traditions. First, they converted the tribes of Europe, then headed to Africa. As the result of this meeting, eventually all Kemetic (Ancient African Egyptian Temples) were closed, then occupied by Christians. The Temple of Aset in Philae, Aswan was the last temple to be closed in 550 AD, then was used as a Church, a mosque, and now it is used for tourism. Currently, it is still illegal to practice inside of the Temples in Egypt. If you are caught mediating, praying or singing, you could face trouble from the government…