Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madroma, author of many Coyote Medicine books, gave an 1.5 hour lecture, in which he told wonderful stories about using the knowledge of traditional Elders in both psychiatric and internal medicine.
|Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madroma, (c) 2015 Lonely Coyote|
"One can be deeply spiritual and deeply 'rascally' at the same time!"
Traditional stories, that provide societal roles and mores, are helpful to those who did not receive instruction in childhood.
"Elders need 'roadies'-- that's how one learns the teachings!"
"Powerful relationships with Spirits allow the Work to happen."
Dr. Mehl-Madroma also spoke about suicide rates among Indigenous populations: Those that kept their ancient language in use (spoken) had lower-than-US-average levels of suicidality. Those that lost their ancient language (both spoken and written) had higher-than-US-average levels of suicidality.
That discussion sparked a powerful moment of clarity for me-- Cultural Soul Loss on a grand scale. Patterns of behavior, physical illness, and family turmoil clicked in my mind, and I started to have a greater understanding of the incredible violation of Indigenous Peoples by my ancestors.
This revelation is powerful, and will take some time to integrate. I am thankful for the lessons, and to be able to do shamanic work to help remediate some of this Soul Loss.