a ceremony to awaken one to natural order (hozho); choosing constructive and life-affirming choices; healing from intentions and decisions that destroy oneself and others.
To explain the blessing way, spiritual-cultural concepts are translated from the Dineh language into appropriate English descriptions to convey universal health and healing concepts from Dineh oral tradition.
Navajo ceremonies do not require a conversion process of taking away the precious child within the natural order, and replacing this spiritual SELF-identity with a deficient self-image that has to be re-mediated to some desired end state of progress.
Once awakened to the natural order, we begin living the loving way—hozhooji: literal translation of the blessingway ceremony as translated by my paternal aunt. It is a way of living in reverent revolution, of making decisions that are constructive and life affirming.
The four phases of the blessing way ceremony is a healing process that leads to curing. In comparison, Western Science designs methods of coping for every belief system.
Two main ceremonies: Protectionway and Blessingway
These two main ceremonies offer protection from contaminants like the maladaptive emotions of hate, jealousy, anger, guilt, fear, etc. and toxins from the environment.
Five major ceremonies: As five-fingered people, this corresponds to five major ceremonies that every child in the world could benefit by.
- Blessingway: the blessing way honors the divine feminine as a nurturer.
- Protectionway: divine masculine as a protector-provider.
- Purification and cleansing: numerous with specific names for specific purposes.
- Spiritual renewal: a nine-day ceremony for spiritual renewal.
- Journey to spirit world: the ceremony for a person on their journey to the spirit world.
A blessings way Ceremonial Change Process teaches why and how to make life-affirming choices, rather than death-producing choices. We can understand a Dineh ceremonial change process within the context of Indigenous Science. The strategy is to set up the optimal conditions for remembering and awakening to the oneness of creator. In healing ceremonies we affirm our holiness and wholeness.
The term “Indigenous Science” was coined by Pamela Colorado and refers to a reverent way of knowing and living within the interrelatedness between people and the natural order of all creation. The term indigenous science was coined to convey a different way of thinking than western science. It is designed for a spiritual awakening experience into a female gender nurturer life task through the four phases of a healing ceremony.
Pamela Colorado is the founder of the World Indigenous Science Network (WISN) and is an Oneida Indian. Oneida means “people of reality.” She says of “Native people, we look at life differently. Even the way we come to knowledge and present that knowledge is totally different from the Western way.” This is how she describes Indigenous science:
“Native science is a way of bringing people to a higher knowledge and one of its goals is to bring us to the Gii Lai – ‘the still quiet place’. In other words, our religion and our spirituality are built into our science.”
Dineh spirituality is the science of light-love-life-nature in one integrated concept. The will-to-love, peace, beauty and joy within our Affirmative thinking system and within the universe is called hozho.
We acknowledge the “holy people.” They are our ancestors in Dineh oral tradition. Nelson Gorman, Jr. the Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council wrote in the Preface of the Navajo Code:
“We must not forget the Navajo customs and traditions which are unwritten. Long before the Europeans arrived as newcomers, the Navajo people were living according to the laws, the rules, and the prayers taught to them by the Holy People, laws that brought order, beauty, peace, and harmony to the People and their world.”
I thank my grandparents and parents for their loving songs and prayers for me. Dineh ceremonies are our way of knowing.
The Journey Through the Four Worlds
The Navajo creation story speaks about the people traveling through four worlds into the current world from the place of emergence within the four sacred mountains. This represents the concept that there is one mother of us all because our body is composed of earth.
The word for mountain is the same word for spiritual strength. Every child is born through the water and through the birth canal. The element of fire is our temperature and we inhale and exhale with the creator’s holy breath. This air originates from the physical sun and radiates to the trees where we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide.
The miracle of life that we call photosynthesis is what Navajos call the creator’s holy breath. We are instructed to use this holy breath for speaking living words that heal. This is why our medicine people are called “singers”. They sing a person back to balance, harmony with creator, themselves and others within the natural order.
The journey through the four worlds was required to restore balance and harmony from misusing life energy for destructive and death-producing choices. There is a consequence in violating the natural order. This is not punishment, condemnation or judgment, just consequence and a message to correct the out-of-balance life condition.
Dis-ease/Disease- *Wellbeing Continuum
Inverse Thinking System *Affirmative Thinking System
Deficient self image *Sacred-SELF intellect
Allopathic *Holographic holistic thinking
Abyss – Co-opt – Coping – *Healing Process – Curing –
All my work is translated from the Navajo/Dineh language and those italicized words notate that. The meaning and vibration is my way of keeping track of information in English while I exist, speak and write in the Dineh Affirmative thinking system. For an explanation of the terms above, please visit the glossary
©Patricia Anne Davis, MA and the Navajo Nation Justice Department