RealPagan- Paganism for the Real World


Who Am I to Question Visions? : A Real Live Native

I have, over the course of my life and over time in several different social networks, encountered many people who claim to have at one time been in contact with a nonspecific "Indian Warrior" or "Indian Shaman." This person could be of Native or non-native lineage, and the spirit is sometimes their "Spirit Guide" and sometimes just plain visiting them. While I care not who specifically is receiving these spirits' messages, I do care that the messages be authentic and realistic.

People often ask m: "who are you to question someone's spiritual encounters? Why do you have the right to validate my spirit guide? Why do I have to prove anything to you?"

Because this is my culture/relatives/spirits/descendants you are dealing with.


Many people believe my culture to be antiquated: a dying or dead relic of something once beautiful and pure. We are a connection to the old ways, a conduit to the earth and all its mysteries. While not the worst stereotype a people has, it doesn't make it any less false. When I was in 8th grade my Spanish teacher told the entire class in lecture: "I prefer the Natives of Mexico to those of our country...those Natives still have culture."


And this seems to be a prevailing problem. We DO still have a culture and it is growing, changing, and thriving. Do we still have connections to our old ways? Absolutely. We proudly uphold them. But does this mean we are dead or that change is bad? No! Even in the times before contact we adopted new dances, new prayers, new ways of being from tribes nearest us. We were always changing, just like any people. Why shouldn't first nations people have the same range of interests and abilities of anyone else?


I've been visited by First Nations spirits...but they were nothing like the "typical" visit I always hear of.I was once visited by a middle-aged Native man with slick, short , black hair, a gold member's only jacket, and stiff light-wash jeans. He wasn't a warrior. He wasn't a medicine person. He was a guy, a guy who happened to be Native. How come no one else has these sort of experiences? It would be like if every White spirit I met were a priest or a soldier: it simply doesn't make sense that it would be the case every single time.


So why would someone potentially "fake" a First Nations Spirit visit? There are many reasons.

- As I stated earlier many people believe we hold a connection to the earth and nature. We do, but not because it is genetically a part of us. Our culture emphasizes its importance and integrates it into our every day lives...but any society, culture, or person is just as capable of accomplishing that.

- Many feel that a connection to an "older" pagan spirituality like Native spirituality validates their path. Older does not mean better or more valid.

- Many assume our spirituality is pure of outside influences or change and remains in its undiluted, original form. No, it does not. Things happen, people. The world changes around us and so must our culture and spirituality. We must adapt and with new surroundings comes new beliefs. Not to mention all the outside influences around us, some of them also tribal.


So why do *I* feel qualified to demand explanations, elaborations, or evidence?

-I AM Native. These people you're talking about...they are my family or relatives of friends I consider my family. These "spirit guides" aren't accessories, they're people. Visits from Native spirits are equally important and should be respected. I come from a highly used and under-exposed culture. People think because our representation is low that they can go where they want and say what they want and no one will be there to question it. I have made it my job at RP and throughout my life to break down the absolutely WALL of falsehood around my people and provide reality. I resent my people being used as a tool or a conversation piece.


So if you DO make such claims, prepare to make the rounds with me. If your intentions are good and your spirituality informed you will have nothing to hide. I must protect the truth of my culture to prevent further misinformation and use of us.


I trust most will appreciate and encourage my efforts :).


Miigwech Bizindawiiyeg (thank you for listening),



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Ron(Fortuna Reclaimed) Comment by Ron(Fortuna Reclaimed) on January 7, 2011 at 1:26am
I feel for you makoons.
Miss Nel (Spacious Feline) Comment by Miss Nel (Spacious Feline) on January 7, 2011 at 1:17am
Makoons, I think I lurve you. <3

Greaat post. I feel like cheering for you. =D
Sangraal Comment by Sangraal on January 6, 2011 at 10:20pm
Thank you for sharing that, Makoons! :)
Strata Comment by Strata on January 6, 2011 at 9:33pm
Aden.. Makoons has a group.  First Nations Spirituality.  You might want to look into that.
Makoons Comment by Makoons on January 6, 2011 at 9:21pm

For my culture it would be a spirit who requests or especially requires recognition. If a spirit asks that you resolve its unfinished business, share its visit, its wishes, or its life with others it is likely a fake. There's three reasons:

1. One of our 7 grandfather teachings is Humility. No person or spirit is more important than another and usually a spirit will appear only if it feels its services are needed. It is customary to give GENERAL spirits or the Creator tobacco and unless you are specifically calling on one, a spirit won't require tribute.

2. We believe all unfinished business is taken care of within the first four days after our death. If we needed to speak to someone, resolve an issue, etc. it has already been dealt if a spirit comes asking for that, it is likely not one of us.

3. Most spiritual practices require secrecy. I am not allowed to share the details of most visits and many ceremonies with anyone, even my fiancee. Only the people and spirits present were meant to know about it and that is why they were there.

Sangraal Comment by Sangraal on January 6, 2011 at 8:53pm
Tests, I suppose, would depend upon one's tradition or praxis, and they differ from culture to culture. Generally, if they seem to be asking for anything out of character, linger around unwanted or give out feelings of aggression or other symptoms associated with negative entities, they are most likely bs'ing you. One example- a pagan group claimed to be following a manifestation of the lwa Maman Brijette, the wife of Bawon Samadhi, Death. They were offering her tobacco and other products taboo to her service. They were either full of it, or venerating a spirit playing dress-up Maman. They are known to do this. How about in your culture, Makoons?
Jennifer Renee Comment by Jennifer Renee on January 6, 2011 at 8:29pm
So how exactly do you know if they are who they seem?? Okay going off on tangents...hehehe....
Sangraal Comment by Sangraal on January 6, 2011 at 8:26pm
I will also add that the Dead can be deceptive. They can present themselves to be anything, much like people online, in order to receive attention and, in some practices, veneration. Just because one claims it is a first nations person or anything else, for that matter, does not make it true. Much like in the real world, things are not always what they seem, so caution should always be exercised or you may need to be exorcised. :)
Makoons Comment by Makoons on January 6, 2011 at 8:18pm

*sharpens knife* :P


Thank you, Sang.

Sangraal Comment by Sangraal on January 6, 2011 at 8:18pm
Beautiful blog, Makoons! A real life native? Can I poke you to verify? lol. Seriously, as you know, I have the utmost respect for you and the challenge you have taken in life- one certainly everybit as difficult as washing out the nonsense of extravagant claims of superpowers and famous incarnations that plagues paganism. You have my full support, dearest friend, in re-educating the public on true first nation spirituality, one that is freed of a universal shamanism misconception and pejorative terminology. You may, however, scalp the first person that uses the word "squaw". lol

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