Recently, we have studied the key understandings and significance of a pipe ceremony. The pipe ceremony is such a profound celebration to take part in. When Elder Alma was in our class, she introduced and described how powerful a pipe ceremony is. It is a sacred celebration that connections both the physical and spiritual world together. The pipe itself holds extreme power as it links mother-earth to the sky. The smoke that rises is our words that speak to heaven and the spirits above and then it reciprocates a blessing upon our body and us. The reason that tobacco is used within the pipe ceremony is to connect the deep roots that are in the earth to the Creator and the sky above. It is a way of giving back to the earth what was taken away.
What I thought to be a take away that resonated with me was when Elder Alma mentioned the term ‘moontime.’ This was a term that I have heard of when I took a social studies 30 course back in grade 12. Elder Alma went on to further describe moontime (a woman’s gift from Grandmother moon) as the time of month when a woman is menstrating. This is a time to abstain from ceremonies as it is a time of purification for women. Moontime holds great power and should not be present when using such powerful sacred objects like the pipe, feather, etc. It is shown as a place of rebirth, beauty, honour and respect that women abstain from ceremony when on their moontime and meditate or call to prayer in a nearby gathering place or sweat lodge.
This was such a great opportunity to hear the stories and lived experiences from Elder Alma and to hear the significance of a sacred traditional pipe ceremony.
The “Aboriginal worldview” – guiding principles and traditional values of Aboriginal societies. This suggests the way Aboriginal peoples see themselves in relation to the world. It is a holistic process where learning takes place across different spheres of human experience including spiritual, physical, emotional and mental dimensions. Worldview’s may also consider relationships and experiences of the past, present and future as interconnected. ——-WNCP: The Common Curriculum Framework for Aboriginal Language and Culture Programs, Kindergarten to Grade 12 (2000)–
I added this quote on ‘Aboriginal Worldview’ because is correlates with the purpose of a pipe ceremony. It is what Indigenous peoples stand for and commemorate. The understandings of worldview’s, cultural customs/traditions, celebrations/rituals, and so on, link with the understanding of Treaties as well. Treaties were primarily constructed to unite solely to the spirituality, respect and great honour that Indigenous peoples had/still have with the Creator. It is meaningful take the time to build upon our relationships with differing worldview’s and reason with why it stands today.