Songs are one of the main tools we use to call upon the Spirits in Traditional Ceremonies. Attuned to the melodies and sounds we send with our voices, THEY come to help us. Hearing our pleas for help by way of song, we must not underestimate the power that each of us carries when we learn specific ceremonial songs. There are different schools of thought in terms of the types of songs to be sung in various ceremonies. In keeping with the lineage that The Singing Stone carries for Lakota ceremonies we prefer songs that are in an Indigenous language and were brought to the people in a spiritual way.
Although there is power in the creativity as well as the Spirits present in predominantly spoken languages such as English and Spanish, they are not in alignment with the Spirits we are calling upon in Traditional Lakota Ceremonies. We prefer to keep these rituals as pure as possible, as they were handed to us. In regards to Native American Church and other Indigenous Ceremonies, again, opinions vary as to whether or not we should be singing in Native languages or not. Most of us do not speak the languages we are singing in so we work with what we have. The important thing is that we sing and pray from our hearts and the Spirits feel that. They can respond to the energy that is felt.
Moving forward during a time when Native languages are becoming used less and less and the people of the world are of more mixed ancestry, we try to maintain a continuation of the old ways. While some details of songs and ceremonies may have been lost or are incongruent with the present time, we feel it is an obligation to keep what we can the way it has been for many, many years. As our ancient Ancestors did so long ago, there is still a magic that comes through now when we are open to the mysterious revealing itself through us. We are an evolution, a prayer manifesting and so it does not serve to refrain from listening to Spirit while allowing the creativity to spring forth. Songs and other messages may be gifted to any of us if we are open to the possibilities. Buffalo Goddess celebrates the various manifestations that may be shared for all to enjoy and learn from when done with respect for the time and place which expressed.
To listen to and purchase traditional Lakota songs go to the SONGS portions of my shop.
Sweat Lodge Songs
Most Lakota sweat lodges are very similar. They have four rounds and the same basic format. Whether the rocks are all brought in at once or not, you first set the stage and then you call in the spirits. Some Lodges the first round is in preparation for the invocation. In others it all happens first round right off the bat. Next you address the spirits, you pray, ask them something or just say hello. Then comes the doctoring or at least, the point where the spirits act, where they move about.
First you call your friends over, then you ask them advice or just talk, then you entertain them and they respond, they can give you advice. Just like having guests over, you’ll probably have to feed them and even get them back home. So it is in the world of invoking spirits, not much different than inviting embodied guests over! The songs follow a logical sequence. my aim in saying all this is not to teach those who want to run Sweat Lodge’s without traditional initiation. Singers are rare though, so I would like to invite you all to learn Lakota Sweat Lodge Songs here! Most Sweat Lodges performed all over are Lakota in origin. Some were passed without proper instructions. Others may have been copied without formal initiation and they should seek a teacher. Pouring water for a sweat lodge without knowing an invitational song is like trying to drive a car without gas. Furthermore, pouring water for a sweat lodge without singing a closing song is like trying to steal a car without gas, It may have serious implications.
Some individuals fail to appreciate the powers that these traditional songs conjure up. Perhaps they had their eyes closed during the lodge! In this modern world it can be difficult for the domesticated mindset to grasp the concept of invocation, this is understandable.
All too often the lack of songs in a Sweat Lodge can be attributed to the simple fact that the leader just can’t sing. If that is the case you must find a singer, just like the olden days, you find singers to call the spirits. Learning songs is is not only therapeutic, it can give you the key to the doorway of another dimension. Song has always been the invocation key in every culture of human kind. One need not take our word for it though, find out for yourselves!
Knowing the Correct sequence of the sweat lodge songs can dramatically transform everyone present. Some people learn the basics and maybe a song or two.Then they are transformed into experts almost overnight! Like they say, The one eyed man is king in the valley of the blind. Whatever the case may be, it is important to understand that it is essential to formally have received an altar from a true tradition. Know that these traditions (denominations) do things differently.
It is the singer that is entrusted with the power, the humble voice in the background. So remember: First open the door with a directional song, then, while the door is open, sing individual calling songs. Next round pray and sing prayer songs. Then they dance and heal with dancing and healing songs. Then thank them, make offerings (give gifts) and send them home. This is the same with any ritual anywhere!