Linda Neale's Blog

RSS

A thanksgiving gift from the Haudenosaunee

Linda Neale - Sunday, November 23, 2014

Gratitude is the beginning of knowledge and understanding”   Ted Williams, Iroquois elder  Read More

RSS

The Greater Jihad, by Preston Moser

Linda Neale - Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Welcome to my first guest blog.  This article was written by my good friend, Preston Moser, whom I admire and appreciate.  He is a father, a husband, a writer, a historian,  and a sundancer who spent many years studying with Fools Crow and other Lakota elders. This article was written soon after 9/11, but the subject is relevant to any time and place.  Thanks, Preston, for contributing your insights.  As always, you the reader are welcome to comment and share your feedback.  Read More

RSS

Warrior Mode

Linda Neale - Friday, October 10, 2014
  Read More

RSS

Celebrating the Day of the Dead

Linda Neale - Wednesday, October 02, 2013

     Because they occur around the same time, the Day of the Dead is sometimes confused with Halloween in modern American culture.   Unlike Halloween which involves costumes, parties, and trick-or-treating, the Day of the Dead is a very old Indo-Hispanic ceremony that demonstrates a strong sense of love and respect for one’s ancestors and celebrates the continuance of life and family heritage.  It helps us remember who we are and provides us a structure to pass on the stories of our ancestors to our children and grandchildren.  In today's modern American culture, there are few structured opportunities to honor our ancestors in this way.
  Read More

RSS

Mother Goes to Sundance

Linda Neale - Sunday, August 11, 2013

I’ve invited my 88 year old mother to one sundance or another for the last twenty-two years, but there was always a reason why she couldn’t attend. I wondered about those reasons, and assumed they had something to do with what she’d heard about the ceremony.  Most people tend to exaggerate the physical aspects – the piercings, fasting, and suffering that goes on – and forget the joy, support, love, and connections that are present.  Over the years I said little to my mother about my involvement in the dance.  The sundance ceremony is both beautiful and intense and there’s really no way to describe it.  It must be experienced.  After 22 years of rejected invitations, I almost didn’t invite her this year.  Sometime in May I mentioned it in a rather backwards way, after she inquired about our plans for the summer.    Read More

RSS

Songs in Ceremony

Linda Neale - Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A member of our Women's Medicine Wheel ceremony recently asked me to write about songs.  She is not a singer...yet. Thank you, Carolyn, for encouraging this post.

  Read More

RSS

the shootings

Linda Neale - Monday, December 17, 2012

So many people are writing about the mass shootings at Clackamas Town Center and  Newtown, Connecticut, that I wondered what else I could possibly add to the conversation.  But I found myself crying last night when the names of the twenty child victims were read by President Obama at the Newtown memorial service and realized that I needed to share, even if no one reads this or listens, as part of my own healing.  And, I needed to figure out what I could do to help.  Read More

RSS

Listening with a Capital L

Linda Neale - Wednesday, August 22, 2012

 Here's a little story about ceremony, the first one I've written in a long time.  I asked Big A and Heddi Neale for permission to publish the story on my blog, and they both granted permission.  It's about what happens when we Listen with a capital "L".
  Read More

RSS

Women of the 14th Moon -- Part 1

Linda Neale - Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Women of the Fourteenth Moon is a modern transition ceremony that has endured for more than two decades and is now being performed around the world. It was originally conceived by three women from various backgrounds -- Celtic, Jewish, and Native American -- who came together to do something to heal the fear of aging that many modern women have.  It is not a Native American ceremony -- it is a women's ceremony.  It  lasts from one to three days, and is usually performed outside with as few as twenty or as many as one hundred fifty women. Its stated intention is to initiate and honor elder women and the stages they go through in becoming elders. Many women are introduced to ceremony for the first time at the Women of the Fourteenth Moon. The experience often touches them deeply and affects every aspect of their lives.   Read More

RSS

What is a Shaman?

Linda Neale - Monday, October 03, 2011

On a recent radio show, I was introduced by the well-meaning interviewers as a "shaman".   I was alarmed.  Nothing in my written bio mentioned that word, and I had a minute or so of commercial time to consider how to respond.  Many things went through my head in that minute.  I thought about ceremonial leaders who have let others define them, allowing people to call them "medicine man", "shaman" or "chief".   I thought about Casimirro Mamallacta, an 80 year old Kichwa ayowaska shaman friend who knows the medicinal uses of every plant in his Ecuadorian rain forest.  I thought about the weekend shamanic workshops you can find everywhere on the internet.  I remembered the years of intense training my Dine (Navajo) friend Patrick went through to become a hitaali, or singer.  I could let the interviewers' comments go, and begin the process of allowing others to define me --  after all, some people say that it's the community that defines who is a shaman, who is a medicine person, and who is not.  But I've met real traditional shamans, and I have too much respect for them and their training to allow that to happen.  Read More


Recent Posts


Tags