Black Elk Speaks John G Neihardt

Black Elk Speaks is the story of the Lakota visionary and healer Nicholas Black Elk, (1863-1950) and his people during the momentous twilight years of the 19th century. Black Elk met the distinguished poet, writer, and critic John G. Neihardt (1881-1973), in 1930 on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and chose to tell Neihardt his story. Neihardt understood and conveyed Black Elk’s experiences in this powerful and inspirational message meant for all humankind. When Black Elk received his great vision, white settlers were invading the Lakotas’ homeland, decimating buffalo herds, and threatening to extinguish the Lakotas’ way of life. The Lakotas’ fought fiercely to retain their freedom and way of life, a dogged resistance that resulted in a remarkable victory at the Little Bighorn, and an unspeakable tragedy at Wounded Knee. Black Elk Speaks offers much more than a precious glimpse of a vanished time however. As related by Neihardt, Black Elk’s searing visions of the unity of humanity and the earth have made this book a venerated spiritual classic. Whether appreciated as the poignant tale of a Lakota life, a history of a Native nation, or an enduring spiritual testament, “Black Elk Speaks” is truly unforgettable. The new edition below, features 2 additional essays by John G. Neihardt that further illuminate his experience with Black Elk; an essay by Alexis Petri, great-granddaughter of John G. Neihardt, that celebrates Neihardt’s remarkable accomplishments; and a look at the legacy of the special relationship between Neihardt and Black Elk, written by Lori Utecht, editor of “Knowledge and Opinion: Essays and Literary Criticism of John G. Neihardt”.

Healers Shamans And Psychic Surgeons Of The Philippines Part 2 Jun Labo

Submitted by Howard G. Charing

Together with my colleague Patrick Hamouy (of Alternative Therapies) , we met with Jun and were his guest recently at his residence in the mountain regions of northern Luzon, its location and altitude in the Cordiella mountain range keep it cool and pleasant during the hot and extremely humid summer months. His house is somewhat of an Oriental palace, with pagodas, roof gardens, terraces within terraces, large statues of lions, eagles, frogs, gnomes, and with an eclectic mixture of painted murals and bas-reliefs of ancient Chinese symbols, and warriors in combat. The gardens are filled with beautiful blossoms, and exotic tropical trees, and of course the local mountain pines. Jun has also dedicated a ‘shrine’ to his first car (a VW Beetle) in the grounds.

Jun is an enigma within the enigma, on the one hand he was (and still is) a political figure of significant influence. He was Mayor of Baguio City, and twice Governor of the province. He is world famous in the area of healing, and featured in the film ‘Exploring the Unknown’ (1977) narrated by Burt Lancaster. Jun is also proud that he has been ‘officially’ tested by doctors in the USA. He was wired up to all kinds of monitors, at Wisconsin University, and observed by a team of medical doctors and surgeons, and his healing was proclaimed genuine.

So on the one hand there is the man Jun Labo, an extrovert personality, extremely confident, very flamboyant, a former playboy, politician and celebrity, and on the other hand there is the extraordinary powerful healer Jun Labo. Prior to a healing sessions, in which any number to 40 people receive individual healing, Jun starts with his prayers which includes facing what in shamanism would be calling in the powers of the ‘four directions’ and burns incense to raise the energy and vibration of the healing room. It is at his prayers and meditation which preclude the healing session, that you feel a perceptible shift, Jun changes in some way, and you can feel that you are in the presence of ‘something’ or ‘other-worldly’. Jun at that moment becomes (and not just figuratively speaking) a true ‘walker between the worlds’, a shaman in all but name.

Jun always insists that it is the ‘holy spirit’ that is working directly through his hands, and that he is only an instrument. Again we come to this situation where we attempt to describe in words the mystery of the spiritual forces which carry out the actual healing. What is the ‘holy spirit’, without question it has the characteristics of an external force or power. However to simply say that it is an invisible or incorporeal being is not fully satisfactory, even though my experiences have indicated that is what it is!

I recall a particular incident back in 2000 when I was working with the psychic surgeon Roger Delin in Baguio. I would go everyday to Roger’s house and sit with him just chatting and drinking tea, and then he would abruptly stand up and say let’s start. Anyway on this particular day, we seemed to be sitting around waiting for longer than usual. So I asked Roger why we were waiting for so long, he said “the spirit has not arrived yet, I get a nudge from the spirit when he is here” It was at that moment, it felt as if someone had given me a massive shove in the back, I looked around but there was no one there, behind me was empty. I looked at Roger; he smiled and said “time to start!”

Jun was born on 23 December 1934 in Dagupan City in Pangasinan, Philippines. His parents belonged to the “Union Espiritista Christiana de Filipinas” (a spiritualist church that has taught numerous healers in the Philippines). Jun’s mother was a psychic dentist and she forced Jun to go to church on Sundays. Jun was not keen on spending part of his Sunday in church and used to sneak out to play with his friends. As an interesting note, all the Philippines psychic surgeons I have met, even though they may practice in Baguio or Manila, all come from Pangasinan province, yet another enigma.

One Sunday, he became paralysed during a church ceremony. In a state of shock and with fear, he witnessed his first apparition of Jesus. This was Jun’s first encounter with Jesus who was to become one of his spirit guides for all healing.

His first healing experience came when he was accompanying his mother on a religious walk. One woman collapsed and Jun instinctively began rubbing her chest. Blood spurted out and Jun ran away in fear. The crowd brought him back and asked him to finish the healing. Jun carried on rubbing the woman’s chest and she fully recovered.

Jun’s diagnosis techniques

In order to find out the condition of a patient, Jun holds a sheet in front of the patient and uses it as a form of psychic x-ray. Through it, he is able to see spots inside the patient’s body. If the spots are dark, then the disease is serious (location and number of tumours are shown to him). If the spots are bright, it is not so serious.

In the film I mentioned earlier, Jun was operating on a Filipino patient suffering from eye problems. To diagnose the patient, Jun used his sheet as an X-ray and doing so, spotted something in the throat of Alan Newman (the producer of the documentary) who was standing behind the patient. After a successful operation on the Filipino, he asked Alan to lie down and operated on his throat, removing a large quantity of pus from it. Newman later confirmed that he had had problem with his throat for the past 8 years but had not told. After the surgery, Newman was able to breathe freely for the first time in 8 years.

My personal experiences with Jun Labo

I first met Jun three years ago, I was experiencing an ongoing lethargy, and lack of energy. He put a white sheet a few inches above me, and then quickly without any words, opened my body with his hands. There was no pain or discomfort, just a sensation of being touched. He took out a tangled mass of tissue from my chest. I looked back again and my skin had resealed. I then mentioned to him that my sinus area was blocked, he immediately and without any words, inserted his finger in my nostril and pushed it up. He then withdrew his finger with a piece of solid rubberised snot about 3 inches in length, and the thickness of my thumb attached to it. And that was it, a procedure which took about 10 minutes if that. I asked him what the problem was with my chest, and he said that one of my heart valves was blocked. I left his house breathing clearly, and filled with energy, a moment of true elation.

On my recent visit with Jun, I mentioned that my throat was feeling blocked. He removed a non cancerous growth the size of a tangerine from there, and then made another opening, and significant amount of thick pus and phlegm poured out. Patrick who was videoing all of this, was making some comments with regards to the ‘yeech’ factor as this was going on!

I witnessed and videoed a number of operations on Patrick. And as the platitude goes ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ we will be releasing some of our video footage so people can see (and hear) for themselves.

When I talked with Jun about shamanism, and how the shamans heal, he very much resonated with that and felt very much at home with that, even though he doesn’t define himself as a shaman.

Jun has a desire to teach healers, and has co-founded with Patrick (as Vice President), the International School of Metaphysical Healing and Development. This school will be based in Baguio. I have been invited to be an Associate Vice President and both Patrick and I will be bringing people interested in receiving healing from Jun, as well as learning and being trained in this form of metaphysical healing. Jun conducts a test on the apprentice or aspiring healer (I’m glad I passed!). He takes the index finger of the person, blows on it, makes a prayer and then runs the persons finger of a patient’s body. The finger running along the body makes an opening and draws blood. The opening is instantly closed as soon as the finger moves (I also have this on video).

Related link:
Healers, Shamans, and Psychic Surgeons of the Philippines
Placido Palitayan

Howard G. Charing is a partner in Eagle’s Wing Centre for Contemporary Shamanism. His initiation into the world of Shamanism was sudden, which was caused by a serious accident, which resulted in severe injuries and a near-death experience. After many months of physical pain and disability, he had a transformational experience, which started him on a path to healing. If you like to know more about his work, Howard conducts “Plant Spirit Medicine” journeys to the Amazon Rainforest.

Spiritual Traditions Of The Andes Doris Rivera Lenz Howard G Charing Peter Cloudsley Part 2

Submitted by Howard G. Charing

Part 2: A look at the rich and powerful spiritual legacy of the Andean civilization which is only now being properly recognised after 500 years of obscurity. This interview of Doris Rivera Lenz, was conducted by Howard G. Charing & Peter Cloudsley. This interview appeared in Sacred Hoop Magazine Issue 57, and the book Plant Spirit Shamanism (Destiny Books USA).

Are people who come to you for coca divination often unwell?

If you ask me if people are unwell, the majority are unwell, in their spirit or mind, there are lots of problems today. They are particularly afflicted in the stomach, the solar plexus, and the belly button. It’s the place of emotional pain, and also where we are joined to life. This is what ayahuasca is, the rope that connects us to life.

What about people who sense that their bad luck is caused by someone putting a hex on them. What do you do? Can you send the hex back to its place of origin?

The first thing is to discover what is going on in the present. The wife had an accident, the husband was unfaithful, they haven’t got a job, the house is falling down… Then I look to see their capacity to accept a criticism, to listen to the mother leaf ticking them off saying: you have done this, you are insecure, weak, a drunk, or a prostitute. What is the story? Is it karmic or something that they are doing?

When there is jealousy in the jungle the black brujo might send out virotes (poisoned darts in the spirit world) while a good shaman blows mapacho tobacco smoke, and cleanses you with his shacapa leaves, but this sounds like a more psychological approach, you are seeing what people are doing themselves. How do you make sense of the belief that the problem is caused by sorcery?

You have to show the person he is not the victim of sorcery and that he is creating the problem in his mind. They need to go back over it; talking about it brings it out and is the first part of becoming well again.

It is true that some people will take vengeance through black magic when they feel prejudiced or offended in some way, because they are sick. When people think they have power and feel superior, the ego can become very negative. The first thing I do is to wake up the consciousness of the person who has been harmed and tell them that evil does not exist! ‘You are inventing it’, I tell them. Black brujos do exist of course, but you need to use a bit of psychology.

The power of black magic does not exist?

Neither good nor bad exists, it is a universe, and we create the good and the bad. But I recognise that the person may feel attacked. When someone falls ill it means they are weak and the curandero must speak positively and encourage them to shine light on it. Then they can create positive thoughts for themselves. If I agree and say they are bewitched its makes them worse.

I see you are trying to shift that person’s reality around but do you recognise that it can exist?

Of course, but the act itself is not so powerful as white magic, it is the negative spirit of the black brujo which creates the power of the spell. If you get hold of a chicken and take off its feathers, put a toad inside, and hang it in the doorway of a hated neighbour, you can give them a nasty fright, but without a powerful negative spirit nothing will happen. But if the intentions are very negative and the person is weak they will pick it up quickly.

The most powerful brujos are found in the jungle where there are powerful plants for healing just as there are dangerous plants that can paralyse your body and so on. But plants have much more wisdom than people. Do you think that if I go to a floripondio and say I want help to do harm to so and so, that it will be at my disposal? You have to make a pact with the spirit.

Do people need to believe that your ceremony has done something?

When people trust that you are a white curandero they open up, you have special permission to go into their soul, and work with suggestion. Lets say you give them a bath in a herb with spines, and you ask permission from the spirit of that plant to heal the person with fright or a bad spell – you bathe them, you put them on a diet, you cleanse them and purify them. You call their soul and give them strength and they get well.

You are a psychologist?

Its OK to say that.

A lot depends on the mind and education of the person. Some curanderos hardly speak to their clients, do they?

Yes, I talk a lot, but there are times when I can’t say anything.

Is there something similar going on when you pass eggs over people?

There are several ways of working with an egg. We know that an egg is the union of the masculine and the feminine. We should recognise that this union is supremely sacred. We are the product of an egg too. So the egg is the total energy of the mother’s and the father’s cells. You take the first egg of a hen, which is virgin, and ask the ‘angelic’, elemental spirit to take away the illness of a person, you ask the spirit for permission to do it. Then you pass it over their body, its like an X-Ray. You can also do it with guinea-pigs or rabbits, but I don’t like doing it with animals.

Is it a mechanical process or is there a link between you and the client?

There is a link, a connection with the spirit of the egg, because I don’t have X-Ray eyes. When I break the egg into a glass of water, there is no set interpretation that says that a bubble here always means this or that. The moment the human mind comes into the passing of the egg or a coca leaf reading, the process goes out of balance. If I want to comfort you, and I say: you’re not going to die, you’ll be OK, its spoiled.

The fact that there is a long tradition behind these methods of divination helps you?

Of course, its an ancestral thing.

What is different about people from the West? What do they need?

Their heads cutting off! No, its only a joke!

To be serious though, their religion has failed them, the church authorities have kept vested interests and institutions going. Eventually people have thrown the baby out with the bath water. In Peru, the campesinos have never really believed in the European religion, the Pope, sin, guilt etc. which has only confused them.

When the Inca Atahualpa was told by the Spanish he should be baptized, he replied: ‘No, I won’t change my God, for a God which has died already. I believe in one with never dies.’ Mother Earth is the feminine aspect of God, and father Sun is the masculine aspect, and we are a product of that. We are Gods and we should believe in ourselves first. Its fine to have Gods; the Oriental ones, an Inca, an extra-terrestrial, Buddha or Crishna, but there will never be anything like Mother Earth and the Sun, or the moon. Think what would happen if we lost them? That is God!

All Gods come through Nature. You can have as many Gods as you want, it doesn’t close any doors, no one is being judged, but what has become of Western religion? Materialism, loss of identity, loss of customs. How can we help people in the face of the avalanche of problems being created today? Cut off their heads? Give them a heavy dose of positive cosmic radiation?

There is so much struggle today. Take the climatic changes, for example, it shouldn’t be raining at this time in Cusco, yet it is pouring down, so people are no longer thinking about nature but money and the help they need. People have become completely insecure. Imagine if we went to live in nature again, surrounded by mountains, or in the rainforest, in nature.

Yet the tendency today is for everybody to want to move into the cities everywhere, to live like America, build motorways.

Its sad. I’ve spent time with people in the Andes. I have seen people leaving their traditional clothes and customs for the Maranata religion. They are a group that says why do you believe in the Earth, the Sun, the puma and the condor? Again religion controlling the Andean campesino. These people go to the city and see a TV and think, ‘what a beautiful TV!’ They sell their llamas and buy one. I am sad to see their children who are so pure, being contaminated.

They learn negative habits and are hypnotized, and no longer want to work their land. It really hurts in my soul to see a Q’ero curandero obsessing about dollars meanwhile forgetting his power. This loss of values for material things is happening so fast, its incredible! It’s the Western influence which has been working over 500 years.

They see on TV the huge kinds of potatoes which can be produced using fertilizers, and they think ‘how beautiful, I want that’, but they don’t know how the earth is ruined by fertilizers.

What do you see happening in the future on a planetary level?

People will get a nasty shock from seeing the increasing changes and natural disasters on the earth and we will be shocked into changing.

The only way we can change?

Unfortunately yes. To avoid the fear we need to work daily to balance ourselves, so that the collective fear will not infect us. Even if those around you are overcome you must be a maestro and maintain your centre. We have forgotten the power that an offering has, look how we are eating this chocolate and we have forgotten to give a little to the Earth.

Every body worries about their future, no? But there will come a time when no one will want to consult about it any more, they will have finally woken up to the realisation that there is no future in the way we are going. They will be shocked into living in the present and this will create a new human being. We will realise that individualism doesn’t work and this will unite us in a shared future.

The desperation will show the necessity of love. Who will want to do harm or be aggressive when money and material things have become useless? We will come back to a new kind of community consciousness. We are beginning to anticipate all this and becoming more conscious, but we are swerving about. However, people who see only the material world, are blind to it and live isolated from humanity. What happens to them when there is an earthquake or tidal wave? This is what Pachacuti is about, an awakening of a new consciousness, a return.

There is so much wisdom in nature, she rears us like her children, teaches us to ask permission, to care for her like ourselves.

Related link:
Spiritual Traditions of the Andes | Interview with Doris Rivera Lenz

Howard G. Charing is a partner in Eagle’s Wing Centre for Contemporary Shamanism. His initiation into the world of Shamanism was sudden, which was caused by a serious accident, which resulted in severe injuries and a near-death experience. After many months of physical pain and disability, he had a transformational experience, which started him on a path to healing. If you like to know more about his work, Howard conducts “Plant Spirit Medicine” journeys to the Amazon Rainforest.