Indigenous Medicines & The Unseen

Other Realms Contact Seekers

By MoonJoey

Indigenous Medicines & The Unseen

“In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in the same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is part of you.”
— Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

Spirit contact was part of the culture of Indigenous peoples long before the 19th Century. They didn’t pursue the answers to the afterlife as a hobby or curiousity. It was already ingrained as a part of their lives. This alone makes them closer to the paranormal and/or supernatural and the “thinning of the veil” separating our world from the next. The most important advantage they possess different from most of us is they live a life connected and related to all things of the earth and all people on the earth…. “Mitakuye Oyasin.” This means all living things on this planet have a dependence on each other. Too often in our hectic lives we fail to slow ourselves down to “stop and smell the roses, to reflect on the importance and meaning of the smallest of things around us and what role they play in our lives.

BACKGROUND INFO: The person being interviewed belongs to the Chitimacha Nation of Louisiana. He has carried on the medicine traditions passed down to him, using his knowledge & skills to help others. Some indigenous nations guard their medicine however this man, whom I know as “Omolkhua,” has been taught that the Chitimacha medicine is to be shared. You will see his character & integrity revealed as you read this article and others to follow. I’ll save a personal piece of information till the last article about this man who has served his country and continues to serve his community. You will also be surprised at the life threatening and now famous ordeal he was exposed to and survived, and how even at the moment of extreme peril, he held fast to his spiritual beliefs. Holding fast to “Mitakuye Oyasin” was part of his actions in the moments when his survival was uncertain to say the least.

MoonJoey: Say whatever is on your mind about the topic of spirituality, what you believe, etc. I wish to know your point of view, basically.

Omolkhua: “Growing up in my house with my parents and grandparents, my mother was a very strong believer in the spirit world. Her faith was unwavering in the knowledge of those that had moved on and how it all was connected. She used to tell me that when she was a young girl, in the sugarcane fields that the farmers would plant, when the wind would blow she could hear the singing of the ancestors, the “old ones.” She said that she would sit real still and as the wind would rattle the leaves of the sugarcane, and in the distance they would be heard. It was part of how it was that when she was a young woman, and I guess this is the basis for my belief. They always had a lot of dogs. I’m not saying one or two. I’m saying five or six or maybe seven at times. It was like a dog heaven. They would go with her wherever she would go. There would be times along the bayou when she would hunt for whatever fish she could catch. The dogs would stop and they would not come any closer. She would be in the water basically catching them and the dogs would stay at a distance. They would not come close to where she was. It was not because there was a gator or anything like that. She would just notice they would stop. She would get out of the water with whatever she caught for the day and the winds would sometimes blow and she would stop and hear it and she would approach the edge of the sugarcane field. The dogs would whine, stop and back away. They wanted to be close to her but dare not cross like a threshold that it was. She went like a step further in the sugarcane field and the singing would stop. The dogs would back away even further. There would be times when one of the old traditions was that if you would walk along the bayou, along the land, you would see a hump of dirt where at one time it did not exist. It would be flat one particular day and a couple of days later you go by and there would be a hump in the ground. They said that if you would dig at it, you would find a “skin.” This skin held treasure of the Spaniards that they had buried out of greed. My father would chuckle and say, yes, that is what happened. He would warn my mother to just avoid it. He warned if you ever saw one, do not come close to it, do not reach into it, just go around it. One of the tales that would validate this was the dogs would just kind of avoid certain kinds of areas at the same time. I grew up listening to these stories and it was the norm. To me it was better than television because I could picture it. As to the belief of the “unseen” as I got older, I would see my grandmother and how she seemed furious at the “small ones” that would cause trouble and havoc in her home. Because of the mischief she would call them “trouble makers.” She would do the ritual of catching them, literally physically catching them. I would just watch her and she would say “Oh don’t pay any mind to them, the trouble makers are here and I would look around and obviously not see anything. But she was determined to move them out of the house.”

MoonJoey: Who or what were these “trouble makers, Omolkhua?” I’m talking about these “small ones.” Were they small like faeries or something like that?

Omolkhua: “No, they were the size of a five-year-old. They’re the “dark ones.” My mother would call them “dark children.” They just liked to play havoc on people and hide and do mischief. But you capture them and scold them and kick them out of the house, which is basically what she did. She said you cannot keep them bound. You have to unleash them, or else they would turn on you. She was very adamant about it. I once said, “Grandma, where are they at?” She said, “don’t worry, I can catch them wherever they are, because when my hand goes through the loop of medicine, I’ll catch them. (NOTE: this refers to the red ribbon mentioned later in this article). And when I grab them, I pull them in hard and I tie the knot. I make sure they know that I am in charge.” Sometimes she would be in the kitchen, doing whatever she might be cooking, she would stop, smell and look up like smelling fire. I would say, “Grandma, what do you smell?” She’d say, “Oh, they’re here. Let me get them out.” Obviously, the way she grew up was traditional, no gas, no propane so there was only wood for fuel. She would simply just get a stick from the fire and as she would reach to the edge of the door, she would take that stick, aim it outward and she would blow it out. She would say something under her breath. She would blow out the stick into the wind and felt satisfied at what she did. She would take the stick, throw it back into the fire and continue whatever she was doing. Spirituality or the belief of the unseen was never in question. It was put in place that this is how our people are.”

MoonJoey: Are the unseen coming in for a particular reason? Are they invited in? Are they always around? These “small ones” gotten rid of by your grandmother, how did they come about being in her home?

Omolkhua: “It was my grandmother’s half-brother. He was a witch. He delved in the dark medicine. He would be someone that they would be very careful not to invite into the house. He was a loner. A lot of the natives were afraid of him. So, people feared my uncle. He was always walking around with a small bag. When people saw him, they would give him a wide path and walk way around him, go in the opposite direction and completely avoid him. He delved in things that my grandmother and everybody else kind of feared. Even though he was still a relative, they stayed away from him. He was into the black medicine, he was a dark one. When he would come by and people would make him mad, things would happen to families. He didn’t care for my grandfather, so he had cast a spell, I guess, and one of my grandfather’s legs was “drying up.” He had a normal leg and the other leg was losing all of its mass. He was losing a lot of weight and was dying. My grandfather had known my uncle had done it, and according to my grandmother, my grandfather went and confronted my uncle about it, saying “you had better break this or I will definitely break you.” My uncle just kind of smirked and smiled. He went into and came back out of his house and took this glass jar and whatever he had in it, and he smashed it into the ground. And he said, “it’s done, it’s broken. Go about your life, but you will always be at unrest.” As my grandfather walked away he said, “your sister is still with me.” Uncle said, “yes, but don’t worry, she can take care of herself.” Apparently after uncle had broken that jar, whatever bad medicine he had cast on grandfather broke, and his leg came back to normal! My grandmother said, “yeah, your uncle is still pissed that even though the small ones are still around, I can see the “small ones” and I can capture them and throw them out.” They were not designed to kill people. They were just designed to cause as much havoc in the home, a disruption if anything. My grandmother knew when they were in the house. She sould say, “Awww, there are more here.” Did I send you a ribbon?”

MoonJoey: yes, you did, and you explained the process to me for using the red ribbon for capturing the unseen with it.

Omolkhua: “You have to be quick. It’s like catching a cat. The first time you grab the cat, it learns its lesson really quick so when you make this loop with your left hand, you put the loop through the index and thumb, and when you’re ready to capture them, you just simply cross and create a loop. When you are getting ready to do this, you cannot back out. You must carry it through and not hesitate. If you hesitate, then it shows that your medicine is weak, in other words, your soul, your will, and it can cause greater havoc. When your hand goes through it, you hold on and you pierce the unseen world. As soon as you feel something, you grab it and you hold it as tight as you can with your fist because it will try to kind of break away. What this breaking away feels like is… if you take your left arm and put it in front of you in a slight arch like your were giving someone a hug, your fist is in front of your chest and almost as far as your arm can extend, not fully extended but you kind of curve it with the fist pointing down. With the other hand you put it on the left forearm and close your grip around the forearm. Pull away the left arm from the right grip and pull away fast. You can feel with your right hand you took away your left arm and in the unseen world when your hand penetrates their world, they’re physical, literally as physical as your forearm is as you broke away, and you actually feel it. That’s why I say when your hand penetrates, you hold on for dear life and you do not let go. Once you feel that you’ve grabbed them, then you pull in. I’ve shared this with some people about capturing the unseen, and in their minds they cannot physically see it. My grandmother used to do it all the time. I did it once here with one of the curanderos in her home. (NOTE: A curandero is a healer). The unseen world… it is as real as you and I are. The thing about them is, they will do what they can because they know that you do not see or sense them. But if they cross their spirit world into the physical world, they are breaking the law that has been set in place. You can pass over, you can come across, but you cannot intervene. If you do bad medicine or in other words bad intent, then you’ve broken the law and are bound by the living law. In other words, whatever you want to cause to it, you can make it happen. So, if you want to inflict pain on them, you can. It’s not a one-way ticket. You can sense them, you can feel them. If you’re in a place, and it doesn’t matter whether day or night, the world to them is always bright, always as bright as it is in the light of our day. There is no night time. They walk among us. When they break the law, they are bound by ours. There is this guy on Twitter that I follow and I noticed he said, “well I go to this cemetery and that cemetery.” I said to him, “why do you go there, what is the draw, why does it pull you?” He said, “I know I can see them and I just want to show the world they’re there.” I asked, “what is the purpose of that?” He said, “basically many people don’t believe in it.” So I said, “okay, so you’re trying to make believers out of society itself? You’re walking into dangerous realms!”

“The unseen world is not like ours, yet you would see people, people who have passed on exist as spirits or ghosts… we just call them the unseen. But in that realm there are other things that surpass our world. Our world and their world are one. They dwell in the same plane as we are.”

(NOTE: coverage of this interview continues in my next article. Stay tuned… it gets even more interesting. Until then, I leave you with these quotes):

“Each creature has a medicine, so there are many medicines. Because they are so close to
the Creator, they are to communicate that medicine. Then they bring help and health.”
— Wallace Black Elk, LAKOTA

“Each person’s prayers can help everyone.”
–Thomas Yellowtail, CROW

  • MoonJoey

Author: Gail Hodson Shirk

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