Santa’s Shamanic Origins

Santa’s Shamanic OriginsWith the holidays approaching, I would like to share an interesting take on the origins of Christmas mythology. It has been proposed that many aspects of the Christmas tradition may be rooted in the mythologies of pre-Christian indigenous peoples of Northern Europe and Siberia, cultures whose shamans used psychoactive mushrooms in their rituals.

Native American Youth 2014: Obama To Announce Generation Indigenous Program To Improve Young America

Native American Youth 2014: Obama To Announce Generation Indigenous Program To Improve Young AmericaPresident Barack Obama is directing his attention toward better opportunities for young American Indians. Obama was expected to announce Wednesday a new initiative called Generation Indigenous, which aims to improve Native Americans' college preparation, leadership skills and career prospects. The program was due to be revealed before representatives of 566 federally recognized tribes at the White House Tribal Nations Conference,

Living traditions: Sindh celebrates its culture in style

Living traditions: Sindh celebrates its culture in styleHYDERABAD: Traditional music, dress code and dances of Sindh came to life on Sunday as the province celebrated Sindhi Culture Day. The celebrations this year were, however, overshadowed by the killings of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam – Fazl leader, Dr Khalid Mehmood Soomro, and nationalist workers as some nationalist and regional media groups observed a day of mourning.

Russia's Murky World Of Alternative Medicine

RussiaMOSCOW — Russia is living through a painful overhaul of the national health system, with doctors and patients protesting in the streets as hospitals close. But a recent study of Russians' medical habits shows that people already rely heavily on alternatives to the "official" medical establishment, and many of the alternative therapies they use are quite far from modern scientific norms.

Nagapa: A local Cherokee shares the spirit of the sweat lodge

Nagapa: A local Cherokee shares the spirit of the sweat lodgePerhaps one of the best-known Cherokee rituals is the sweat lodge. It’s practiced in many traditions and many countries, but for the Cherokee, says Yonv FrenchHawk, it’s a quest to harmonize one’s spirit and environment represents wellness. Raised on the reservation in Western North Carolina but now living in Asheville, FrenchHawk says the sweat lodge “was originally given to men as a way to cleanse and purify themselves.” He has been leading sweat lodges for 40 years and remembers getting his first invitation to a sweat lodge when he was 5 years old. His grandfather was the medicine man of his clan and taught him how to “pour water,” which is the duty of the sweat lodge leader. FrenchHawk was just 12 years old when he began learning to perform the ritual.