Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings 5

This is a continuation of a series of steps for conflict resolution outlined in Joy Harjo’s book, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems

5. ELIMINATE NEGATIVE ATTITUDES DURING CONFLICT

  • A panther poised in the cypress tree about to jump is a panther poised in a cypress tree about to jump.
  • The panther is a poem of fire green eyes and a heart charged by four winds of four directions.
  • The panther hears everything in the dark: the unspoken tears of a few hundred human years, storms that will break what has broken his world, a bluebird swaying on a branch a few miles away.
  • He hears the death song of his approaching prey:
    I will always love you, sunrise.
    I belong to the black cat with fire green eyes.
    There, in the cypress tree near the morning star.


    Harjo, Joy. Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems. W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

To eliminate negative attitudes makes me think of what little I know about burning sage.

The practice of burning sage may be employed to rid a person, place, or thing of negative or harmful energies. Sage burns very hot, so most people use a ceramic container or abalone shell to contain it. In fact, most practitioners have a sacred container that is used specifically and solely for burning sage.  A bundle may last through several burnings and is commonly stored in the container. A large feather is usually used in the ceremony as well.

What is the purpose of burning sage?

One of the things that helped bring us together during the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March was sharing the burning of sage with everyone on the March. These photos also show the burning of sage (smudging) during the ceremony of planting two trees at Bear Creek Friends Meeting to honor the memory of Roy and Wanda Knight. There are also a couple of photos of smudging taken at the Prairie Awakening/Prairie Awoke celebration at the Kuehn Conservation Area near Bear Creek Friends Meeting. The Meeting has been involved with Prairie Awakening for many years.

The morning of the third day of the March I awoke to find my feet sore. I was also tired, as I had slept on the floor of the church that allowed us to spend the night there, since the site we had planned to use was under water from the large amounts of rainfall in previous days. I didn’t have a watch or cell phone with me, so I wasn’t sure what time it was when I awoke. It continued to rain as we gathered to begin that day’s march.

I had some negative energies. But I felt better after Trisha CaxSep GuWign Etringer smudged me before we began walking.

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