Plants animals and humans experience divinity through

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 Plants, animals and humans experience divinity through their close connection with “guardian spirits,” the “supernatural” entities who give their “natural” kin life and power.  Most see existence as a living blend of spirits, nature and people. All are one, inseparable and interdependent and holistic vision. Orisha,  In African Yoruba society, patriarchal rule in society is challenged by secret societies of priestesses devoted to different divinities or orisha - elemental spirits (male, female or non- gendered) whose representatives may be either male priests or female priestesses  Women can be a priestess for a male orisha. Is possessed by that spirit, brings messages from him to the people. She speaks in his voice & people refer to her as “he.”  Groups of women dance through village during night ceremonies, as messengers of the orisha dancing & singing loudly, exposing the wrongdoing of members of the community. Ritual helps maintain order. Altai Princess,
Deep Environmental focus Example is Altai princess of Siberia where well preserved graves of the ancestors located  Altai princess was considered nobility due to markings & tattoos, & the horses she had buried with her. Held larch stick & headdress adorned with symbols of her magical powers  According to myth she was buried in most sacred of mountains in the region - the home of the spirit of the goddesses  However her remains were taken by archeologists to a museum.  Shaman Maria Amanchina allowed to sit with the princess and she brought part of her soul back to sacred spring however she predicts if her body is not returned we will be dealing strange diseases through out the world expropriation Question she raises is how to describe a “woman centered ritual” from a Native American perspective.  Her concern is the misuse of the sacred cultures of indigenous communities in relation to popular culture of Western society.  Hernandez is concerned about the cultural expropriation of religion What are some of the overall similarities between these indigenous traditions? 1 Almost all indigenous cultures had developed coherent religious systems that included cosmologies 2. Most worshiped an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator or “Master Spirit” (being that assumed a variety of forms & both genders)  3. Most tribes believed in the immortality of the human soul and an afterlife, which usually contained the abundance of every good thing that made earthly life secure and pleasant.
 4. Rituals were an important aspect of these tribal religion 5. When the community sought divine assistance for a successful hunt, a good harvest, or victory in warfare, they call on shamans, priests, and, in some tribes, priestesses, whom they believed had acquired supernatural powers through visions.

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