Spirit Names

At the moment of your death you will hear a name called out and spiritually you will know to fly swiftly towards the voice which summons you. The name called to you will not be the name you were known by in this physical realm. It will only be familiar to you if you have been made aware of your spirit name here through ceremony. People who loved the land and respected all life can expect honour songs to be sung for them at that time.

As I did 21 springs ago, so have countless other curious individuals before and since, gone on a quest to discover their ‘real’ name known ‘only to spirit’. For me it was an experience rich in discovery and sacredness. I took it seriously. I fasted for four days and four nights, no food, no water. The ‘old man’ watching over me dreamt. While at my fasting site, I offered prayer and tobacco for spirit to communicate to him the name of my spirit. At the end we entered the purification lodge and he relayed to me what spirit had directed him to say, and my name was told to me. It was a very emotional experience. The old man did not request money from me, but I gave him a gift of tobacco and another gift I knew would come in handy for him in his future work with the people. All was well with him with these offerings.

The following is an actual conversation I had with a Young Aboriginal Teenager (YAT):

Me: “Have you ever read the book ‘The Last of the Mohicans’?”
YAT: “Nope.”
Me: “Have you ever seen the movie by the same name?”
YAT: “Nope.”
Me: “It’s the story of two men, a white guy and an Indian. One of ‘em was called Hawkeye, the other Chingachgook.”
YAT: “Cool.”
Me: “Of the two names which name would you rather have – Hawkeye or Chingachgook?”
YAT: “Hawkeye.”
Me: “Hawkeye was the white guy.”
YAT: “Oops, sorry, cool name though.”
Me: “Chingachgook is a cooler name by far.”
YAT: “Yeah, I guess.”
Me: “You just guess? Don’t you agree?”
YAT: “OK, OK, I agree.”
Me: “You’re not just agreeing with me because I’m bigger than you, are you?”
YAT: “No.”
Me: “I wouldn’t want that to happen.”
YAT: “It didn’t, it won’t.”
Me: “Good.”

Some people are giving out names like they were lollipops. An imaginary conversation between “Spirit Name, Inc. Sales Rep” (SNISR) and “No Name Brand Dude” (NNBD) might go like this:

NNBD: “Sir, can you give me my name?”
SNISR: “How about ‘Sky’?”
NNBD: “‘Sky’? Can you do better than that?”
SNISR: “How about ‘Sky Eagle’?”
NNBD: “Not bad but needs more kick.”
SNISR:” ‘Sky Eagle Kicking’?”
NNBD: “No.”
SNISR: “Just kidding. How about ‘Thundering Sky Eagle’?”
NNBD: “Hey man, it’s starting to take shape. Needs more work though.”
SNISR: “I think I have it: ‘Thundering Sky Eagle Dancing with the Sun’.”
NNBD: “Wow, I love it, I love it.”
SNISR: “Cool, that’ll be $200, please.”
NNBD: “OK, I have cash….$20, 40, 60…I love it! 80, 100…”

Seven days later:

NNBD: “Sir, I want a new name.”
SNISR: “Didn’t I just give you a name last week?”
NNBD: “Yeah, but a dream told me it wasn’t my real name.”
SNISR: “A dream, Eh?
NNBD: “Yeah, a dream.”
SNISR: “OK, I have your name, it’s ‘Dreams of Living in the Poor House’.”
NNBD: “Wow, I love it, I love it.”
SNISR: “Cool, that’ll be $200, please.”

Keep the Circle Strong,
Albert “South Wind” Dumont.

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