I recently taught an Awakening The Illuminated Heart workshop near the Cahokia Mounds. The workshop attendees and I went to visit this ancient and historic sacred site. One of the workshop attendees who lives locally shared with me a “story” about one of the mounds where sacrifices occurred.
When we arrived at the site of the mounds, I was drawn to a mound called Maiden Mound also known as mound 72. This mound is a further walk and not near the more popular mounds. As we neared this mound, I saw 3 whitetail deer, a good sign for me. It turns out that this is the mound where it is told that maidens were sacrificed.
I know from a Native American point of view that many times the archeological translation or evidence may tell a story that isn’t what really happened. It is their best educated guess from the remains they find. I did not read the historical marker or sign before I approached the mound. I did however give tobacco and asked for permission to pass and also to connect with those spirits who were there. The workshop attendees did the same.
We did not go there to heal or clear or transmute any residual energies, but rather to listen. We wanted to hear the spirit of those who once lived there and died there. We wanted to hear their story. We spent some time there in meditation. I drummed the four directions as well as for Mother Earth and Father Sky.
The common thread in the stories that were told by the spirits to the workshop attendees was of joyful moments and a good life. Even their deaths were a choice not blood sacrifices as most people would assume. The spirits shared that the word of sacrifice can have more than one meaning. The word of sacrifice used by the educated people who document the artifacts may have miss interpreted the meaning of sacrifice and placed the meaning from their belief system rather than from those who inhabited that area in that long ago age.
Native America, Indian Country, has seen and felt this miss intrepretation many times and many different ways as others try to describe their way of life, their culture. So, what is in a story? The perspective of the storyteller is important. Their vantage point may or may not know the whole story or have the ability to translate the meaning of the story if they don’t know the language. There is truth in the old adage to listen to both sides of the story to truly understanding the meaning.