In Indigenous cultures myth is a complementary religious element to ritual. Unlike in a Western worldview, in which myths are considered fallacies or fantasies that are opposed to linear fact, myths are accounts of actual interchanges between ancestors and other relevant persons accessed through ritual. Gunn Allen makes the distinction that the symbolism in tribal ceremonial literature is not symbolic in a Western literary or psychoanalytical sense and is a way of denoting a sacred phenomenon or fact. “Corn” is not shorthand for dinner and “lake” does not allude to economic prosperity via fishing industries.”  In this worldview, the color red as a ceremonial element is not reduced to an explanation of the science of light refraction or the response of the oracular cells to light stimulus, but is the quality of a being (person), the color of whom, “when perceived in a sacred manner is red.” Gunn Allen succinctly illuminates the distinct nature of this worldview as opposed to a Western one when she explains an aspect of an Indian story: “Pretty Shield is not indirectly articulating hidden and disowned psychological drives. She is telling about actual conversations with some chickadees.”
In Pueblo Gods and Myths, Hamilton A. Tyler asks, “Why do the Pueblos still dance? For whom do they dance? What do they mean by their dancing?” His examination of previous research revealed an obvious and conventionally satisfying answer: “For rain.” His response sheds light on the biased Western perspective in regard to Indigenous traditions, one that he did not share. He writes that “Rain is not a wrong answer, but it is a limiting one. My first premise was that these people do not worship rain, they invoke it.”
Tyler, Hamilton A. Pueblo Gods and Myths: University of Oklahoma Press, 1964.- pls note that Tyler was not a scholar, but just fell in love with the Indigenous Southwest. His research is approached with no agenda and I find him refreshing and poignant.
When I get stuck in my writing it is because i have a traffic jam of thought in my head. But it is very hard to remember everything I have read and absorbed and very hard to be clear all the time of how it all comes together as a holism. Linear as this is, it is not that way really because we have to think, not like a big spine of an outline, but as a holism, where this is connected to something over there. That part is crazy-making. This process is like laying a freakin’ egg from the head.
Ok, this is what I am going to call “deep mining.” I have to “get” the connection between methodology, epistemology, ontology, axiology and the academic art of interpretation. Interpretation means who gets to decide on the narrative, who gets to decide on which version of the story guides the people, is relevant in the minds of the community (a fight happening now, even as they distort history to rewrite the narrative) why, this is because as the Ind knows, it’s the stories that are alive – the stories are alive – the myths are alive – that means they live and breathe and grow – the stories are alive and which ones get told are the ones that emerge and bloop off into the realm of form, first the thought, then the weight of emotion, then when enough come together based on resonance of pattern and frequency, they become something, a blobby thought form, an apple, and shove off into one of the realms in the law that is self replication –
Who gets to make the story
History and memory are a story
The story that they are trying to make the only one that is remembered is against our hearts, lives, and potentials.
What has been the thing/s that have birthed from the Western narrative is trying to stay alive.
It’s the battle of the stories, of what is put into the law of self replication * this is another piece of the puzzle for me. Good girl!
This battle of the narrative is what is at the heart of the Gimbutas stuff – it’s not about the science at all, although that is what they would have you believe, like they can take authority from the thot form rather than from the data from the scientific method – empirical is good, but deifying interpretation is the fall out from the battle of the mythologies, a battle of the narratives, a battle for history and memory because myth and story and narrative tell us who we are, they sculpt our identity and teach us as mammals how to transmit wisdom to our mammal babies, in a healthy cellular community, the ancestors are part of the tribe – there wisdom isn’t lost – in the demon tic narrative of patriarchy, you can only access…
Here, this too – memory and history are in the body – what happens when the culture has transmitted memory as history that does not resonate with body memory – what if what I’ve been taught is not how it really feels emotionally and physiologically.
Epistomology – what is embodied knowledge? Cause it isn’t just the story you recite from your brain. How does anyone know anything? How do we know something doesn’t feel rite? We have a response in our bodies and we been trained by the current narrative to IGNORE THOSE SIGNALS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT TRUSTWORTHY – THEY ARE FEMININE AND IRRATIONAL wow that rational bullshit is really a lot of bullshit…
So bizarre because the alchemy book really was a deep science of breaking down elements and states of consciousness to levels and degrees, like Buddhism, and now the efforts at owning the Western patriarchal lie of franken science, of complete reductionism under the guise of rationality without the benefit of rationality (no birth control, no environmental protection)…….all against what our empirical sensibilities tell us, so you know, I know, this is a tic venture of widdershins meant to keep us from the stories of ancectors and of our bodies. This is why the church has to regulate sexual behavior and this is why gays are sooooo fucking threatening – and what does the C church do? It’s poor starved priest have to fuck little boys. Widdershins, holding onto the battle of the narrative.
I think also that that is true about the Jewish holocaust and that is why jews fight really hard not to have their narrative subsumed and denied.
Now, part of this work is the retrieve the subsumed history of my female euro ancestors, their ways – have you seen them? Spinning the sieves and communing with bees and mushroom. Who gets to control the narrative – women have always been abused, undermen, always a male god who hated women and nature?
Really, I think my work is what I said and it is making more sense now as I write this that I’m a psychic archaeologist – I’m going back for a new version of the story, one in which I AM INCLUDED.
This is a most bitchin’ quote from from Shawn Wilson who is an indigenous scholar. His work is informing my dissertation as I re-write my methodology and get my head blown.
Now as you open your eyes, you can see all of the things that are around you. What you see is their physical form, but you realize that this form is really just the web of relations that have taken on a familiar shape. Every individual thing that you see around you is really just a huge knot – a point where thousands and millions of relationships come together. These relationships come to you from the past, from the present and from your future. This is what surrounds us, and forms us, our world, our cosmos and our reality. We could not be without being in relationship with everything that surrounds and is within us. Our reality, our ontology is the relationships.
Here’s the bib: Research Is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods, Shawn Wilson. Fernwood Publishing 2008.