What you are about to read has not been addressed in the written form very much if at all. What I am about to say is meant to be used as an informative , as well as an educational tool for those individuals who are non-Native American but wish to show due respect to those individuals who are being asked for their help or assistance. Please realize that oral tradition, and not the written word, carry more significance in our lives than that of the written word. Please also understand that with over 700 Native American nations (tribes, Peoples, etc.) in the U.S. and Canada, that there is no one generic way to act, talk or just be in the presence of these people. Each of these Peoples have a specific way of bringing their tradition forth. Although in some cases there may be quite a number of similarities between some Peoples, there are always unique and specific ceremonies, songs, stories of origin, etc. that pertain to each individual People.
With that said, let me continue now with how my mother, mentors and ancestors have instructed me how to assist those persons that seek my help.
In Asking for help: The individual asking for help or assistance (whether for themselves or others) should present a small offering* to the person you are asking this help or assistance from. This offering is what you believe to be appropriate for the situation that is being requested. This offering in itself, is not as significant to the person you are giving it to - but its significance lays in the showing of respect to this person and the spirits, who will be asked in counsel for their help.
Time of acknowledgement: There is a 3 day time period that starts upon the receipt of any offering. At some point during that 3 day period, I will respond to your request for help or assistance. This 3 day period is used to take counsel with the spirits and discuss your request. There are times when the answer may be available shortly after making the request. If the spirits do not wish me to help or assist, then I must respectfully decline your request.
If the spirits have accepted your offering and the reasons for your request, I will let you know the time, place and conditions under which the help or assistance can be offered. All conditions should be met to the best that you are able to supply and/or provide.
Conditions to be met: The spirits will set out guide lines that are to be followed. In all cases, these guide lines are to be understood as being the least that will be accepted for that period of time in which the help will be offered. Examples of the guidelines used with individuals in the past are: total quietness, glasses of water, candles, darkness, personal items, use of stones, herbs, clothes, tobacco offerings, flags, songs, etc.
Upon completion: Once the spirits have said that they can not help or assist any further, there will be a quiet time to give thanks and to understand what has transpired. In some cases, this time may be used in letting the individual who was just helped or assisted to come back slowly and safely to this reality.
*Conversation should only be initiated by the individual being helped or assisted.
*Water should be consumed as much as possible for the remainder of the day. Juices may be added but not substituted for water.
*Confrontations should be avoided at all costs. The individual should stay away from being in public and public places for the remainder of the day. Longer if possible.
*Other special needs may be required, depending upon the help or assistance given.
The person or family asking for help or assistance should provide some kind of food at the end of the ceremony, so that the individuals involved may start to regain their strength that was used during particular ceremonies. Keep the food selection simple(soup is always good, fruit, juices, bread, meat etc.). After the food has been blessed and given to the individuals involved, questions may be asked of Jim reguarding what has taken place only!!! The spirits are still present and will be until I thank them and ask them to leave the place of the ceremony. Questions pertaining to other than the help or assistance asked for and or given must wait for the appropriate time to be asked - you will know when that time is.
If there are no questions as to what has taken place, then it is suggested that the person/s that were helped or assisted spend as much time alone. If this is not possible then this time should be spent quietly. This resting period could take up to an hour in some cases.
The individual that was helped or assisted may leave at any time they feel strong enought to do so. They should not feel rushed or compelled to leave. Prior to leaving the place of the ceremony, the spirits should be thanked and honored by the leaving behind of a token gift representing what you feel from your heart and being, as acknowledgement in like kind for what you have received. This gift should be given from your heart. Your heart knows what has transpired. This token of gratitude will be used to help others like yourself.
Further contact: There are numerous times when I will be traveling so as help other individuals like yourself, but if at any time in the future, should you need or require my assistance, go to a quiet place and relax. Once in a relaxed state, think of the name Jim Eagle as if your were sky writing it in your mind and also think of the reason you are asking for our assistance. Repeat these thoughts continually for at least 7 minutes. When you are finished, give thanks to the spirits for their assistance, then be open for the reply. There will be a reply and remember I said "be open". Do not expect the reply to come in a specific manner or way. The reply may take on many shapes - for example a radio message or song; a casual conversation you may have overheard from people that are around you; a sudden thought that just will not go away; a printed article you may have just noticed that found its way to your desk; a chance meeting with a total stranger that was benificial; a sudden and completely out of character request by someone,etc..
Once the ceremony and resting period is at an end, you should be continually aware of all choices you will make and the thoughts you let stay in your conscious. For your thoughts and choices are more critical to your growth and existance than food. Positive thoughts and choices create positive actions, at the same time, negative thoughts and choices create negative actions.
The laying on of hands: on an individual is a very important and sometimes serious request. The only request that is more important and should be thought about quite extensively, is that I participate in a piercing sundance ceremony for an individual or family.
All persons that are involved with the individual or family making the above mentioned requests(that includes all support personnel in the immediate family and friends) must be supportive in a good way !!! There can be no exceptions if the helping or assistance, that has been requested is to work.
*Offering: When asking for help or assistance, this offering may be any items you consider appropriate such as(but not limited to): tobacco, cloths, sweetgrass, pouches, blankets, ceremonial items or as a last resort money(money is not suggested when asking for help or assistance, but may be used when giving thanks as a token gift upon completion of the ceremony).