A Traditionalist Spiritual


cannot receive awards

for carrying out

Creators (Kiehtan),


What is our pipe ceremony?

The ceremonial use of the pipe is a simple ritual. The (Sacred or Friendship) is loaded with native tobacco called kinnick, Kinnick a mixture of commonly found herbs. No form of mind-altering substance is condoned by American Natives traditionalists. We do not need or use hallucinating substances. The pipe ceremony begins with herbs, a natural substance, into a pipe and then acknowledging the four directions. Mother Earth, point stem towards earth, and Father Sky; point stem towards the sky, it culminates with the final offering to the Great Spirit. The pipe is held firmly by the bowl in the palm of the hand with the stem pointed outward. The last step of the pipe offering is the holding up of the pipe with its stem pointed straight upward, out into the center of the universe. Although we admit that Creator is everywhere, in ceremony it is easier to think of Creator as above. The first thing that you might notice is the direction we take in our pipe ceremony?
As with most ‘True Traditionalist east of the Mississippi river’, we follow our ancestors culture and ceremonies and only our ancestors culture and ceremonies!
A preference is starting in the east, because the sun rises in the east, and it is the beginning of a new day for each of us.
The following description begins with an east-facing celebrant, besides this is how we have been taught by each and every one of my elders, while teaching me that Creator always arrives from the east at our gatherings, good enough for my ancestors good enough for me!
The pipe holder stands to face the east, holding the pipe with its stem pointed eastward in one hand, a pinch of herbs ( kinnick, kinnick ) in the other, and sprinkles some herbs on the ground before inserting the herbs in the bowl of the pipe.
By sprinkling a portion on the ground, the pipe holder is acknowledging that we must always give back to Mother Earth the first part of what we have taken.
The sprinkling also demonstrates to the on looking spirit world that a portion of the herbs is for the powers from the east.
The pipe holder may ask the on lookers, please also face east while the pipe is loaded in such a manner.
Red is the east; It is where the daybreak star, the star of knowledge appears. Red is the rising sun bringing us a new day we thank you, Great Spirit, for each new day that we are allowed to live upon Mother Earth.
From knowledge springs wisdom and goodness and we are thankful, for the morning sun that rises in the east. Knowledge shall become the beginning of peace throughout this world.
White is for the north power strength, endurance, purity, truth stands for the north. The north covers our Mother Earth with the white blanket of cleansing snow the snow prevents many sicknesses.
Courage and endurance these strengths we seek and wish to be blessed with as we stand here facing north.
The herbs are sprinkled to the north and then inserted into the bowl.
The pipe holder and all on lookers then face west.
Black is the color of the west where the sun goes down. Black is darkness, release, spirit protection. In the darkness, the spirit beings come to us.
The spirit beings warn us and protect us.
Black is the water; the life-giving rains come from the west, where the thunder beings live Water is life.
Black stands for the spirit world where we shall all enter someday. What we do or do not do upon this earth, we shall carry with us over into that spirit world. We shall all join together and either be ashamed or proud of how we treated one another, how we respected or disrespected our Mother Earth, How we respected or disrespected all living things made by the Great Creator.
We will see each other and know each other in the spirit world. Those we have harmed will remind us for eternity. The west is where our spiritual wisdom comes from If we care to seek it.
The pipe holder sprinkles some herbs upon Mother Earth and puts some herbs into the pipe bowl. Every time the pipe holder faces a direction, all onlookers face that direction and listen to the speakers words intently.
The last of the four directions is the south.
The pipe holder turns to the south and points the pipe stem in that direction. A new pinch of herbs is held slightly above eye level in a southerly direction, on lookers should be also facing south.
The south is yellow. Mother Earth gives us growth, gives us all that sustains us, and herbs that heal us.
She brings forth the bounty of warm south wind and the yellow so that we think of strength, growth and physical healing and a time for planting.
Another pinch of herbs is put into the pipe bowl.
Green is the color for Mother Earth every particle of us comes from her through the food we take from her daily. We all start out as tiny seeds we have grown to our present state and status through Great Spirit, Creator of us all Creation. Creator of our Mother Earth and Father Sky and all things, we offer this pipe. If there is still some unburned herbs remaining in the bowl after the pipe has made its journey around the circle, the ashes will be cleaned from the pipe and sprinkled upon Mother Earth. The pipe ceremony is then finished. A pipe is never lit or loaded indoors; a pipe is loaded and lit outside then brought in. A Tribal mother will usually serve as acceptor for the Kinnick~Kinnick that is normally sprinkled on Mother Earth. The woman will take the herbs offered to the four directions, Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the Great Spirit outside at some later time and sprinkle the herbs upon the earth. My grandfather, Sachem Chief Tallfox’s (Mgisse) friendship pipe, was awakened for him by his grandfather (Ahtchwechteed) William Thomas Storey married to Mary Tracy fielding in 1859, the pipe was blessed by Creator in 1898 at their eastern paw paus that summer!

It has come to our attention that people wish to profit from our writings? Donna,( tahtonka.com) trained 8 years in college about indigenous people and has been working closely with our attorneys making sure that the rights to write and any/all would be income gets to our indigenous people. One is always allowed to enjoy the writings, re-blog with credit, writing to profit is a direct insult to our ancestors.

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12 thoughts on “PIPE

      • Wow, this blows me away. I believe this to be true:

        “With this sacred pipe you will walk upon the Earth; for the Earth is your Grandmother and Mother, and She is sacred. Every step that is taken upon Her should be as a prayer.”

        My brother and I recently discussed the pipes and stems and he told me that the pipe stems I found were beads rather than parts of pipes. He said it could be a breastplate. I reminded him of the pipe bowls and the bowl/stem that are one solid piece. One bowl is fluted and the other is decorated with leaves and has a prong facing downward, perhaps to rest the pipe against a finger or thumb. These are made from clay, I believe.

        The islands I speak of are near Okracoke; Cedar Island is where people catch the ferry to Okracoke.

        Thank you for this link! And I will send info to my brother. 🙂


  1. Hi I’m an English man living near london, I’m 50 summer old. If I had to describe myself I would say that I am a spiritual man, I have always had a kinship and deep respect for nature from childhood. In recent years I have been made more and more aware of the traditions, beliefs, rituals and history of your people. I have no idea why but I feel such a strong affinity and connection to so much that spirit have shown me of the beauty and simplicity of your true and honourable ways of existence in harmony with all living things. Our link and connection to our ancestors is something that is important to teach our children and the wisdom and knowledge they are willing to share with us needs to be listened to and lived by for the greater good of all. Slowly the people will wake from this spiritual numbness to embrace their own spirituality, they will remove the divisions that separates them from the heartbeat of the earth any the oneness of all living things. Once again the ways of your people and mine shall be driven by unconditional love for life itself, for all living things. Peace, harmony, respect and self respect shall be restored and differences in culture will be honoured and respected, even encouraged! Balance and harmony shall return to us and our earth mother and in turn to us. From my heart and from my spirit I choose that this shift comes peacefully and swiftly.


    • Happy Holidays Orev Yonah
      Blessings to you and yours from Kiehtan (God is Creator).
      Thank you for the visit and the heartwarming comment.
      While traveling in the military, I tend to try meeting people on the back roads of that country, this is how one can truly enjoy their life style.
      The few times on visits to your beautiful country I would jump into a cab and ask for a tour of the back road pubs, your country has very friendly neighbors interested in my culture.
      Spirituality is a blessing from your Supreme-Being, many call God, Creator, Kiehtan, Jehovah, I am and so on.
      A name is a name is a name however, a bad spirit can never feel the feelings that you are feeling so my new friend keep praying?
      On my travels along the Red-Road (powwows, gatherings and meetings) I have been blessed to meet people from all over Mother Earth that have found out an ancestor or two, came from some place in Indian Country, many from my own tribe, so also pray on this and please keep in touch?
      Shechaim Ohjieshan


  2. Pingback: Kinnick, Kinnick, Smoke  | sachemspeaks

Taw-but-ni (Thank-you for the visit).

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