Lame Deer - Native American Indians - Yuwipi ceremony
Type of Spiritual Experience
The Yuwipi ceremony combines sensory deprivation with drums and drumming as well as chanting. It is used principally for healing. I am not going to describe how such a ceremony is run, it is better to refer to the book from which I have quoted to get the full description or find yourself some Native Americans who know what happened.
A description of the experience
Lame Deer Seeker of Visions – John Lame Deer and Richard Erdoes
Imagine darkness so intense and so complete that it is almost solid, flowing around you like ink, covering you like a velvet blanket. A blackness which cuts you off from the everyday world, which forces you to withdraw deep into yourself, which makes you see with your heart instead of with your eyes. You can't see, but your eyes are opened. You are isolated, but you know that you are part of the Great spirit, united with all living beings.
And out of this utter darkness comes the roaring of drums, the sound of prayers, the high pitched songs. And among all these sounds your ear catches the voices of the spirits – tiny voices, ghostlike, whispering to you from unseen lips. Lights are flitting through the room, almost touching you, little flashes of lightning coming at you from the darkness.
Rattles are flying through the air, knocking against your head and shoulders. You feel the wings of birds brushing your face, feel the light touch of a feather on your skin. And always you hear the throbbing drums filling the darkness with their beating, filling the empty spaces inside yourself, making you forget the things that clutter up your mind, making your body sway to the rhythm.
And across the black nothingness you feel the presence of the man lying face down in the centre of the room, his fingers laced together with rawhide, his body tied and wrapped in a blanket, a living mummy, through whom the spirits are talking to you. This is what you experience during a yuwipi ceremony
The source of the experienceNative American Indians
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
SuppressionsEnacting ritual and ceremony
Listening to beating sounds
Suppression of learning