By Usen's grace, Ho-dah....

    1.) PURPOSES:
          This is an era of decision. Do we allow ourselves to cut the
          throat of the Mother Who has nourished us as a species since
          we "came down from the trees"?  Or do we work to walk in
          Beauty and Harmony with Her, and cherish Her, and work to
          see Her healed?  The resurgence of Shamanism, the primal
          Earth Religion of practically all of the Earth's
          pre-Agrarian cultures, is an important thing, foretold by
          the Paiute prophet Wovoka and in the Hopi Prophecies.  It
          was said that both the Red Man would return to the Ways of
          the Old Ones and that the non-Native would also embrace the
          Lifeway.  There are non-Natives who respectfully have chosen
          these Ways, and are carrying them on in a reverent way. If
          the Lifeway was only given for the Native peoples, it would
          die out within our lifetime.  There are simply not enough
          traditional Elders left.

          It has been shown to some of us that Our Mother The Earth is
          not willing to die quietly.  She has demonstrated this by
          the increase in natural disasters of the past decade, which
          continue day by day.  The Hopi prophecies state that, when
          the "bowl full of ashes" (most interpret this as the
          Thermonuclear Bomb) is overturned, that Our Mother shall
          rise up in Her righteous anger and destroy humanity.  This
          prophecy is coming true, although it may yet be reversable.
          Perhaps it is we who reverence the Ways and walk in harmony
          with Our Mother that may stay Her hand.

          The Lifeway Fellowship is here for those who wish to honor
          Our Mother and Our Father, Earth and Sky, and to honor The
          Giver Of Life, from whence all things flow in the Universe.
          Our world-view is primarily allied with that of the
          Navajo/Dineh, Apache/Teneh, and Hopi peoples. However we do
          not represent ourselves as the keepers of those ways.  The
          secrets of those Nations are for them alone, unless Usen'
          wishes to reveal them to us.  Our mission is to help heal
          Our Mother, The Earth, and to help each other walk in closer
          harmony with Her.  We also exist to provide a way for urban
          and sub-urban people to learn and practice the root Shamanic
          techniques that aid us in finding our True Vision and True
          Way of Power, and following that Vision and that Way.

          We identify ourselves as Pagan (Webster's New World
          Dictionary "1. b)...a person who is not a Christian, Moslem,
          or Jew (by faith); heathen. Pagan specifically refers to one
          of the ancient polytheistic (or pantheistic) peoples.") and
          as unashamed Pantheists and Polytheists.  The Lifeway
          is truly a religious commitment.  No-one can make a commitment
          to the Lifeway and to the worship of Life Giver, The Earth
          Mother and The Sky Father and remain a worshiper of other
          Paradigms of the Deity, much as one cannot be a Christian
          and worship the Greco-Roman pantheon.  However this does not
          imply the condemnation of other Paradigms, nor impel a duty to
          "convert" others.

          We stand by other Pagans who do not share our paradigms, IE.
          Wiccans, Asatruans, Hellenists, and other Shamanic traditions,
          (African and neo-African(Santeria & Voudoun), Australian,
          Siberian, Traditional Native American, and Polynesian, to name
          a few) and even though we may disagree with some or all of
          their practices and beliefs, they are Brothers, Sisters and
          Cousins, and in times of persecution as well as times of
          goodwill we must defend them.  We may even share in their open
          rituals and allow them to share in our open ceremonials.  But
          that which is ours must remain ours, just as that which is
          theirs must remain theirs.

    2.) THE(A)OLOGY:

          As our Fellowship is inherently religious, we must declare a
          The(a)ology. (The strange spelling refers to the fact that
          we acknowledge a Goddess as well as a God)
          This is summed up very easily.  There are three main powers
          we worship, Usen' the Life Giver, The Earth Mother, and The
          Sky Father.  The latter Two are emanations of the First, as
          all, including the God and the Goddess, are emanations from
          Usen', which is the primaeval First Cause.

          Usen': One cannot look upon The Life Giver as either Male or
          Female, for The Life Giver is beyond those distinctions.
          Usen', and The Life Giver, are names for this First Cause,
          this Force that pervades all and caused all to come into
          being. From Usen', the God, Sky Father, and the Goddess,
          Earth Mother, emanate, as the lesser Deities emanate from

          The Earth Mother: We live and walk and are sustained from
          The Earth Mother, which is our Earth.  She is alive, and we
          all exist within Her as part of Her structure. Science,
          through the Gaea Hypothesis, has finally acknowledged Her
          existence, and some even have learnt the lesson that our
          duty in this life is to care for and honor Her.  This is a
          lesson that all must learn, for as long as we despoil Her,
          we risk Her wrath.  She is expressed through the faces of
          White Painted Woman, Who is The Woman Warrior, through Corn
          Mother, Who is The Nourishing Mother, and through Spider
          Woman, Who is The Wise Woman, The Ancient One, The Custodian
          of Wisdom. Women are acknowledged as being human represent-
          atives of The Earth Mother.

          The Sky Father: Just as among we Humans, there is both Man
          and Woman, so there is no Earth Mother without Sky Father.
          Sky Father is the air we breathe, the flame that gives us
          warmth and cooks our food, and brings forth the rain that
          fertilizes Our Mother and allows Her to provide us with
          the crops and animals that sustain us.  Sky Father is also
          expressed as The Hunter, The Warrior, and First Shaman, and
          is also expressed in Killer Of Enemies and The Child Of
          Water. He is also present and acknowledged as being present
          in every Man.

          There are other spirits that exist in the Universe, some
          beneficient, some maleficient.  But most important is Usen',
          Earth Mother, and Sky Father. By walking in harmony with the
          God(esse)s, one can tell the Good from the Evil, welcoming
          in Good, and protecting each other from Evil.


          We have our code of Ethics.  It is neither lengthy nor
          overly restrictive.  We do not include ancient taboos in
          this list, such as Mother-In-Law avoidance or the taboo
          against Fish, because they may not apply nowadays.  If you
          wish to not eat fish or to avoid your Mother-In-Law for
          religious reasons, it is your perogative.  But it is not a

          1.) If the action does not harm yourself, other people or
          intelligent beings, or Our Mother The Earth, you are free to
          do as you wish.

          2.) To charge for healings, sweats or ceremonials is totally
          wrong and extremely offensive.  Also, to charge excessively
          for teaching is equally offensive, but a modest fee
          over expenses is allowable.  Your conscience is the best
          guide, that and the Will of the Deities.

          3.) Magick should be limited only to protection of Self and
          Loved Ones, and to healing and helping those in need,
          provided that permission is given by the patient and that
          help other than healing does not interfere with the Will of
          others. Magick that is used in a coercive (IE. Love spells)
          or destructive (harming or killing magick) way is patently
          wrong and is considered Black Magick.

          4.) Contact of spirits by any means other than Shamanic
          journeying or the Vision Quest is very risky, and Possession
          is a real possibility.  The practice of mediumship, or
          "channeling" has no place in the Lifeway, and exposes not
          only Self but others to danger.

          5.) Permission must always be asked of the spirits of plants
          and/or animals before taking them for either sustenance or
          for medicine.

          6.) One's visions and one's personal ceremonies are one's
          own.  Personal visions should not be spoken of, but shared
          visions are for all of the group.

          7.) It is wrong to criticise another within the group or
          outside the group.  Racism, sexism, xenophobia or general
          disrespect of others has no place in the Fellowship.
          Individual decisions about lifestyle and other ethical
          issues not covered here are an individual's own affair.


          There is only one Initiation, which is the Initiation that
          makes one Kin within the group and in the sight of The
          Deities.  It is given after one has taken their first Vision
          Quest, has found their Power Animal(s) and has met the
          Shaman Within.  It can only be denied to those who have met
          these requirements, is younger than the legal Age Of Consent
          (in most places, 18 years) is not of sound mind, and/or is
          under suspicion of being a Law Enforcement Officer or other
          person antipathetic to Pagan and/or Shamanic belief
          who requests initiation for fraudulent purposes (usually to
          infilitrate to either sabotage or publically discredit the
          Fellowship) Initiation must not be denied on account of
          physical disabilities, blindness, deafness, or sterility,
          nor on account of sex, race, nationality, political belief,
          or sexual preference.

          There are no set offices within the Fellowship.  Ideally,
          leadership should be by consensus, with true leaders being
          temporary and purpose-oriented.  Facilitation of rituals may
          be done by any Initiate of the Fellowship.  ANYONE WHO

          Support of the Fellowship is done on a purely voluntary and
          mutual basis. No tithe or dues should be assessed unless
          they have been agreed upon by all members, initiates and
          non-initiates alike.

          Membership is extended to all.  But initiation is reserved
          for those who meet the criteria mentioned above.
          Non-initiates can participate in open ceremonials and in
          basic workshops, but may be denied participation in certain
          ceremonials and advanced workshops.


          In traditional societies, the title Shaman was not just an
          honorific, or recognition of talents.  Nor was it the
          highest initiatory level in a Shamanic society.  The Shaman
          was, in most cases, above the Chief in decision-making power
          and was judge, doctor, father-confessor, and intercessor
          with the Deities for the tribe.  Some Shamanic societies are
          now providing their membership with "Shaman training
          seminars" and "Shaman apprenticeships" that can be had for
          an exorbitant price.  This implies that the cost of being a
          Shaman can be paid in money and in a set amount of time.
          This is not the case.  Many tribes believe that the office
          of Shaman is not one that is earned, but one that one is
          born into.  Certainly, the skills are never something one is
          born with, and this is not merely hereditary.  Rather, when
          a child is born, the current Shaman would recognize that the
          child had the POTENTIAL of being the next one, and the
          child's training would begin when they were considered ready
          by the Shaman.  At adulthood, they would be tested.  If they
          passed the test, they would become the next Shaman.  If they
          failed, usually the test was such that they would either die
          outright, or they would go insane.  Many "heroic quest"
          tales, and most notably the Arthurian legends have echoes of
          this practice within the ancient Shamanic traditions of

          But the point that is being made here is that we should not
          go back to that sort of way of doing things, because in this
          society it is nigh on impossible.  The stand I am offering
          here is that recognition as a Shaman can be conferred only
          through shared vision, and signs from the Deities.  It is
          not my place to say what the signs will be obvious
          to the Fellowship.  I am not Shaman myself, and will not
          brook anyone calling me that.  This is something I place in
          the lap of the Deities to decide.  I cannot do anything
          more.  It is a mockery of those people that can truly be
          called Shamans, who are respected, powerful people of
          traditional tribes, to do anything less.  In any event, to
          claim such a title is definately not enough, and is
          punishable by withdrawing Fellowship from the one who claims
          to be Shaman falsely.


          The festivals are reckoned as they have been for centuries
          by most Southwestern tribes, by both the Sun and the Moon.
          The seasons begin on the first full moon after a Solstice or
          an Equinox.  The Solstices and Equinoxes themselves are
          times of celebration as well, and perhaps the period between
          the two (which usually works out to be no more than a week
          or so) could be considered a time of Holiday.  Lesser
          ceremonials are held on New Moons and Full Moons between the
          first Full Moons of the seasons.  Optionally certain Pagan
          festivals could be celebrated in conjunction with other
          groups, but they are not to be adopted as official Lifeway
          Fellowship ceremonial days.

          There are other ceremonials that are personal in nature, and
          can be held at any time, although synchronizing them with
          the Festivals and the New and Full Moons is advisable. They
          are Naming, where a newborn child is named in the presence
          of the group and their Life-beads given; Coming Of Age,
          where the child's physical maturity is acknowledged, and
          where, for a short time, they become Child of the Water (if
          a boy) or White Painted Woman (if a girl); Initiation, where
          a person becomes a full-fledged member of the group, given
          after a person becomes a legal adult; Joining, where a man
          and a woman consent to be married; Unjoining, where a man
          and woman who are married consent to have the bond
          dissolved, which is to be done only after four reconcili-
          ation attempts fail or after evidence of marital infidelity
          or abuse is given before the group; the Moonlodge, which is
          a special sweat for women in their Moon-time; and Release,
          where a ceremony for a dead member of the Fellowship is done
          to guide their soul Back Home.  Other ceremonials that are
          dreamed or envisioned by a person or group are also

     7.) SUMMING UP

          A few quick ones: One can be either clothed or unclothed at
          ceremonies, but it should be known that none of the
          Southwestern tribes did ceremonies in the nude.  However,
          one should disrobe for the sweat lodge, as clothes are not
          only uncomfortable within the sweat lodge, but interfere
          with the cleansing process of the lodge.

          This Statement can be accepted or rejected by individual
          groups that federate themselves with Lifeway Fellowship. But
          federation can be denied to those groups who stray too far
          from some of the basic guidelines, or do anything that would
          sully the reputation of the Fellowship in general.

          Hi-dicho...this is finished.
          May these proceeds please Life Giver Usen', and the Mother
          and the Father.
          Chihacou White-Puma, 1988.