GREEN CORN CEREMONY TIME
Green Corn Ceremony is a turning point, a beginning of the new cycle in the South Eastern People’s year. Each People have their own particulars regarding the observance of it. Time varies as well, from June to September and seems to depend on the seasonal planting times of various lands, with Green Corn being the late corn or second crop of the season’s harvest. This Corn/Maize is very sacred and has many practices given importance around it. All People’s have their own reason and rhyme to the importance and differences involved in the ceremonies. All Indigenous People of America had a Green Corn Ceremony.
There is nothing in any other holiday or calendar event of any People that comes close to matching the significance of Green Corn Ceremony’s social and cultural meaning. It is a turning point of the seasons and a beginning time for the People. This is a major cyclic event to us. Purification is a key part of this ceremony. So clearing and cleaning is done in all living quarters and Lodges. Fire hearths are cleaned and restarted as part of this ceremony. Fasting and purging of the body and mind are carried on for days.
There are Ancestral meanings of high spiritual origins and timeless meaning given the rituals and activities of this ceremony, most often not grasped by non-native people. The myths and legends of our people are deeply rooted in this particular ceremony. no other time or Ceremony of our ways was greater than Green Corn Ceremony for cleansing the fundamental categories of our way of life, clearing up mind and mental health. There is always present distinction between men and women among the people. There is an overriding presence of these men’s and women’s roles maintained throughout the Green Corn Ceremony. The times of ball games and dances are notable in their emphasis on sexual dichotomy.
Many have mistaken this as suppression of women in our societies. And there has been some of that with the European and religious influences since the Newcomer’s arrival. But originally, the point was the distinction of women’s sacredness and wisdom. Women were considered advanced in Earth Wisdoms and therefore held the need for focused activities to guard this and preserve it for all women. Women delegated initiations for Men’s passage in Earth. No man could come to the Sacred Medicines other than through Women. The disrespect of that among many native peoples has broken the Hoop of the Ways to those Peoples. All is born of She/First Woman. All Ancient teaching notes Wisdom as Feminine. All is born of Woman, including the seeds of Human.
Women prepare Rock Lodges for the men, and give them the service of Ceremony to bring harmony for them in Earth Mothers cycles. Ancient cultures saw the power and connection of women in her intuitions and abilities with the unseen forces and honored her for this. So women were always well cared for and revered. Many evils came to pass as Man pulled from what science today proves as women’s mental ability to handle complex and multiple faceted thinking. Making women targets for superstitions and fear based weakness have come to rule with many tribes. It is easy to see the abuse and suppression regarding women and children, and recognize it as cowardly and weak in these particular people and their ways today, and sad in as much as what they have lost.
Holding to Ceremonies of purification is a time practiced to keep the mental health, and physical body in good health and bring abundance to life. We see this as keeping the connection beyond time and of our Origins. So as we come to Green Corn let us reflect some of the things that were a given during this time.
For me as a Cherokee of the SE Woodland Peoples this is also a time of New Fire, Atsi’la galunkw’ti’yu, the Honored or Sacred Fire. A time we clean all Fire Hearths and purify our minds and bodies. We prepare for Winter’s needs and a time of deep introspection, a time with Spirit. Winter, a time of settling and stable activity. Inside and home. Medicine crafting and weaving. A productive time, but intimate and environmentally reclusive. Fire is closer and more dominant, not only in the usual order of our day to day, but minute to minute now.
This time was a time with our Spiritual Elders who sat with us in “asi “ (Daeoan) a spiritual lodge with a low roof and fire in the center, until dawn and then took us on the sacred journey to the water. Elders sing and chant timeless sounds and our skins are raked with a bone rake. We then are dipped in the water over our head seven times, after which we stand in water awaiting the arrival of the first Sun light to penetrate every cell and atom of our body. This is a time of filling our Being with Spirit and life force. This is how we are taught and how we learn, a time of passing on the Wisdom Ways.
We also do a clearing of old wounds and misdeeds. So we hold Circles of Truth where all is spoken and all wrong is cleared. We have no judges, or juries. The power of the Circle to us is The One That Is In All Things, so when we sit in a circle we are aware of the reason for it. There are no sides to a circle, so all are equal. Forgiveness is not needed among us, due to the knowing of all deeds as minds game and that The Real People are always good. So times of disconnection and imbalance are understood, and our willingness to not hide or carry it over, speaks of our good. We do not hold shame or blame as justification for anything we do. We are in cause of our own life circumstances. Our way of life depends on clear understanding of our values and ethics, and that is what draws us together as tribes and societies. Truth is what we stand on. Our agreements to all needs and circumstances allow for an individual to live pretty much of choice as long as it does not impede on another’s rights. A person is expected to communicate and allow all to understand what they want and how they want something to be. So knowing this, all respect those person’s rights to have. This is how and where peace resides. One law is all we have, Respect. Our Council Lodges are where this is maintained and governed. It is a Sacred and Holy place to us and holds the order of organized living and sustainability of our Being.
So today, we at this time think of anyone we have offended or held in anger, or with whom we have been deceptive , or an untruth we hold from another, and anything we are carrying in guilt or emotional denial. Then we write a clearing letter or send a card to communicate that we are beholding to them for all we have learned from our experiences with them and wish them all good. Then we let it go. Harbor no hard feelings or blame, they destroy opportunity and growth.
Many will fast from foods. Many will go even further by abstaining from sex or contact with the opposite sex. Some stop having exposure to electrical rays and live only in natural light for a period. Some do other spiritual practices during this time as well. My Grandmother gave us tonics and gruels to take for inner cleansing of body functions as well at this time. Respecting all that and much more, has been the way I was raised.
So in this time of Green Corn we gather with all who are important roles in our life, and come to a collective mind set of desiring peace for all and to hold the values of our Ancestors and Cultures. May all of Creators Children honor the way of peace this season and Walk in Beauty on the Earth Mother.
As always in the Beauty Way, GMP.