The Native American Church
Native Americans Indians have been taking advantage of the mind-altering affects of the small spineless cactus called peyote for about 10,000 years. It is believed by those who practice peyote-religion to be the heart, soul, and memory of their creator, “dear-person” (csp.org).
Although the Native American Church does not practice every aspect of Christianity, there is evidence that their faith is informed by the Holy Bible and that they believe in the One divine being, God, which suggests that the two are more similar than they are different.
The Native American Church Movement started in the 1890’s, founded by Quanah Parker. Parker was a half-Indian, half-white man. “Quanah’s mother, Cynthia was a white woman captured…show more content… The bow was an Indian’s life security, and salvation when food was scarce. It is also said to represent the staff of Moses (A Chronology of Native Americans).
The evening begins with song and prayer, which extends throughout the night. They come out of the tipi in the morning. At midnight (the new day’s beginning) the altar is swept clean. This represents the difficulties that are fought in life and how they are now swept away. The new day gives an opportunity for new growth and mistakes. “It is now up to you to reach out and realize your own potential, assume your own responsibilities” (Heart 200). The meetings are meant to help you find yourself and unleash your potential and meaning (The Wind Is My Mother).
Peyote has been used by the Indians of North America for about two thousand years. It was used by the Aztecs as well, to give their runners endurance. The Native tribes use it for clairvoyance and to heal many kinds of illnesses. That was the original usage among the American Indians. More than fifty seven alkaloids with kinesthetic, olfactory, and auditory derangement properties make up peyote. It is said to cause one to be incredibly sensitive.(A Brief History of the Native American