WHAT IS INDIGENOUS “MEDICINE”?
Let’s look at Eleazar Williams’ Medicine (for an example)!
One of the great Tuscarora medicine men was Eleazar Williams (1880-1968), a Sachem Chief of the Turtle Clan. He studied medicine under the tutelage of Juh G’wa Dee (Cayuga) from the 6 Nations reserve in Canada.
Eleazar was the father of elder Mad Bear’s friend, Ted Williams (1930-2005). Just like Peter Mitten, Mad Bear had a high degree of respect & admiration for Eleazar and the lighthearted, yet humble way in which he practiced Native American medicine.
The Williams family had a great sense of humor and they were fun to be around. This probably had an influence on Mad Bear as well. The Williams, like many Tuscarora families, were both Baptist and traditional. They managed to preserve & maintain their traditional customs & beliefs, while practicing Christianity.
Eleazar, like many medicine men of the time, did his medicine work in private. On the Tuscarora Reservation, the community knew of Eleazar’s practice and some people would seek his assistance from time to time, however, the society at large was fearful of medicine, especially witches. The Salem Witch trials of 1692 drove the practice of medicine underground in many native east coast communities. Some medicine people were even killed by their own people who feared “witches”.
Mad Bear was a student of Eleazar, although at this time we don’t know too much about the personal interactions they had together. Eleazar wasn’t a traveling companion, like Peter Mitten was to Mad Bear.
Fortunately, his son Ted witnessed a lot of his father’s amazing medicine work and overheard many of his medicine stories.
Medicine runs in the William’s family. Ted had an uncle, Charley, who was gifted at medicine as well. Among Charley’s many talents, he had the ability to communicate with birds and to heal people through prayer. To support his family, Charley couldn’t afford .22 bullets to hunt with, so he learned how to charm (hypnotize) his animal prey by pointing his finger in their direction and freezing them right in their tracks.
“Beliefs are where it’s at. If you believe, you can do anything!” -Ted Williams (Tuscarora)
Ted Williams was a happy-go-lucky individual like his father. He actually devoted himself to medicine himself, late in life. He became a member of the False Face Society in 1970 and passed on some of his wisdom teachings through two published books; “The Reservation” (1976) & “Big Medicine from Six Nations” (2007).
Ted’s work is very much appreciated, considering that the old Tuscarora language, culture and living traditions are disappearing, lost to written history. Ted was dedicated to keeping alive the traditional wisdom of his people. He adamantly stated, “If the Tuscaroras need something and want it back, it will come back.”
Michael Bastine became a friend of Ted’s in the 1990’s and he told many stories to him about his father. The stories that he & Mad Bear would share about Eleazar gave Michael the impression that this man’s medicine was indeed legendary.
Medicine of Steel
Eleazar’s nickname in the 20’s & 30’s, up on the Tuscarora Reservation, was “Steel Plant”. As an herbalist (medicine man) he knew that in the wild, certain plants would be accompanied by almost identical looking plants that would grow close by. The latter is the plant that contains the “medicine of steel” with greatly enhanced strength; it hides by growing next to closely identical plants. Eleazar would often pick the plants that grew in this special combination, and so, his medicine was “made of steel”.
Eleazar eventually bequeathed a small grey accountant book over to Mad Bear that was kept hidden most of the time. After Mad Bear had passed, Ted Williams, later on, wanted to find this book because in it contained many of his dad’s secret instructions for collecting medicinal herbs. Ted knew his request was too late, because after Mad Bear crossed over, his house was unfortunately ransacked & looted. Everything of value to Mad Bear was taken out of the house.
Bring back “Blue Dog”
When Ted Williams was a young boy, 6 or 7 years old, a new puppy come into his life, named “Blue Dog”. While Ted’s dad was at work, Blue Dog ran out into the street and was hit by a car. Blue Dog had died.
Eleazar soon arrived home and received the sad news from his son who was in tears. Ted was crying really bad. He just loved that little puppy. He asked his dad, understanding that Eleazar had special abilities, “Dad, can you anything? This is the best dog I have ever had. He was such a great dog.” Ted’s crying & pleading continued up to the point where his dad was so emotionally moved that he gave in and agreed to collect some medicine for Blue Dog.
When Ted’s dad returned, they crushed up the medicine together. Eleazar then mixed in a little water with herbs, and then while chanting in Tuscarora, he opened up Blue Dog’s mouth and pushed the medicine in. He then began to massage the puppy.
Shortly, thereafter, Blue Dog began convulsing & shaking his body. Eleazar instructed Ted, “Don’t hold Blue Dog, he’s going to get sick.” Ted wanted to hold Blue Dog but he listened to his dad and followed his instructions.
Blue Dog then staggered over to the bushes and started heaving. After the puppy left the bushes he started wagging his tail. Blue Dog took a long nap that day; he was now back into Ted’s life.
Eleazar had a talk with Ted about the doctoring he performed on Blue Dog. He said, “I don’t like to do stuff like that. We shouldn’t turn back the pattern of the Creator just because we want to.” Then Eleazar explained the concept of free will and the way that the Creator balances things. He also assured Ted that “the Creator won’t let us do anything that would tip the balance of things.”
Exposing the German Saboteurs
During the early 1940’s, Eleazar worked at the Bell Aircraft Corporation (aerospace) near Buffalo, New York. They did research on aerodynamics & flight; trying to figure out how to make planes travel faster. The facility employed German engineers.
Eleazar knew that some of these Germans were sabotaging the company’s research. He didn’t know exactly which ones were doing it.
At home, Eleazar pulled out his Ouija (Weegie) Board. He would use this board on rare occasions, usually to find missing items. Eleazar then lit some incense and chanted in Tuscarora. He asked the board to name who the saboteurs were. The Ouija Board directed him to the letters on the board that spelled out the names of the Germans who were guilty of sabotage. Eleazar turned 2 or 3 names over to his bosses when he returned to work.
The company bosses started watching the German engineers who were named by Eleazar. Sure enough, they caught the German saboteurs in the act of destroying company property & research.
Even Niagara Falls Mafia deserve some Doctoring
Up in the Niagara Falls area, tourism brought in a lot of money to the area and the mafia had a piece of the action. One time they came to Eleazar and said, “We have someone who is very sick and we want to know if you will help him.” He told them to bring the guy over and he’ll see what he can do. Eleazar doctored the guy and he recovered. The Mafia was so grateful they said, “Whatever you want, you got it. You just tell us whatever it is.” Eleazar told them, “I don’t need anything. I have everything I ever needed in this life.”
Eleazar’s response was not something the Mafia was used to hearing. They kept on coming by Eleazar’s house in their big limos, attempting to offer him money or to take him out to eat. Eleazar explained that they made a small donation after he performed his doctoring. This covered the amount he spent on herbs used for the healing. According to Eleazar, this satisfied the exchange and everything is OK. He said, “If I accept anything more I’m going to lose my ability to help people.”
Witchcraft Pre-World War II
In the 6 Nations, the term “witch” and “witchcraft” refers to the practice of using “black magic”, as in the use of magic involving the invocation of evil spirits for evil purposes. Much of this practice has died out. The secrets of this trade have not been passed down to the younger generation. Eleazar’s generation, and Mad Bear’s to some degree, was the last to experience the scary phenomenon of witchcraft.
Some witches were frauds. They pretended to have great medicine in order to make money. However, there were some real legit witches that had incredible powers, like having the ability to shoot objects into other people’s body. This was especially true in Canada.
Eleazar Williams was married to 2 other women, prior to marrying Ted’s mother. The previous women had both passed away. One died of a tumor. The other was certainly witched. One evening, Eleazar’s wife woke up in the middle of the night, letting out screams and fainting. As soon as she was back conscious, she sat down on the toilet and excreted out of her body a six-inch shiny black lizard.
This terrifying experience most likely prompted Eleazar to practice medicine; to counter the common witches of his day.
Another story of witchcraft was told by Eleazar. He knew a medicine man, Chief Pat Sandy (Cayuga), from the Six Nations reserve in Canada. A woman came to him with great pain coming from her back. She had been witched! Pat removed a one-inch thorn that was lodged in her back.
Pat, using his intuition, rolled the thorn up in a strip of cloth and dipped it into a batch of medicine he prepared. He then pushed the thorn & cloth into an emptied out shotgun shell. Pat instructed her to place this shell into her gun and at dawn, the following morning, shoot the shell, to the east, at a 45 degree angle. He said she wouldn’t be bothered after that.
Sure enough, the witch left the lady alone. Now, however, the witch was bothered and in pain. She appeared at Chief Pat Sandy’s doorstep. Ironically, the witch wanted his help to remove the thorn that was now lodged deep into her back.
Eleazar Williams and the Little People
Eleazar Williams was reputed to have had a lifelong guide & tutor among the Little People (Elves). His relationship with the Little People began when he was a child. One day when Eleazar was a boy, his father had no one to watch over his son. He had to go to work that day cutting down trees, which is a dangerous job. Afraid that his venturesome boy would get hurt hanging out at the lumberyard, he dropped young Eleazar off at a “special tree”. His dad instructed Eleazar, “Just wait by the tree till I’m out of sight. You’ll have playmates all day.”
As Eleazar’s dad’s horse & carriage pulled away, Little People began to appear in front of young Eleazar. They were coming out from the other side of the tree, as if they had a doorway back there somewhere. They played all day. It was magical & delightful! The Little People taught him lessons about nature and he was assigned a friend who played at his side the whole time. When young Eleazar’s dad could be seen approaching in the distance, the Little People went back into hiding.
Williams Medicinal understanding: Cancer Cure
“It’s a shame that many Indians have lost faith in the Indian Medicine way and will never get to see or know about these (plant) medicines.” -Ted Williams
Through Ted’s later medicinal work and reflection on his father’s practice, we have greatly benefited by gaining a better understanding of herbal medicine.
“Our use of Medicine is limitless!” –Ted Williams
Ted recalls seeing pharmaceutical drug representatives visiting his father, Eleazar, and attempting to bribe him for his remedy to cure Cancer. Each time he refused their dirty money. Eleazar understood that their motive was financial gain and not healing. These drug companies would rather shelve a Cancer cure, than freely release the cure into the hands of the public, which would deplete their customer base.
Eleazar also understood that the medicinal herbs are living conscious entities that have a choice in the matter. Even if he did pass on his remedy to the drug companies, the herbs would probably not have behaved in that manner that the drug companies would expect. They would have been ineffective.
“The amount of cure that you get from Medicine is directly related to the amount of reverence you have for it.” -Ted Williams
Williams Medicinal understanding: Gathering protocol
“Great things are rare and very great things are very rare. Many great medicine plants have not even been seen yet.” -Ted Williams
In order for medicinal herbs to work the practitioner needs a pure heart & pure intention first. Then, in private, without being watched, the practitioner must talk to the herbs and seek their assistance in the medicine work. If they are in agreement, the practitioner should then proceed to take only what is needed for his procedure, and only if there is enough plant medicine growing to be picked in the first place. The last step is for the practitioner to leave behind a proper exchange, like Sacred Tobacco.
Certain great & powerful plant medicines are very touchy. They cannot have anyone with the least bit of disbelief in them, see them. Nor can you speak of them to anyone who has this disbelief. Disbelief dilutes any plant medicine to the degree of the disbelief.
Plant medicine should not be made fun of and teased; otherwise, they might completely disappear from the location where they were previously gathered. They hide!
“Medicine is in all things, but the medicine can be well hidden. The greater and more powerful the medicine, the more elusive it is.” -Ted Williams
Williams Medicinal understanding: Sacred Tobacco
Plant medicine is also aware if you are bringing them a gift of Sacred Tobacco (Nicotiana Rustica) or a comparable exchange, like a pre-1964 silver coin. Sacred Tobacco likes to hide as well, and sometimes it will not grow, if the practitioner does not have purity in thought & action. Certain plant medicine will hide until they sense the presence of Sacred Tobacco.
When Ted’s father moved houses, at a distance of 2 or 3 miles, he found that his Sacred Tobacco which had grown in his previous yard, had transported itself, on its own accord, into his wife’s new flower garden. Mother Nature is a mystery and Sacred Tobacco is held in high regard in her plant kingdom.
[This article was sourced from DJ MACKBOOGALOO (Asatru) & MICHAEL BASTINE’s (Algonquin) FREE E-BOOK written for humanity, called “WE MUST GATHER OUR NATIONS TOGETHER” (Mad Bear and the Red Road of Spiritual Activism), which documents the lost history & present state of Inter-Tribal Unity Consciousness. The indigenous Traditional Elders (medicine people) have messages & prophecies that are disclosed in this E-Book. We are being called to act on their direction to spread the word. Let’s take higher action… Now! Let’s gather our nations together! Let’s unite the tribes!]
Free E-Books available here: https://archive.org/details/@rootscultureconsciousness