The work I do with movement and plant spirit medicine is guided by these Principles of Peace.  There are only three of them and like most answers to our problems they are simple, direct and often difficult to embody from the viewpoint of our culture.

These Principles were given to the Iroquois Nation and other traditional cultures by the Great Peacemaker.  This man was born on the northern shores of Lake Ontario of Immaculate Conception many hundreds of years ago.  In that time the tribes of the Iroquois were engaged in terrible guerilla warfare.  He came among the tribes and spent 40 years building the Great Peace.  His story takes nine days to tell and is recounted once a year by the Iroquois.  He crossed Lake Ontario in a stone canoe on his trip south to meet the people.  He worked together with Hiawatha to condole, heal and teach the five tribes until they were united in the Iroquois Confederacy under the Great Laws of Peace.

The Peace Principles simply stated are:

1)  Always work for Peace

2)  Always work for Unity

3)  Always carry a Good Message 

1)  Always work for Peace

This Peace has a deeper meaning than we normally imply in our language.  In English it mostly implies a lack of warfare with our neighbors.  Peace is something much deeper than that, something that embraces us and holds us in a state of connection with those around us; a place of center, harmony, safety, tranquility, quietness and calm that flows in and out of our pores to the surrounding world.  This Peace is manifest in our thoughts and actions.  Choose from a place of Peace and you become a place of Peace.

2)  Always work for Unity 

This principle means that you are more committed to the Unity of your tribe than to your own ideas of how a thing should be done.  This makes consensus possible.  If ten people want to hunt buffalo in the east and one person wants to hunt buffalo in the north, they sit down in a circle and talk about it, possibly using a talking stick.  Everyone's voice is heard and their reasons are discussed.  The person who wants to hunt in the north will join the others going to the east because he is committed to Unity.  His voice was heard;  the others still wanted to hunt in the east so they all went east.

3)  Always carry a Good Message

This means that you never say anything bad about anyone, at any time, PERIOD!!  If you are having issues with someone, you work it out with them directly, and if the two of you can't solve it, both of you go to an elder (or other guide) for help.  This is so simple yet is contrary to all the currents flowing in our culture.  We are constantly defining ourselves by putting down someone else with the underlying message that we are better and more together.  This kind of behavior is actually only demonstrating how weak we are, that we can't stand on our own Truth so we have to make a platform for ourselves that is based on judgments of someone else.

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