Tau My Relatives
We often refer to something called "Taino Resurgence", a movement that awakened in the hearts of many of our relatives the fervent desire to return to the roots of their Indigenous heritage. The Resurgence has taken many paths and like many such social movements it suffers from growing pains, the greatest of which is disunity. That is not abnormal, and in a sense, there are many in the movement who are making great headway in the struggle to keep it from becoming derailed.
One of the most important aspects of our Resurgence is the recovery of lost tradition and the adapting of that tradition to the everyday life of contemporary Tainos so that we can live our recovered culture rather than just "study" it.
At the core of this recovery effort is the return of some of us to our Indigenous spiritual roots.
Spirituality in our modern existence, especially in the Euro-dominated, Protestant-influnced West tends to be an uniquely individual experience. We here in this cultural mileu assume that each man or woman should adopt a very individualistic attitude towards his or her relationship with the Divine. Oftentimes, inspired by this uniquely Western concept of "Rugged Individualism" many of our modern Taino Resurgence relatives proudly proclaim a personal relationship with whatever he or she has interpreted the spiritual powers of the ancestors to be. This is actually a perfectly valid attitude because we all live in the here and now and not in the fifteenth century. In the Here and Now each person chooses his or hr spirituality and that is as it should be. However I really hope that no one who has done even the most superficial research into the primordial culture of our ancestors or, for that matter, any Earth-based culture will fool himself or herself into believing that each member of those societies had an independent and individualized relationship with the spirit forces and that he or she can just "follow his or her own heart" and ignore the rules of tradition that bind the culture together.
Ultimately we are communal creatures. Starting from its most early beginnings the human pursuit for communion with the realm of the spirits has been a group effort. Humans in all cultures experience the presence of the deities within the environment of community, in group ceremonies that apply themselvs to certain guidelines which the participants do not have the liberty to ignore in some sort of personal search for an individualized relationship with God. Since many of us in the Resurgence have realized that our community should be given the option to experience Taino Spirituality within the perspective of communal experience as our ancestors did, we have worked very hard to return this ancient heritage, this sacred gift of our ancestors back to the people.
As I said earlier, in the contemporary society of the West where most of us live, individualized experience is a perfectly acceptable approach to spirituality, and I, above all things, do not promote dogmatism. My spiritual experience teaches me that everyone of us must learn tolerance because tolerance and acceptance of the broad diversity that exists within our movement is our only hope for ultimate unity as a people.That is why even though I state that our ancestors were not "rugged individualists" I accept those of us in the Resurgence who choose that approach to spirituality. For the rest of us there can be no real Taino community without Taino communal/group experience spirituality.
To re-establish the tradition of communal/group experience we have had to devote ourselves to decades of study and prayer. This tradition can not arise from a vaccum. It is re-built from the ashes of what was once almost completely destroyed by the conquistador. This process is a never-ending journey of discovery and learning.
We in the Caney Indigenous Spiritual Circle have reduced this process or learning to a fundamental format that acquires wisdom from three basic sources. We call these three sources: TRADITION, INSPIRATION and EDUCATION.
In the English language this concept of three souces can be distilled down to a three-letter accronym, TIE suggesting a "tie" or knot that binds the community together.
TRADITION is wisdom that has actually been passed down from one generation to the next in an umbroken line and has reached us now pretty much the way it was understood and applied by the ancient Tainos. Certain aspects of healing ceremonies that we observe owe a great deal to this source.
INSPIRATION is the wisdom acquired directly from the spirits. The spirits are very very busy and most of us in the Resurgence can attest to at least one personal experience with our spirit-teachers. We can learn from these communications and many of our Caney Spiritual Circle traditions wre inspired by the spirits of our ancestors
EDUCATION, as we interpret it in this context, is the acqusition of wisdom from a written source; archeology/anthropology books,the reading of historic records such as the ones left to us by Conquest-era individuals like the Spanish chroniclers. We also include here the accurate deciphering of the enigmatic Taino petroglyphs and pictographs guided by the quiet, constant tutelage and guidance of our spiritual sncestors who whisper into our ears constantly.
We sometimes are asked where we acquired a particular tradition or ceremony that is part of our spiritual culture.
Please visit our Caney Indigenous Spiritual Circle
website for more information on this subject
TIE is the source of all our wisdom.
Miguel Sobaoko Koromo Sague