Sunday, January 20, 2019

Pagan Festival Shout Out : Navajo Sing

Navajo Sing begins : Festival in preparation for the coming agricultural season; celebrated with prayer, chanting, dancing, and healing. Navajos believe Naste Estsan/Spider Woman helped twin brothers Naymezyani and Tobadzistsini defeat the powers of evil. 

One of the year's great Navajo Sing Festivals is held now to purify the fields and the people before the next planting season. In prayers, song and dance, and healing ceremonies, the Navajo honor Naste Estsan, the Spider Woman who spun the world and supported the warrior twins Tobadzistsini and Naymezyani in their struggle against the forces of evil. In her dual roles as Spider Woman and shapeshifter Estsanatlehi, the "Changing Woman" Creator Goddess, Naste Estsan carries and endlessly becomes the unlimited transforming power of nature.

The most respected of Navajo Ritual practitioners are called "singers." These are men (or, very occasionally, women) who can perform in their entirety one or more of the major Navajo ceremonies. They are not shamans but priests who have acquired their knowledge and skills through long apprenticeship to an established singer. They are the most highly respected individuals in traditional Navajo society and frequently act as informal community leaders.

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