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J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 1
A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E /
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J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 1
found out:
Later that year, in of all plac-
es a modern hotel room in the
Chicago area, I received my pipe.
During a conference, I met an
Ah-oh-ze' named Loren Woerpel
(part Indian in Dakotah Sioux),
and like me from the Upper Pen-
insula of Michigan. We natural-
ly gravitated toward each other
from the first moment. We were
soon talking like brothers and
sharing Native American justice
issues. I did not realize how the
loss of my pipe remained with
me until that topic emerged as
part of the conversation.
He invited me to join him in
his room and when we sat on
the floor, he unfolded a small
buckskin blanket and placed two
items wrapped in white leather
on top. "I knew these were for
you as soon as we chatted about
your ceremonial pipe being bro-
ken," he stated.
He motioned me to untie the
leather pipe bags. In one was
a rose and ivory-colored pip-
estone bowl, and in the other
was a beaded and hand-carved
wooden pipe stem. Two turtles
facing each were crafted at the
bowl end of the stem. It was truly
a magnificent work of art.
"I made the pipe," Loren com-
mented. "In fact, I have three
pipes and I knew I had to do
something with this one. That's
why I brought it." The bowl was
carved and sanded smoothly
and made of stone from the Pip-
estone National Monument in
southwestern Minnesota. The
stem was constructed and hol-
lowed-out from a single tree
branch, expertly handcrafted in
every way. I was deeply touched
by his gesture and vowed to hon-
or the pipe for the rest of my life,
before passing it on to my son at
the appropriate time.
According to tradition, the
next step for the pipe would be
having it blessed and conse-
crated to the Creator which is a
required and time-honored vali-
dation procedure. How could
this be arranged? While attend-
ing another conference at the
Warm Springs Indian Reservation
in central Oregon, I was able to
contact one of the Confederated
Tribe's Chiefs, Delvis Heath.
Early one morning, facing the
rising sun, Chief Heath, a vital
and energetic elder with a spe-
cial spark in his eyes, blessed
my pipe and presented it to the
Great Spirit in his native lan-
guage. When he concluded the
ceremony, I inquired about what
he had been saying.
He explained that if I mis-
treated or disrespected the pipe
or done anything unacceptable
out of ignorance, he asked the
Creator to punish himself and
not me. I was amazed by this
statement and learned something
very important about leadership
that day. A true chief exists to
serve his people and also stands
first in line to take retribution
and punishment for his people.
Not long after Chief Heath
consecrated the ceremonial
pipe, Medicine Grizzly Bear
found out that I now had a new
pipe. He displayed great joy
after feeling deep regret that
I had lost my first one. In cer-
emony, he made smoke with it
for the first time and introduced
it to the Sacred Directions, the
Earth Mother, and Father Sky. He
stared at the beautiful beadwork
on the stem, and his eyes wid-
ened, "That is your signet! I have
seen it in dreams!" I had no idea
what that meant.
"Each person has a design
unique only to him or her. The
color combinations in the bead-
work are the ones I have seen
that represent you. This pipe
was for you... before it was ever
Stan E. Hughes, aka Ha-Gue-
A-Dees-Sas (Seneca for "Man
Seeking His People"), is a re-
tired public school administra-
tor. Although not enrolled in a
federally-recognized tribe, both
of his grandmothers were of
Native American descent and
his father considered himself
an Ah-oh-ZE (half-breed) of the
Blackfoot Nation.
Hughes was born among the
Yakama Indians of Washington
and grew up in the Black Hills of
South Dakota, considered sacred
by the Dakotah Sioux. Trained by
traditional Shamans from north-
ern California, he participated
in the Rite of Passage to warrior
status following a seven-day fast
and vision quest in the Big Horn
Mountains of Wyoming.
stan hughes will be offering
presentations, book signings
and workshops throughout the
so. California area in 2011.
For more information, he may be
reached at: or
through his publisher, Northern Lights
Press at,
or visit: Norlights
Native Ceremonies * Energy Healing * Sacred Tours
Inner Journeys Presents:
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Hosted By:
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(928) 282-1706
At: Alma de Sedona Inn
(800) 923-2282
Exploring Your Spiritual Toolbox
Four Elements Retreat
Ancient Wisdom Retreat
IETŪ Intensive Retreats
Day Retreats & Packages
Visit for dates & details!