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Interview with Tim Sikyea, Native American Sun Dancer and Healer

This is Unedited version of the interview which was published in Dnevnik newspaper on 24 October 2012.
Interview: Eva Debevec
Photo: Jernej Leben
Tim Sikyea, originally from the Dog Rib tribe, is native american healer from the North-West Canada. Today, he lives in Nurmberg, Germany. His life is full of amazing experiences. He started as a fashion designer, played side roles in the movies but he dedicated the greater part of his life to raise awarness of the importance of our relationship with Mother Earth. He has been visiting Slovenia for 17 years. Tim is conducting traditional native american indian rituals in Bela Krajina such as Sweat Lodges, Vision Quests, Earth Dances…Tim Sikyea: native name Wambli Ishinela (Solitary Eagle)
Date of birth: March, 1951
Place of birth: Fort Resolution, North-West Canada
Growing up: Yellow Knife, North-West Canada

You are American Indian healer. How do you help people?

(Modestly) I don’t consider myself as a healer. People call me that.

What I do is trying to help people to help themselves. If they are sick they already know that they are sick. They just don’t want to look inside and find out why they are sick. They can be free of that which creates sickness if they look inside themselves.

They should open their hearts and mind and everything is possible. I do ceremonies and miracles do happen there, but, I don’t want to talk about that here. I don’t want to wave a flag.

People who want to be there will be there. For me, it makes me very happy. I really have this connection which is shared with people. Each ceremony is a different and a new experience. We never know what will happen as it depends on the moment at that time – combination of people participating, constellation of the Universe at the time etc. It is this interrelation, which can never be repeated, that brings shifts in people.
I just know it works. And, I can only talk about my experience.

Is healer the same as shaman? What is the difference, if there is one?

In my opinion, the terms can be used for the same person. But, sometimes the healer can be called someone who does healing with herbs and shaman would deal with the spirit. Anyhow, they go hand in hand.

So, we can say that you are a shaman?

(Smile) Truly, the name is not important. It is just the name. Important is – that it works.

You grew up in Canada. How was your youth like?

Up until the age of 6 I lived in the house with my parents in the North Canada. We lived modestly and were connected to Nature. Where I lived there were moose, raindeer, different kinds of fish, wild ducks…At one time we had no food and we killed a moose that came to our house. We had meat for a whole winter.
When I was 14 years of age I hitch-hiked out to the city of Edmonton.

I see my life as journey, I have interesting experience and I consider my life incredible. I will not go into details about it here but I will talk about some of them at the “talk” in November.

Have you been a shaman for a whole your life? What did you do before?

No, I haven’t. When I lived in Canada from early 70’s until mid 80’s I was a fashion designer. We were very successful and I spent most of my time working. I spent little time with my family which has consequently fallen apart. It affected me emotionally and I moved to Europe to get over the emotional break up.
At first, my plan was to stay for 9 months which was symbolic – a child needs 9 months to be born, if you know what I mean.

During this period of 9 months I decided to walk the spiritual path and I never got off it since.
I dropped off all the fashion activities and illusions that I created and which such materialistic life brings.
In 1990 I did my first Earth Dance ceremony in Europe, which has taken place in Austria. The purpose of this ceremony is to thank Mother Earth for taking care of us. Next year it will be the 24th ceremony. My goal is to have 28 Earth dance ceremonies. I will be very happy if I reach this number.

Are you the only American Indian healer in Europe?

There were many American Indians in Europe doing similar activities but they phased out. I am the only one who lasted the longest. (laughter)

The messages of the indigenous people were, up until now, hidden under the veil. Why is that so?

500 years ago when Europeans came to America, they were not interested what the indigenous people had to say. They were interested in resources and reinforcement of christian religion.

The Indians did not realize the superiority attitude of the Europeans, looking at them as primitive and rude. The Native Americans did not understand this; they looked at the White people just as being different, having different values. Land selling was not understandable for the Natives: how to sell air, wind or water? They lived in harmony with the Nature, without disturbing the natural balance. Nature gave them everything they needed and they were aware that if there is imbalance in the nature – the supply for survival is gone.

These messages were not hidden. Nobody wanted to listen.

European people use the term “ecology”. Is this the same as you call “Mother Earth”?

I see Earth as a big ball of energy. We are part of this energy, we interact with it without being aware of it. Oxygen, trees, water, even sleeping…it is incredible how it all functions. To me, it is a wonder! So, we can say that Mother Earth takes care of us. It gives us everything: the air we breathe, water we drink, food we eat, house we live in, car we drive in, even money…everything. This love is unconditional. It is a beautiful relationship which we are part of and we should be thankful.

But when we are looking at it from objective or scientific point of view we call it ecology. Doing this separates us from it. I do not believe in separateness. We are part of it, living it, connected to it. Everything is related. You know the saying: “What goes around comes around.”

How would you describe a contemporary human being?

(Laughter) Electronic man who can’t live without iPhones, iPads, computers. It is very hard to say…things are changing so fast with the technology and ways of communication. I try to stay out of that as much as I can.

The question is what will happen in 10 years from now. There is too many people on this planet. How are we going to sustain the system?

The Earth is going through purification changes and we don’t know what will happen when the phase will complete itself.

Is this related to 21st December 2012?

Yes, this purification cycle started in the 50’s and it will end on that day. It is just the end of one cycle and the beginning of the new which happens every 25.000 years. We are too small to comprehend it and we do not have any real reference from the past. We do not know enough about the energies, gravitation and this relationships in the solar system to be able to predict exactly what will happen.

But, it has nothing to do with God punishment as some may call it. It is the cycle of the Nature.

Can you, personally, feel this change taking place?

Oh, yes. I have dreams. All the information is inside of us, we just need to activate it to come out. The ceremonies are one of the activities which helps us to activate this information. We carry it physically in genetic form and also spiritually. This energy speaks to us. It is everywhere: below, above and all around but people don’t know how to access it. We all have this potential.

You mentioned unconditional Love. What does it mean to you?

Today love is being used to market products. Or, it is used only in relation to people.
But it is more than this. It has to do with the whole creation, everything around us.
One can give love, receive love and experience love. Love does not come with conditions, expectations and possessions. And, above all, it cannot be controlled.

What about Love towards oneself?

The more experience you have with Love, the more you begin to understand Yourself.

What does “personal development/growth” mean to you?

It means using our whole being to the fullest. People are too much in their “brain”. They don’t develop other aspects of themselves.

Being too much in the “brain” means that you create many illusions for yourself: illusion of ownership, comfort zone, safety by having money, etc. People are talking about living in a free country and doing what they want, but – in reality, they created their own jail. Maintaining such a lifestyle cannot give you freedom. To what extent must the crisis develop before people will realize that they cannot eat money?

You have been visiting Slovenia for 10 years. Why Slovenia?

When I was in London I met with my friend Shirlie Roden, a musician who was touring, introducing her music to Slovenia. She suggested to go to Slovenia.

I see Slovenia as a jewel of Europe, it is such a beautiful country with the nature still intact. I saw bears running around. You should preserve it and sustain it on touristic basis.

But on the other hand there are people who live in the cities, they run after money and don’t really care what will happen to future generations.

First I was coming here for 3 years, then I stopped. After a while they called me to come back to do the rituals. I met some very nice people who are aware and are connected to Nature, and our relationships start to grow. This year was the 7th year of the Earth Dance ceremony in Slovenia.

Do you have any plans to move to Slovenia for good?

I don’t know. I don’t make plans like that. I am in “here and now” mode. Life is a journey and I don’t know how I will feel in the future.

You do traditional ceremonies in Bela Krajina. One of them is called Sweat Lodge. You build a tipi in which you put stones that were burning on fire for hours. Inside the tipi the water is poured onto the stones. We can say it is like “Sauna” but in the Nature. Can you describe the purpose of this ceremony?

Sweat Lodge is a purification ceremony of the individual on many levels.

In this ceremony 4 elements are considered: MATERIAL which represents physical body; FIRE which represents emotions, nervous system, all electrical impulses; WATER which represents the mind – hence the saying: “Your mind is clear as water.”; AIR which represents the Spirit, the energy which never disappears but only transform itself. The AIR and the Spirit, both, cannot be seen.
It is about cleansing of the being on many levels. It depends on the individual how many times one will participate. Each individual has a unique experience.

I only know it works.

During the preparation for the ritual we come across different sides of the sky? What do they symbolize?

From the perspective of standing on the Earth, they symbolize four corners of the Universe: the WEST represents the past and inner insight; NORTH represents wisdom, strength and endurance; the EAST represents future, illumination and new beginnings; the SOUTH represents reality, trust and innocence.
In terms of ceremony we have to be aware and include all the aspects of ourselves.

You also use the saying MITAKUYE OYASIN in your ceremonies…

It means “We are all related”. Meaning, being related to everything that surrounds us.

What is your message to our readers in today’s world?

Open your heart and open your mind. Then, everything is possible.
“God” is pure love and it has nothing to do with punishment or judgment.

Interview with Native American Healer Tim Sikyea