Tsalagi Terms of Praxis
Intrinsic To the Working
Nvwoti ᏅᏬᏘ'medicine', the Tsalagi word for magic(k) denoting the proper way, the correspondence and homeostasis between all things in their proper place and time. The engagement of and with Duyugodv 'the way of things, truth and justice' the praxis of which is maintaining Tohi 'equilibrium' often translated 'peace'. Native medicine is the disciplined and healthy application of faculties, Right relationship with all interior aspects of self, exterior entities as well as the relationship between these two perspectives. The potency and effectiveness of the medicine relies on the inner state and pathworking of the practitioner, self-work is primary with nvwoti.
nvwoti asgaya ᏅᏬᏘᎠᏍᎦᏯ 'medicine man',
nvwoti ageyv ᏅᏬᏘ ᎠᎨᏴ 'medicine woman',
nvwoti yvnwi ᏅᏬᏘ ᏴᎾᏫ 'medicine person'.
Udelidvgvdiadvnelvdi ᎤᏕᎵᏛᎬᏗᎠᏛᏁᎸᏗ, magic as in formulatory, denoting secrecy 'udelidv' and related to the words udelidvunaligohi 'lodge', udelidvunadatlugv 'fraternity', udelidvugasesdi 'spy'. From: udeligv 'secrecy or confidential' + gv-di 'weave' + nelvdi (variant form of nelvhi as found in the word for doctored) Therefore, the definition is something like 'secret to/of.pertaining to weaving a conjured state', to know the means of, and to spin the threads of fate, and story. The formula decrees that the event has already happened, yet is further along the path. gvdi is related to the words gvdiyi 'knit' and gvdisgvi'using' denoting active tense. Thus, Udelidvgvdiadvnelvdi refers to the works of Grandmother Spider, and the Three Sisters, the proper harnessing and application of the fire as well as the proper observation of the mind, and therefore reality.
Nvwodhi Digohweli ᏅᏬᏓᎯ ᏗᎪᎭᏪᎵ 'medicine book', a formulatory were the incantations and formula of the tradition are kept. The teachings, and understanding of these often being passed orally, leaving most books and manuscripts to be beyond the comprehension of non-practitioners.
Igawesdi ᎢᎦᏪᏍᏗ to say one', while translated as such, may be a non-verbal affirmation of how things are, in the moment and in the progression therefrom. The practitioner does not say "this will happen" rather "this is happening" or perhaps "this has happened", with the recital of the medicine formula being a call, and the conditioning of the medicine persons psyche. It is as a lens to focus thought, that one may through observation of the natural forces involved in the causation of a state, guide it to the desired outcome through said observation of the outcome before it has thus been determined. It is an existential working.
Igvnedhi ᎢᎬᏁᏓᎯ 'to do one' referring to the ritual frame, gestures, motions, stations, techniques and all other externalized representations of internal processes, aiding in the building up and focusing of the lens, empowering the igawesdi.
Gegvnelvhi ᎨᎬᏁᎸᎯ ('to have been put in this condition') doctored. equates with the verb for conjured.
Tsolageyvli ᏦᎳᎨᏴᎵ, from Tsola meaning Tobacco and Ageyvli meaning “lineage, of ancient way”, referring to native tobacco “Nicotiana Rustica”. The Tobacco was the first plant our people worked with, the first one., bringer ad gatekeeper of herbal medicine. Tobacco is communed with before journeying to commune with any plant asgina (shade, soul) or entity for the first time. Tobacco's medicine is that of right relationship, thus much care is taken to keep Tobacco ritually pure and un-abused. Tobacco is “remade”, ritually consecrated and transformed via invocation through medicine formula, a Eucharistic rite. Tobacco, purifies the adavdo 'heart' of the practitioner, conjures the focus of their holy fire, their discipline and aids them I their commune with Unelanvhiagatiya. The animals of this medicine, paired with the Tobacco, are the Hummingbird (Walelu) and the Butterfly (Kamama), who pollinate and bring back the medicine.
Types of Nvwoti Practitioners
The exceeding majority of the various terms used to describe practitioners are active verb-forms, describing "what they do" and are therefore defined by praxis. At the same time, because the language is structured this way, with the words not being objective nouns as one observes in the English language. Therefore, these are not nouns by which one refers to themselves but rather, defining actions of character by which others speak of you. It is considered boastful, narcissistic and self-absorbed to refer to oneself with these terms, with the exception of words like Asegi which do not in themselves imply action, or in some cases referring to oneself as Tsigili is appropriate. Generally, the more disreputous a term is, the more appropriate is to self reference, though this is asking to be judged for what you are.
Practitioners fall into one of two general categories being either a Didahnvwisgi or a Didahnesesgi which are not exclusive of one another yet are often seen to be so, especially today with Christian influence wherein the former is seen as benign and helpful while the latter is seen malicious and troublesome. In a very real and culturally distinctive way they can be understood as the right and left-hand paths, though as in most cultures it is often the extreme right-hand which defines this categorization.
Didahnvwisgi ᏗᏓᎿᏫᏍᎩ 'curer of them'; a general practitioner of the healing art.A Didahnvwisgi will balance the opposing and complimentary forces within themself or their patient, by aligning and harmonizing the four asgina (souls) as well as the aniasgaya 'men (the red, white, black and blue men)' and aniageyv 'women' (again, of the ceremonial colors). Likewise, a Didahnvwisgi will often restore this balance at large, among the worlds. This generally involves consulting The Ancient one, Tobacco, and journeying up one of the four directional mountains, consulting with the medicine at work in those realms. It is considered very honorable to be refereed to as a Didahnvwisgi.
Didahnesesgi ᏗᏓᎿᎡᏎᏍᎩ 'putter in and drawer out of them', conjure or to-conjure; one who specializes in invocation and/or evocation. Though the term can refer to working within altered states, with entities in such a way that distinctions of personal boundary and identity are in someway transformed, culturally it is more commonly used to denote doctoring, generally with malicious connotations. Such as "putting in the intruder, or sickness" into someone or 'drawing out their vitality'. Thus, this term is often considered by many in more modern times to be an insult, denoting nefarious character and in fact is often not used, to ensure the safety and honor of the practitioners kin. In so much as being in a certain way, is to be on a certain path whereby conditions arise from the walking thereof, it should be understood that this medicine has much do do with what is internalized, externalized, and the conditions put on one through their causation. The most malicious of things done to a victim, are done to themselves through manipulation of them by the criminal agent. In so far as this is true, the power of the Didahnvwisgi, properly put within the context of personal growth, is the exploration of arcanum of identity formation. "Of all one is able to do, nothing is so important as what one does to themselves"
Often these align with contrasting themes in our stories. For example, of how illness and medicine came to be. In this story the animals were tired of how they were treated by humans and set upon them disease for all their generations. The plants took pity on them, and bestowed upon them the cures for that the animals had done. We see this theme continued, with a Didahnvwisgi often having plants for familiars, while a Didahnesesgi will often have animals for familiars. It should be noted however, that traditionally the meaning and values of a story were left for each to determine for themselves.
Among and between these two distinctions, are:
Adawehi ᎠᏓᏪᎯ 'boundless', comparable to Ipsissimus as used in various occult orders, denoting a fully realized ‘individual’ operating beyond the constraints of role and therefore limitless. A transcendent or non-temporal agency. Like Ipsissmus, it is arguable whether or not any incarnated person can be an Adawehi. If so, they live their life within some given role, speaking not of their attainment. Unelanvhiagtiya 'providence' is often referred to as a great Adawehi.
Adonisgi ᎠᏙᏂᏍᎩ: conjurer
Adonaltdohoi ᎠᏙᎾᎳᏔᏙᎰᎢ ('he [habitually] goes about conjuring' about the round), conjuring at the stations of pathos. Often comparable to sorcery, with multiple stations acting upon another denoting ceremonial conjure.
Ahuacan, Ahuakan ᎠᎱᎠᎧᎾ or Ahuakten ᎠᎱᎠᎧᏖᎾ, a priest of the Ukten or serpent-clan, a Mayan term, referring to a member of the mound-builder priesthood.
Alitsadohvsgi ᎠᎵᏣᏙᎲᏍᎩ, a priest. Someone dedicated to or otherwise serving a given ceremonial function. Denoting being a vessel or making a way for a given medicine in the world.
A[dv]nelisgi Ꭰ[Ꮫ]ᏁᎵᏍᎩ ('those who think') A conjurer or pathworker who, through the sharpening of the disciplined psyche, can focus thought to such a degree as to affect emergent pathos, possibly even to the extent that they may be able to psychological or pathological harm upon a target. In essence, one who is able to perform track medicine, without the aid of external objects.Translated as wizard in the sense of one whose psyche is naturally inclined to a task, having a great natural aptitude in regards thereof.
Atsasgili ᎠᏣᏍᎩᎵ 'owl', often shorted to tsisgili ᏥᏍᎩᎵ, asgili, or sgili and translated 'witch'. The word tsisgili refers to certain species of owls as they are the most familiar form for a tsisgili to take. Tsisgili work with familiar spirits, shapeshift taken on the medicine thereof, work liminally and practice journey work within an altered state (the flight). Owls are not inherently malicious though their reputation, especially today, is extremely infamous and ominous for their working with shades and familiar spirits. They are often considered heralds of death though not so much as the dreaded Kalona 'killer witch' yet, Tsisgili are considered more dangerous than the killer witch, as their motives are not so easily discerned. They certainly fit within the notion of a darker, left-hand path. Like the Kalona, there may be sexual medicine or deviance involved.
Asegi Udanvdo ᎠᏎᎩ ᎤᏓᏅᏙ 'Wierd hearted/spirited', while inherently referring to a practice, the word described a nature of being inbetween worlds, denoting someone who is a natural inbetween and therefore having a unique perception of the way of things. Where, a Tsigili practices liminally, an Asegi is by nature a liminal being. The term is often used to denote someone who is of both genders and may not refer to practicing medicine in and of itself, however those of this natural attribution were often destined to become great medicine practitioners. Likewise, there is also asgaya udanvdo 'a different kind of' and ageyv adanvdo 'a different kind of women' where one is naturally inclined to the gender role opposite their sex. Asgaya udanvdo then, is a physical man who is spirited/gendered in an atypical way. While being Asegi is often described in terms of gender, technically it can refer to one who is between any two worlds, being of both and uniquely neither. An asegi, can see then not merely from two perspectives, but also a third wherein opposing truths find their resolvement.
Ditsiqwaiyohihi ᏗᏥᏆᎢᏲᎯᎯ ('one who gambles' more properly translated as 'one who juggles' as in the French jongleur), used to denote a conjurer or magician who is a worker of fate or pathos. Hence the medicine formula entitled "To become a ditsiqwaiyohihi" wherein the practitioner is introduced and acquainted with the four mountains or worlds of the traditional ceremonial round, each being attributed to a direction, color, and stage of pathworking. These stages being the processes of any journey or story. In older Tarot decks the magician was often called The Juggler and thus contemplation on The Magician's role regarding the initiation of The Fools journey shall shed much light on the mysteries of the Ditsiqwaiyohihi.
Also denotes ceremonialism.
Galoneda ᎦᎶᏁᏓ, both the proper name of a mythological figure that has become synchronized with Christ post translation of the New Testament into Cherokee as well as a title of any anointed being or vessel of the Ukten. That higher being called within or reflected by the Uku, Uhuakan. Galoneda is associated with the southern direction of innocence ad purity as well as heaven above and in crucifi'x'ion, with the central direction.
Galoneda is chiefly an incarnation and representation of the Ukten.
Atsila Edohi ᎠᏥᎳ ᎡᏙᎯ 'Walker Anywhere', another title of Galoneda as well as a title of one who is at and walks at the crossroads between worlds. Atsila is fire, an Atsila Edohi can go anywhere through meditating upon Atsila Galvkawetiyu, the sacred fire, or by climbing the central mountain or world tree from that center. Atsila Edohi, like the fire itself are often seen as gatekeepers between the worlds and therefore may be so called because of their ability to guide another between realms. Examples of such beings include the Tobacco, Hummingbird and Butterfly.
Gayegogi ᎦᏰᎪᎩ 'liar', a storyteller. Weaver of illusion, and teller of what is not so, as to preserve within the story, core truths, their mysteries and in doing so conjure the unfolding of the roles within the here and now. 'They call them liars'.
Iyanadawedehi ᎢᏯᎾᏓᏪᏕᎯ 'sayers' in the negative sense, unayehisdi 'frightful' iyanadawedehi, known today as an imprecator 'malicious, speaker of it'
Kalona ᎧᎶᎾ [or Kalanu ᎧᎳᏄ] Ahkyelisgi ᎠᎭᎧᏰᎵᏍᎩ 'Raven Mocker', often called a killer witch, is a term given to a spiritual predator that goes after the vital lifeforce and blood of its prey. Often, a Kalona will kill slowly keeping its victim alive for sustenance as long as possible. Eater of the liver soul, and shades. Where a Tsisgili may or may not feed on the shades of the dead, or of remnants, they will not harm the psyche of the living (or dead) without proper cause, let alone rape the soul thereof like the Raven Mocker does. Raven Mockers often prey on the ill, defenseless or already dying anyone whose constitution is compromised with one or more of the four bodies being out of balance. They often go after the heart, not leaving any noticeable mark. They are often accompanied by strong wind, and let out a Raven's cry hence their association. This sound heralds the reaper, while the sight of the Raven Mocker as it takes to the atmosphere is that of hellish fire sweeping in for the kill. They go unseen, failing to elude all but the eyes of a medicine person, who will guard the vulnerable whether alive, dying or departed and if possible kill or weaken the Raven Mocker over the course of seven days. It is often said that they appear old and wrinkled from adding so many lives to their own, though this depends on the skill and resources of the Raven Mocker with most experienced and cunning of them being much harder to detect.
Svnoyi Anedohi ᏒᏃᏱ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ 'night walkers', workers of shades, and asgina. Of workers and workings related to the nightland (West-Black).
Uku ᎤᎧᎤ, a high priest of the old priesthood and representative of the Ukten. The title is still given, being of prime importance during the Uku dance and ceremony which occurs every seven years.