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I was very ill and I went to the Indian Hospital in New Mexico. The doctor could not find anything wrong with me, but I was very weak and lost a lot of weight. I couldn’t even get out of bed. My daughter tried to get me to sit up but I could only sit for 10 minutes because I was so weak. Finally my adopted son came over and had an emergency peyote meeting for me, during Easter weekend. They brought me into the Hogan and I laid down on a blanket cause I was unable to sit. I slept through the night but I was fed a lot of Peyote through the night. Everybody prayed all night, sang songs, smoked tobacco and ate Peyote too. In the morning, I got up and looked around and went outside on my own and I was well and felt strong and like myself again. I have been doing good ever since that time.— Betty Mike, Navajo Nation
From time immemorial, people of faith across the planet have turned to natural elements to heal and protect themselves and their families. Today we still use extracts of various plants and other compounds to stave illness, prolong life, and improve our mind and body. I stand, after 36 years of attending NAC tipi meetings, a proud testimonial to the Healing Power of the sacrament Peyote. From the time I was a young woman, I had believed, after being seen by many medical doctors, that I would never be able to conceive children. This took away one of the great wishes of my life. After this I sought both faith and solace, and found new foundation and hope in the Peyote way of worship. In 1984, in the Peyote Gardens of south Texas, prayers were said and medicine was fixed for my companion and I to be able to have children. Exactly one year later our first daughter was born. This caused me to dedicate my Life to expressing my gratitude through these ceremonies. I believe it is important to give back to the medicine for its blessings and favors; as the medicine has no voice of its own, nor arms and legs, there is always much to be done in service of the medicine and its home in the prayer lodges of more than one culture. My gratitude continued through the blessings of tribal elders who shared with us the Half Moon ceremony to take care of our family. My children were raised among Native American people on this road of life. My children are now adults, holding vows and ceremonies of their own, still in the company of Native American elders. I know I represent a population of families that has stayed close to the sacrament for very similar reasons and believe we owe our lives and health to this sacrament, Peyote.— Shawnina M. Gomez, Greek and Italian descent