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Religion and Psychoactive Sacraments:
An Entheogen Chrestomathy
Thomas B. Roberts, Ph.D. and Paula Jo Hruby, Ed.D.
Author Index | Title Index

Straight with the Medicine:
Narratives of Washoe Followers of the Tipi Way as Told to Warren L. d'Azevedo

D'Azevedo. Warren L (1985)
Berkeley, CA: Heyday Books.

ISBN: 0-930588-19-3

Description: Paperback, x + 54 pages.

Contents: Preface, 13 unnumbered chapters.

The narratives that comprise Straight with the Medicine were collected in the 1950's from seven members of the Washoe Tribe living on the eastern slopes of the Sierra in California and Nevada. They were followers of the Native American Church, whose sacrament was the Peyote cactus and who referred to their religion as the Tipi Way. (back cover)

The Creator put this Herb on Earth for all the people. But Indians is the only ones left know how to use it. Jesus tried to tell the white people how to use It. They forgot, I guess. They eat some kind of bread and drink wine in their church. Maybe they figured that's what He meant. But he meant this Herb ... this Medicine. He was just a man like anybody, but the Creator showed Him the way ... showed Him where He put peyote on the earth for the good of the people. That's why we got Jesus as one of the main Ones in this Indian Tipi Church. We say we have the Peyote, the Creator and Jesus. That's how we believe. (pages 1-2)

Now the people in the tribe see how we live. We don't go round drunk and talking loud. Our kids is in good health. We don't cause no trouble. We don't say we better than anybody else. We just live quiet and do what we think is right. So that's why the people respect us today. Because they see how we respect our own selves. We want to be strong in mind and body like them old Indians a long time ago. We want to live on this earth in peace and good mind with all things the Creator put here. (page 4)

How can an Indian pray like a white man? The while man gets his prayers out of books ... old books about things, maybe thousands of years ago. He don't even have to think about it. He just says it and it is supposed to do him some good. He can be a drunk bum for a long time, do all kinds of no good thing, think all kinds of bad thoughts about people. But then he can walk right into that Church and pray one of them prayers and he gets away with it. Anybody can go into them Churches anytime and walk out without anything happening to him. (page 36)

An Indian can't go into his Church the same way as a white man. When you go into that Peyote Meeting, you don't just go there for a visit. You go there to work, and if you got something on your mind that isn't right, well, that is something to worry about. That Peyote ain't easy on you like that Bible is. Jesus was living thousands of years ago, but that Peyote is living right now. It is growing now, and it will be hard on you if you ain't ready for it. They say Jesus died and came to life again. That Jesus was a good man, they say. He was just a man like us. But Peyote was always there. It can kill you or bring you life. It all depends on you. The minute you take that Peyote It is working on you and finding you out. (pages 37-38)

One thing I learned about this Church we got here is that you got to tell the truth. If you got the medicine in you, you got to do it or you feel worse. The Medicine makes it that way. If you said some thing bad against someone it's best to tell them and get it out. Then the Medicine treats you right. I seen that work. My friend over there can tell you. One time he didn't tell me something he had on his mind about me. It made him sick all night at the meeting. He did, and felt better right away. (page 40)

This compilation by Thomas B. Roberts & Paula Jo Hruby, © 1995-2003 CSP

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