I first want to greet you from my heart and thank you for taking time to read this message. My name is Salvatore Gencarelle. Through this letter I’m reaching out to community leaders and people from all walks of life that are called to integrate the ancient wisdom of indigenous ceremonial practices into their modern lives.
I’ve been in preparation to help people in this way for the past 23 years. At fifteen years old I began to walk the path of a ceremony facilitator. During that time I was mentored by a Lakota Medicine Family, the Chipps, which includes Grandma Chipps, Godfrey Chipps, from the same lineage of Gilbert Walking Bull. I worked as a “Helper” for a Lakota Yuwipi healer. I was completely immersed in traditional medicine and healing practices. Through these traditions I learned the healing power of the earth and became a translator for the ceremonies; a bridge linking the ancient ways of life to the present. I recently wrote about my mentoring experience in the book, A Man Among the Helpers.
Due to the dramatic changes with the Earth and the unstable path that our modern society has taken, I’ve been called to help others to learn these powerful ceremonies to reclaim balance.
I’ve created an 8 month long intensive called The Leadership Initiation Program (L.I.P.). My goal with the Program is to provide select people genuine mentoring from an indigenous trained person. This mentoring is about how ceremonial processes help to regenerate healthy culture. The Program will expose the participants to various ceremonies, philosophies, ceremonial tools (gifts), and methods. This exposure and understanding will be in-depth. What took me years to learn will be presented within 8 months.
As part of the Leadership Initiation Program we have 4 gathering to provide the “hands on” training. This would include preforming actual ceremonies such as sweat lodges, sacred fires, vision quests, thanksgiving ceremonies…..
The outcome for each participant will vary widely, mainly due to the person’s
desire to move along the ceremonial path, their personal goals, and their willingness
to see the world in a new light. This process is not to be taken lightly and all participants will require a high level of commitment. As a facilitator for people on this path I can only provide the opportunities for a person to spiritually develop with authentic mentoring and ceremony, but I cannot force a person to grow. With that being said there are a number of goals and outcomes I am looking forward to participants achieving, including:
- A deeper understanding of ceremony, what the purpose of ceremony is and how it affects individuals, communities, and the natural world.
- Proper conduct in and around ceremony.
- Understanding the difference between spirituality and organized religions.
- An understanding of the 4 original earth elements and how they are used in ceremony.
- An understanding of the female and male roles around ceremony. The complementary power behind female and male.
- How to construct a drum. How to respectfully use a drum. Introduction to how to sing sacred Lakota songs. How to find their own sacred songs.
- An opportunity to deeply connect with oneself and the spirits through a rite of passage. This may be either an overnight with a sacred fire or (if people are ready) an overnight Vision Quest.
- An opportunity to participate or sponsor a 4 Chair or Wiping of Tear Ceremony for those in grief.
- Learning some basic ceremonial herbalism and to participate in a medicine giving ceremony.
- Learning how to conduct a Thanksgiving Ceremony.
- A basic understanding of the 4 universal sacred gift to human beings, the Canupa (aka peace pipe), the drum (and songs), the Inipi (sweat lodge), and Vision Quest.
- Learning how to prepare sacred food used in ceremony, what types of food, and why. The food item that everyone will learn about is called Wasna. Other foods include corn, beans, squash, and many others.
- How to tend Inipi fires, build a sweat lodge and care for this structure.
- How to gather materials for use in ceremony both from nature and human sources.
- How to care for these sacred items and use them correctly.
- How to be a “Helper” for a facilitator of any of the ceremonies practiced throughout the 8 months.
It is my hope and goal to make all the participants competent participants of these
ceremonies, and to learn the how to become Helpers (aka ceremonial facilitators) with in their communities. As a Helper they will start utilizing these sacred gifts with integrity, in accordance with the teachings presented during the program. How the person proceeds on the ceremonial path will determine their level of responsibility and permission to utilize these gifts.
For more information on this opportunity please visit: