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Cassadaga Florida Spiritualist Camp to Celebrate Native American Heritage

Armen Hareyan's picture

Cassadaga, Florida, located between Orlando and Daytona Beach, will host four events in January that highlight Native American heritage. The monthly Native American Gathering will be held on Saturday, January 5.

In addition, Chief Charles Chipps, Lakota elder, will conduct traditional Inipi (sweat lodge) ceremonies evenings from January 18 through the 24, Russell Buddy Helm will hold a "Healing Heart Drumming" workshop on Saturday, January 19 and on Sunday, January 27 Harry Byard and Georgie Kern will facilitate the "Discover Your Animal Totem Spirit Through Native American Traditions" workshop.

The Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp in Florida, world renowned community of psychics, mediums and healers, owes its very existence to the guidance of a Native American spirit. Camp founder George P. Colby was led to the site of present-day Cassadaga by his Native American Spirit Guide, Seneca. Named after a small town outside of Lily Dale, New York which is also a Spiritualist community, Cassadaga is a Seneca tribal word meaning "rocks beneath the water."

Now, at the dawn of 2008, Cassadaga celebrates the traditions and spirit of its Native American heritage with their Native American Gathering on Saturday, January 5 from 6 to 8 PM in Eloise Page Park, as it is on the first Saturday of every month.

Participants are invited to bring a chair and a dish to share while enjoying drumming, dancing, music, prayers, stories and customs. Special Guest Chief Charles Chipps, fourth generation Oglala Sioux Medicine Man on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and great-grandson of the Medicine Man to the legendary Crazy Horse, will conduct traditional Inipi (sweat lodge) ceremonies every evening from January 18 through 24 behind the Summerland House Office.

Lighting of the fire begins daily at 2 PM and ceremonies begin at 5 PM. All are invited to come early to meet and talk with Chief Chipps. That same weekend, Russell Buddy Helm, world-class drummer, Drum Therapist and author of "The Way of the Drum" published by Llewellyn, will hold a "Healing Heart Drumming Workshop" on Saturday, January 19 from 7 to 9 PM in the A. J. Davis Building. Jonathan Bethel of Oracle 20/20 Magazine and founder of Omega Point Institute writes of Helm: "One of the things I learned from him is that when your heart is in the right place, it is only your belief that you are not a good drummer that prevents you from doing spiritual drumming. He took a crowd of people, many of whom had never played drums before, and not only taught them how to do spiritual drumming, but actually gave most of them a solo! And they all did well."

The following weekend on January 27, Harry Byard and Georgie Kern will facilitate the "Discover Your Animal Totem Spirit Through Native American Traditions" workshop from 2 to 4 PM in the A. J. Davis Building. The workshop will feature a guided meditation specifically created to aid participants in finding their animal totem spirit.

Founded in 1894 as a winter retreat where Spiritualists could live and work together in a warm environment of peace and beauty, present-day Cassadaga offers all that and more. Certified Mediums available for readings are listed daily in the Camp Welcome Center and Bookstore in the A. J. Davis Building, hub of many of the activities available on a daily basis. Information on classes and workshops covering various topics, Mediums Nights, walking tours of the Camp including night tours, message services and more is available at the Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp web site ( or by calling (386) 228-2880.

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