Larson Medicinehorse, full name Larson Thomas Medicinehorse Sr, has been selling indigenous ceremonies in Europe, doing summer camps and leading sundances for European participants for a long time. He has also given lectures at Newage congresses, and at least one still active group pretending to be an indigenous tribe was founded on his advice. His name is rendered in variations by former students, so e.g. „Larson T. Medicinehorse“, „Larson Medicine Horse“, Larsen Medicine Horse“, and even „Larsen Medicine House“ in the author's acknowledgements in a book.
Medicinehorse was born 1940 and is an enrolled member of the Absalooke Nation (Crow). He lives on the Crow Reservation in Montana/USA and in 1990 was elected sheriff for the county.
Over the time, Medicinehorse established several regular events taking place in Germany which he attended with his wife Patty Medicinehorse. During their stays in Germany, both Larson and Patty Medicinehorse „authorised“ and „initiated“ their students to do various ceremonies.
The earliest mention of persons having been authorised as sweatlodge leaders by Medicinehorse dates the event back to 1989 in a report about a summer camp in Germany. Others mention their authorisation during the 1990s. However, there were also persons authorised in 2004, in 2008, and at least as late as 2011.
One former student, in a forum post, claims to have been authorised to pour during sweatlodges by Medicinehorse and adds: „Larson allowed me to do this (admittedly he handed out permissions to pour rather inflationary...) and I am grateful for this permission […].“ The term "inflationary", in particular since chosen by a student of Medicinehorse, may provide an impression regarding the number of persons authorised. Interestingly enough, the same student mentions he was told that this authorisation in fact made him a full member of the Crow Nation which in no way corresponds with indigenous customs and particularly is in conflict with present-day enrollment regulations.
Since at least 1989, Medicinehorse has traveled to Europe on a regular basis, where he sold indigenous ceremonies and did annual summer camps.
There are two different camps in which he participated regularly. One of these was organised at the premises of Forsthaus Scheuren in West Germany which has been going on for years; the earliest advertisement still to be found online dates back to the year 2000. The other camp took place in the North of Germany at the premises of an association by the name of Calumed e.V., for whom Medicinehorse also gave lectures at a congress.
Another series of summer camps was organised by Calumed e.V., a non-profit organisation:
“Calumed e.V. was founded in 1986 and is a politically neutral, non-denominational non-profit association for adult education, health promotion and international understanding. With our educational journeys, through national and international exchanges, with our educational courses, seminars, and projects, we wish to combine the individual's striving for self-fulfilment and growth with an ecological ethic. We support the development of personal and social visions and promote their implementation in everyday life.“
Their history mentions a first summer camp in 1990, and more camps for the following years, as well as additional youth camps during the 1990ies. According to a publication by Calumed e.V., Medicinehorse did several summer camps for them. The first camp took place in 1990, titled „Spirit of Earth – The Changing Power of Visions“. More of the same title followed between 1991 and 1994, with two Youth Camp titled „At the Threshold of Growing Up“ organised in 1993 and 1994, featuring both Larson and Patty Medicinehorse as lecturers.
In 2009, Medicinehorse apparently also made an appearance at an Austrian summer camp called „Spirit Camp“, organised by Sabrina and Marcel Dengel of Trafo seminar house. This camp has been organised for several years before, although the Trafo website does not provide much info regarding previous years, but the owners of the premises publish photos taken during some of the earlier camps.
Congresses and lectures
In 1994 already, Medicinehorse gave a lecture at an established Newage congress of psychic healers.
In October 2006, Medicinehorse also did a lecture at a congress organised by Calumed e.V., titled „Spirituality and Healing“. He made an appearance along well-known Newage providers like Fabio Ramirez and Sabine Lichtenfels, ex-member of ZEGG and then a member of Tamera in Portugal. According to a report on the congress written by Leila Dregger (another member of Tamera), Medicinehorse lectured on the healing ceremonies of the Crow Nation.
Sun Dances, Vision Quests and other ceremonies for Europeans
Several German language websites mention Sun Dances run by Larson Medicinehorse at the Crow Reservation in Montana. One example is the above mentioned Trafo with owner Sabrina Dengel publishing photos taken while she participated in the 2008 Sun Dance in Montana. The photos include several of the dance ground, and of the wounds of women's piercings, so apparently Medicinehorse accepts female piercers.
Another source is a book published by Calumed e.V. where the chapter on Calumed history mentions that Calumed founder Dieter Jarzombek and other members of the association went to Montana to participate in the Sun Dance organised by Medicinehorse.
The book also mentions a vision quest taking place in Montana in 1995.
However, in another Calumed publication, Medicinehorse is quoted, in an article dated Oct. 27, 2006, with the remark that according to Crow customs, women did not pierce during the Sundance. The same publication carries a text written by Medicinehorse in which he states:
- "We, the Apsalooke, have a Sundance every year. We still use a buffalo skull which Dieter [Jarzombek] and the group paid. Dieter sends a group every year. Usually, this group is in the Medicinehorse Sundance under the guidance of my friend, Tom Erbskorn, a Pipe Carrier".
As this book presumably was published for the 60th birthday of the Calumed founder, i.e. in 2007, this indicates a longterm and continuous cooperation from 1990 or probably earlier to at least 2007. The title used in the German language publication is indeed the equivalent of "Pipe Carrier", however, this may be due to an error in translation on the part of the editors. The actual duties of such a traditional position are in considerable conflict with a nine-to-five job, even though the status of an alleged pipe carrier is in rather inflationary use in the Newage scene.
Tribes, clans, and schools
Several groups and organisations have been founded by European clients under the auspices of Larson Medicinehorse, in particular Wolfsklan, White Eagle Clan, and Calumed Shamans' School.
Officially going with the label of a clan, their invitations and flyers also use the term tribe.
Wolfsklan was founded by Matthias Walter aka Lightfire:
- “Wolfsklan is a spiritual community of Lightworkers and Earth Keepers not affiliated to any tradition, religion or system of beliefs. [...]
- Wolfsklan came into being by a prevision of Larson Medicinehorse – the spiritual leader of the Crow Indians to two of his sundancers. It is a community of like-minded persons which is based on an ancient Indian prophecy of the Hopi Indians which says that only tribes will survive.
- Wolfsklan works with ancient, traditional rituals of the white Buffalo Calf Woman whose healing and visionary spirit also carries and supports Wolfsklan.
- Among these rituals are the Sacred Pipe, the sweatlodge, the Vision Quest, Talking Circles, the Medicine Wheel, the Give-Away Ceremony, Spirit Walks and many more ceremonies […]
- In Wolfsklan, we are practicing living together in a tribe, that means everything which happens will be supported by all persons present for the wellbeing of all.“
The text refers to several indigenous traditions and alleged prophecies and mixes them. Despite their claim not to be affiliated to any particular tradition or religion, Wolfsklan clearly practices indigenous ceremonies, of the Plains nations in particular, besides other alleged ceremonies presented as indigenous in the Newage scene, like a Medicine Wheel ceremony, or Talking Circles.
Wolfsklan also organises annual summer camps, during which they offer:
- “Rituals: Sharing of the sacred pipe, sweatlodges, Talking Circles, Give-Away-Ceremony, Spirit Walks, Story Telling, Meditations, Heart Openings, Prayers, Power and Trance Dances, Shamanic Journeys, Buffalo Woman Ceremonies […] and many more ceremonies for power, healing, and vision which often occur spontaneously from the energy of the circle and the people.“
Walter on his part is „initiating“ more persons and also refering clientele to Medicinehorse's Sundance in Montana, as becomes evident from this lady's website:
- “Having been initiated by Matthias Walter, a shaman who since long has been following the messages of White Buffalo Woman, I did a Vision Quest and have done the Sundance (Montana 2011), and I have also been authorised by Chief Larson Medicinehorse (Lakota/Crow) to pour water.“
White Eagle Clan
White Eagle Clan was founded by persons from Calumed e.V. However, this clan seems to be defunct or probably has been renamed, since a respective Google search presents no hits.
The White Eagle Clan was founded in August 1993 as a „project group“, its aim was “... to grant access to the world view of Crow Indians and their rituals, ceremonies, and healing ways, which were taught to us in encounters with Larson Medicinehorse, to other interested persons within the framework of an intercultural cooperation. The Clan furthermore is to support Larson's work in the Crow Reservation in Montana and develop a concept of promotion of German youths on the basis of Indian-initiatic traditions“.
In June and July 1993, persons from White Eagle Clan traveled to Montana to complete the concept of the youth project. Former Calumed president Dieter Jarzombek claims to have been appointed an honorary tribal elder of the Crow tribe during this sojourn.
Calumed Shamans' School
A further project initiated by Calumed was a „Calumed Shamans' School“:
[…] During the camp, the Calumed Shamans' School is founded. Participants of Shamans' School begin their first year of training during this camp.“
The school may have become defunct meanwhile, or renamed, as a Google search does not provide further websites. Members of resp. persons associated with Calumed, however, continue to sell indigenous ceremonies.
Versions of this article in other languages
- Deutsch: Larson Medicinehorse
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