A Xicana prayer: Four medicine songs to the four directions

Four Xicana medicine songs to the four directions

Since the night I first planted my feet onto the Red Road and stepped into the tipi, my life changed.

The moment I heard the sacred peyote medicine songs being sung, my heart was moved and I fell in love.  The medicine came into my heart and the songs began to enter my consciousness.  I have not been the same since.

From that moment, I have learn to use my voice as a sacred instrument and to think about music in a sacred way.  I now share these songs with my children and they too have come to know the ways of this good Red Road.

And now, it is with great humility and respect for the ancestors and the medicine that I now share this set of four medicine songs with you.

I will never forget stepping outside of my first tipi meeting to see the light of morning.  I stood outside the doorway with my sisters after saying our good mornings to everyone.

One elder came up to me and asked, “What nation are you from?”

I looked at my sisters confused and hesitated for a moment.

“I’m not really sure, I’m just Xicana.”

One of my sisters looked at me with a huge smile on her face and said, “Girl, didn’t you know?  We’re indigenous!  We’re from the Xicano Nation!  We have a birthright to this sacred medicine and these medicine ways!”

It was then that my mind opened and I began the inward journey to re-member and reconnect with my indigenous roots.

My mother and her family were native to Texas and I had always felt lost being called “Mexican” because we had no relatives in Mexico…nor had we been anywhere besides the border.  And we had been taught that “Xicano” was a bad word.

Since that profound moment of reconnection, I understood I had a responsibility to my ancestors to reconnect with these sacred ways and learn the medicine songs that had stirred me deeply in my soul.

Many of the songs that I heard that night were sung in languages like Diné (Navajo), which I did not understand.  But some songs were in Spanish and Nahuatl…and those were so familiar to my spirit.  So I began to learn them…and began to understand myself as part of the Xicano Nation.

At first I learned the “easy” songs, then the “Nahuatl” songs.  And now my heart walks with songs from several nations.

The songs that I share with you today were some of the first songs I learned.  Although these songs have traditionally been shared orally and only in ceremony, nowadays they exist in the digital world as a “genre” called “Native American Church” songs or “peyote music.”

Although I published this recording through my music label Tezcatlipoca Records, it is not a professional recording.  It was done informally and at home…with my two young children (3 and 5) chiming in to sing with me to share these medicine songs with you.

We sing these prayer songs directly from our hearts and send them in a good way to the four directions and to you and your children.


#NativeAmericanChurch #Xicana #Xicano #NAC #XicanaChronicles #PeyoteMusic

Iris Rodriguez
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9 thoughts on “A Xicana prayer: Four medicine songs to the four directions”

  1. That was beautifully sang, Iris…I can feel the love and peace through the song and the voices of your adorable children

  2. Beautiful– thank you for sharing. Nice to sing with you– also learned these songs here in Co– through the medicine/people here. Love the medicine and this way of prayer. This way has given me such life.

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