Mishomis: The Grandfather spirit

Mishomis: the Grandfather spirit

Hello all!rocks on a beach

In my previous post, I discussed the concepts of Ain-dah-ing and Mash-kow-wisen, concepts introduced in Blackwolf Jones’ book Listen to the Drum. Blackwolf Jones discusses one’s inner peace and strength and one’s home and safe place within one’s heart, portraying a message of healing. Of our capacity to heal ourselves. I have followed his teachings over the past year and I am grateful for them. They have helped me find peace and strength. Therefore, today I wish to discuss another related concept, the concept of Mishomis.

What is Mishomis?

If you google Mishomis, you will be directed to links discussing books and teachings of the grandfather. This would be because Mishomis (pronounced mi-SHOO-mis) is the Ojibway word for Grandfather. However, it can be interpreted on a larger scale as being the collective male energy, the collective male spirit corralled from the past thousand of years. As I am trained in psychology, more specifically in psychodynamic psychology, this reminds me of some of Carl Jung concepts of the collective unconscious and the animus (the masculine energy within the unconscious of a female, both parts of the collective unconscious). Within the Native world, Mother Earth is seen as the feminine energy giving birth to all relations, including the rocks, rockswhich are masculine. Jung, worked closely with the Native population and it shows in his concepts of animus and anima, the balance and interaction between the masculine and feminine energy. A very important balance and interaction for Native people.

Ok enough with Jung. Sorry, I do find his work fascinating and closely related to some Native concepts. The world of our ancestors colliding with the modern world. Anyways. Mishomis is in those masculine rocks, the rocks that have been there for generations and generations. Those rocks were there in the glacier era, they were there at our ancestors’ campfire, keeping watch. As Jones says, Mishomis has seen all, heard all and understands all. Mishomis has experienced all and can thus understand all experiences.

The spirit of Mishomis

Although we tend to see rocks as inanimate objects, the native culture sees them as being a relation, a relation that is alive. Think about it, the spirits of our ancestors are in those rocks, the spirits are in those hard shells. They are ready to guide us. Grandfather Stone, Mishomis, is ready to help us heal trauma and deal with stressors. I am sure you have heard the saying “in body mind and spirit”. Well it is time to let our body also connect with the Spiritual world and Jones suggests we do this with the help of Mishomis.

Are you with me so far? Because I am about to go deeper. Just keep an open mind here. According to Jones, one has to find their Grandfather Stone. One will know when one sees it. I can speak from experience as I have done this exercise. I was like “yeah yeah like a rock will just appear out of nowhere”. So I set up to go for a walk in a park/ravine near my house. I kept looking on the ground, hoping to my find my grandfather stone. Then I just started to enjoy the scenery, the peaceful environment I was in. I was standing at the top of a ravine listening to the birds, looking at the sky and the trees. Then I looked at my feet on the ground. Yes you guessed it, my grandfather stone was right there! I know I know you think I am making this up, as this seems like a movie scene. But I swear I am not. So I picked up the rock and went back home. It was just a medium size round rock. I held it in my hands, closed my eyes and just listened.


Find your Grandfather Stone

Gift of Mishomis

What did I hear? Well I did not hear anything right away. It’s not magic after all…But think about rocks and how they are formed. Rocks have the ability to break down and form soil so that rebirth is possible. They adapt, they shift from hard and solid to soft and malleable. Like the masculine and feminine energy (Nokomis is the feminine equivalent, the Grandmother spirit). And vice versa. What I mean is that Mother Earth will take all that existed, the remains from previous generations, animals, trees and will compress it into Grandfather stone. If you think about it this way, there is then an incredible energy in those rocks! So I might not have heard anything right away but I felt. I felt the energy in that rock, the heat. I felt the great power in my Grandfather stone. With that, comes healing properties. Holding your grandfather stone is holding your healer.

For those of you who do not yet think I am crazy, I will continue…. So I held my stone, feeling its energy and listened to what I felt inside of myself. The emotions that were coming up. I listened to my heart, which needed healing. I let the tears flow and recited the words that Jones suggest in Listen to the Drum. I won’t copy all of them here but in essence it is about asking grandfather stone to hold you pain. Then finish the process by washing Grandfather stone. Wash away all the pain, the frustrations, the anger, the sadness. As the Water Spirits are very powerful. They are fluid, soft but yet can transform something hard. Think of rivers flowing through mountains here. Once it has been washed and emptied, fill the Grandfather Stone with love. So it becomes whole.


So as one can see, Mishomis is there to help us, for us to use the spirits of our ancestors to guide us. Mishomis shows us how one can transform, adapt, and heal. The process described by Blackwolf Jones, I know is not for everyone. But I personally found it very cleansing and soothing. A lot of benefits from emptying your pain and washing it away, even if only symbolically. My Mishomis is now in my smudge box, always there to help me.


What do you all think? Agree or disagree with this process? Open to the idea or no? Comment below and I will respond!

All my Relations






28 thoughts on “Mishomis: The Grandfather spirit

  1. Michael

    Beautiful Site. I could get my family and I healthy if I spend enough time studying your Site and if I go to the places you give to get the Natural Healing Products!

      1. Kris

        So is that why I’ll be walking along and all of a sudden I get drawn to a seemingly random rock, it’s my grandfather spirit trying to give me guidance?

        1. Emily Post author

          Hi Kris!
          If you are attracted to one rock, then it has a meaning for you. It is speaking to you. Could be for guidance, or another purpose in your life 🙂

  2. Steve

    Very interesting the concept of ‘animus’ and ‘anima’ – as in the universal male and female energies. I find this concept repeated in ancient culture around the world. A good example that has been much commercialised is ‘yin and yang’ (cold female and hot male energy respectively). So it doesn’t surprise me that this concept is central to Native American spiritual practice. Thank you for a very enlightening article.

    1. Emily Post author

      yes absolutely Steve! Animus and anima, and the balance of female and male energies is similar to the ying and yang. In the native culture, the female energy and presence is well respected as women have the gift of life. a balance of the energies is central to harmony

  3. Claire

    Beautiful story, Emily – love how you found your Grandfather stone!
    Symbolically, I think everyone should have their Mishomis 🙂

  4. Jerry

    Hi Emily, although your topic here is a little bit far from me and I have difficulty relating to it, I give you my compliments for the clear and vivid way that you are bringing it. Cheers, Jerry

  5. Sylvia

    Hi Emily!
    I have some stones I picked from a vacation with my friends.
    They’re on my desk while I’m reading your post.
    I just picked up the rocks and enjoyed the colours, textures and memories.
    I did felt that the power of nature is incredible, I guess I can use it often.
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Emily Post author

      hi Sylvia
      So glad to hear that you have your own stones. I remember picking rocks on the beach as a child when my family would go on vacation. The memories associated with them. You are right, the power of nature is incredible!

  6. Caryn Summers

    Boo-zhoo to an old friend and author. I wonder if Blackwolf and Gina remember me: I edited and published their first 4 books. I was, and continue to be, honored to have known these powerful Medicine People, and wish them the best in all their endeavors. I’ll never forget the first time I met Blackwolf, at a conference we were both speaking at. I did my presentation, then Blackwolf presented the concept of Mishomis and how to use them in our personal growth.
    Gitchi Migwetch, Blackwolf and Gina, for allowing me to help introduce your words to the world.
    Caryn Summers

    1. Emily Post author

      Hi caryn
      so great that you are connected to such wonderful people! That book truly changed my life. What an amazing philosophy!

  7. Jason

    Beautiful article Emily,

    I can relate and I need to find my Grandfather stone.
    I do have, which I guess is kind of similar, an amethyst crystal that i take with me everywhere. Often i don’t know why but I feel almost naked without it. Now my turn to sound crazy, but I have lost it twice, both times during horrible life experiences, but both times it has returned (this is where i sound crazy)
    1st time I had searched and searched and then in the middle of the night I woke up to the sound of whistling (very low) and thought it as some form of alarm or battery going flat. I followed the whistle and found the amethyst down the back of an old arm chair (which I had searched in)
    2nd time even weirder but swear its true – i had a knock on my flat door late afternoon and an elderly lady was at the door. She handed me the amethyst and said it told her where to bring it…now to I don’t know if she was pulling my leg and someone knew me, found it and asked her to drop it to me but the crystal came home!

    So like your Grandfather Rock there is definitely power/energy/relations in stone and the vibrations are unique, as unique as our DNA. Thank you Emily

    ps – I still have 3 dogs…

    1. Emily Post author

      hi Jason
      lol for the dogs. They have adopted you so you might need to adopt them…
      Oh I believe you for the stone. I have the same stone! More than one actually. I also carry obsidian stones for protection and take away negativity. Stones carry a lot of energy. And yes sometimes we might sound crazy but I believe you 🙂

  8. MaryAine Curtis

    This is beautifully written. I’ve collected rocks on walks as far as I am able to remember. This is the first time I’ve heard the story. Thank you,
    All of my relations,

  9. Tim Willier

    Very cool site and thank you for the interesting reads. I’m a native cree from Edmonton Canada and one of my hobbies is panning for gold. the amount of gold is microscopic but the amount of beautiful and awe inspiring rocks I find is enormous. Where I’m at the local river- North Saskatchewan River flows from the west at the glacier source and slows down here in Edmonton. I’m messaging to ask if you’ve ever tried panning and if you have anything to say about it? hiy hiy

    1. Emily Post author

      Hi Tim
      so nice to meet you! I cannot say that I have ever tried to pan gold. It sounds amazing though. Must be really relaxing and rewarding.

  10. Kurt

    Love it. Here is some more revelation.
    The 8th Grandfather Teaching

    I believe there is more drawing us (all people) together, than apart. I believe Spirit is more real than the Physical, and more powerful. Forgiveness is not physical it’s Spiritual, isn’t it?

    and through Forgiveness we come back to something even more powerful, Unity.

  11. linda

    Thanks so much for sharing 🙂
    Construed societal norms have so misguided us, for very selfish reasons

  12. alara sky

    What a beautiful site and inspiration. I commend all you do. Read your About Me. Are you aware you are an Empath?

    Love & Light


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