MODERN DAY MEDICINE MAN
The number of these type of healers are dwindling. It's a tough interview- a secretive
thing. Ted wasn't sure it was a good idea to let me into his home and talk about it in the
WILLIAMS: Maybe tomorrow or maybe five minutes after you walk out of the door, I'll say
"What did I let him in here for!? He doesn't believe in anything. He diluted all my
medicine!" It's not a fear, it's a real thing. Medicine people are very secretive.They
usually don't let anybody see any of their medicine. They wouldn't consent to this
interview to be sure. They wouldn't want the vibrations of the wrong person being anywhere
near their medicine.
The medicine man is known as a fixer- for everything from sicknesses to neighbor
disputes to family problems. Ted's father was a medicine man for the Turtle clan. And
plant medicine was used extensively in the family.
WILLIAMS: There'll be maybe one medicine for the chest area, it might be boneset. For your
mouth and teeth and head, maybe gold thread.. overall, it might be ginseng. Another one
would be sassafrass. You might find that sassafrass was your medicine for anything.
It feels like you're getting too specific. And that's the society we live in. A
medicine wouldn't like that. If that medicine has the ability to cure anything in you, it
would say: "He's belittling me..as if I'm good for only one little thing."
Ted says he needs to show respect for the medicine if he wants it to work for him.
WILLIAMS: When you look at a group of medicine you might just get the feeling which one
is the elder of it, the leader of that patch of medicine. And you hold that medicine in
your hand, and maybe you don't even need to talk out loud. So you just close your eyes
and say "Wow! I have in my hands something that is willing to give its life for my use,
for my betterment. How many people do I know like that?" And that will give you reverance
I'm talking about.
And the medicine is said to keep out those who shouldn't be fooling with it.
WILLIAMS: You- you're not supposed to have a medicine. You probably would have difficulty
growing or obtaining the medicine. And that would be trying hard to tell you: you're not
ready yet. And something not good might happen to you, I'm not saying that it would, but
for sure what you wanted it to do wouldn't happen.
Ted says he gets his power from an unusual place, another world, a world that isn't
too readily accepted in today's society.
WILLIAMS: Let's say that you learned how to bring rain. And all the people you hung around
with and grew up with didn't believe that people could bring rain. And when one of your
friends came up to you and asked you about it, you'd be kind of reluctant to tell them.
Because you would know very well what he was thinking, how he was. They might want to tie
you up, wait a minute, hey this guy is gone.
Williams didn't want to talk much about what went on during his ceremonies, other than
the burning of Indian tobacco and his communication with the medicine.
WILLIAMS: You talk to the medicine or the event that you want to have happen. In other
words.. there's a word in Tuscarora, called (??????), and it means the life, the energy,
divine consciousness that is in all things: the past, the future, colors, numbers,
everything. And that you can communicate with anything. There is not necessarily a
molecular structure, but there is a structure that you can transcend and speak to.
There is such a thing as a rain dance, but not like you see on TV.
WILLIAMS: Almost everything that you might have heard or saw might have been westernized.
Because a lot of that came through the movies. The western ways are in the writings and
writings and not a whole lot of what happens here.
Medicine Man Ted Williams. I'm Bill Flynn.