The Medicine Wheel is sometimes represented as a cross inscribed within a circle. The Four Directions are represented as points on this circle. The particular directions are often associated with different animals, colors, plants. Rocks and gems, often times these will vary somewhat within different clans and bands
The cardinal points are also connected by two lines from North to South and East to West. These lines are often described as two paths, as they were by Black Elk. He described them as “the good red road” (east to west) and the black “road of difficulties” (north to south). The first was a harmonious or balanced path, and the second was an inharmonious or imbalanced path.
To quote Black Elk,
“You have noticed that everything an Indian does
is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round…..
The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are
all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours….
Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from
childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.”
Our beliefs are not based on a fixed set of beliefs or on an interpretation of sacred writings, but on the knowledge of that the very rhythm of life is gathered through the life cycles of Nature. And what we all can come to understand if we study it, is that there are no straight lines in Nature.
All of Nature expresses itself in circular patterns. This truth can be found in something as small and simple as a bird’s nest or a hanging bee hive, or in the cycle of the seasons or the cycle of life (birth, death, rebirth). Therefore, the circle the Medicine Wheel represents life… All life…around us , within us and beyond.
Native American “Medicine” is not the same as the modern medicine that we think of today. It is not a pill or a procedure or anything else that can be used to improve one’s physical health. When we speak of“Medicine”, we are referring to the personal power within oneself which can enable one to become more whole, complete and balanced.
Medicine… is Energy… is Power… is Knowledge…
A Medicine Wheel can represent a sacred space, aid to meditation, an altar, as centering and ground for one’s consciousness, as a protector, a framework in which to honor all that is sacred…
Each of the directions on the Wheel is a path to self-realization and self-initiation into the mysteries of life itself, which brings us to the very core of our beings where make contact with the Higher Self. Each path can help us to acquire the knowledge needed to makes changes that will put meaning and purpose back into our lives.
I also recognize three more directions, that of above, below and within… but for today will discuss the four directions of the North, the South, the East and the West…
From the North we call to the Grandfathers of the Ancestors, the Great Buffalo the sacred holders of Wisdoms of generations. It brings to us lessons of prayer and abundance.
To the South is the direction of the feminine energies the givers of life. Moving upon the earth, the Coyote see the truth from varied points of view as it walks upon the earth floor.
In the East sits the great Eagle that can fly high above, close to Creator and sees the earth from that Sacred point of view. East is from where we begin, as the sun rises to the sky
From the West is the bear, teaching us of where we have been and will return to once again. It is a teacher of introspect and going within.
To walk a true medicine path, one must journey through all points of view and develop our minds to see how we truly connect with all four directions. It is a journey we all travel at different rates for it takes time, patience, and an open mind. Then we reach the point of understanding that there is only love.
The Great Mystery is love, good and principle. It is a guiding parent, one that doesn’t play games, that knows only how to love. Sometimes, when things go wrong we will blame Creator or others. Usually, if and when we are honest with ourselves we can actually see and understand how decisions or things we have done in the past put us in position that may hurt us. When this happens, it is not something the Creator caused, but something we, ourselves have caused. Most of our problems are of our own making.
It is important to understand these cycles, the great circles of life that all life travel in. the Medicine Wheel will assist you in following that path, in learning about you and the life that is around us all… in a good way…
Let us raise our intentions to our consciousness and voice by sending healing energies and prayer up this day… Today I pray for all those who ask, all those in need, all those who do not ask … I pray that we are given the strength, the joy and the love that is needed in our days…
I call to the sacred winds…to carry my words
To the Grandmothers and Grandfathers of the North, the south, the east, the west, Above …below and within…
I call to the sacred winds to carry my words to the Winged ones…the Four Leggeds…the Plant People…the Crystal Keepers, the Thunder Beings, the Angelic Realm…Mother Mary and Magdalene…my Brother Christ and all the nations that love us.
I thank you for all the many blessings that you have shared with us today and beyond and I ask that you hear our prayers whether spoken our held silently within our hearts.
Today I ask that you hear our prayers as we stand humbly before you, small and human.
Help us to remember we are all but a tiny part of a great universe, that we are all connected as one…
Bring us the strength we need to walk our paths without ego or judgment…
Allow our hearts to hear what our ears are missing
Teach us how to allow forgiveness for others and ourselves
Fill our being with the unconditional love that you so freely offer all.
I call that we be reminded we are all no better than or less than one another.
Guide us through our days, to help us with our humanness…that we learn to reconnect with others in a gentle and positive way. Offering smiles when they are needed without thought, shoulders or ears to help ease another…and words that will uplift or soothe.
Keep our children safe and strong in this troubled world… I ask that on this day and days to come…guidance is shared with them to help them as they walk their paths. Help open our eyes so we all can learn and see the right way of things, teach us to respect all life as sacred no matter how small, open our ears and minds so that we may understand things that are being taught to us in good and gentle manners…open our hearts so that when the harshness of the world falls at our feet, we can cope and handle it with compassion and understanding.
I ask that today and all days ahead that we become more aware of the sacred circles that are life itself. That we honor those four directions and beyond, by learning the teachings that have been shared with us from the ancestors down through the generations of oral traditions. That we look to the Sacred lessons shared with us by the Winged Ones, the Four Leggeds, the Plant people, the Crystal Keepers and Stone People, by the Elementals and the Star Nation above us… Guiding us to the center within self, that sacred place of knowing so we may be able to live more productive and healthy lives.
I thank all those who have walked with us and answer our calls…this day and in days to come…and honor you …
So my wish to you all today is that you use your senses and view the Sacred Directions as teachings… that we learn that the cycles are there and have been all along, that we merely have to be open to what is being offered to us in order to walk strong, happier and more balanced lives… to walk that road in a good way, no matter the color under our feet….
I wish to you all that the love in my heart finds yours and fills it with hope and faith…faith that in the moments ahead of us we can all help to make this world a little better.
~ bear Medicinewalker
bear Medicinewalker “the Sacred Hoop Project 2015”
Dedicated to Educating and sharing the Native culture with the World. It is not enough merely to teach the ways of our Elders. We must honor those traditions by sharing and educating the World. Inspiring others …Inspiring our Youth.
through the Music, the Art, the Stories…..
Steven Rushingwind “Red Beaten Path“ available at http://www.steverushingwind.com/