THE MEDICINE WHEEL
by Dee Finney
and others named below
"And there are Four Corners of the Earth that we
talk about, the Four Colors
(Grandfather William Commanda, Algonquin)
The Elders teach us about the four directions.
If we learn about direction, we
"Great Spirit, teach me the power of the four directions."
by Dee Finney
Once inside the school , I ended up in a classroom, where a teacher
The class broke up for a few minutes, then convened again. When
On each panel were words about the tribe, written in beads. I
I told the teacher that my friend, my true teacher lived in a sub-
My guide/teacher then came into the room, carrying a box, which
Medicine Man Who Wishes to Remain Nameless
April 16, 2000
Copyright by The Electric Wigwam (N.H.), 2000,
When I considered offering to you, I fasted and prayed for the wisdom to know what would help those of you who need the help the most. I saw two spirits as I prayed. The first who came to me was standing tall. He held a spear from which hung the feathers of hawks and owls. He did not speak to me. He pointed his spear to the direction of the wind and I looked into the wind and saw many of my people who walk the Earth today. They were standing in a muddy place. They were angry at me for talking to you. They called to me that I was a traitor to my people if I offer words to help any others. The warrior with the spear looked at me and his hard face softened and he turned away.
Another warrior came to me. He wore a buffalo skin over his head and he drew a grand medicine wheel on the sand in front of me. One side pointed to each spirit of the wind, to each element of the Earth. He stood in it and walked around slowly. He stopped in each direction and spoke to me.
In the first he said, "Truth is the truth. There is nothing else. Truth is not owned by any people."
In the second he said, "Every people have their sacred ways to dance their truth. Do not change them or give them your ways. Let each find their own dances for the one truth."
In the third he said, "What makes a people strong is their heart. A painful heart is not strong. A strong heart is not selfish."
In the fourth direction he said, "Each must protect their sacred ways, yet each must share the truth that makes those ways sacred."
Then he stepped into the center of the circle and then before me, on good ground, stood the spirits of all the ancestors of my people. The man with the spear stood there as well. He did not speak. He pointed the spear to the Ancestor Spirits.
The man in the circle said, "Respect your ancestors and hold what is sacred close to your heart. In this way you will respect your people. Respect your Creator and speak the truth to those who wish to hear it. In this way you will respect your world."
The vision was suddenly gone. I sat in the sand looking where the spirits were and I heard a voice say, "Be a messenger not the message."
This was my vision. This is why I chose to do this.
By the Nameless Medicine Man
THE GENERAL REASONS FOR THE MEDICINE WHEEL
The Medicine Wheel, a profound way of knowledge and path of healing. The Medicine Wheel is life in a circle showing our connection to all things and our way back to centre, our way home. Medicine means everything that heals and brings wholeness or holiness.
It is wisdom gained through life experience; it is power over oneself and one’s ability to activate and respond to life. Our medicine is our unique gift and contribution to the world.
The Medicine wheel contains the four directions; the centre makes 5 and the above and below make 7. Seven is the ‘dream’ of the creator in manifestation; the creator experiencing him/her/itself. The Medicine wheel enables us to understand the multitudinous powers that create and effect life in the third dimension of material reality.
The Four Sacred Directions of the Lakotas--- The Oglala, The Sicangu (Brule), The Hunkpapa, The Minneconjou, The Blackfeet, The Two Kettle and the Sans Arc---
Red is for NORTH, to honor our Brothers, the Buffalo (Buffalo calves are red).
Black is for WEST, the direction of the thundercloud which brings rain to Mother earth.
White is for SOUTH, the direction the Spirit goes when it leaves the body.
Yellow is for EAST, the direction of the Sun in Father Sky which brings warmth and causes green things to grow on Mother Earth.
Quote from Low Dog
We cannot all sit on the same side of the Fire. A Council Fire forms a circle, not a line or a square. When we move to the side, we still sit at the Fire with our Brothers and Sisters, but as we move away from one we move toward another. The circle, like the Dream Hoop, brings us ever back to where we start. Any time words of respect and love are spoken, they will return as given. A harsh word runs forever in the circle, eventually vanishing from the wear against itself. Love settles within the Circle, embracing it and thereby lasting forever, turning within itself. The Medicine Wheel is the circle of life (sometimes referred to as the Sacred Hoop) Starting with birth and continuing through out our lifes until death, when we have gone full circle. The Medicine wheel has four Direction, each direction offering it's own lessons, color, and animal guide. There are to paths shown which cross in the center, at which point for me is the heart. (for when you work from your heart, you can reach all directions.) The path from East to West is the path of spirits, (the Blue Road) the path from South to North is our physical Walk (the Red Road ).
East - beginnings, purity, family, innocence, amazement of Life
South - youth - passions of life, friendships, self-control
West - Adulthood - solitude, stillness, going inside oneself, reflection
North - Place of the Ancient Ones who have gone over - place of wisdom
Above - Freedom of mind, body, spirit below - Nuturing, Mother, life
The direction of the South is the Path of the Inner Child - to access that part of ourselves that uses the faith, trust and innocence that we had as children to make our way through life. From the South we are able to see things with greater clarity and to begin to understand our own individual natures.
The South is where our journey through life begins - with the knowing of Self.
The quality embraced by the South is trust and innocence. It is enjoying the experience of discovery, finding joy in new knowledge and letting go of fears and false values.
The totem of the South is the Coyote (and sometimes the Mouse). Coyote is the trickster - he shatters illusions and laughs at himself. His lessons may sometimes be harsh, but they do bring us knowledge of ourselves. This teaches us to examine our own feelings and emotions - and to be guided by them.
The element of the South is water. This refers not so much to the physical quality of water, or even its ability to cleanse, but to the essence of water - that it flows through life. Here we are asked to allow our emotions to flow freely.
The color of the South is red - the color of life force (blood), health and vitality.
The Kingdom associated with the South is the Plant Kingdom. To align yourself with the healing properties of the South - walk amongst this kingdom. Touch the plants, touch the trees - share your energy with them, and they will share their energy and knowledge with you.
The time period of the South is the past.Emotions that we are holding on to, that are blocking us, are from the past. This is where we need to heal.
Through the South we become as children - we understand, and we heal.
The medicine of the West is that of Bear and Owl who bring us the 'dream' and remind us that night and the dark is half of life. I was recently reminded that 60% of life is spent awake, about 40% is used up in sleep. Dreaming is the art of using that time usefully as well as waking time, and of bringing the two into relationship, opening the doorway between the worlds.
The direction of the West represents introspection - looking for knowledge within ourselves. Here is what we find that we need to change to make progress in our lives. This is the emphasis of the West - change and transition.
The direction of South was our beginning of knowing who the "self" is. The direction of the West deepens this knowing through dreams and visions of the future.
The quality embraced by the West is that of change and transition. Here we begin to understand karma - our life patterns, what our lessons have been, and what we need to let go of to continue our learning.
The totem of the West is the Bear. Bear brings us strength and connection to Mother Earth, and represents the quality of introspection. Bear seeks truth.
The power of the Bear is the power of knowing, the power that allows one to enter dreamtime and walk the path of questing for answers - the internal path. (Note: For a very good example of Bear energy and it's importance, please read "The Sparrow And The Bear" by Themestream author Dan Barden.)
The element of the West is earth. Earth is passive, receptive and nurturing. A deep connection with earth is needed to bring ourselves into balance with Universe.
The color of the West is Black. Not the black of "nothingness", but the black of "all things". It is the color of mystery and of the unconscious.
The Kingdom associated with the West is the Mineral Kingdom. This is the kingdom that holds and controls energy. It holds knowledge of our past and our future. Through the mineral kingdom we heal ourselves by finding our connection with both the past and the future.
The time period of the West is the present. The present is the only place that we can invoke change.Our future is created by the beliefs that we hold in the present. Changing those belief patterns changes our future.
The season of the West is Autumn - a time of gentle change brought about through turning inward.
Use the time of the West wisely to see how your current goals are affecting your future.
The quality embraced by the North is knowledge and wisdom. This is the sense of understanding that one gains through living - through personal experience. Wisdom comes from applying this knowledge to our lives in a meaningful manner.
The totem of the North is the Buffalo. Buffalo energy is that of abundance - in supporting the sustaining of life through the giving of itself for food, clothing and more, and of prayer - the giving of thanks for all that has been received.
The element of the North is Air. Air is movement and freedom - the clearing of thoughts and the carrier that allows us to manifest our dreams. Air represents the mind.
The color of the North is White - that of balance and purity - the combination of all colors. White represents ones highest aspirations.
The Kingdom associated with the North is the Animal Kingdom. We learn from the soul of animals in two ways - by watching how they interact with their environment, and by allowing them to connect with us on a soul level.
The time period of the North is the Future. We create our future in many ways - by the decisions we have made and actions we have taken in the past, by how we interact in the present, and by what we are destined to do with those future energies.
The season of the North is Winter - a time of preparation and regeneration.
Use the time of the North to find your soul's purpose for this lifetime.
The direction of the East represents spirituality and enlightenment. The direction of South was our beginning of knowing who the "self" is. The direction of the West deepened this knowing through dreams and visions of the future.
The quality embraced by the East is that of enlightenment. Through the East we begin to see where we are - we have an inner knowing that comes from our understanding that we are united as one with all things. Here we find the courage to extend our visions - to see the broader picture of our lives. Here we learn perspective.
The totem of the East is the Eagle. The Eagle soars high and has the ability to see great distances. Eagle receives inspiration from Great Spirit, and brings balance into our lives.
The element of the East is Fire. Fire is the radiant energy of transformation. Fire contains the great power of expansion.
The color of the East is yellow. Yellow is the color of the solar plexus chakra, and brings us the energy of adventure.
The Kingdom associated with the East is the Human Kingdom. Here we see the dual nature of man - child of earth reflecting the immortal being of Great Spirit.
The time period of the East is momentary. The power of a moment lies in the quality of that moment - that is why it is important to live "in" the moment.
The season of the East is Spring. Spring is the awakening of new life. It is becoming aware of what lies within ourselves and what lies outside of ourselves. Use the time of the East to see where you are headed in your life.
When we reach that center, we find that it has attributes of its own. The center of the Medicine Wheel is the center of our own being. It is our conscious awareness of who we are, it is the reflection of Great Spirit within us.
The totem of the center is smoke-breath, or life force. Smoke-breath is sacred. In the literal sense, smoking the Sacred Pipe was a way to invoke the four great primary forces (love, light, life and law) and harmonize them. In this way, ones words were carried to Great Spirit.
The element of the center is Aether - the source element for Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Our center is pure essence - formless, spaceless and timeless.
The kingdom of the center is the Kingdom of the Soul. This is the fourth kingdom, between *as above* and *as below*. The Soul is the vehicle for life force.
The time period of the center is timelessness - it is stillness and perfect balance. How we manifest the center is through our Spirituality. The journey of the Medicine Wheel is one of change and transformation. As we finish one cycle, we move to another cycle with a higher vibration.
Learning to come from our centers is learning to work from our creative being. We accept responsibility, make contact with our Higher Selves, take control of ourselves and spiral our energies to form what we want ourselves to be. It is knowing the unlimited abundance of the Universe and allowing it to flow through your life. It is knowing that we are the creators of our own reality.
Thank you for visiting with me. May you all Walk In Beauty.
(c) Bonnie Cehovet 2000
|Locations of Prominent Medicine Wheels|
At Fort Smith, on the Crow reservation, is the wheel , whose longest, southwesterly spoke and central altar-cairn form a sight on the summer solstice rising sun.
West of Great Falls, Montana is a wheel whose southerly spokes are partly destroyed by erosion from the Sun River, but suggests a similar alignment.
At the top of the Continental Divide, near an old travois trail, on Trail Ridge Road in Colorado is a huge, rough cairn with two long spokes that line up with summer solstice sunrise.
In Minnesota, on the open grassland prairie of Blue Mounds state park there is a 1500-foot line of quartzite boulders which is a northeasterly sighting line for solstice sunrise, though the Historical Society mistakenly identifies it as equinoctial (which would be direct east-west; many non-scientific people are confused about the words equinox and solstice).
Not far from it (not in the park) are the enigmatic Jeffers Petroglyphs -- thousands of mysterious signs pecked into flat red rocks which may include astronomical records.
The Leon River Medicine Wheel was mapped by participants in Texas A&M University's archaeological field school during the summer of 1990 (Carlson 1993). Medicine wheels are sacred sites traditionally of Northern Plains origin that are significant to many Native Americans today. They are governed by the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA; see Chapter One). During that same field school, the participants excavated a rockshelter that included the remains of six persons. Those remains were stored at Texas A&M University.
The Leon River Medicine Wheel was renewed and restored under the direction of representatives of the North American Medicine Wheel Alliance in May 1994. The Medicine Wheel Alliance had been asked by the Native Americans to participate in the renewal ceremony to ensure that a proper ceremony was conducted. (At Fort Hood)
SIRIUS B CONNECTION
From: SIRIUS THE DOG STAR - THE LOST AND MISSING STAR
Champollion (1790 - 1832) unravelled the secrets of Egyptian writing but so far nobody has demystified Egyptian beliefs. Astrophysics is the key. 11,650 year ago, a supernova exploded close to Earth in the direction of Orion's Belt. It became the god Osiris who donated metals and resembled a scarab beetle (expanding nova). Twenty-eight years later the binary star Sirius B (the god Horus) exploded, sending a plasma tongue looking like a fiery dragon or winged serpent (Seth) speeding towards Earth. The northern hemisphere was devastated; the Ice Age ended abruptly and many animal species became extinct. Surviving humans realised their fate was determined by stellar explosions - new suns in the night coming and going as though they had inherited the spirit of the sun (Ra). The idea that Osiris assumed the essence of the sun, later passing it on to his son Horus (whose mother was Isis, the surviving binary star Sirius A) gave rise to the idea of resurrection. This solution also enables us to understand many of the enigmatic passages in the Bible, such as Revelation 12 and core myths from all other ancient civilisations. Religious monuments commemorate these traumas. The Great Pyramid vectors in the star Sirius and a vanished star in the direction of Orion's Belt. Snake mounds, medicine wheels, Nazca images and Mesoamerican buildings, representing versions of the approaching and rapidly changing plasma configurations, are oriented towards the heliacal rising of Sirius at solstice. Blood sacrifices were instituted to placate the vengeful celestial apparitions, worshipped in many ways and incorporated animistic symbolism - birds, winged angels, fiery phallus, serpents, dragons, lions, scorpions, beetles, horns, etc. This is all consistent with religious syncretism throughout the ages, culminating in the adoption of a single deity in some cultures. Saintly haloes, the nimbus or crown and irrational millennarian apocalyptic prophecies all hark back to the shocks experienced 11,650 years ago (massive flooding, consuming fire, earthquakes, displaced firmament and '"falling stars", etc). It is a fact that the human species was almost wiped out by a plasma shockwave. The subliminal memory lingers on in many of our unrealistic belief systems.
TIME OF PURIFICATION
There are lot of teachings out there about the "Time of Purification". I have solace that these symbols will be understood, the Elders say that in the beginning, each race of man was given "original instructions" as well each was given a particular gift and each a responsibility. These teachings are known as medicine wheel teachings.
From: Shirley_Cardinal@isdtcp3.hwc.ca (Shirley Cardinal)
In time, some of the races would forget their original instructions, others wouldn't. Some would have pieces of the puzzle. that believe in the Time of Purification, or Great Earth Change. One of the potential "problems" I see is that the Sacred Symbols will be newly understood, and that we must be open-minded enough to put the picture together and realize that all the myths, religions, and traditions are basically the same and from the same source.
I agree with you, once people can get over who is right or who has the TRUTH, their eyes will open to see that there are common threads and that we are from the same source. The truth is never too far away, simply that we need the time for life to unfold for very particular reasons.
If we are thirsty enough we will find water to drink, to me life mysteries are likened to this analogy. We find what we need to know because it is now the time for us to know. At times I am particularly glad that knowledge is like a big jig saw puzzle, cause it is fun to find things. Life is meant to be an adventure. Otherwise It is like knowing what your special present is before you open it.
BIGHORN MEDICINE WHEEL
Bighorn Medicine Wheel: stone, sun, stars on a mountaintop, early Sun Dance instructions, best-known Wheel, on Medicine Mountain, looking due east (there is a red east marker at the edge of the windswept bare shoulder's stepped drop-off). Snow is still visible on the distant ridges and forest below, but has been blown clear of the shoulder here. The wheel is about 90 feet in diameter, though it's not a perfect circle. The central cairn (solar backsight) is about 12 feet in diameter. It was about 4 feet tall when I visited it in 1978. The sunrise sighting cairn is at the lower right from this photo angle, separated from the wheel's rim by a 12 foot spoke extension. It is U-shaped, longer than wide, and open at the end toward the circle's center.to sight the solstice rising sun along the spoke. While facing the rising sun, behind you will be a steep precipice, down to the Bighorn River valley, across which there are visible snowy summits of high peaks that bound Yellowstone National Park, 100 miles away. On the front lower left of the wheel is the starsight cairn. Across the rim, on its eastern side, are the cairns used as backsights for sighting the dawn-rising stars Aldebaran, Rigel, and Sirius, as calculated and discovered by astronomer John Eddy in 1972-4. At the right is a cairn that lines up with dawn-rising of the southern bright star Fomalhaut, as discovered by Jack A. Robinson, in 1980.
More Details of Bighorn Medicine Mountain
The Crow have a small wheel in Montana. (their reservation in Montana is nearest.) There is a small, damaged wheel near Fort Smith on their present reservation land),
Northern Cheyenne may know more about it. The Wheel figures in an unsuccessful treaty-based land claim filed by the Northern Cheyenne in 1929, just inside (its shoulder precipice forming part of) the boundary of land including the Bighorns and Powder River country they maintained the U.S. took illegally).
According to Northern Cheyenne Bill Tall Bull in 1988, "I've had to hide myself up there (from the Forest Service) while conducting ceremonial prayers on the mountain. Rangers have been known to kick Indians off the mountain. Many times I had to hide from them and the tourists while there for prayer.
A traditional woman elder at the nearby Northern Cheyenne reservation, states:. No one there could tell me much about it, then, except that "It was up there that the instructions were given for the first Sun Dance." The Wheel itself was said to be those instructions.
Sundance lodge, with entrance to east and 28 rafters for the 28 lunar cycle days. This, according to Lakota elder Black Elk, was the original form of the Sundance lodge, which he says was Cheyenne, though nowadays lodges may be made with fewer rafters. The diagram is similar to the basic shape and orientation of the Bighorn Medicine Wheel, which has 28 lunar day spokes from its central cairn. It's similar to a Cheyenne Sundance lodge created for a masama ceremony.
Aboriginal Star Knowledge
Black Elk Story
Dust Devil Gorge, Colorado
History of the Medicine Wheel from the Aztecs
The Medicine Wheel of the Ojibway and Lakota
The Mayan Connection and the Medicine Wheel
DREAMS OF THE GREAT