** Medicine Wheel**
I want to share this quotation from Dancing With The Wheel by Sun Bear, Wabun Wind, and Crysalis Mulligan: The Creator is the beginning of life and its ending, the Great Mystery within all things and around all things, the Universal Energy. In many Native languages the word for Creator was a verb, indicating the movement, the activity, the motion, the pulsation of this sacred, never-ending force.
There are Seven Stones in the Center Circle, the center stone represents the Creative force and the seven stones chosen spiral around the center stone; around Creator. They are for Father Sun, Mother Earth, Grandmother Moon, Fire (Thunderbird), Earth (Turtle), Air (Butterfly), Water (Frog).
DEDICATED TO FATHER SUN: The first Stone is to honor Creator. It is placed just South of the Eastern direction, a few inches to a foot or so from the center Stone. THE ANIMAL TOTEM FOR FATHER SUN IS LIZARD The plant totem for Father Sun is the Sunflower who is renown for loving Father Sun. It is acceptable to choose to honor Earth mother with the placement of the center stone representing Earth mother warmed by the sun and the stone representing the Sun placed as the dominant stone or first stone in the spiral, often a geode.
Without the light and energy given by Father Sun, Mother Earth could not give birth to all her children. She would be barren.
THE ANIMAL TOTEM FOR FATHER SUN IS LIZARD
Lizards are reptiles with more than 3000 species in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They differ from amphibians in that they have dry, scaly skin, and most have clawed feet and external ear openings.
The "mineral" totem is an open Geode. Geodes are round stones with a cavity lined with quartz or amethyst, usually, but not always. The Eagle is said to fly skyward toward Father Sun to bring messages from humans to the Creator. They have been known to put Geodes in their nests - showing a special relationship between Father Sun, Geodes, and Eagles. Geodes increase energy and brain activity. Carrying this stone and/or meditating with it will help us to connect with the vitality, creativity and energy of Father Sun, and help teach us other qualities and/or knowledge he has to share with us. Meditating on and connecting with any of these totem Spirits will help us learn lessons regarding action, creativity, energy, and in understanding the Masculine principle.
Mother Earth, Tortoise, Three Sisters, Clay, Spiritual Support
Loved, warmed, and made fertile by Father Sun, our Beautiful Mother Earth gives birth to, nurtures, and sustains us all: Green Growing People, Standing People (Trees), Water Dwellers, Winged Ones, Creepy Crawlies, Four-legged and Two-legged beings. Materials for our homes, clothes, and tools of all kinds, as well as the food we eat - all are provided by our Mother, the Earth. In this era we two-legged have not properly appreciated this, nor taken care of her. We need to start doing so NOW, or she may not be able to continue to give so generously and abundantly.
The animal totem for Mother Earth is the tortoise. Not many giant Tortoises are left. They have become an endangered species. They are a long-lived Earth being, living to be 100 to 150 years old. This large reptile (the Giant Tortoise) has the lumbering grace, the patience, the experience, and the endurance of the Earth herself. The plant totems for Mother Earth are the Three Sisters: Corn, Beans, and Squash. When grown together these help each other. Plant some of each in the same "hill". Corn grows tall, reaching for the Sun. Beans twine around and up the cornstalk, each supports the other. The beautiful large leaves of Squash shade the ground and keep in moisture for all three. Each extracts different elements from the soil. After harvest, turn the remains of these plants back into the Earth. Each replaces different elements, so the soil does not become depleted of necessary nutrients. When eaten together the Three Sisters provide a completely balanced meal. The Three Sisters teaches us to live in Harmony with each other, and to return something to the Earth Mother for what we have taken from her giving offerings and in Medicine bags. Clay is the "mineral" totem for Mother Earth. Clay is mainly aluminum silicate, a fine- grained and malleable earth. Native peoples who work with clay, making pottery, fetishes, and other items, understand the connection between their medium and Earth. Their work is done with prayer and ceremony. Working with Clay to create bowls or other items is a wonderful way to learn patience. Some Clays have healing powers. Working with Clay, either literally, or by holding, feeling and connecting with it, can help you learn about healing, malleability; help give you strength , and teach you about your connection to Mother Earth. The color for the Stone honoring Mother Earth is Forest Green. This is the color of all Green Growing People, when they are full of life, energy and water. Mother Earth produces so abundantly for All her children.
Grandmother Moon, Loon, Mugwort, Moonstone, Spiritual Support
The Spirit of Grandmother Moon is very ancient. She is one of the first three placed by Great Spirit to watch over, guide, and assist the children of Mother Earth. The third one of the Center Circle. It is placed a little to the West of South (just West of Mother Earth), near the Creator Stone. Grandmother Moon is in her glory during the night time hours, when Father Sun is on the other side of Mother Earth. She can help you with your dreams and visions; either to help bring them, or to assist in interpretation. In many Native traditions Grandmother Moon is the leader of Feminine life. She teaches about the intuitive, introspective side of your nature. She is also very much connected to "Cycles". If you need assistance with changes in your life, or wish to create changes, Grandmother Moon is a good one to ask.
Loon, a bird that swims and dives, is the animal totem for Grandmother Moon. They have three calls, a yodel, a wail, and an eerie laugh. They nest along the shores of lakes, in marshes or swamps where they can slide into the water, because they cannot walk on land. The fish they dive for are their main food. Loons enjoy the company of other Loons, so we call them "gregarious". They also mate for life. From Loon we can learn about transformation, maneuverability, mystery, and fidelity. The plant totem is Mugwort, which can be found just about anywhere. Use Mugwort to balance female energies. Also a powerful ally and protecting force when used in a smudge or when working with the powers of Grandmother Moon. It is also good for help in promoting dreams. For this reason it is a popular ingredient of dream pillows. The scientific name is Artemisia vulgaris. Artemisia in Greek mythology was the virgin goddess of the hunt and the Moon and twin sister of Apollo (Greek name for the god who drove the Chariot of the Sun across the sky; almost another name for Father Sun! ). Moonstone, of course, is the mineral totem. Moonstone is a form of the mineral albite, sodium feldspar, and has a beautiful pearly luster. Connecting with Moonstone will assist you in developing prophetic ability, to gain wisdom, strength, and with your connection to Grandmother Moon.
Thunderbird, Element of Fire, Fireweed, Lava Rock, Spiritual Support
Thunderbird's Stone is placed just barely South of West, in the Center Circle around the Creator. In Dancing With The Wheel, the Stone placed in this position is Turtle (for the Earth Element); then Frog for Water, Thunderbird for Fire, and Butterfly for Air, in that order. But I prefer to place them in the same order as the Moons: each Moon is influenced by a certain element, called a clan. The order is Fire, Earth, Air, Water. So that is also the order of placement I use in the Center Circle. The plant totem for Fire, is, appropriately, Fireweed. It is up to the individual, Indian Paintbrush is also beautiful and the relationship to fire energy being cooled and calmed by water where the Indian Paintbrush flower grows along the stream banks. The younger shoots of fireweed are somewhat like Asparagus and are good used either raw in salads, or cooked in soups. Fireweed is so named because it is often one of the first plants to appear in a burned-over or damaged area. It has an extensive root system and spreads quickly, thus helping to heal the Earth in such an area. As our totem plant for the Element, Fire, we turn to Fireweed for lessons in healing the Earth, in helping ourselves and others heal after cleansing experiences, and in being of service to all our relations. The mineral totem for the element Fire is Lava Rock. Lava Rock, born of Fire from the depths of Earth Mother, offers inner depth, evolution and purification to all of Mother's children. When you study Lava Rock and connect with it, you will find many deeper teachings. Lava rock does not explode when placed in fire and is the rock of choice for use in a sweat lodge. The color for the Stone honoring Thunderbird - Fire, is, quite naturally, Vivid Red. Use this color when you need physical strength or need an assist to take action; also at those times when you need fearlessness or warrior/leader energy. Fearlessness and warrior/leader energies are not something one needs all the time. That can get us into trouble!
Turtle, Cattails, Petrified Wood, Spiritual Support
The Stone for Turtle is placed in the Center Circle about halfway between West and North directions. It is the Fifth Stone of Seven in this inner Circle. Turtle, like its larger relative, Tortoise, who is the totem for Mother Earth, is one of her longest lived beings. North America is often called Turtle Island to show respect for this animal. In ancient times this continent had the shape of a Turtle or Tortoise. As legend tells us, Tortoise gave two-legged beings a place to live.
It is easy to become confused. Just remember that Tortoise is for Mother Earth, the planet as a whole, and Turtle is for the Element of Earth, physically - soil or dirt. The Element Earth is stable, solid, practical, giving one a place to stand. When you are in this position on the Wheel you will exhibit those qualities and move slowly and deliberately. But if you find yourself "rooted" and unmoving, it is time to seek the guidance of another Element or Totem of the Wheel to guide you. The plant representing the element Earth is Cattails. You will find Cattails throughout Turtle Island, just about anywhere there is standing shallow water for at least part of the year. Marsh wrens, muskrats, and water voles nest and feed in cattails. The leaves are used for making chair seats, mats, and baskets. Cattails are extremely useful and versatile. The Original population of the Americas uses Cattail as follows: the cob down (flower head ripened to seed) is very absorbent and used as matting; the raw root is ground - used for bread flour, used in salve for ulcerated wounds, hives, and is a blood coagulant; the roasted root makes a great potato and the raw stem can be eaten as a vegetable or mashed and used as a salve for burns! Petrified Wood is the member of the Stone or mineral kingdom for this elemental clan. This mineral is wood from trees of long ago that has been turned into stone by our Earth Mother. Working with this stone will connect you to both the plant and the mineral, or earth, kingdoms. Petrified wood comes in many colors, showing the great variety of our Earth and All Her Children. Sometimes there are scenes that show mineral or plant life in different stages of our Planet's cycle of life. This Stone brings us messages from the distant past, bringing home the long cycle of life of Mother Earth as well as the knowledge that many changes are a natural part of this cycle (and all life cycles). The color for the Stone honoring the Element Earth is green-brown.
Butterfly, Element of Air, Butterfly Weed, Azurite, Spiritual Support
The Stone honoring Butterfly is the 6th Stone in the Center Circle. It is placed in a due North position, near the Creator Stone. Beings influenced by Butterfly are always moving, like air, except when undergoing transformation (metamorphosis). From Butterfly we learn about transformation and change. The plant totem for Butterfly is Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), also known as milkweed or pleurisy weed. It is an agent that stimulates healing and transformation. In small doses, the root is good for lung ailments. The mineral, Azurite, is a beautiful blue color, ranging from pale to an almost purple hue. It, too, can aid in transformation, especially the Mental part of your being. Carrying this Stone and/or meditating with it will help you develop your psychic abilities, aid inspiration, and increase your energy. The Color for Element of Air is a clear translucent with a hint of blue. This color bespeaks and teaches gentleness, faith, tenderness, love, and peace. It is good for inner child work and "especially good for healing the spirit."
Frog, Element of Water, Algae, River Rock, Spiritual Support
FROG is the Totem for Water. Frogs, with their comical antics and wonderful songs, teach us about joy, humor, and communicating. They also have other teachings and help for humans. The Center Circle Stone for Frog is the last of the Seven Center Stones. Father Sun, Mother Earth, Grandmother Moon, and the four Elemental Spirits form the Seven powers close to Creator that help to build and maintain our Home. They also watch over us Two Legged Beings and All Our Relations, and will assist us to grow Spiritually, Physically, Mentally, and Emotionally if we ask and listen. The Stone or "mineral" totem for Water is River Rock, which can be obtained in any river. Please be sure to ask the Rock Spirit if it wishes to leave it's home and come with you, to help teach you about your Water connection and emotional understanding.
Sun Bear and Wabun Wind teach: Native peoples honored River Rock because they contain the energies both of the Earth and of the waters on the Earth. River Rocks were considered to have the medicine of both these elements and to make the water medicine particularly accessible to people who need it. They were thought to aid people in singing the songs of Earth and Water. River Rocks can aid you with healing, cleansing, stabilizing, or changing your life. Working with River Rocks can release negative patterns, particularly emotional ones. River Rocks are especially potent if you work with them in their natural surroundings. These stones are soothing, calming, and healing on deep physical and emotional levels. They can evoke change that is concrete, tangible, and unshakable. River Rocks are particularly helpful for problems that arise from growing up in a dysfunctional family system. They assist people in releasing the old, allowing it to flow away from them. - From Dancing With The Wheel
The color for the Stone representing Frog, the Element Water, is Blue/Green, the color of the ocean on a clear sunlit day..Use this color, or blue and green, for cleansing, purifying, soothing, of the body, mind and spirit. Having these colors around you also promotes healing, happiness and contentment.
Buffalo, Waboose - North, Cardinal Direction, Sweetgrass, Alabaster, Spiritual Support
WABOOSE - SPIRIT KEEPER OF THE NORTH
Vision Seeker by Jerome Bushyhead
O Great Spirit grant me a vision. Let it be good. Let it bless all people.
Waboose's time starts with the Winter solstice, when Father Sun is at the southernmost point of his journey, the shortest day of the year. Her times are Midnite to Dawn, Winter, the elder time of life and around to birth or rebirth. The most honored White Buffalo is the animal manifestation of Waboose, often equated with White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman.
The Stone for Waboose is placed due North in the outer Circle, exactly opposite the Stone for Shawnodese of the South. The three Moons of Waboose are those of Winter: the Earth Renewal Moon, the Rest and Cleansing Moon and the Big Winds Moon. If one of these is your moon, then Waboose and her path or gifts of Cleansing Renewal, and Purity are the most relevant for you. But remember, all of the Spirit Keepers are there for you, and different assistance is needed at different times. We need to learn as many of the gifts as we can. Sweetgrass is the plant kingdom totem for the North. Sweetgrass not only sustained the Buffalo but, is the most popular ceremonial and smudge plant today, next to Sagebrush. Sweetgrass draws in positive energies and calls the ancestors. The mineral totem for Waboose is Alabaster. Alabaster is a gypsum based stone. Because it is easy to carve and takes a beautiful matte or polished finish, it has been used for many thousands of years for both Sacred and decorative carvings. Carry a small piece of Alabaster on your person and/or meditate with Alabaster to learn about gentleness with strength, purity, high ideals, peace, and the give away. The color for the Stone of the North and the Sacred White Buffalo is the color of Winter in the north, the color of the hair on the heads of our wise elder Grandmothers and Grandfathers, White. This color helps to cleanse, renew and purify your body, mind and Spirit.
Golden Eagle, Wabun - East, Cardinal Direction, Tobacco, Catlinite (Red Pipestone), Spiritual Support
Wabun - SPIRIT KEEPER OF THE EAST
The time of Wabun begins with the Spring equinox, the beginning of our solar year. The times of Wabun are the times of new beginnings: the time of Dawn, of Spring, of early Childhood, of Birth, the bursting forth of all new things with renewed energy. The first three Moons are under the direct influence of the East. If your Moon is Budding Trees, Frogs Return, or Corn planting Moon, then your special Spirit Keeper is Wabun. But you also need to realize that all the Spirit Keepers are there for you, each with their special gifts and lessons, each with their own time, in a day, in a year, in our lives. The Stone for Wabun is placed in the Outer Circle marked out for the Medicine Wheel exactly in the cardinal direction East; or as near as you can reckon it. On March 21st of each year Father Sun is directly East. This is the date of the Spring Equinox, meaning that Father Sun is halfway between his southernmost point of (apparent) travel and his northernmost point: an equal distance between the two points. This is also when Father Sun is exactly (as much as anything is in the East. My personal vision quests have revealed to me that my animal totem connected to the Wabun energy is the albino spider. The beautiful, majestic (and endangered) Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is the animal Totem for Wabun. Eagle soars high, higher than any other physical being. And yet from this lofty height He can see the mouse far below. At the same time He sees the whole picture. The first gift of Wabun which Golden Eagle can help you realize is Clarity. And, gain Wisdom. Higher yet, till you gain the Light of Illumination. The plant Totem for East is Tobacco, considered to be one of the most sacred by Native Americans. Tobacco is one of the main plants used in ceremony. The chosen task of Tobacco is to carry communications to Creator. Working with Spirit of Tobacco brings clarity and transforms negativity. It is also good used as an offering in return for gifts from the Earth Mother, like sources of food, shelter materials, or a Stone or a Feather or other item that is gifted you. Tobacco is usually the Gift given to a Spiritual Leader or Healer when asking for prayers, a healing, teaching, or counseling. It is also used in smudge mixtures, to honor Spirit Keeper of the East, to transform negativity, and to carry prayers to the Spirit world. When not used in a sacred manner Tobacco is a poison, as most of us know.The mineral for the East is Catlinite (Red Pipestone), a companion to Tobacco. True Catlinite is smooth to touch and carves easily. The art-craft of quarrying this Sacred Pipestone was almost lost during the past many years of cultural suppression. But a few families continued to pass down the knowledge and some descendants are still working the Sacred Quarries today. The Sacred Quarries are also open to ALL Native American People. Pipestone is for peace, beginnings, wisdom, truth, and harmony. Carry Pipestone, sit in meditation with it, or even put a piece under your pillow, to help you with communication with Spirit. Both Ceremonial and personal pipes are also carved from Serpentine, Soapstone (often the darker varieties) and Alabaster.
The Colors for the East are usually Red, Gold, or Yellow, depending on the tradition you learned. I have noticed that Red is common in the West, and Yellow or Gold are more common in the East part of the country. Sun Bear uses Red and Gold for the East direction. My animal totem for East is Red Hawk, a spirit guide and ancestor.
** Coyote, Shawnodese - South, Cardinal Direction, Desert Sage, Serpentine, Spiritual Support**
SHAWNODESE - SPIRIT KEEPER OF THE SOUTH
Shawnodese, the Spirit Keeper of the South, whose animal and Spirit manifestation is Coyote. This is the time of Midday and of Summer, times of warmth; the time of late childhood and early adulthood. These are times of rapid growth - on many levels. Coyote is the Teacher, guiding us through many lessons during this time of rapid growth. Sometimes she has to trick us into learning what we need, but would rather lead us. The animal, coyote, is a wonderful mother, teaching her offspring what they need to live in harmony with their environment, and so with Shawnodese, including the Spiritual lessons/gifts of Growth, Trust, and Love. My south is the spirit of the wolf who often takes me on vision quests.
Shawnodese's Stone is placed due South in the outer Circle you marked out for the Sun Bear Medicine Wheel. The first Moon of Shawnodese, Strong Sun Moon, begins with the Summer Solstice, when Father Sun is at his northernmost point. The second Moon is Ripe Berries, and the third is Harvest Moon. If you were born during any of these moons, your special Spirit Keeper is Shawnodese. It is important though to learn to communicate with all the Spirit Keepers and learn their gifts. Sagebrush, the correct Sage for the South. The plant totem for Spirit Keeper of the South, is, appropriately, Sagebrush, plants of the genus Artemisia, especially A. tridentata, a shrub of arid regions of western North America, having silver-green leaves and large clusters of small white flower heads. It is the state flower for Nevada, which is also nicknamed The Sagebrush State. Sagebrush helps to transform any energies that are not working for the highest good of a person place or ceremony. It cleanses your aura, objects, or an area, transforming negativity.
The mineral totem for Shawnodese is Serpentine, a common, widely distributed mineral, composed of hydrated magnesium silicate. It crystallizes and occurs in two forms: antigorite, a massive variety; and chrysotile, a fibrous variety. The massive variety has a greasy, waxy luster, and the fibrous variety is silky. Both varieties are colored light and dark green. In some traditions Serpentine is used for stings and bites from insects and snakes. Working with Serpentine helps us learn about ceremony, beauty, energy and action, trust, well-being, growth, and intimacy. It is still a stone of mystery and is considered the perfect complement to Shawnodese, who brings an air of mystery even to the familiar.
Here in the Southeast we use the color Red for the South - like the heat of summer. Red is also traditional for the Eastern Cherokee and many other Tribes. Other traditions use Green for the South, since the time of Shawnodese is the time of growth for Green Growing Things. Some Northwest traditions use the color Yellow for the South, especially those who use Red for the East.
WEST Grizzly Bear, Mudjekeewis - West, Cardinal Direction, Cedar, Soapstone, Spiritual Support
Dedicated to MUDJEKEEWIS - SPIRIT KEEPER OF THE WEST
The time of Mudjekeewis is the Evening til Midnite, Autumn, our adult years to elder time. This is the time of slowing down, of taking stock of experiences, of going within, like the Grizzly in autumn, but going within spiritually, to gain strength from the knowledge thus gained; the time to prepare for the times of "winter" or later times.
The Stone for Mudjekeewis is placed due West in the outer Circle, exactly opposite the Stone for Wabun of the East. The three Moons of Mudjekeewis are those of Autumn to early "winter": the Ducks Fly Moon, the Freeze Up Moon and the Long Snows Moon. If one of these is "your" moon, then Mudjekeewis and his path or gifts of experience, introspection and strength are the most relevant for you. But remember, all of the Spirit Keepers are there for you, and different assistance is needed at different times. We need to learn as many of the gifts as we can. A Sacred Grandmother Juniper Cedar is the plant kingdom totem for the West. The above photo is of Western Cedar. For a picture of Eastern Cedar and very interesting information on the habitat, growth, uses, etc. of these trees, check White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis) in "Flora, fauna, earth, and sky...The natural history of the northwoods". The needlelike Cedar leaves are rich in vitamin C; Native Americans and early European explorers used it to treat scurvy, therefore it is also known as Arborvitae, Tree of Life. Fragrant, pleasing Cedar thrown on the fire, or used as a smudge, putifies, and heals.nThe mineral totem for Mudjekeewis is Soapstone. Soapstone has been used for many thousands of years for both Sacred and decorative carvings. Carry on your person and/or meditate with Soapstone to learn about purification, preparation, maturity, responsibility, old knowledge, and strength with malleability. Blue is often the color of evening clouds and sky. The night is usually thought of as Black. Black and Blue are the colors for the Stone honoring the Western Spirit Keeper. Use these colors when you are working on evaluating experience, learning introspection, and developing strength for the times ahead.
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Max and Sandra Desorgher
We are the co-authors of many books, internet blogs and articles exploring the emerging paradigms of this time. Our knowledge and expertise spans many topics including Autism, Morgellons Disease, Exopolitics, Healing and Ascension.
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