When you think of “medicine” what is the first thing that comes to mind?
For many modern people, medicine is associated with drugs, surgical procedures, nurses, dentists, or doctors that all improve one’s physical health. However, “medicine” in many past ancient cultures was understood as an interrelated process of physical and spiritual well-being. Medicine was once thought of as a way of being in harmony with the primal energy of nature, and a way of becoming aware of the personal power within each of us that allows us to become more whole and complete.
Before we based our lives on beliefs and interpretations of “holy scriptures,” we looked to the surrounding world for answers and we observed the rhythm of nature to guide our existence. What we discovered is that life behaves in cycles or circles rather than Cartesian “line” that we perceive time and existence these days. We discovered that the seasons came and went in cycles as did the Sun cycles and Moon phases, and we observed that even living beings like humans, trees and animals worked in cycles of births, death and rebirth.
With this understanding of life came a respect for the sacredness of the circle, and its medicinal …
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As part of the Lakota culture, when people pray or do anything sacred, they see the world as having Four Directions. From these Four Directions — north, east, south, west — come the four winds. The special meanings of each of the Four Directions are accompanied by specific colors, and the shape of the cross symbolizes all directions. Like many Native American beliefs and traditions, specific details regarding colors associated with directions varies.
The direction from which the sun comes. Light dawns in the morning and spreads over the earth. This is the beginning of a new day. It is also the beginning of understanding because light helps us see things the way they really are. On a deeper level, east stands for the wisdom helping people live good lives. Traditional people rise in the morning to pray facing the dawn, asking God for wisdom and understanding.
To read about the rest of the directions please click on this link: Native American 4 Directions
The Medicine Wheel and the Four Directions
The Medicine Wheel, sometimes known as the Sacred Hoop, has been used by generations of various Native American tribes for health and healing. It embodies the Four Directions, as well as Father Sky, Mother Earth, and Spirit Tree—all of which symbolize dimensions of health and the cycles of life.
The Medicine Wheel can take many different forms. It can be an artwork such as artifact or painting, or it can be a physical construction on the land. Hundreds or even thousands of Medicine Wheels have been built on Native lands in North America over the last several centuries.
Movement in the Medicine Wheel and in Native American ceremonies is circular, and typically in a clockwise, or “sun-wise” direction. This helps to align with the forces of Nature, such as gravity and the rising and setting of the Sun.
Meanings of the Four Directions
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I am sorry the picture is kind of small but you can click on this link to see a larger picture’
Please click on this link for more information about these full Moon names: Native American Full Moon Names
Native American myths and culture have always been my inspiration. The first approach to the mysteries of Shamanism in my life was through the Native American ways of spiritual work. Then I learned about the Scandinavian Shamanism and I discovered the many common things in both paths. My studies and research led me to the knowledge that in its essence the pagan ways are quite alike in the different parts of the world as are the Old religions,too. They all seem to have one origin that is very old and points towards the beginning of human history on Earth.
Here is a wonderful article I found online about the White Buffalo Spirit . This is the Spirit who walks between the worlds and connects the Red Road/ the path of incarnation and physical life / and the Blue Road / the path of the Spirit /.
When you think of Celtic tradition these are Dragons who walk between the worlds and open new realms, in Native American traditions it is White Buffalo Spirit who connects the worlds.
Read about this here
and a powerful meditation with Native American Flute sound
Four Directions Prayer
Creator, it is I. Thank you for today’s sunrise, for the breath and life within me, and for all of your creations. Creator, hear my prayer, and honor my prayer.
As the day begins with the rising sun, I ask, Spirit keeper of the East, Brother Eagle, Be with me. …
Spirit keeper of the South, Wolf, Be with me. Help me to remember to love and feel compassion for all mankind. …
Spirit Keeper of the West, Brown Bear, Be with me. Bring healing to the people I love and to myself. ….
Spirit Keeper of the North, White Buffalo, Be with me….
Mother Earth, Thank you for your beauty, And for all you have given me. Remind me never to take from you more then I need, and remind me to always give back more than I take.
Read the original article here
I find this song very relaxing when wanting to get over a stressful day. I also use it sometimes for meditating. If you enjoy drumming for meditation try it out.
Some Native American tribes and/or nations also use Sweet Grass to bring in positive energy when sumdging. It can either be burned with the Sage or by itself after they Sage. Either way it is burned in the same recepticle as the Sage usually a shell of some kind.
Sumdging can be you to cleanse yourself and home. SOme SOlitary praticioners as well as covens use it to cleanse themselves before entering a sacred circle. It is laso used to cleanse the space they sacred circle will be made in.
While smudging of self and home is use by a lot of Neo-Pagans now, it originally was a Native American cleansing ritual they used before entering their sacred circle, sweat lodges and other religious ceremonies.
A’Ho = Blessed be or So mote it or Amen or I agree with you
A’ ho is used by some of the tribes and nations but not all of them.
Personally I would not refer to these as commandments but as Native American spiritual beliefs. Native Americans did not even know about any ten commandments until after the European settlers started to insist on converting them to Christianity.