June 30, 2006 at 4:35 pm #15306
The Universality of 4 directions and a Center, or “Five Elements, Five Phases”
Here is a Transcript of a Sacred Ceremony from a native I learned; for anyone that might find it useful:
Balance Between All Things
The most fundamental of these is the concept of balance which manifests itself in the belief that all of creation is inter-related and interdependent. The concept is frequently symbolized by a circle known as The Medicine Wheel Every component of creation can be expressed within the circle.
The Four Directions Home to the Four Races of Man
To the east is the read man caretaker of the earth he posses the knowledge of vision.
To the south is the Yellow man caretaker of air he posses the knowledge of time.
To the West is the black man caretaker of water he posses the knowledge of reason.
To the North is the white man caretaker of fire he posses the knowledge of movement.
The Four Stages of Life:
Newness, growth, Rest, Renewal
The Four Components of Self:
Spiritual, Emotional, Physical, Mental
Balance can only be achieved when the four sections of the circle are brought together
2. Importance of Ceremony
Another central concept is the tradition of ceremony: to honor, celebrate, and maintain the sacred balance. Every nation in North America possesses songs, dances, stories, and regalia that are unique to their world view. All of these teaching depend on them being passed down through generations. In conjunction with ceremony, all the nations have medicines that are used for healing, purification, prayer, and thanksgiving. The four most commonly used medicines in North America are: tobacco, sage, sweetgrass, and cedar. Again geography will determine which medicine is most widely used and which is most sacred.
3. A Sacred Place
The third link is the concept of a sacred place. Because native traditionalism is based on the land, the vast majority of Nations have a sacred center, be it a river, a mountain, a plateau, a valley, or another natural feature. Devils Tower in Wyoming, and Rainbow Bridge in Utah are two examples of sacred sites where Aboriginals use under the Native American Religious Freedoms Act which was challenged by the U.S. Supreme Court. Fortunately, some sacred places are on reserve land and are protected by reserve laws. This is the case of the Ojibway vision quest site of Dreamers Rock on Manitoulin Island(which is excellent for dream meditation). Although these basic traditional concepts form a common bond between nations, disputes concerning fundamental concepts of traditionalism have resulted in three major divisions within the traditionalist movement
Due to the oral tradition of Aboriginal culture, most Native beliefs were passed down without the benefit of a written guide. As a result, it is not uncommon to find some contradicting practices of beliefs, even within the same community. Examples of unclear practices include the amount of days one must abstain from participating in ceremonies if they have been drinking or using drugs. Another area of indecisiveness is the restriction of activities for a woman who is on her moon cycle. Simple variations of conduct or slight alterations of practice can breed intolerance and harsh judgment.
Ironically, this behavior contradicts the traditional Native belief that what people believe to be true is not as important as what they experience to be true for themselves.
The 4 Directions Sacred ceremony
Tonight I would like to teach you a Sacred Cremony that will help you balance with the elements and the earth. This is called the Medicine Wheel and Elements invocation. Most cultures, since the birth of mankind, have their roots in the natural cycles of the year, harvest, planting seasons, observations of the weather and of the moon and stars.
They marked the rights of passage, birth, puberty, marriage, and death with symbolic rituals. They also honored the deeper inner life, the inner spirit. They lived in harmony (balance) with nature and lived close to the Great Spirit of the earth. Also the Great Spirits of the sky and the cardinal directions of the compass. There are the 4 directions as in N E S W and also up and down giving 6 directions in all this is known as the medicine wheel. Each direction of the compass was associated with an animal i.e. S – snake, W – -jaguar, the dragon or hummingbird – N, the eagle – E.
To achieve a sense of well being, a feeling of peace with the world, we will periodically use a invocation, prayer ritual to attain attunement and to harmonize with the elemental energies. This is known as walking in balance with the earth.
The elemental ceremony invokes the four elemental spirits of Earth, Air, Fire and Water and also the powers of the 6 directions. This ritualised invocation will allow you to integrate the symbolism of the six directions giving you balance with the earth.
As each section of the invocation is spoken, turn to each direction, going in a clockwise fashion, starting with the East, the words I use here are the words I use, but you may want to substitute your own which is fine.
Great Spirit of the East, warmth of the rising sun, Spirit of the new day. Great grandfather fire, nuclear fire of the sun.
From you comes our life energy, vital spark, power to see far, to envision with boldness.You who purifies the senses, our hearts and our minds.
We humbly ask that we may be aligned with you, that your energy may flow through us, and be expressed by us for the good of this earth and all living things upon it
(Turn to the south)
Great Spirit of the South, protector of the fruitful lands and of all things growing, the noble trees and grasses.
Great grand mother earth, Spirit of nature, great power of receptive, of nurturance and endurance, bringing forth the flowers of the fields, fruits of the orchards and of the garden.
We humbly ask that we may be aligned with you, that your power may flow through us for the good of this earth and all living things upon it
(Turn to the West)
Great spirit of the West, Spirit of the great waters of river, lakes, springs and rains.Great grand mother ocean, deepest matriarch, womb of all life.
With you comes the dissolving of boundaries and of limitations, the power to taste, feel, cleanse and heal. Great blissful darkness of peace.We humbly ask that we may be aligned with you, that your power may flow through us, for the good of this earth and all living things upon it
(Turn to the North)
Great spirit of the North, invisible spirits of the air, the spirits of the cool winds. Vast and boundless Great grandfather sky, your breath animates us and all life.From you comes clarity, strength and the power to hear inner sounds, to seek out old patterns and bring challenges and change.
The purity and ecstasy of movement and dance.
We humbly ask that we may be aligned with you, that your powers may flow through us for the good of this earth and all living things upon it.
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