The Sacred Hoop
“We do not inherit our future from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children”
There is a Universal Medicine Wheel Teaching that demonstrates that there is only one Creator! We were placed on the Earth in Four Original Tribes. We were originally given the same teachings, with different perspectives. We all need to share our knowledge with one and other, so that we all might grow greater in Spirit. The Creator does not hold one Nation above another, and sent messengers to all nations of the earth. Everyone was given the sacred circle of Medicine Wheels, Mandalas and Sacred Circle Teachings, to learn and express true relationship to all Life.
As the Indigenous Elders of Turtle Island (the American Continent), the Red Race knew that peace would not be possible on the earth until the circle of humanity completed itself. This would happen when the four races, represented by the four directions and the four colors, sat within the circle and share their knowledge and teachings.
"Those who are at peace in their hearts already are in the great shelter of life. There is no shelter for evil. Those who take no part in the making of world division by ideology are ready to resume life in another world, be they Black, White, Red, or Yellow race. They are all one, brothers." -- Hopi Prophecy
Over one hundred years ago, Black Elk had a vision of the time when Indian people would heal from the devastating effects of European migration. In his vision, the Sacred Hoop, which had been broken, would be mended within seven generations. The children born into the last decades of the last century will be that seventh generation.
"At the beginning of this cycle of time, long ago, the Great Spirit came down and He made an appearance and He gathered the peoples of this earth together and He said to the human beings, 'I'm going to send you to four directions and over time I'm going to change you to four colors, but I'm going to give you some teachings and you will call these the Original Teachings and when you come back together with each other you will share these so that you can live and have peace on earth, and a great civilization will come about.' And he said 'During the cycle of time I'm going to give each of you two stone tablets. When I give you those stone tablets, don't cast those upon the ground. If any of the brothers and sisters of the four directions and the four colors cast their tablets on the ground, not only, will human beings have a hard time, but almost the earth itself will die.'" -- Lee Brown, Cherokee
The following words were spoken by Lee Brown, Cherokee, at the Continental Indigenous Council, Tanana Valley, Fairbanks, Alaska in 1986:
"To the North He gave the White race of people the Guardianship of the fire. If you look at the center of many of the things they do you will find the fire. They say the light bulb is the white man's fire. If you look at the center of a car you will find a spark. If look at the center of the airplane and the train you will find the fire. The fire consumes, and also moves. This is why it was the white brothers and sisters who began to move upon the face of the earth and reunite us as a human family.
To the South, He gave the Yellow race of people the Guardianship of the wind. They were to learn about the sky, breathing and how to take that within ourselves for spiritual advancement.
To the West He gave the Black race of people the Guardianship of the water. They were to learn the teachings of the water which is the chief of the elements, being the most humble and the most powerful.
To the East, the Red people, he gave the Guardianship of the earth. We were to learn during this cycle of time the teachings of the earth, the plants that grow from the earth, the foods that you can eat, and the herbs that are healing so that when we came back together with the other brothers and sisters we could share this knowledge with them. Something good was to happen on the earth."
Hopi "World" or "four directions" Symbol
This Medicine Wheel signifies "world" or "four directions" to the Hopi. The "cosmic cross" or four bars represent north, south, east and west, and correspond to the outermost points on the horizon where the sun passes through the year; the solstice and equinox points. The four circles inside the outer outline represent the four nations, which came to the world to keep balance.
The Medicine Wheel symbolizes the individual journey we each must take to find our own path. Within a medicine wheel are the four cardinal directions, the four colors, the four root races, the four elements, the four seasons, etc. A Tibetan will call it Kalachakra; a Hindu, mandala; a Taoist, pa qua. All medicine wheels are representations of the universes of space/time and of energy and spirit. With the exception of the pa gua, every medicine wheel represents (at least) the four directions and the four elements (earth, air, fire, water), with the center representing the individual.
The shield symbol
"Together with all nations we
protect both land and life, and
hold the world in balance."
-- Hopi, from Techqua IkachiMedicine Wheel Within Many Cultures
There are different, traditional understandings of the significance of the wheel and its components, but all these differences share the same common understanding:
“The medicine wheel is representative of American Indian Spirituality. The Medicine Wheel symbolizes the individual journey we each must take to find our own path. Within the Medicine Wheel are The Four Cardinal Directions and the Four Sacred Colors. The Circle represents the Circle of Life and the Center of the Circle, the Eternal Fire. The Eagle, flying toward the East, is a symbol of strength, endurance and vision. East signifies the renewal of life and the rebirth of Cherokee unity.The medicine wheel is a symbol for the wheel of life, which is forever evolving and bringing new lessons and truths to the walking of the path. The Earthwalk is based on the understanding that each one of us must stand on every spoke, on the great wheel of life many times, and that every direction is to be honored. Until you have walked in others' moccasins, or stood on their spokes of the wheel, you will never truly know their hearts.The medicine wheel teaches us that all lessons are equal, as are all talents and abilities. Every living creature will one day see and experience each spoke of the wheel, and know those truths. It is a pathway to truth, peace and harmony. The circle is never ending, life without end”. -- Native American Spirituality, 2003“The Ojibwa cultural image of balance is the medicine wheel. Within this wheel, each aspect of being is situated in perfect balance with all other aspects. Each direction and its associated plants, spirits, animals, colors, minerals, and 'ages of man' (i.e., childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, elder) are balanced by those of the other directions.” -- Reynolds Turton, 1997“All people and creatures are equally important in this perfect circle of understanding, growth and connectedness. Like the Medicine Wheel which represents life itself, learning is a continuous, ever changing process of growth”. -- Uriel Sherri Wheeler, Medicine Wheel, 2008
Desy, a traditional medicine "Clown" describes the sacred hoop as a developmental, introspective tool, linking with it the classical elements, totems and four cardinal directions: The medicine wheel represents the sacred circle of life, its basic four directions, and the elements. Animal totems serve as guardian of each of the directions.
A Native American Medicine Wheel
Nature moves in circles.
The Medicine World is a symbol of
Balance, perfection, completeness and wholeness.
The wheel is a philosophical system.
It is a map to help us find our way.
It offers protection through it`s metaphorical power.
The Medicine wheel shows separate forces in complete balance.
The Medicine Wheel exists within us all.
We can use the Wheel to understand life and spirit.
The Wheel is a centering device for our consciousness.
-- Unknown —