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Cherokee Prayer


O' GREAT SPIRIT
help me always
to speak the truth quietly,
to listen with an open mind
when others speak,
and to remember the peace
that may be found in silence.

Medicine Wheel


In Native American spirituality, the medicine wheel represents balance and connection and is considered an important symbol of peaceful relations between all of Earth’s creatures. The medicine wheel is thought to be the basis to many teachings including astronomical, ceremonial and healing purposes. This structure holds a great deal of spiritual importance to Native North Americans.

Design Meaning

Circle - The circle represents the sacred outer boundary of the Earth often referred to as the Sun Dance Circle or the Sacred Hoop. It represents the continuous pattern of on-going life and death.

Lines - The horizontal and vertical lines represent the sun and man’s sacred paths, respectively; the crossing of the two lines indicates the center of the Earth where one stands when praying.

Feather - The eagle feather is a sign of Wakan Tanka’s - the Great Spirit's - power over everything.

The directions, as they are called upon in the medicine wheel, are often associated with a sacred color. Each direction has a messenger.

Color placement on the wheel varies based on individual band customs.



The Lakota meaning of the Four Directions



A Long time ago, the White Buffalo Calf Woman came to Earth and gave the Lakota people the four winds or directions.
When the Lakota people pray or do anything sacred, they see the world as having four directions. From these four directions come the four winds. Each direction has a special meaning and color associated with it. The cross symbolizes all directions.

East (Yellow:Eagle) - 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.

South (Red:Wolf) - Because the southern sky is when the sun is at its highest, this direction stands for warmth and growing. The sun's rays are powerful in drawing life from the earth. It is said the life of all things comes from the south. Also, warm and pleasant winds come from the south. When people pass into the spirit world, they travel the Milky Way's path back to the south - returning from where they came.

West (Black:Bear) - To the west, the sun sets, and the day ends. For this reason, west signifies the end of life. As Black Elk says, "... toward the setting sun of his life." The great Thunderbird lives in the west and sends thunder and rain from its direction. For this reason, the west is also the source of water: rain, lakes, streams and rivers. Nothing can live without water, so the west is vital.

North (White:White Buffalo) - North brings the cold, harsh winds of the winter season. These winds are cleansing. They cause the leaves to fall and the earth to rest under a blanket of snow. If someone has the ability to face these winds like the buffalo with its head into the storm, they have learned patience and endurance. Generally, this direction stands for hardships and discomfort to people. Therefore, north represents the trials people must ensure and the cleansing they must undergo.



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.
Fly high as you carry my prayers to the Creator.
May I have eyes as sharp as yours,
so I am able to see truth and hope on the path I have chosen.
Guide my step and give me courage to walk
the circle of my life with honesty and dignity.
Spirit keeper of the South, Wolf,
Be with me.
Help me to remember to love
and feel compassion for all mankind.
Help me to walk my path with joy and love
for myself, for others, for the four legged,
the winged ones, the plants and all creation
upon Mother Earth.
Show me it is right for me to make decisions
with my heart, even if at times, my heart becomes hurt.
Help me to grow and nurture my self worth in all ways.
Spirit Keeper of the West, Brown Bear,
Be with me.
Bring healing to the people I love and to myself.
Bring into balance the physical, mental and spiritual,
so I am able to know my place on this earth,
in life and in death.
Heal my body, heal my mind and
bring light, joy and awareness to my spirit.
Spirit Keeper of the North, White Buffalo,
Be with me.
As each day passes, help me to surrender,
with grace, the things of my youth.
Help me to listen to the quiet, and find serenity and comfort
in the silences as they become longer.
Give me wisdom so I am able to make wise choices
in all things which are put in front of me,
And when time for my change of worlds has come,
Let me go peacefully, without regrets, for the things
I neglected to do as I walked along my path.
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.
― Vera Dery, 2002



Native American Legend of the Colors


Once upon a time the colors of the world started to quarrel: all claimed that they were the best, the most important, the most useful, the favorite.

GREEN said: "Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, trees, leaves - without me, all animals would die. Look over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority."

BLUE interrupted: "You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. It is the water that is the basis of life and drawn up by the clouds from the deep sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace, you would all be nothing."

YELLOW chuckled: "You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety, and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower, the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun."

ORANGE started next to blow her trumpet: "I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious for I serve the needs of human life. I carry the most important vitamins. Think of carrots, pumpkins, oranges, mangoes, and pawpaws. I don't hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you."

RED could stand it no longer. He shouted out: "I am the ruler of all of you - I am blood - life's blood! I am the color of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. I bring fire into the blood. Without me, the earth would be as empty as the moon. I am the color of passion and of love, the red rose, the poinsettia and the poppy."

PURPLE rose up to his full height. He was very tall and spoke with great pomp: "I am the color of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs, and bishops have always chosen me for I am the sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me - they listen and obey."

Finally, INDIGO spoke, much more quietly than all the others, but with just as much determination: "Think of me. I am the color of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep water. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace."

And so the colors went on boasting, each convinced of his or her own superiority. Their quarreling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of bright lightening - thunder rolled and boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colors crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.
In the midst of the clamor, rain began to speak: "You foolish colors, fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Don't you know that you were each made for a special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another and come to me."

Doing as they were told, the colors united and joined hands. The rain continued: "From now on, when it rains, each of you will stretch across the sky in a great bow of color as a reminder that you can all live in peace. The rainbow is a sign of hope for tomorrow."

And so, whenever a good rain washes the world, and a rainbow appears in the sky, let us remember to appreciate one another.





Invocations


Sun Father Invocation

Sit in full sunlight, feel his loving warmth relax you and lighten your spirit. Each breath in, visualize sunlight entering through the head and filling the body with a golden glow. Let it flow through dissolving all negative thoughs, and when you are totally filled, feel it overflow from the heart to all creatures of the earth. project the light from the heart to surround mother earth with a golden halo of protection and love.

Seven Directions Invocation


Face East and say " Spirits of the East, Grandmother eagle, keeper of dawn, hope of the new day. I give thanks for the sunrise and ask you to bathe me in illumination."

Face South and say "Spirits of the South, coyote, keeper of the flame of creation. I give thanks for heat and passion and ask you to make my will strong.

Face West and say "Spirits of the West, Grandmother dolphin, daughter of the sunset, keeper of waters. I give thanks for cleansing rains and ask you to open my heart."

Face North and say "Spirits of the North, Grandfather buffalo, keeper of mystery. I give thanks for healing silence and ask that I may grow in patience.'

Face above and say " Sunfather, radient protector of earth. I give thanks for the love you shower on all life and I ask that you fill my heart with warm generocity."

Face down and say "Earthmother, sacred lifegiver. I give thanks for your bounty and ask for abundance."

Hold solar plexis and say "I am the center and I give thanks for this life, right here, right now. I ask to be centered."

*Page created by KatherinexArduxBloodwolf*




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