Many people talk about the Four Sacred Directions. In actuality there are Seven directions. There are many different explanations for each direction and depending upon the people, the colors and animals used will vary. I will share with you some Cree teachings on these directions. We will start in the East and move clockwise as this is the direction the Earth turns and therfore the direction that we must travel...



EAST


The East is the Spiritual direction. The Eagle sits here and carries our prayers up to the Creator. The color is Yellow and the season is Spring. This direction also represents the yellow race and the element here is Fire. Each race was given an element to use in it's healing. In the Sweatlodge this is the first round which is used to honor the female aspect of life. This direction is also the place of beginnings. I would say that the sun rises in the East however we rise to meet the sun...



SOUTH


The South is the Emotional direction. The Coyote or Wolf sits here and teaches us about love, emotion and the value of Family and community. The color is Red and the season is Summer. This direction also represents the red race and the element here is Earth. In the sweatlodge this is the second round which is used to honor the male aspect of life.The Jumping Mouse is also used to represent the South and more specifically for us not to be fearful like the little mouse. Think about courage and facing your fears...



WEST


The West is the Physical direction and is also the direction that Healing comes from. The color is Black and the season is fall. The Medicine Bear lives here and brings the healing to us. This direction is the black race and the element is water. The Thunderbeings also live in the West. This is the third and healing round in the sweatlodge.



NORTH


The North is the Mental direction or the direction where wisdom comes from. It is also the direction where we learn about sacrifice. The season is winter and the color is white. This is where the White Buffalo lives and the direction where the elders sit. The North is an end and a beginning. The race here is the white race and the element is air. In the sweatlodge this round is for ourselves. For the coastal people the Salmon sits here to once again represent the wisdom from sacrifice.



ABOVE


Father sky is above us and the color we use to represent our father is blue. The sky like our own father's watches over us. Above we can see a clear vision or direction.



BELOW


Earth Mother is below us and the color we use th represent her is green. We also use the turtle to represent her. Our mother sits beside our father. Everything we have comes from her, the cloths on our backs, the food we eat etc. Earth mother and the life givers are sacred. She takes care of us everyday. When you dig deep into her on a scorching hot day and feel her earth over your body cooling and drawing the heat out you know she loves you.



WITHIN
The seventh direction is the one within. We often don't consider ourselves to be of value or to be important but we are. The Creator, Great Spirit is in all of us. We are an essential part of life. We are life in action, loving, moving and growing. The sacred pipe touched to your heart, reaching within. Without you there is nothing.


WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS MEAN?
In the end our lives go in a circle. To be a human being is to travel all the directions of the wheel. We need to grow spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally. The four races need to come together for us the heal as a people. The Yellow, Red, Black and White race each was given a gift and a direction to work with. It takes four quarters to make a circle. Mother and Father side by side like Earth and Sky. We need to break down the gender lines and respect both sexes. We need to value ourselves and follow the path. You will know when you are on the path because like the moving stream you will go forward and if you are open to what the future holds you will go far...


 

 

 

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