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...
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
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...