circles Last update: Dec 12, 2023

Native American Circles

          We usually gather in a circle - -
      A circle is unbroken. There is no beginning, no end. There are no sides. When people gather in a circle, each can see the others, face to face. No one is above another. No one is below. All are equal.

The following are related:

      The talking feather -
      Over time it has been observed that humans may see more clearly when they take a step back. Passing a feather around the circle so that all may see who is speaking has been shown to facilitate conversation for the benefit of all. The talking feather also guarantees confidentiality.

      Sacred Ceremony -
      A sacred ceremony is a formal honoring event occurring at a point in time. It has both physical and spiritual components. Ceremony promotes respect, unity, harmony and cooperation.
Click here to go to Ceremony page

      Gratitude -
      Being thankful, expressing gratitude raises a person's energy level, helps one feel better. Saying "thank you" when unpleasantly surprised improves the overall attitude and calms the mind.
Gratitude also raises general energy levels and is usually expressed in an initial round when passing the talking feather. We give thanks first thing upon waking and last thing before sleeping. To see "the Words that Come Before All Else" go to WBAE

      The Four Directions -

med wheel

There are 4 directions, four main points of a compass, four points of a cross.
American indigenous use colors to indicate each direction. Different groups may use different color combinations.
      In the M'hican - Ojibwe tradition:
yellow [o-zuh-wan] - east - dawnland, rising sun; beginnings, birth, spring, fire, physical
red [mish-qua] - south - sun's warmth is strongest; growth; youth, summer, air, emotional
black [moo-ka-day] - west - go into dark, setting sun, thunder, rain; maturity, fall, water, mental
white [wa-bish-ka] - north - land of snow, ice, cold; elders' wisdom; winter, earth, spiritual
      Example shown is the Hopi Meicine Wheel

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