Happy summer solstice! The longest day of the year when the sun appears to stand still in the sky… watching over all of us, illuminating everything in our lives that need healing. We give thanks for everything the sun does for us. We honor the “Sundancers” who begin their sacred journey this day. We dance and sing outdoors, we explore new areas and go on amazing new adventures. We honor making new relationships and the making of relatives, one of the seven sacred rights of the Lakota Sioux called the “Hunkapi Ceremony.” The Seven Sacred Rights are:
Nagi Gluhapi: Keeping of the Soul
Inipi: Rite of Purification
Hanbleceya: Crying For a Vision
Wiwanyag Wacipi: Sun Dance
Hunkapi: The Making of Relatives
Isnati Awicaliwanpi: A Girl’s Coming of Age
Tapa Wankaye: The Throwing of the Ball
The Seven Lakota Values, given by the White Buffalo Calf Woman include Praying, Respect, Caring and Compassion, Honesty and Truth, Generosity and Caring, Humility, and Wisdom.
We honor Creator for all that we have and we feast and pray together as “One Tribe.” Bless you, your family and everything in your life. Bless this day.
This is not just another day! It is a very special day according to many North American indigenous tribes and other ancestral tribes around the world.
December 21st marks the first day of winter and is the shortest day of the year for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. It marks a time of colder months to come. After the Winter Solstice, each day becomes longer until the longest day of the year arrives around June 21st, the summer solstice.
The term solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning ‘the Sun stands still’. This is because, on this day, the Sun reaches its southern-most position as seen from the Earth. The Sun seems to stand still and then reverses its direction. It’s also common to call it the day the Sun turns around.
Long ago, we use to honor this time because we had such a deep spiritual connection to what it meant for us.
Many Native American tribes would observe the winter solstice through rites and rituals that honor our ancestors, beliefs, and is also a way of offering prayer and gratitude.
Traditionally, a prayer stick or paho was made by each family member starting four days before the solstice. Then on the day of the solstice, the head of the household would dig small holes and the members would plant the prayer sticks in the holes. They were then given back to the earth in honor of our ancestors. It was common for family members to all participate in ceremony.
Prayer sticks are most commonly made out of a piece of forked cedar that was equivalent in length from your elbow to your fingertips.
In a respectful way, you would find a tree that you feel a deep connection with then ask it permission and offer tobacco, if you can have this part of it to use for your ceremony. You will know by listening to your intuition whether you are permitted or not. Most often, if done in a respectful way, you will be permitted.
Once permission was granted, you could then begin to personalize and decorate the stick with your medicine.
In Prayer, you would begin to add sacred items to your stick. Some of the most common ways to decorate would be to remove or carve into the bark. You can add a feather, traditionally turkey feathers were used. Tobacco may be placed in a red cloth and tied to the stick. Fur, bones, teeth and other parts of animals can be added depending on the type of prayer or medicine you wish to bring forth into your life.
I wanted to share this information for those who may have experienced the same problem. This came about as I was about to hold a New Moon Ceremony to release any and all negativity out of my life. I’ve been told by several different people on several different occasions that I have taken a vow of poverty. I didn’t know what they meant so because I didn’t understand, I didn’t give it much attention. Then on November 17th, 2017, I had a thought that when I did the New Moon Ceremony today on the 18th that I would ask to have this vow of poverty released. So I began to do some research and learned a lot about this and other vows and about the history of generational curses and how to break them. It’s actually quite simple.
What is a generational curse? A generational curse can be a spiritual, mental, physical or emotional problem or pattern that you and your family continue to repeat generation after generation.
It is believed that generational curses can go on for four generations but once the curse is broken, the blessings can go on for a thousand generations.
How do we inherit the curse and why is it keep happening to us? The curse can be caused by several things. These are things that your ancestors and relatives of the past including your Grandparents, your Mother, and your Father have done. The reason we are suffering from it is that it is passed down through our DNA and it is up to us to stop it or break the chain. Now, while you may not have committed any of the following crimes, you can still carry the vow of the curse. The top three reasons these curses affect us are:
Trespass: Doing something against one’s will or without permission including them, their possessions or their land.
Iniquity: A violation of Creators moral law, perversity and acting out really bad behavior.
Sin: To knowingly act against divine law
What are some examples of these curses? Although there are many different curses, here are a few examples. Have you or anyone of your family members experience any of these? Can you think of any others?
Failure, self-worth, pity, sorrow, victim
Poverty, lack, hunger, scarcity
Being very judgemental or critical of self and others, pointing fingers
Disease and illness
Divorce, breaking relationships, searching from relationship to relationship and never being totally happy
Accidents and injuries
Any type of abuse, mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual
Addictions, sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling
How to remove, release, break any curse in your life and the lives of your family members for good!
You can do this at any time. I am doing it on a new/dark moon and can expect to see the miraculous results begin to happen of the full moon.
Ask yourself, “What do I have to do to be free of ________” or “What must I do to have ________ in my life?” Then just listen for the answers. Really listen.
Next, In a prayer state…
Admit what you or a family member has done wrong. Get specific. Don’t leave anything out! Even admit things you may not even know about.
Ask for forgiveness for yourself and for your family members.
Believe! Have faith that things will change and feel the curse being lifted.
And so it is.
Another great thing to complete the ceremony is to submerge yourself underwater. This is a great form of cleansing and purification.
Now, over the next couple of days/weeks, begin to notice how things have changed for you.
This is great background music to listen to while performing the ceremony. Unless you do it outdoors, then let nature be your symphony!
Please be advised that this is just my story and my understanding and that I don’t favor any religion or particular belief system in doing so. This is not a recommendation or a quick fix. For those with serious illness, please seek the advice of a licensed professional.
This magical photograph was taken down inside the Kiva here at Mesa Verde National Park. It is a panorama of 8 images. TI wanted to convey a sense of Spiritual awareness with the Ancestral Puebloans ( Anasazi ). The shadows and light coming down from the world above invokes a sense of timelessness. One almost expects to see the Elders gathered here. This photograph was taken in late August of 2012, ( Spruce Tree House ).
A kiva is a room used by modern Puebloans for religious rituals, many of them associated with the kachina belief system. Among the modern Hopi and most other Pueblo peoples, kivas are square-walled and underground, and are used for spiritual ceremonies.
Similar subterranean rooms are found among ruins in the American southwest, indicating ritual or cultural use by the ancient peoples of the region including the Ancient Pueblo Peoples, the Mogollon and the Hohokam. Those used by the ancient Pueblos of the Pueblo I Era and following, designated by the Pecos Classification system developed by archaeologists, were usually round, and generally believed to have been used for religious and other communal purposes.
When designating an ancient room as a kiva, archaeologists make assumptions about the room’s original functions and how those functions may be similar to or differ from kivas used in modern practice. The kachina belief system appears to have emerged in the Southwest at approximately AD 1250, while kiva-like structures occurred much earlier. This suggests that the room’s older functions may have been changed or adapted to suit the new religious practice.
As cultural changes occurred, particularly during the Pueblo III period between 1150 and 1300, kivas continued to have a prominent place in the community. However, some kivas were built above ground. Kiva architecture became more elaborate, with tower kivas and great kivas incorporating specialized floor features. For example, kivas found in Mesa Verde were generally keyhole-shaped. In most larger communities, it was normal to find one kiva for each five or six rooms used as residences. Kiva destruction, primarily by burning, has been seen as a strong archaeological indicator of conflict and warfare among people of the Southwest during this period.
Fifteen top rooms encircle the central chamber of the vast Great Kiva at Aztec Ruins National Monument. The room’s “…purpose is unclear…. Each had an exterior doorway to the plaza…. Four massive pillars of alternating masonry and horizontal poles held up the ceiling beams, which in turn supported an estimated ninety-five-ton roof. Each pillar rested on four shaped stone disks, weighing about 355 pounds apiece. These discs are of limestone, which came from mountains at least forty miles away.” (A Trail Guide to Aztec Ruins, 4th printing:WNPA, 2004).
After 1325 or 1350, except in the Hopi and Pueblo region, the ratio changed from 60 to 90 rooms for each kiva. This may indicate a religious or organizational change within the society, perhaps affecting the status and number of clans among the Pueblo people. The use of the kiva was for men and boys only.
Shamans Cave, also known as Robbers Roost, is a very special place in Sedona that when visited, one should show great respect to land and the people that are meditating and doing ceremony there. It is believed to have been a place where the Shaman of the local tribe would have performed healing and ceremony. Also, it is said that when you meditate in the cave long enough, you can hear messages from your ancestors.
The cave is a very large room, approximately 20 feet long, 40 feet wide and 15 feet high, and open on one side. Inside, there’s a near-perfect, six-foot-wide circular window cut out of the thick rock that neatly frames the amazing view. There are two distinct sets of ruins within this rock formation. There are also several metate’s in the floor where the natives would have used to grind special herbs or corn for healing and prayer.
Will you be in Sedona on the full moon? Join Rebekah for a Sunset Drumming Ceremony, Full Moon Hike and Meditation.
The full moon in some indigenous cultures represents a time of honoring and enjoying the rewards of our efforts. A time when our dreams, goals, and manifestations come to fruition.
We honor the full moon just as the indigenous natives of Sedona once did. This is the time when Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon can both be seen in the sky are opposite of each other with Mother Earth in between.
This pictograph can be found on the walls at the Hononki Heritage site in Sedona and was left here by the ancient people of this land.
Will you be in Sedona on the new moon? Join us for a New Moon Spiritual Journey Drumming Meditation in the tipi or out on the healing red rocks and learn sacred teachings and ancient Native ways with local Native Rebekah Two Moons. The new moon is all about releasing and setting new goals. This is a powerful ceremony for those who want to heal from the past and create a fun new future!
Release fear, loss, anger, emotional pain, physical pain and dis-ease, control issues, and gain more inner peace, love, compassion, gratitude, happiness and balance. Reconnect with nature and remember the truth of who you really are. Also gain more insight and clarity on your life’s path. Illuminate your passion for life!
This experience is located at one of Sedona most powerful vortexes sites. Experience a Medicine Wheel ceremony for releasing, forgiveness, gratitude, and abundance. Let the drum and sacred songs heal you from deep within. Gain insight and direction through a Shamanic Journey. Learn your Animal Totems and meet your animal spirit guides and receive messages and guidance. Enjoy a healthy meal and a peaceful setting at one of Sedona’s most charming vegan restaurants. Then complete your Sedona Healing Day with a Sacred Path Life Coaching session. After this day…. you just might feel like a new person and have a renewed love for life!
A Medicine Wheel is a ceremonial tool used by many spiritual people all over the world to perform rituals that honor the four directions, the sacred hoop of life, the animals, the sun, moon, Mother Earth, Father Sky, and many more aspects of the natural world.
“Medicine” is anything that deepens your relationship with the Creator and the Great Spirit and brings you closer to harmony and balance.
The wheel is made up of a circle divided into four directions, the east, south, west and north. Also a symbol of astrology, each person is represented somewhere within that circle depending upon their birth month and day. That placement is associated with a special moon, power animal, totem clan, healing plant, color and mineral. Learn more about Animal Totems.
At the wheel, we say a prayer for releasing, forgiveness, gratitude and abundance. When we speak out loud to the universe we are stating our intentions and this is very powerful. I’ve seen miraculous things happen, some of which most people won’t believe or even understand.
Before entering the wheel in the East we will offer some kind of herb or prayer. This is an offering to let the spirits know that we enter with pure hearts and leave any ego or negativity outside of the sacred wheel. Cornmeal, tobacco, sage, cedar, rose petals and many other natural gifts may be offered before going into the wheel. I’ve also seen gold glitter and crystals. Offering something before we enter the wheel is a good practice. It is said that before we enter any sacred space or even just going out into nature for a vision quest, it is good practice to offer something at the “door.” Like some traditions, one would bring a gift when going to their home to visit. It’s also common practice to smudge yourself before going into ceremony.
I’ve worked with children from the age of three to the grandmothers and grandfathers, all seem to have something to pray about.
The prayer we hold is not associated to any religion, it includes all living things such as the Creator, the Great Spirit, the animals, the four directions of the universe, our ancestors, and other things that bring us closer to nature. It’s also like stating your intentions.
In the Medicine Wheel we drum and sing songs for forgiveness and gratitude. We offer our blessings and prayers to Mother Earth and Father Sky, to Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon, to the four directions and the animals that represent them. The sound of the drum and rattle is healing and have been used for thousands of years. Some receive healing from just the sound and some also receive a vision.
Most people experience a lightness and tingling sensation. Some don’t want to leave the wheel because they feel so connected a sense of true security that they are afraid to leave the wheel and lose it. This is a feeling and an experience that can be done at any time and in any place.
Over the years I’ve been assisting people from all over the world to heal past wounds, physical, emotional and spiritual. I never know what to expect with each one and they are all different. No matter what you want to do from heal physical pain to an old emotional wound, drumming in the medicine wheel can help. This can help release negativity that you have been carrying around for a long time, sometimes we don’t even realize we are carrying it.
MEDICINE WHEEL TEACHINGS
The medicine wheel dates back thousands of years originating from the Northern Plains. Today, Medicine Wheel ceremonies are becoming more popular and can be found all over the world. As the teachings spread to different cultures, it is a bit modified, therefore not every ceremony will be alike. Each will be a bit different and that’s okay.
The medicine wheel represents the many cycles of life. The circle is representative of life’s never ending cycle (birth, death, rebirth). Each stone or spoke placement in the wheel focuses on a different aspect of living.
The term “medicine wheel” was first applied to the Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming, the most southern and one of the largest in existence. That site consists of a central circle of piled rock surrounded by a circle of stone; “Rays” of stones travel out from the central core of rock and its surrounding circle. The structure looks like the wheel of a bicycle.
The Medicine Wheel can take many different forms. It can be an artwork such as artifact or painting, or it can be a physical construction on the land. Hundreds or even thousands of Medicine Wheels have been built in North America over the last several centuries.
Movement in the Medicine Wheel is typically in a clockwise, or “sun-wise” direction. This helps to align with the forces of Nature, such as gravity and the rising and setting of the Sun.
THE FOUR DIRECTIONS
There are many different interpretations of the Medicine Wheel. Each of the Four Directions (East, South, West, and North) are represented by the colors black, red, yellow, and white, which also represent the four colors of man or the four colors of corn. The Directions can also represent:
Stages of life: birth, youth, adult, and elder.
Seasons of the year: spring, summer, fall and winter
Aspects of life: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical
Elements of nature: fire (or sun), air, water, and earth
Animals: Eagle, Bear, Coyote, Buffalo
Ceremonial plants: Tobacco, Sweet grass, Sage, Cedar
The East is held to represent the mind, air, the color yellow and ‘yellow skinned peoples’, learning the groups to which people belong and the infant.
Lessons and gifts from the EAST, the place of first light, spring, and birth, include:
Warmth of the spirit
Purity, trust, and hope
Guidance and leadership
Capacity to remain in the present moment
The South holds the heart, fire, the color red and ‘red skinned peoples’, and the child.
Lessons and gifts from the SOUTH, the place of summer and youth, include:
Generosity, sensitivity, and loyalty
Testing of the physical body/self-control
Gifts of music and art
Capacity to express feelings openly in ways respectful to others
The West holds the spirit, water, the color blue or black, and ‘black-skinned peoples’ and Adulthood.
Lessons and gifts from the WEST, the place of autumn and adulthood, include:
Dreams, prayers, and meditation
Perseverance when challenged
Balance between passionate loyalty and spiritual insight
Use of personal objects, sacred of life’s meaning
Fasting, ceremony, self-knowledge, and vision
The North represents the final life stage in the wheel, being an elder and passing on knowledge to the next generation so that the wheel may start again just like the circle it takes after. It is also associated with the color white, representing the white hair of the elders and the white skinned people.
Lessons and gifts from the NORTH, the place of winter and elders, include:
Ability to complete tasks that began as a vision
Detachment from hate, jealousy, desire, anger, and fear
Ability to see the past, present, and future as interrelated
These are all different teaching from all corners of the earth, and as you can see they each slightly differ from one another. Therefore in creating and performing a Medicine Wheel Ceremony, there is no wrong way to do it. So dance, sing, shake the rattles and beat the drum as it all will help you on your personal medicine path.
In other practices, the Northern direction corresponds to Adulthood (the White Buffalo), the South represents Childhood (the Serpent), the West represents Adolescence (the Bear) and the Eastern direction represents Death and Re-birth (Eagle). In terms of social dynamics, community building and the use of Circles in Restorative Justice work, the four quadrants of the circle correspond to Introductions.
According to Native American astrology we were all born into a particular direction of the wheel and given an animal totem and animal clan.
The concept of the medicine wheel symbolically represents a nonlinear model of human development. Each compass direction on the wheel offers lessons and gifts that support the development of a balanced individual. The idea is to remain balanced at the center of the wheel while developing equally the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of one’s personality. The concept of the medicine wheel varies: different groups attribute different gifts to positions on the wheel. But the following offers a generalized overview of some lessons and gifts connected with the development process.
MOON CYCLES OF THE WHEEL
The waxing moon is represented by the east. New beginnings. A fresh cycle is occurring in your life. Wipe the slate clean, it’s time to release the old and start again.
The full moon is represented by the south. Abundance and prosperity in all forms. Expansion. Surging energy. Activity. Movement. Rapid growth. Be open to receiving the bounty of the universe.
The waning moon is represented by the west. Transformation. Letting go of the old. Initiation. Illumination. Harvest. Gather inner resources. Trust. Chaos brings positive change.
The new moon is represented by the north. Take time for contemplation. Look within. Connect with your ancestors. Dream up ideas.Meditate. Forgiveness.
FOUR DIRECTIONS PRAYER
Standing in the East
Thank you Thunkaslia (Creator), Wankan Tanka (Great Spirit), Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Ancestors, All of our Spirit Guides and our Animal Spirit Guides for bringing us Wanbli Galeshka (the Eagle) in the East. We ask that you lend us your strong eyes to be able to see our lives from above.
And where Grandfather Sun rises every day to warm our bodies, gives us light to see, and grow our crops. We thank you for the abundance that you bring us.
And the spring time that brings us new beginnings to express our unique talents and creativity.
The direction that represents the infant being born into this earth to begin a new earth walk.
Standing in the South
Thank you Thunkaslia (Creator), Wankan Tanka (Great Spirit), Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Ancestors, All of our Spirit Guides and our Animal Spirit Guides for bringing us Heyoka (the Coyote) in the South.
Help us learn to balance work and play, to awaken the child within and return to innocence. Show us how to laugh more and have more fun, and to not take life too seriously and to recognize this.
The direction that represents the youth and the children. Help us to be good examples and take care of the young ones.
Standing in the West
Thank you Thunkaslia (Creator), Wankan Tanka (Great Spirit), Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Ancestors, All of our Spirit Guides and our Animal Spirit Guides for bringing us Matho (the Bear) in the West.
We ask Bear for strength and courage in our adult lives to face our fears and difficult situations with ease. Help us to turn this fear into excitement so that we may live our lives to the fullest.
We also ask for the ability to know when to go within to seek answers and for spiritual guidance. And to trust that we can always find answers in ourselves and in nature.
The west representing adulthood when maturity and responsibility sets in and the ability to create new life and explore our world becomes our path.
Standing in the North
Thank you Thunkaslia (Creator), Wankan Tanka (Great Spirit), Grandmothers, Grandfathers, Ancestors, All of our Spirit Guides and our Animal Spirit Guides for bringing us Tatanka (the Buffalo) in the North.
We ask to remember the day when the buffalo roamed freely upon this land. And when the early people saw that and knew that all of their need would be met, and they would have everything that they need right when they needed it. They saw abundance in everything and did not know of lack. Help us return to that time.
Teach us to honor and respect our elders, the ones who came before us and have lived many years.
The direction that represents our elders, the white hair ones, the wise ones. Let their voices be heard so that we may learn the old ways and carry on the traditions of our ancestors.
Standing in the Center
Thank you Maka (Mother Earth) for being here for us two leggeds, and for all of our relations. Help us to respect you more and spend more time with you knowing that we can always find true security in you. Help us to walk lightly among your sacred body and appreciate all living things and all of creation that we share it with. Thank you for all our two-legged brothers and sisters. Help us to all live in harmony and peace with each other. Thank you Mother Earth for our four-legged friends, the finned ones, the furry ones, the winged ones, and the creepy crawly ones. Thank you for the stone people, and the plant people who share their fruit and medicine with us.
Thank you Father Sky for expanding our awareness of the unknown and for Grandfather Sun that gives us light to see, warmth and comfort, the nurturing you give to grow our crops and food from the earth.
Grandmother Moon for our night dreams and inner guidance and intuitive insights, all the planets, stars galaxies and things we can’t see out there. Thank you Father Sky for reminding us that we are all connected and all a very important part of this grand universe.
Thank you Self. Go within and say silent prayers to yourself. Send love to yourself. Thank yourself for always doing the best you can. Tell yourself you are doing a good job and that you will always be okay.
Aho Mitakuye Oyasin (All my relations) Hetchetu Welo! And so it is done!
CREATE A PERSONAL MEDICINE WHEEL
A personal medicine wheel can be made using items such as crystals, arrowheads, seashells, feathers, animal fur, bones, and so on. Take time to reflect on each aspect of your life (self, family, relationships, life purpose, community, finances, health, etc.) as you place objects within the circle.
The medicine wheel is a symbol of balance. During the process of creating a wheel you will begin to recognize what areas of your life are out of balance, and where your attention is lacking and requires focus. Continuing working with the wheel after you constructed it. Sit with your wheel in silent meditation. Allow the wheel to assist you in gaining new and different perspectives.