The Medicine Wheel is a beautiful symbol of our Native culture. It is a relatively new symbol used by many people to show the connectedness of the indigenous people of Canada and North America. It is said to represent the four major aspects parts of a being human.
Its the image here – a balanced circle drawn into 4 equal sections with each section colored separately. Each section being either red, yellow, black or white. Each color represents an aspect of the human being.
These 4 sections are commonly said to be:
The way in which the aspects of this symbol are described, shows the basis of why and how we – the Indigenous peoples of this land are troubled.
As you look at how these human parts are called – notice how spiritual is a separate part – like a religion – a separate piece of a human being. How can anyone separate the part of us which gives life or gives force or energy?
I believe that this depiction shown here is about making our way of life separate from our life… separate from our source – our ancestors – separate from our CREATOR. Our creator being our source of everyday life and this is where our strength came from. But, how can we people claim and hold our uniqueness with this planet – GrandMother Earth when we plug into it like every other failed religion here.
When we plug into the rest of “mainstream society” as a component of religion – we compartmentalize our spirit way. We lose our true relationship with creation and creator… and we lose our identity as human being and become human doings. Doing spiritual ceremony to fulfill a contest or reach a goal… but not to live every day as a part of all of this whole world.
We become a participant in a religion and play a role as a religious person… while not living integrated with all things here. If spirituality is a different piece of all other aspects of being human – then where is the life force or source of the other ways? Spiritual is a way to be. while it is the way. It is a characteristic as a part of the human being and it is life itself.
This medicine wheel shows the basis of our troubles and as we research closer – we can see how the explanation is not right. All things are spirit. All ability to take part or create or do… is from spirit.
I believe that we must work on understanding our way… our way being living life in these times. How we do life – intimately, personally and inside ourselves and our homes. How we think. How we feel. What we really truly believe about our self. What we see how we do life and we see others. Specifically – when we paint a picture – describe, draw, write about how OUR PEOPLE live today and in relation to how we individually live – what would this picture be!
I am asking you to look at the words describing the modern medicine wheel and look closely to see if they help you to see what problems have happened to us… and to others.
This teaching is from the late Sundance Chief Sydney Keith.