Pagan And Earth-Based Religions

Native American Beliefs

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Native American's have different ways to represent their spirituality. One of the ways they represent their spirituality is though what they refer to as a medicine wheel. The medicine wheel symbolizes the individual journey that each person takes to find their own personal path. The medicine wheel has the four cardinal directions and the four sacred colors inside it, While the circle itself represents the circle of life and the center of the circle stands for the eternal fire. The eagle that looks to be flying East symbolizes strength, endurance and vision, while going East is a symbol of the renewal of life.

The four cardinal directions of the medicine wheel are East, North, West, and South. Although these are the four cardinal directions there are three additional directions that used and those are up above, down below, and the center. With each direction comes a sacred color that symbolize there own meaning. The direction East uses the color red that represents success and triumph, North uses the color blue meaning sadness, trouble or defeat, West uses the color black which stands for death, and the South uses the color white that stands for peace, happiness and serenity. The three additional directions also use colors but they have no apparent meaning. Up above uses the color yellow, down below uses the color brown, and the center uses the color green.

Along with the colors comes the seasons that go along with each direction. The North has what the Cherokee people call go-la which means winter because this was the season of survival and waiting. They use the direction u-yv-tlv or North as we know it for this season because there word means "cold". The East, ka-lv-gv, has what is called gi-la-go-ge or spring. Spring is the season of re-awakening, victory over the winter and the power of new life. The South, u-ga-no-wa meaning "warm", uses summer because this is a time of plenty, and the West, wu-de-li-gv, has autumn because this is the time of the final harvest and the end of Life's Cycle.

The medicine wheel is a symbol for the wheel of life in that it is always evolving and teaching new lessons while one is walking the path. It is based on the understanding that each person must stand on every spoke and honor every direction. It's purpose is to teach that all lessons are equal, as are all talents and abilities. It is a pathway to truth, peace, and harmony that is never ending. While on the path the road that runs South to North is called the "Good Red Road." This path teaches the lessons of physical life. One will enter the blue or black road after death, this is the spiritual world. The blue road of the spirit runs East to West, and in spirit one will continue to learn by helping those that remain on the "Good Red Road." The medicine wheel is a journey though life, and the afterlife, as while as rebirth and honor for each of the step along the way.

More about this author: Natasha Mather

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