“You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle…”

 

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“You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round. In the old days when we were a strong and happy people, all our power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation, and so long as the hoop was unbroken, the people flourished. The flowering tree was the living center of the hoop, and the circle of the four quarters nourished it. The east gave peace and light, the south gave warmth, the west gave rain, and the north with its cold and mighty wind gave strength and endurance.

This knowledge came to us from the outer world with our religion. Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nests in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours. The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle. The moon does the same, and both are round. Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves. Our teepees were round like the nests of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation’s hoop, a nest of many nests, where the Great Spirit meant for us to hatch our children.” (1)

by Black Elk of the  Oglala Sioux from “Black Elk Speaks” as told to John Neihardt in 1961.

(This is an amazing book I highly recommend it. ❤ )

 

Who was Black Elk? 

“(Nicholas Black Elk [Hehaka Sapa] (c. December 1863 – 17 August or 19 August 1950 [sources differ]) was a famous Wichasha Wakan (Medicine Man or Holy Man) and Heyoka of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux). He participated at about the age of twelve in the Battle of Little Big Horn of 1876, and was wounded in the massacre that occurred at Wounded Knee in 1890)”(Check out this source for more that inspires you in your life and personal journey) (2)

 

Though it does not in any way take away from it, it is good to also note that while telling the amazing story of his people and his autobiography prior to the influence of both “White man” and Christianity, the fact was that Black Elk had already been a Christian for years. Did this affect his later interpretations and method of his own people and personal history? What do you think?

“In 1904, an incident happened that, according to Lucy,…” his daughter, “… was the catalyst for Black Elk’s conversion. Black Elk was called to perform a healing ceremony for a sick child. During the ceremony, Father Lindebner, from the Holy Rosary Mission at Pine Ridge, arrived to give the boy last rites. He was angry to find Black Elk practicing shamanism and threw Black Elk and his magic props out of the tent. According to Lucy, Black Elk was not angry, but accepted the idea that the white God was more powerful (Steltenkamp 36). That same year, Black Elk was baptized, received the Christian name Nicholas and was thereafter often called Nick Black Elk by both Indians and whites…..In teaching Catholicism, Black Elk used a pictorial device that was common at the time called a picture catechism. This was a strip of paper about a foot wide and several feet long illustrating the Creation at the bottom and Heaven at the top. This pictorial was commonly called the Two Roads Map and contained many colorful pictures of humans and fanciful creatures that might be encountered on the gold road to Heaven or the black road to Hell. There were striking physical similarities between some of the images on this map and the images that Black Elk described in his vision. Black Elk interpreted his vision as a call to heal and to lead his people to a good and spiritual life. However, there was also a part of his vision that indicated that he had the power for great destruction and that he was to lead his people in war against the whites. Intelligent and practical he could probably see the futility in this and was able to reconcile his vision with the idea of leading his people into Christianity. Black Elk’s vision gave him power in the eyes of his people, but was also a terrible obligation to live up to. He spent his entire life agonizing over whether he was living up to the dictates of vision. Converting may have let him off the hook in regard to some of obligations of his vision. Lucy felt that her father saw parallels and connections between old Lakota religion and Christianity (Steltenkamp 102)….What were Black Elk’s motivations for telling his story? Neihardt said that he believed Black Elk’s purpose was to preserve his great vision and Lakota history for his people after he was gone. To the Native American people, ritual and ceremony are extremely important. The very telling of the stories was a kind of ritual that could restore and transmit the power of the vision and transfer some of the burden of his vision onto Neihardt (Wiget 211). Wiget goes so far as to speculate whether Black Elk used Neihardt to send his message to his people before he died (Wiget 214), and that he purposely tried to draw parallels between Lakota spirituality and Christianity to elicit sympathy and help for his people from the whites (Wiget 83).” (3)

 

(1) http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Wisdom/BlackElk.html

(2)  http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Black_Elk

(3) http://archive.csustan.edu/english/reuben/pal/chap7/blackelk.html

 

 

 

Shared by Moro

Art title: “Native American Tale” by artist: da-joint-stock @ http://www.deviantart.com/art/Native-American-Tale-167670912

The Green Dragon and The White Tiger; “Heaven and Earth” ‘Taoist Cosmology’

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The Green Dragon and The White Tiger:


From “Heaven and Earth”
‘Taoist Cosmology’

“…Taoists believe that when the world began, there was only the Tao, a featureless, empty void pregnant with the potential of all things. At this point, the Tao generated swirling patterns of cloudlike energy, called qi (pronounced “chee”). This energy eventually developed two complementary aspects: yin, which is dark, heavy, and feminine, and yang, which is light, airy, and masculine. Yin energy sank to form the earth, yang energy rose to form the heavens, and both energies harmonized to form human beings. Consequently, the human body holds within it the energies of both the earth and the heavens, making it a microcosm of the world. Both yin and yang split further into subdivisions known as the Five Phases, which can be understood through their associations with the elements, seasons, and directions:

greater yang: wood and spring (east)
lesser yang: fire and summer (south)
greater yin: metal and autumn (west)
lesser yin: water and winter (north)
the central phase: earth and the solstices

The central phase represents a balance of yin and yang.

The primary symbols of yin and yang in ancient China were the white tiger and green dragon, also symbols of autumn and spring, respectively. By the Song dynasty, the Taiji diagram, commonly known in the West as “the yin-yang symbol,” came to represent yin and yang as well…”

Copyright © 2000, The Art Institute of Chicago.

Source @ http://www.artic.edu/taoism/tradition/introb.php

 

Moro


boy oh boy, some original artists are very difficult to find…luckily I was able to find this one!

Art title: ‘Yin Yang’ by artist: donsgirl @ http://orange-chan.deviantart.com/art/Yin-Yang-76077416

The 12 Moons of the year:

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The 12 Moons of the year: (some vague Native American names and associations are also listed here, but not all. There are indeed more. )

January: The Wolf Moon, also known as the Cold, Snow, Old or Winter Moon:

The Wolf Moon can be seen as a time of both beginnings and endings. This full Moon appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages. To some Native American tribes, this was the Snow Moon, but most applied that name to the next full Moon, in February.

February: The Storm Moon, also known as the Snow, Death, Hunger or Quickening Moon:

…is a time to do magick for fertility and strength. In the olden days, it was a time of true hardship. Usually the heaviest snows fall in February. Hunting becomes very difficult, and hence to some Native American tribes this was the Hunger Moon.

March: The Chaste Moon, also known as the Seed, Sap, Worm Moon, the Chaste Moon:

…is a time to plant mental seeds- thoughts of success and hope. This is also a time of purity and newness. It is a time to mentally prepare yourself for new experiences. At the time of this spring Moon, the ground begins to soften and earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of robins. This is also known as the Sap Moon, as it marks the time when maple sap begins to flow and the annual tapping of maple trees begins.

April: The Seed Moon, also known as the Egg, Sprouting Grass, Fish, Grass, Pink or Wind Moon:

This is the time to sow the seeds of Magic. If your planting a magical garden, you want to get out there and put things into the earth. This is a time to move your planning phase into action. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon. Flowers spring forth in abundance this month.

May: The Hare Moon, also known as the Flower, Pink, Corn Planting, Milk or Planting Moon:

…is a time of health, love, romance, and wisdom. It is also a great time to rekindle the romantic spark and passion in a relationship. This full Moon heralded the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox—one of the first spring flowers.

June: The Lovers Moon, also known as the Strawberry, Hot or Rose Moon:

The Lovers Moon brings with it energy for love, marriage, and success. The Algonquin tribes knew this Moon as a time to gather ripening strawberries. It is also known as the Rose Moon and the Hot Moon.

July: The Mead Moon, also known as the Blessing, Lightning, Buck or Thunder Moon:

…is a time of enchantment, health, rebirth, success and strength. It is also a time of celebration and magic. Remember that mead is the nectar of the Gods. Now is a good time for prosperity magic. Bucks begin to grow new antlers at this time. This full Moon was also known as the Thunder Moon because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month.

August: The Wyrt Moon, also known as the Wort, Barley, Corn, Sturgeon, Green Corn or Red Moon:

…is a time of abundance, agriculture and marriage. At this time you might want to do magic to help someone else reap the benefits of the Earths abundance. (With their permission of course!) Some Native American tribes knew that the sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this full Moon. Others called it the Green Corn Moon.

September: The Harvest Moon, also known as the Barley, Full Corn or Hunters Moon:

The harvest Moon is a time of protection, prosperity, and abundance. The energy of the Harvest Moon will help along any magick that is geared to bring you or someone else abundance. This full Moon corresponds with the time of harvesting corn. It is also called the Barley Moon, because it is the time to harvest and thresh the ripened barley. The Harvest Moon is the full Moon nearest the autumnal equinox, which can occur in September or October and is bright enough to allow finishing all the harvest chores.

October: The Blood Moon is sometimes called the Falling Leaf, Travel, Dying or Hunters Moon:

It is a Moon of new goals, protection, resolution, and spirituality. The night of the Blood Moon is a great time for divination of any kind. At this time of year all of nature is making ready for winter. This is a time to reflect on what you did during the year and to evaluate you accomplishments. This is the month when the leaves are falling and the game is fattened. Now is the time for hunting and laying in a store of provisions for the long winter ahead.

November: The Snow Moon, is also known as the Beaver, Mourning, Frost or Tree Moon:

This is a good time to work with abundance, prosperity, and the bonds of family and friendship. This is also an excellent time to use divination to get an idea of whats up ahead. Remind yourself that although winter is coming, it will not last forever. For both the colonists and the Algonquin tribes, this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs.

December: The Oak Moon, also known as the Cold or Long Night Moon:

The oak Moon is a time for hope and healing. This time of the year the Moon has reign over the earth, because there are more hours of night than day. Our thoughts turn to rebirth of the light and the longer days that are promised after winter solstice. Thai is a great time to let go of old patterns or problems and start anew. If something has been eating at you for a long time, work to give it up at this time. Let go of the negative and let the light of longer days shine inside you. This is the month when the winter cold fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark.

Moro