Over the past few months, we have been sharing with you the Cardinal Directions of The Medicine Wheel. We have spoken about the directions and representations of the East, the South, and the West. We now make the final quarter turn around the wheel to the Cardinal Direction of the North.
This is the direction where we move into the place of our deepest reflection, where we move into the place of the shadow, and the dark night of the soul. The place of night, the place of Winter. Here in the North is the place of the ancestors, a place of the Grandmothers and Grandfathers, the place of our elder bloodlines. The North is the place of reflection and stillness. The place where the elders finally transition from this world to the next.
The North is also a place of gratitude, where we give thanks for the abundance of life. The great white buffalo is the animal of the North and represents the abundance of life. The buffalo gives it’s life for food, clothing and shelter, this is why we give thanks to the buffalo.
The North is the direction for the elders to come to the adolescents in the South, the elders being the teachers, who bring the stories and the wisdom to the youth. In the North we are in the mental body, where we go into the place of learning and thought.
r of the North is white, the plant of the North is sweetgrass, which we use to sweeten our prayers. The element of the North is air, and the sacred tool of the North is the smudging wand or fan. The crystal of the North is White Howlite. The sacred ceremony of the North is the smudging ceremony, where we cleanse and purify. The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, occurs in the North. The sound of the North is ‘aaaaaaaaaayyyyyy’
We call the road that runs from South to North, ‘The Good Red Road’; the walk of the beauty way. The way of peace, love, ease and grace, it is the elders who teach us this way.
The final move around the wheel is the one which takes us back from the North, to the East. In this space, the elders transition from life to death and back to rebirth. This completes the full cycle of the Cree Medicine Wheel and it’s representations.