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Posts Tagged ‘Great Mystery’

Significance of Big Horn Medicine Wheel

Native Indigenous Medicine Wheels are based in the peoples understanding of their respective cosmologies; their understanding of their universe, the creation of the earth, and humanity’s role in that creation.We tend to like Medicine Wheels icons because they are colorful but we often fail to realize that these smaller, ornamental wheels are based upon larger constructs built in nature hundreds of years  to thousands of years ago.  These constructswere used to mark the movement of planets, stars and other astronomical constructs.   Native Indigenous people had a deep understanding of the astronomical occurrences  in North America.  These astronomical occurrences were used to govern the movement of peoples to seasonal camping habitats and the timing of  certain rituals. 

Big Horn Medicine Wheel-Wyoming

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The Structure of a Lodge


notice frame, rock pit in center, altar in background and firepit.  from: http://journal.earthwitness.jpg

notice frame, rock pit in center, altar in background and firepit. from: http://journal.earthwitness.jpg

The lodge is constructed from the inside out.  The rock pit, which holds the rocks and the circumference of the lodge, is marked in the earth by using two sticks tied together by a string. One stick is placed in the ground to mark the center of  what will become the rock pit.  The string is stretched out and the second stick is then used to scratch out the cirumference of the lodge in the earth.  The Fire Pit, where the rocks are heated, is also marked.  Both areas are consecrated with tobacco and prayers.  Once this is done both pits are then  dug out and the soil which is removed is used to create an earth altar either between the fire pit and the rock pit or in an area slightly north of where the door will be.  Once the pits are consecrated and cleared, the spacing of the poles is marked and the poles placed in the ground.

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