12/28/2014 16 Comments
Of earth and sky
The old ones know this truth – no two spirit roads are the same. It is not our place to see the way for others, only to see the way for ourselves. There is great wisdom in the understanding that each of us has a personal walk with Spirit. And that walk is indeed, personal. It is unique for each of us. And yet, we are not alone in our journey. We have each other to share with, and to learn from. For if we only see the world from our own perspective and close out all others, we will become narrow and shallow in our thinking and in our spirit. We will lose our connection to the greater good, and the oneness that exists in us all. This doesn’t mean we will always understand the view from the eyes of another. In fact, many times we won’t! What it does mean is that we have a responsibility to open our hearts and our ears and listen, that we may strengthen our humility through learning, and grow our wisdom through exploring the unknown. It is in that spirit that I share with you now….
In the Lakota way of life, we honor the seven directions of the Sacred Hoop. The seven directions are: 1. The East, 2. The South, 3 The West, 4. The North, 5. Mother/Grandmother Earth, 6. Father Sky, and 7. The Center. There are more details to each of these; I have kept to the basics to keep this discussion simple. These seven sacred winds are the sacred points on the spiritual journey of the good red road of life. They teach us how to live in each phase, how to look back and learn, how to look forward and seek, how to look down and grow, and how to look up and reach. There is an irony in the seven directions of the sacred hoop that I want to share with you. It is this: You cannot fully grasp the 7th direction until you experience the other 6. And yet, you cannot fully fathom all the lessons of the other 6 directions until you understand the 7th! Seems a bit like a dog chasing its tail doesn’t it? This is what it means to touch the spirit with your feet on the ground....
We walk on this earth. Our feet, our bodies and our rhythms are connected to the ground. We must remember this when we reach for the sky. For if, in that reaching, we lose our grounding, our sense of who and what we are, we will find ourselves adrift, rolling about in the spiritual ether like tumbleweed, with no root and of no use to anyone. We will bounce about from this to that, from here to there, unable to make deep connections and learn deep truths. We will tumble along with every strong wind that blows, chasing the swirling dust only to find that it vanishes like an apparition before us when we try to catch it. And so we must return to the earth. We must plant ourselves in its truth. We must seek not the quick and fleeting fanfare of a passing cloud, but rather commit to the long wait of deep roots and profound wisdom found only in the ground of our sacred path; the quiet, unassuming trail of respect, honor, humility and sacrifice. And so it is that we can really only touch the spirit and connect to its great power if we are planted with firm roots in the soil of humility, balance and love. Such is the way of the sacred hoop. We can only touch the 7th direction if we are planted in the other 6.
1/1/2015 05:17:43 am
Love your new site! I have enjoyed your newsletter from the beginning. Peace brother to you and Peggy! Happy New Year. Mitakuye Oyasin
1/3/2015 01:31:29 pm
LOVE it! You always say something that resonates with me on a spiritual level. Thank you, John, for your gift of words, wisdom and direction. Thank you, Ms. Peggy, for sharing John with the rest of us! Love you both SO MUCH.. :)
1/4/2015 03:53:16 am
Since I've seen you in Nightwish I am fascinated by your sounded and texts from your. Very nice Greetings from Hamburg Germany
1/5/2015 08:00:41 pm
I live in the land of the Salish Speaking Tribes.
11/11/2016 12:19:05 pm
Thanks for these words, John. They have particular meaning after this election. I plan to print them out and read them each day.
3/10/2017 07:56:31 pm
I like what you've said, it is very helpful. Greetings from Aotearoa New Zealand. Aroha Margaret
11/3/2017 10:14:42 am
thank you this not so help full maybe write more....
marie monque aube
2/13/2018 04:22:53 pm
I want to hear more it is very intersting.
2/27/2019 11:15:24 am
The words you spoke ring true. To walk in one area of the sacred hoop one must carry knowledge of the others, least thier walk be inbalanced and thier hearts empty. I myself am Choctaw and Hopi and understand your teaching well. I had spent 20 years walking my path on the Great Wheel across America and Eastern Canada to learn this wisdom. Now as I reside back in the west where I began,, I see many things with great clairity. This .Is what I am supposed to pass along to you. The time comes when the sacred Hoop and the Flowering tree will be healed. It is in this time before us. Keep your heart and spirit true to the teachings, We will see you and all relations there... Aho!!
Rev. Brad Learmonth
3/31/2020 09:30:47 am
Dear John, I am an ordained interfaith/interspiritual minister who received my training at One Spirit Learning Alliance, where I now serve as board president. I have always been drawn to indigenous spiritual traditions but am also very aware of and conscious to be respectful about appropriation. When I seek to create a ritual based on a tradition that is not my own, I want to honor it and only use what is appropriate. In my community of ministers we have folks from every tradition and culture and of course we have many western white people who tend to draw from those traditions and sometimes without thinking it through. Creating integrity in our consciousness integral to our practices at One Spirit is paramount. All that to say I am called to do an opening ritual for an intensive coming up for a group of us in leadership training and we have been asked to call in the directions. I would like to do this and honor all 7 directions, using the elements of each to then place on our altar. Do you have any suggestions on how I might do this, or shall I freely adapt what I know and learn and create a beautiful ritual that honors the spirit of this great tradition and feel it is ok to do so? I appreciate any consideration and feedbcak you might offer.
7/7/2020 08:33:03 am
6/20/2021 07:24:16 pm
Thank you for your words written in what seems to me great humility but equal wisdom. I am seeking to advise a nehiyaw (Cree) scholar writing about the rebalancing of gender relations that could be effected through recognition of the concept of okawimawaskiy (Mother Earth). She has referred to the Lakotas’ concept of the Six Grandfathers as the deities responsible for Creation. Here you refer to Earth as Mother/Grandmother and Sky as Father but not Grandfather. Sometimes the Cree refer to four or six directions and sometimes they refer to a seventh direction, that being “in,” which seems to me to be analogous to your concept of the Centre. Can you please help me clarify the gendering of the Creation deities and tell me if the “omission” of Grandfather as a version of the Sky was deliberate or just a typo? If the former, could you please explain?
6/20/2021 08:59:53 pm
Susan A Gingell
6/22/2021 08:14:14 pm
Thank you, John, for your prompt and helpful reply. Would I understand your message correctly were I to conclude that The Great Holy/Creator/Great Mystery is coded male in the Lakota context b/c of the synonymy with The Grandfathers?
John Noska.......Johnny White Bull
6/30/2021 07:41:42 pm
John Two Hawks...... thank you my brother for encouraging the others in your understanding of the seventh direction. My understanding came that Our Creator came as a two legged , and had so much of Himself, true love, to share with us, that as a true husband would die for His wife if necessary, He gave himself so that we could walk in Our Creators Holy Spirit , His presence , by being at rest after inviting Him into our mobile teepee, our body, now His Temple that we can gaze at His beauty throughout eternity....aho
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John Two-Hawks - Grammy nominated Native American Flute Music Recording Artist, author, activist and speaker. FULL BIO