Adapted from The Cherokee Full Circle, by J.T. Garrett and Michael Tlanusta Garrett (Inner Traditions, 2002).
The Universal Circle, a symbol of balance and harmony, is included in every aspect of the Native American way of life. In many Native American traditions, to “offer prayers” means calling out to the four winds for their sacred powers, since the four winds offer lessons from the four directions that make up the Universal Circle.
Each of us experiences this Circle and the four directions as we continue our journey of life. What are the lessons of the four directions? How do we experience this powerful image of wholeness? Find out here:
Circle of Life
The circle of life begins with the fire in the center, the birth, that spirals into the direction of the East for the protection of family while developing.
Then life spirals to the direction of the South to learn how to play, “and to learn of the fairness of games in nature.”
At about the age of seven we start our spiral to the direction of the West, where we learn competition and endurance for work and play through the teen years.
Then we spiral to the direction of the North, where we learn the skills and knowledge of an adult to be a teacher and master of our abilities or trade. We continue to spiral until we reach our elder years as we return to the sacred fire of life, to begin again the spirit world as ancestors.
This is the Universal Circle of life that brings us the understanding of our connections with all things within that circle.