1. says

    East (Yellow) -- Wioheumpata -- The direction from which the sun comes. Light dawns in the morning and spreads over the earth. This is the beginning of a new day. It is also the beginning of understanding because light helps us see things the way they really are. On a deeper level, East stands for the wisdom helping people live good lives.

    South (White) -- Itokaga -- Because the southern sky is when the sun is at its highest, this direction stands for warmth and growing. The sun’s rays are powerful in drawing life from the earth. It is said the life of all things comes from the south. Also, warm and pleasant winds come from the south. When people pass into the spirit world, they travel the Milky Way’s path back to the south -- returning from where they came.

    West (Black) -- Wiyokpiyata -- To the west, the sun sets, and the day ends. For this reason, west signifies the end of life. As Black Elk says, “… toward the setting sun of his life.” The great Thunderbird lives in the west and sends thunder and rain from its direction. For this reason, the west is also the source of water: rain, lakes, streams and rivers. Nothing can live without water, so the west is vital.

    North (Red) -- Waziyata -- North brings the cold, harsh winds of the winter season. These winds are cleansing. They cause the leaves to fall and the earth to rest under a blanket of snow. If someone has the ability to face these winds like the buffalo with its head into the storm, they have learned patience and endurance. Generally, this direction stands for hardships and discomfort to people. Therefore, north represents the trials people must ensure and the cleansing they must undergo.

  2. says

    Thanks, Ice Swimmer!

    Jim, no problem at all, I copypastaed from a school in Pine Ridge. Much clearer than I would have been at this point (meds, they eat my brain by evening). When you see a prayer wheel like so:

    Those are the four directions. There are two more when it comes to prayer*, blue, which is sky (Father), and green, which is earth (Mother). Those two colours are in the horse’s eye.
    * Not remotely like the western concept of prayer.

  3. jimb says

    Well, then thanks for the copypasta. :-)

    Those two colours are in the horse’s eye.

    Oh! I didn’t notice that at first. Wow, a whole lot of meaning and symbolism in there.

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