Detail from back of "Face of Creator" Prayer Shirt


The East is the place of beginnings, renewal, of reawakening, of innocence and naturalness. In the East we learn to believe what we cannot yet see. We learn warmth of spirit, purity, trust, hope and to accept others without criticism. In the East courage and truthfulness are born.

In the East things become clear and we receive the gift of beautiful and clear speech which helps others to understand. In the East we see clearly through difficult situations and over a long time.

The Eagle and the Mouse are symbols of the East. We can see the difficulties of others and care enough to want to help. From the East comes leadership, we see connectedness and have faith in self and hope for people and trust in our own vision.

From the East we learn to be in the here and now, to focus on what is. We receive the gift of being fully present in the moment and the help to do tasks that require focus and attention to detail, like tasks of excellence of the artist and of the woodworker and the healer.

The mouse and the eagle are the teachers of what is true humility and what is most noble. Greatness of spirit and humility are opposite sides of the same reality. The Spirit of true leadership is service to the people. It is in humbling ourselves to serve others that we actually become our true selves as human beings. This is the greatest of all the lessons of the Medicine Wheel.

The horse that carries the traveller on the journey to search of the gifts of the four directions is named PATIENCE. The Eagle, in lonely flight above the world must learn the detached love for the people.



The South is the place of the Sun, of summer and fullness, of physical strength, of well-being, of youth. The South is a time to work to prepare for fall and winter. The South is a place of heart, of generosity, sensitivity to the feelings of others, of loyalty, of noble passions and of love.

In the South we learn that love and longing for another must not change into a desire to possess and control that person.

The south is a place to test the physical body, to discipline the body so that is responds to every command but never tries to direct our journey.

The ability to choose goals and decide to go after them is the second stage in the development of the human will. Senses can be trained to serve the whole person. The animal that symbolizes the South is the Cougar.

Gifts of music and grace of movement, an appreciation for the arts and keen senses are from the East. The East's gift of focus to the present becomes, in the South, an intense involvement in the world - the traveller learns that idealism that makes all great causes possible. Idealism is the response of the heart to the beauty or ugliness of the world around it. It is an emotional attraction to what is good or it is an emotional disgust by what is evil or harmful.

The lessons of the South include emotional capacity for love, loyalty, generosity, compassion and kindness and the capacity to be angry at injustice and disgusted by senseless violence.

Feelings can be made clearer, evaluated and developed. We are called to discipline feelings like we discipline our bodies We need to learn how to let go of deep hurts and anger. The most valuable and difficult gift of the South is the capacity to express feelings openly and freely in ways that do not hurt other beings.

This allows us to set aside feelings so we can listen to or help those around us. The Red Willow is the symbol of the East - strong and flexible, a survivor of tragedies. From the Red willow whistles and flutes are made to make music!


The West is the direction from which darkness comes, of the unknown, of going within, of dreams, of prayer and meditation. The West is a place of testing where the will is stretched to its outer limits. The nearer the goal, the greater the challenge - the more difficult the journey. "Stick-with-it" is the lesson of the West.

Thunder and lightening are from the West. The West is the direction of power to heal, to protect and defend and to see and know.

The traveller is to learn to manage power in ways that are in harmony with the teachings of the Sacred Tree. The teachers are the black bear and the turtle. The bear is the source of strength and the turtle is going inside. And it is the bear which gives us the strength to go inside.

The West balances the intense loyalty of the South with deep spiritual insights, gained by shutting out the noise of the world and going alone to pray and to be tested.

By our journey within to the centre of our beings it is possible to experience the connection between the human spirit and the rest of the universe. To experience the connection between the human spirit and the Creator (the gift of prayer).

The source of strength is to meet our Creator alone, often, and in special places for prayer and meditation.

Special / sacred objects symbolize parts of the person's spiritual journey through life. If understood they can help us become aware of how ordinary things can have great meaning in our spiritual life. The objects help the persons to focus themselves for prayer and meditation. We must take time to listen with all of our being to the guidance of the Universe. If we don't we are like a bird who has not yet learned to fly.

The greatest gift of the West is to accept ourselves as we really are both spiritually and physically. The West is the place of sacrifice - we learn that nothing is to be taken from the universe unless it is needed. The mystery of sacrifice is that there is no sacrifice.

From the West we can look East, to the place of innocence and first beginnings, to see ourselves naked to the universe, and then receive the gift of humility.

When we look at ourselves spiritually we come to understand why we have been sent to the world by Creator. Through prayer and meditation we will come to know and love Creator. This love willbecome so intense that the heat of love will become like a flame that devours all other love - like a moth drawn to the flame - so that this love fulfills the purpose for which we have been created. In the West the traveller can discover the gift of fasting, of ceremony, of clear self knowledge and of vision. The gift of vision is especially important. Vision is necessary because humans develop and grow trhough their own decisions. The inner spiritual vision learned from the symbolic teachers of the West help us to judge our ideals, goals and actions against a spiritual understanding about what a human being really is and about how human beings grow and develop.


The North:   This is the place of winter and snow, of the white hairs of elders, the dawning place of true wisdom. Here live teachers of the intellectual gifts which are symbolized by great Mountains and the Sacred Lake.

The special gifts of the North are to:

- think, synthesize and speculate

- predict, discriminate and solve problems

- imagine, analyse and understand

- calculate, criticise and remember

- interpret hidden meanings.

These gifts can be possessed by all but are obtained in different ways. The human mind can be trained to become a highly developed instrument. The beginning of training is difficult. All the gifts of the Medicine Wheel do not come automatically or easily, and often require a decision along with a great deal of effort over long times

The North is the direction of completeness and fulfilment, and is where we learn of all things that end. In the North we learn to complete what began as a far away vision.

In the North we find the capacity to finish what we have started, and this is of great importance to our well being. This is the final lesson in the development of the powers of the will.

The North teaches us detachment and allows us to see as one, the past, the present and the future. Detachment means freedom from hate, jealously, desire, anger and fear. It is a letting go of all things.

Even knowledge must be left behind, not to be forgotten, but to step outside of it so things can be seen in a different light. It is difficult to do this, yet, if we don't, they control us and stop us from thinking clearly.

To separate ourselves we need to see ourselves at the centre of the Medicine Wheel. From there we can see how we fit together with everything else. From the centre of the wheel we will see ourselves as a small, but truly sacred part of a very large process.

We will learn that we are not our bodies, not our thoughts, nor our feelings or insights, but rather something deeper and wider. We can watch our feelings, thoughts, insights and know that they are reflections in the mirror of the Sacred Lake.

The beginning of detachment and the beginning of surrender is learned in the fires of love. The end of detachment is learned in quiet moments on the shores of the Sacred Lake and cannot be told

The final gift is to know that we are always on the journey. Our true home is at the centre of the universe and to which we always must return.

The directions and gifts must be balanced. Wisdom teaches that all things fit together. Balance when applied to the connection between all human beings brings justice.

Justice is the greatest gift of the North!

From the North, look south and realize that to understand is not only a thing of the head, but also of the heart.

The Medicine Wheel turns forever.