Author Topic: Rainbow Family & Medicine Wheel Dance  (Read 3269 times)

Offline educatedindian

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Rainbow Family & Medicine Wheel Dance
« on: October 13, 2005, 05:09:56 PM »
debbieredbear2000" <debbieredbear2000@yahoo.com>
Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2003 00:23:43 -0000
Subject: [nafps_again] OMG!! A Medicine Wheel Dance!

At the Rainbow Gathering in Utah:
>
> For directions to the 2003 Rainbow Gathering (Utah, 60> miles east of
> Saltlake City) see:  www.welcomehome.org
>
> Rainbow 2002 - Annual Multi-Faith Gathering in the> Wilderness
> Allen Butcher, Denver, Colorado, July 2002
July 2nd Watersmeet, Ottawa National Forest, Upper Peninsula,  Michigan.
> Following is an excerpt from the 8 page report....
> Evening supper was held in a meadow near the Info Center,> with > another circle of thousands holding hands and oming and> cheering.  
> We sat down in the tall grass in two concentric circles> facing each > other while the food servers walked down the middle and> the > solicitors for contributions to the Magic Hat also> circulated. The
> Magic Hat funds would be used to buy more food and other> needed > items, like water. Two things I noticed was first a woman> walking > around the circle giving a quiet blessing at ten foot> intervals or > so over the people as they ate, motioning the Catholic> sign of the > cross at each stop. The second thing I noticed was all> the black dragonflies. Evidently they had just hatched in large
> numbers and > were zooming around deftly avoiding people while eatin every> mosquito in the field, providing for us humans a pleasant> supper in > the tall grass, undisturbed by the insects with which we> shared the > meadow.  Blessed are the dragonflies.>
> After supper I met up with a friend who knew about an> event planned > to take place at the Indigenous Elders' Camp. By dark we arrived at
> a clearing that had been blessed and otherwise prepared> for a Native  American creation ritual called the Medicine Wheel Dance.
> A group of two to three hundred people listened while a> couple > different people explained how last year in Idaho a> Native American elder who attended the Gathering had a vision of the> Rainbow Family > as a new tribal nation. This was certainly nothing new as people have been having such visions since the first Rainbow Gathering 30
> years before in 1972. Yet this person was part of a> network of Native American tribal elders that travels around to various tribes  to help them with rediscovering and reclaiming and> renewing their
> tribal traditions and culture. It was never said what tribes the Elders present were from nor what language was used for the prayer > offered. Nor was it explained which culture the Medicine
> Wheel Dance > was from, but it began with our filing out into the clearing clockwise around the path that had been made in a circle, then along
> the two lines bisecting the circle and marking the four> directions.  

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Rainbow Family & Medicine Wheel Dance
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2005, 05:10:52 PM »
Pt 2  
In the center was a fire pit, which was also encircled by> a group of people. The goal of performing this Medicine Wheel Dance was to
> help the  Rainbow Family to continue to build its own tradition of> ritual. We > were told that we were welcome to borrow from Native American
> Traditions what ever fit us, modifying what we find to> meet our own> unique history and culture. The Elders explained that this is how it  is in the Native Nations, that they seek to remember and
> honor the > old while making appropriate changes in their> contemporary> ceremonies. The Elders said that we were already close to> Native
> American ways with our concern for ecological and social > responsibility, yet that they noted areas for improvement> being  giving a stronger voice to women in the Family and to our> own elders > in our Rainbow Council meetings.
> A core group of people had already practiced this
> ceremony the > evening before, and they were to begin a group to carry on the> effort to develop rituals and events for the larger> Gathering and
> the Rainbow Nation as a whole through the future. We may> expect that > in future years we'll see adaptations of Native American> ritual and
> ceremony during the 4th of July Main Meadow event> involving> thousands of people! We'll probably also see other ceremonies at other times during the National and at Regional> Gatherings.
> For this evening our rendition of the Medicine Wheel Creation> Ceremony Dance involved the outer circle moving in unison as though they were pulling something out of the earth, as pulling> a rope with > both hands up from left to right, as they took a step to> the right,> counter-clockwise. The people on the four lines> signifying the four
> directions, and those in the center circle around the> fire, raised both hands in unison in front of them, palms down, toward the sky, > all facing one direction, then made a quarter turn> counter-clockwise > and raised their hands again, then made another quarter> turn and so on. At the same time all two to three hundred of us> chanted a simple > four-part chant, sustaining the movement and chant for> some time, accompanied by drummers in two of the pie slices of the
> Medicine > Wheel. The resulting configuration of people was like a peace sign but with the additions of the horizontal line and the> center circle.>
> The symbolism of the Medicine Wheel Dance is rich with> meaning. A few of the ideas that I understand are that the substance of our> lives comes from the earth, and as a people we actively
> pull that > substance into our being as we grow food out of the earth and extract from it minerals and water and everything we use.> At the
> same time we also share the consciousness of the heavens> and as a > people we send our thoughts and prayers to the spiritual> force of
> the universe. The circles represent all the cycles of> birth and  death, and the drum is the earth itself while its music> is the > heartbeat of life. Our chant is the knowing and> acknowledgement of
> both our place in the space and time of human society,> and in the > omnipresence and timelessness of spiritual awareness.