TEACHINGS OF THE GREAT CIRCLE
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"We saw the Great Spirit's work in almost everything:
sun, moon, trees, wind and mountains.
Sometimes we approached Him through these things.
Was that so bad?
I think we have a true belief in the Supreme Being,
a stronger faith than that of most whites who have called us pagans
...Indians living close to nature and nature's Ruler
are not living in darkness."

--Tatanga Mani, 1958

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This was written to better inform the unaware of the concept and nature of the
Great-Circle-of-Life.

The Great-Circle-of-Life is the circle of unity with all things in the universe, including the Great Spirit, our Creator, about which all life revolves.

There are many teachings of the Sacred Circle not included here nor even known by me. I am still learning myself. One can study the Sacred Circle for a lifetime and never be aware of all the lessons that wait to be revealed as one grows spiritually. As my sage Mother once put it, "What you know, you do not own. And what you do not own, you must share." The Sacred Circle of Life speaks of universal understanding. The Sacred Circle of Life represents much deep meaning to those who can grasp its significance and live by it. Now, the wise person applies this to life in this way . . . So, let's share.

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The Mother Earth and Her daughter the Moon are round like big circles or globes. They also spin in circles. The Grandfather Sun is also a circle and the planets that encircle it as well. They travel in circles throughout the universe. So, too, are the stars.

Life is a circle of birth, maturity, decay, and death. All living things follow this circle in the same cycle or path. From birth, each of us begins our journey path. Life is the path we walk and we all walk the path of this circle. True wisdom comes when we stop looking for it and start living the life, walking the path, the Creator intended for us.

When we walk this path, we are growing in its cycle of four stages: birth, vitality of youth, maturity of experience and the wisdom of age. If we lie down, we lie on the path. When we get up, we walk the path once more in accordance with time which also runs in a circle or cycle. When we walk the path on Mother Earth, we always walk softly because we know the faces of future generations are looking up at us from ground beneath us.

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It seems that most things in life of significance try to be circles. A water droplet released in the air tries to form a circle. A stone thrown in the water makes many spreading circles. We are like drops of rain which will one day return to the ocean.

It is the fundamental belief of traditional people that there is one and only one Creator who is found at the center of any Sacred Circleóthe center of all things. Outward from the Circle, extending from its center, are imaginary lines representing the four directions. Through the center of the Circle passes the four directions dividing the Circle into four separate, but equal parts representing the four seasons; the four cardinal directions; the four stages of human life.

Contained within the Sacred Circle are the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms which signify to commemorate the harmony of people with the rest of creation. The Sacred Circle exemplifies a world of dissimilar things coming together to form a harmonious, beautiful pattern to the wise ones who have kept these concepts alive for many generations.

The Sacred Circle of Life teaches us we are all children of the Mother Earth. We all share an equal place in the Circle, and when mixed together, we represent the colors of the rainbow that also follows a circle in the Father Skyóa rainbow of different colors that all travel in the circle.

We need not seek beyond the things around us--a flower in blossom, or a babbling brook--in quest of the Great Spirit, for "His" presence surrounds us and we cling to what we know is there with faith, but cannot prove.

We hear "His" voice in the winds, in the four directions, and see "His" face in the skies of a new morning dawn.

It was in love that we came into being, through the Great Spirit, and when beckoned, we shall return from whence we came.

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A circle, by definition, is the locus of all points equidistant to its center. Several things can be learned from this meaning. First, this shape has one and only one center. If it has two centers, it is an ellipse, and its shape not round. Everything in life tries to be a circle.A circle has neither beginning nor end, thus the infinite Creation and Creator. Thus, the Circle-of-Life and creation is never ending. The Circle represents unity of all things and teaches that all things are interrelated and an equal part of the whole. Everything depends on everything else and is named the Circle of Life.

Next, all points on the outside perimeter or rim of the Great-Circle-of-Life are equidistant to the center. Not only that, but each has and maintains a direct connection to the center. In geometry, this is known as radii. A pointís connection to the center of the circle is direct and does not depend upon something else to connect with the center. Now, the wise person applies this to life in this way.

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Life is a Great Wheel, a Sacred Circle. All of life and everything around us is formed by the Creator who resides at the center of all Creation; the center of the circle; all of the rest of Creation is represented on the rim: the rocks, flowers, trees, birds, animals, humans and all things. All the living things revolve around the center, which means all living things and their lives revolve around the Creator, and cannot escape the Creatorís powerful influence because they are bound equidistantto the center as long as they abound in the sacred gift of life or existence in this wordly form.

One point on the rim of the Great Circle represents mankind. Yes, human beings, who in reality, are no greater or lesser than the things around them. Mankind is not closer to the Creator or center of the Circle, and neither is mankind farther away from other things on the Circle. Mankindís place on the Sacred Circle is therefore joined in unity and harmony in the same proportion of being joined as the other creatures and other things.

Yet, mankind is restless and wants to feel power and dominant over all life and all things. Mankindís ego wishes to be rulerof all, and envisions its place in the world of human experience in the center of the Circle. In this position, all life is seen by mankind to revolve around it and report directly to it. The Center is seen as a place of human importance, power and dominion over lesser forms of life and creation.

But again, a circle can have only one center lest mankind forget that the Creator is all mighty and reserves the center for Itself. When mankindís ego is humbled, then and only then can mankindís rightful place in the universe be known and understand in relation to all of Creation.

Then mankind perceives the real truth of its place as no greater or lesser than the things around it. Also, at this point ofdeeper understand, mankind grasps its relationship and truly harmony with all of existence. Mankind realizes that it is onlya mere different form of creation, no more or lesser in importance than other forms, but is somehow related to all things who are seen as brothers and sisters--all relatives of mankind.

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The Creator created the Earth, our mother, and gave Her many duties among them to care for us, His children. When someone has truly grasped the meaning of living the spiritual Truths-of-Life, one understands how our Creator, the Mother Earth, and all life can be joined together in constant prayer and communion.

To live in a proper or sacred manner, one must honor both the Great Spirit and "His" works in nature, which in essence, are one and the same. Every creature, and everything in Creation, is holy and sacred. So, let us put our minds together as one and give thanks.

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I am only to pass on these truths to othersóthese thousands of years of wisdom that flow in the rivers of our veins and utter from our lips. These are some of the teachings of the Sacred-Circle-of-Life uncovered in my journey path. So live, too, your life in a way that you may discover the rest! Aho! I have spoken . . .

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