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NORTH * WABOOSE
EAST * WABUN
SOUTH * SHAWNODESE
WEST * MUDJEKEEWIS
Waboose * NORTH
Waboose, the Spirit Keeper of the North position on the Native American Medicine Wheel, is represented by the element of earth. Its mineral is alabaster. Its plant is the sweet grass. Its animal is the white buffalo. The color associated with Waboose is white. The season is winter. The time of day is midnight. The time of life is both the time when we are elders with the snow upon our heads and the time of life when we are newborns coming back into the world. Waboose directly influences all the moons in the northern quadrant: the Earth Renewal Moon (December 22 to January 19; Snow Goose), the Rest and Cleansing Moon (January 20 to February 18; Otter), and the Big Winds Moon (February 19 to March 20; Cougar).
The North is the most paradoxical time of the Medicine Wheel. It is the time when things seem to be sleeping. Yet within this apparent dormancy some of the deepest growth is occurring. It is in the winter when seeds lie frozen within the earth that they take into themselves all of the earth's energy that allows them to grow in the seasons that follow. It is in the north that our bodies cannot move as easily as they have in the past or will in the future, that we seem forced to take into ourselves the wisdom of the Spirit we will use as we continue our journey around the wheel.
The time of Waboose is a time of slowing down, of apparent restriction, when outward activity definitely diminishes. It is a time of darkness, quiet, and dreams. It is a time when humans are fragile, when their skin is wrinkled and resembles the soil and the face of the Earth Mother herself. It is a time when people tend to reminisce and from their reminiscences share the wisdom they have gained. It is a time of assessing accomplishments and aims and of preparing for the major giveaway of death and of birth. It is a time when many people come to an understanding of their own life, and acceptance of what they have or have not achieved. It can be a time of peace, and a time of power, a time of forgiveness and compassion for all around you. It is a time to give up old pattern, to surrender to the small changes of body and mind in preparation for the major changes that will come.
Waboose is a time of both ending and beginning, of life and death, of new life cloaked in apparent death. In the winter the earth appears dead, but there is much happening within. The same is true in human life. Even when we shed our human envelopes, our spirit, our energy goes to a place that prepares us for the new beginning that will come.
The major lesson of Waboose is that of the giveaway. When we are elders, it is our responsibility to give away to the people all of the knowledge that we have gained. It is our responsibility to impart to our relations what we have learned as we have journeyed around the Medicine Wheel of life. It is our responsibility, ultimately, to give away our body to the Earth Mother who has fed us during all the time we have walked on her. When we are infants we readily give away all of the love we have gained in the world between, knowing then that the more we give the more we have available.
One of the gifts of Waboose is an intuitive understanding of this giveaway. Coming with this understanding are increased psychic abilities and a great acumen in attuning to dreams or visions, both your own and those of other people.
The white buffalo, the animal associated with Waboose, is an animal who gave up everything for the people: meat, hide, bones, and spirit. It is the White Buffalo Woman who gave the pipe to the people.
Then you are experiencing a moon influenced by Waboose; it is a good time to contemplate your life, to contemplate the paradoxes of life. It is a good time to think about questions of life and death and to examine your attitudes toward both. It is a time to learn patience. It is a time when your psychic and mystical abilities will be far above average. It is a time to see how you feel about giving away all the many gifts that life has given to you. It is a time to practice the small giveaways that prepare you for the larger ones.
During times of Waboose, you will need to make a point of grounding yourself, of remembering that you are a being of the earth as well as the sky. One of the paradoxes of Waboose is that while this is a time of intuition and mystical abilities, Waboose is also the direction that governs the physical level of life, both how we relate to our bodies and how we relate to the world around us. While your mind wanders through the skies, you must also learn that you need to take care of your body here on earth.
Waboose is the place of physical healing, the place we come to give thanks for healing that has occurred and to ask for healing that is needed both for ourselves and for others. This can be healing of the body or healing of the way in which we relate to the world around us. The power of Waboose is the power of spirituality grounded on earth; the power of patience that allows all things to grow in their proper way. The power of Waboose is acceptance of life, acceptance of death, and acceptance of the necessity of sharing all that has been given you.
The Spirit Keeper of the North, Waboose, is represented by sweet grass, To show respect for the great mother from whom all plants grow, sweet grass is usually braided before it is picked. For this reason, sweet grass is also known as the "hair of the Mother."
Carrying the deep wisdom of the earth, sweet grass draws positive energies toward the person burning it or toward the place where it is burned. Its sweet smoke calls to the good spirits of a place and invites them to come join in whatever ceremony is occurring there.
The North is the place of the giveaway. The white buffalo gave all of itself so the people could live, grow, and learn about the spirit deep within them. In a similar manner all parts of sweet grass are used In ceremony, except for the coots. These are left deep within the earth so that like all things associated with Waboose they can soak up the deepest earth energy and prepare themselves, at a later point, to give away their most special of gifts to all of their relations.
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