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THE STRONG SUN MOON

FLICKER

The Strong Sun Moon (June 21 to July 22) is the first moon of Shawnodese, Spirit Keeper of the South position on the Native American Medicine Wheel, and occurs at the time of the summer solstice. The stone honoring this position is placed one-quarter of the way between the southern and western stones of the Medicine Wheel. The mineral totem for the Strong Sun Moon is carnelian agate, the plant is the wild rose, and the animal is the flicker. The color is pink, and the elemental influence is from the Frog clan.

From the carnelian, people experiencing this position can learn about their strong heart connection; from the rose, about their ability both to heal and to inspire; and from the flicker, about their desire for self-expression. The Strong Sun Moon teaches about the importance of the emotions and the need for a strong home base. People experiencing the energy of this position are intuitive and wild in some aspects of being, but conservative and home loving in others. The Strong Sun Moon will educate you about the law of relationship and about family, mothering, and nurturing. While working with the flicker you must guard against wallowing in all your emotions and about fearing to take a stand.

ANIMAL:

Flicker is the animal totem associated with the Strong Sun Moon. Flickers are woodpeckers. There are two kinds in the United States: the yellow-shafted flicker, found east of the Great Plains, and the red-shafted flicker, found west of the Great Plains. Both types can be found in a variety of places: woods, farms, and even suburbs. Flickers are drummers. They play their song on dead limbs, tin roofs, and wooden houses, sometimes to extract insects and sometimes for the sheer joy of playing. During mating, flickers present an especially magnificent display of their musical talents.

Flickers dig a gourd-shaped hole in a tree trunk for their nest. Often other birds use it later. Like most birds, flickers are good and caring parents. They nurture their young until it is time to allow them to fly on their own.

The flicker is a special bird to many Native people. Some legends say he has red wings because he went too close to a fire set by the Earthquake Spirit to try to put it out. The flames from this fire colored his wings and tail red. Native people particularly value flickers because they drum so well. Red flicker feathers are associated with blood and are often presented to war spirits. Red feathers on prayer sticks are considered war offerings, against either human or spiritual enemies. Members of some medicine societies wore flicker feathers in their hair to identify their affiliation.

Working with flicker can teach you about communicating, music, joy, nurturing, courage, protection, tenacity, and your connection with the universal.

PLANT:

Wild Rose is the plant associated with the Strong Sun Moon. Besides its beauty, the wild rose has many other gifts. The fruits of the rose, called rose hips, are high in vitamin C and bioflavinoids. Either eating them or using them in tea helps cure sore throats, colds, and flu. Rose hip tea has been used to treat blood or liver problems. Rose petal tea is a mild astringent and tonic. Rose water has been used as an eye lotion and to relieve the discomfort of hay fever. The wild rose can refresh your spirit and aid with problems that require a gentle, cooling effect. It can also help lift your spirit and open your heart.

MINERAL:

Carnelian Agate is the mineral associated with the Strong Sun Moon. Carnelian is a gift of the heart that represents love. It is good for sustaining a healthy heart and opening emotional centers.

It is said you can suspend a carnelian on a string or thong and use it pendulum-style over a wound to ease bleeding and start the healing process. Carnelian has been known to aid in emergency healing.

Carrying a carnelian will help keep your heart healthy and open, while giving you protection from any who might try to read your mind. It will also promote feelings of peace within and around you.