element associated with Shawnodese position on the Native American
Medicine Wheel, the Spirit Keeper of
the South, is water . The mineral is serpentine. The plant
is the sagebrush. The animal is the coyote, the colors
are yellow and green, the season is summer, the time of
day is midday. The time of life is that of our older
childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. Shawnodese
directly influences all the moons in the southern
quadrant: the Strong Sun Moon (June 21 to July 22;
Flicker), the Ripe Berries Moon (July 23 to august 22;
Sturgeon), and the Harvest Moon (August 23 to September
22; Brown Bear).
Like the power of Waboose, the power of Shawnodese is
a paradoxical one. Shawnodese brings the time of rapid
growth, a time when every being has to reach out for
fulfillment so quickly it does not have time to question
the path laid down for it by the Creator.
The plant that poked its head through the soil and
began to grow during the time of Wabun now needs to leaf
out fully, flower, fruit, bear its seed, and prepare for
the time of harvest. So it is with all life influenced by
Humans are no exception. In the time of Wabun, we
explore everything with little discrimination trying to
find what makes us feel good, what seems to fit with us.
In the time of Shawnodese, we begin a more directed form
of exploration. The South is the place where many people
seek their visions and ask the Creator to point them in
the direction they should go. Often after the Creator has
made this direction known, people have to follow it so
rapidly that they must learn to trust the Creator and not
question their p Th. To aid in following the new path,
Shawnodese gives the gifts of energy, adaptability,
maturity, playfulness, and humor.
For many humans the time of Shawnodese is more of
self-assurance, of acceptance. It is a time when
everything in our world truly seems possible, when the
search for love is definitely one of our guiding forces
and when we are particularly capable of giving and
receiving love in many meanings of the word. The time of
Shawnodese is a time of learning about relationships.
The paradox of Shawnodese is that while all this open,
outward, energetic activity is taking place, while we are
learning to trust life and follow our own life path, the
old trickster, the coyote, is prepared to do whatever he
needs to in order to make us grow inwardly as well.
The coyote means many things to Native people. To some
he is trickster in the most powerful sense: a sacred
clown who urges life to keep crating itself. To others he
is a form of the Creator. Some consider coyote merely a
clown, a fool, one who tricks himself more than others.
The animal itself also has many meanings to people. To
some, coyote is a nuisance, a thief, and a scoundrel. To
others he is a symbol of freedom and mystery. How fitting
a totem he is for paradoxical Shawnodese.
The favorite trick of the coyote is one very
appropriate to this point on the wheel: making you fall
in love, most often with a person very different from you
and from how you thought you wanted your mate to be.
Attraction is the glue that draws people to these
walking, talking, human lessons of life. Love is the
cement that binds them together as long as they are
willing to learn from each other.
The power of Shawnodese is a mysterious power, a
changing power. It is the power that takes that which we
yearn for, gives it to us. and then craftily observes
what happens. The little sprout of the spring yearns to
be the flower of the summer. When it is, the plant must
learn the lessons of being fully open and fully
vulnerable to the earth, the sky, and all its relations.
When you are under the influence of Shawnodese, it is
a good time to explore love, explore relationship, and
explore the world around you; to learn who you are and
how that compares with who you feel you should be; and to
take the first strong steps toward your own maturity.
When you are under the influence of Shawnodese you
must be careful not to burn yourself out trying to do
everything. You must be careful to use some common sense
in your relationships. You must learn how to protect
yourself, for this is one of the lessons necessary to
grow into a mature human being. You must learn that there
is a both a time to be open and a time to contain your
energy and your feelings within yourself.
Shawnodese is the place of the heart, the place of the
emotions. It is here that we come when we need healing of
the heart, when we need to learn how to love, when we
need to learn to let go of all that is not love; hate,
fear, envy, jealousy, rage and anger.
The Shawnodese stone is the place to come if you are
having problems with a relationship or if you are looking
for a relationship. The Shawnodese stone, the stone of
the trickster, will help you to understand why it is that
you are drawn to a person and what you can do to help the
relationship grow. This is the position in which you will
learn about charm, nurturance, trust, gullibility, humor,
and manipulation. The Shawnodese stone will teach you
about sexuality and sensuality and how they differ and
how they are the same. this is the stone to seek to ask
for healing of the emotions and healing of the heart. It
is to Shawnodese that we come when it seems like it is
too painful to open once again. It is Shawnodese is the
power of love; the power of the open heart working in
conjunction with the discriminating mind. The power of
Shawnodese is the power of growth.
Spirit Keeper of the South, Shawnodese, is represented by
the sagebrush, most often referred to simply as sage.
Despite its name, this prolific plant is a member of the
Arlemisia genus and is not a true sage. Artemisias are
ruled by the moon. Sagebrush grows in many forms around
the world. Its name some- times causes it to be confused
with culinary sage, which is a member of the mint family.
How typical of the Shawnodese energy is that confusion!
However sage and sagebrush look, smell, and grow very
Sagebrush is a shrub with two- to four-foot-long
slender branches that hold many bushy leaves. The
tuff-like flowers are most often purplish pink. Sage-
brush grows wild in drier climates and in the desert
areas such as California, Washington, (Utah, and many
other states. It is an earth healing plant, which helps
preserve both soil and moisture in these dry areas.
The most important use of this sage is as a smudge.
Along with sweet grass, it is the most common herb used
for smudging today. Whereas sweet grass is considered to
draw in all the good energies, sage is considered to help
transform any energies that are not working for the
highest good of a person, place, or ceremony. When
burning, sage emits a pungent, strong, thick smoke. The
sage smoke, like the rapid growth of the summer, helps
bring change to everything.
Spirit Keeper of the South, Shawnodese, is represented by
serpentine. Serpentine is an abundant rock that rests
beneath much of North America. It has a greasy or waxy
texture and varies from olive, green, yellow, black,
brown, to white, and combinations of these colors.
Serpentine received its name because it is thought to
heal a serpent's bite and because the surface design
resembles the skin of a serpent.
Serpentine has been used by Natives throughout the
Americas for making both ornamental and ceremonial
objects such as jewelry, carvings, fetishes, and pipe
bowls. Serpentine objects have been found in ancient
pueblos and villages and are still made today.
Even though it has been used for many thousands of
years, serpentine is still considered a stone of mystery
and is considered the perfect complement to Shawnodese,
the trickster, who brings an air of mystery even to the
Serpentine, in some traditions, is used to prevent
bites or stings from in- sects, spiders, and snakes. It
is also said to stimulate energy.
The power of the noonday sun, one of fire, The power
of serpentine is like heat, magnetism, energy, and
action. Working with serpentine can ease fear, encourage
trust and well-being, and help prepare for love. It
enhances visionary abilities' growth, and the desire for
intimacy. Serpentine, like Shawnodese, will help you to
grow even if you are resisting such growth.