The Four (or more) Directions

Dear Nick,
     Where on the medicine wheel do the thunder beings and the lightening reside?

I don't separate the thunder from the lightening. The thunder is the feminine power and the lightening the masculine. The powers of these ones are for purification--purifying the world, cleansing (think how it smells after a good thunder storm). The medicine of one who carries this can be quite bizzar--jagged like the lightening. In some places they are the heyoka--the ones who travel backwards or carry the crooked lance. A friend of mine told of the time he went to peyote ceremony run by a heyoka man. They started the ceremony with closing song and then went home. Some were a little perturbed, I guess. This medicine can be used dramatically by a warrior against that which is life-negative.
     I think that people place these ones in the southwest of the hoop as it is in the southwest USA that they are most strong. Since I don't have that many directions in my circle (smile), I guess I would put them in the west.
     In Europe, Thor would be the same one, I think.
     That's all I can share. Hope it helps a little.

     I have a couple questions, any help with either or both is greatly appreciated.
     1. I've heard people talk of totem animals in 8 or 9 directions, one for each, as in N, S, E, W, above, below, etc. What is that all about, and what are all the directions?
     2. Any information on the Four Winds, some call it the Four Elements, or Four Directions, but I read something before about the Four Winds but don't remember.
     HELP! Thanks,
     ~River Hawk, Medina, NY

Dear River Hawk,
     Some years ago, a Chippewa man by the name of Sun Bear (now deceased) developed a teaching based on a many direction use of the medicine wheel. I believe your first question relates to that. That teaching was brought out in a book he co-authored with his companion Wabun Wind titled "The Medicine Wheel." If you would like more information on that way, you might gain a copy through a bookstore or I do believe he started with the east as opposed to the north. Beginning with the east is most typical.
     The Four Winds is another way of saying the Four Directions. Each direction or wind has an aspect based on its relationship to the others. It is said that all things may be taught based on the four directions or the circle of life. For example, the first is the east, the direction of new life, the south is the direction of the young people and west, that of the adult. Finally, north is the direction of the elders or grandparent.
     In the cycle of the day, east is where the new sun comes to us, south the daytime, west the setting sun and north, night, of course.
     We can also say that spiritual knowledge comes to us riding on the east wind. The south wind blows it into our life. We release that which is contrary to that knowledge on the west wind, allowing the north wind to bring us wisdom based on that knowledge.
     Hope that helps. Oh, up would be the Sun Father and down the Earth Mother, center for Creator.

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