Power of the Circle

   You  have
    noticed  that  everything
   an Indian does is in a circle, and that
    is  because  the  Power  of  the  World  always
    works in circles, and everything tries to be round. In
    the old days when we were a strong and happy people, all
    our  power came to us from the sacred hoop of the nation, and
    as  long  as the  hoop  was  unbroken,  the people  flourished. The
    flowering tree was the living center of the hoop, and  the  circle of the
    four quarters  nourished it. The  east  gave  peace  and  light,  the south 
  gave warmth,  the west  gave rain, and  the  north  with its cold and mighty
  wind  gave  strength  and  endurance. This  knowledge  came to us from  the
outer world  with  our  religion. Everything the Power of the World does is  in
a circle. The sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball,
and  so are all the  stars.  The wind, in its greatest power, whirls,  Birds make
their nests in  circles,  for theirs is the same  religion as ours. The sun comes
forth and goes  down  again  in  a  circle. The moon does the same, and both
are  round. Even  the  seasons form  a  great circle in their changing , and
 always come  back  again  to  where  they  were. The  life of a man is a
  circle  from  childhood  to  childhood,  and  so  its  is  in  everything
  where  power  moves.  Our  teepees were  round like the nests
   of birds, and these w
ere always set in a circle, the nation's
  hoop,   a   nest   of  many  nests,   where  the  Great
  Spirit  meant  for  us  to  hatch  our  children.
-- Black  Elk  in  Black Elk Speaks as
  told  through  John  G.
  Niehardt

Black Elk (1863-1950) Oglala Sioux Holy Man

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