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the gifts from the four directions

Ancient stories tell of a time when the peoples of the world are reunited and their gifts bring a new world into being. Might this healing process already be underway?

Four years ago, the Bering Sea Council of Elders was formed to focus on the health of the Bering Sea ecosystem and the viability of the coastal and river cultures dependent on it. The Council is often referred to as the WisdomKeepers of the North. The Council is composed of some of the most revered elders in seven culturally distinct regions of Alaska. As the coordinator for the Council, I have the privilege of implementing the Council's instructions and making connections with Wisdomkeepers from many indigenous traditions in the Western Hemisphere.

During the course of my work, I have been given many messages, stories, and prophecies, and have found that many are related or similar. One of the prophecies involves what I call The Gifts from the Four Directions. There are many iterations of this prophecy as it is interpreted through cultural lenses. The Hopi Wisdomkeepers talk about the World of the Fifth Hoop where the four sacred colors will reconnect. The Navajo call this time the Fifth World. This version is one I synthesized from the stories of several cultures, taking care to ensure that the integrity of the messages is maintained.

Many stories talk about how there has been a pendulum effect in which the world shifts back and forth between masculine and feminine imbalance over many millennia. The current cycle, which began thousands of years ago, is a time of masculine imbalance. Spiritual leaders throughout the world knew that this time was coming—a time when all things feminine would be exploited, smashed, and destroyed, including all Mother Earth-based cultures, feminine-based spirituality, and women. The spiritual leaders around the world communicated with one another through the original language created from an intimate connection with Creation. They decided to hide the sacred and secret teachings because they knew that the two-leggeds (people) would abuse and misuse the teachings. There were many ingenious ways the teachings were hidden—in common words of different cultures, in story, in song, in art, and geometric patterns woven in cloth and garments. In many cases, specific parts of the teachings were intentionally forgotten. The spiritual leaders knew that the sacred and secret teachings would only be made whole again when the two-leggeds heal enough to open their hearts and thus reconnect with their brothers and sisters from the different directions and colors around the world. In doing so, they would share their sacred ways with others until the sacred and secret teachings are fully restored.

It is said that there will be a time when the gifts of the four sacred colors, red, white, black, and yellow, will come together from the Four Directions and combine to create something new that has not been seen since the beginning of time.

It is said that only when humans are open enough in the heart will there be the deep reconnection that allows a true sharing of the sacred and secret teachings. These teachings from the Four Directions come in the form of the four sacred elements—earth, air, fire, and water.

The sacred yellow color brings the gift of air from the East. The Eastern traditions understand and are masters of the use of air through breath and how breath combines with chants and sounds to create powerful healing and connection to Divine Silence.

The sacred black color brings the gift of water from the South. The African traditions understand and are masters of the use of motion and rhythm that is in complete harmony with the movement and rhythm of the Universe, through dances and complex drumming to help human beings harmonize with Creation.

The sacred red color brings the gift of earth from the West. Indigenous traditions throughout the world understand and are masters in the use of knowledge in communications with, and the nurturing and healing of, Mother Earth.

The sacred white color brings the gift of fire from the North. The people of the sacred white color understand and are masters in the use and application of energy in technology, like the spark plug, rocket engine, and the like.

The combining of these gifts will occur only when the humans have learned the true wisdom that comes from open-heartedness born of love, compassion, silence, and truth. Indeed, real sharing- cannot occur without these four qualities. With these four qualities, and with conscious intent and action to combine the gifts of the four sacred colors, one can only speculate as to what immense beauty will be created.

It is also said that women will be restored to their place as the original healers, and when this occurs they shall lead the way. The role of the men as the spiritual warriors in this new time is to protect the sacred space of women so they can do their work. When these things are done, the pendulum of imbalance will stop for the first time since the beginning of time.

This journey has already begun as Eastern meditation traditions and breath mastery are shared throughout the world, as technology of the West spreads, as African dance and drumming is shared in every corner of the world and melded with other musical traditions, and as people throughout the world seek indigenous wisdom to learn how to live on and with Mother Earth.

World religions are beginning to find common ground as spiritual leaders engage in dialogue. Science-, in such areas as quantum physics, quantum mechanics, biology, and astrophysics, is beginning to converge with spirituality and metaphysics as they seek answers to how the Universe works. Indig-enous teachings are found on the Internet and in large numbers of published works, and indigenous spiritual leaders and elders are gathering around the world to share their ways with greater and greater frequency. Conventional medicine is slowly beginning to explore the healing ways of other traditions. Women are actively seeking their own healing and creating the new ways of leadership that heal separation in its myriad of forms throughout the world.

Much of the world has yet to see the incredible new possibilities that can come from spiritual intent to share consciously and combine knowledge and wisdom from the four sacred colors, but it is beginning to happen. The Elders say, “nothing is created outside until it is created inside first.”

If we stay the course in healing separation within and without, it is only a question of time until the sacred Gifts from the Four Directions––the four sacred colors––come together for the purpose of creating a new world.


Ilarion Larry Merculieff is an Aleut, born and raised in the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea. He serves as the coordinator of the Bering Sea Council of Elders. You can contact him at lmerculieff@netscape.net or 1610 Woo Boulevard, Anchorage, Alaska 99515.

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