Coyote, Shawnodese - South, Cardinal Direction, Sun Bear Medicine Wheel, Desert Sage, Serpentine, Spiritual Support

NOTE: The description of the positions and totems and their meanings given on these pages is meant only as an introduction, and not a complete explanation. Meditate and study further for a more complete understanding.   Sun Bear Medicine Wheel is NOT the Medicine Wheel of any Native Nation (Tribe), but comes from a Vision given to Sun Bear by Grandfather.



Coyote Courtesy of Utahs Basin and Range Wilderness Website
Coyote Courtesy of Utahs Basin and Range Wilderness Website

This page is dedicated to Shawnodese, the Spirit Keeper of the South, whose animal and Spirit manifestation is Coyote. This is the time of Midday and of Summer, times of warmth; the time of late childhood and early adulthood. These are times of rapid growth - on many levels. Coyote is the Teacher, guiding us through many lessons during this time of rapid growth. Sometimes she has to trick us into learning what we need, but would rather lead us. The animal, coyote, is a wonderful mother, teaching her offspring what they need to live in harmony with their environment, and so with Shawnodese, including the Spiritual lessons/gifts of Growth, Trust, and Love.

Shawnodese's Stone is placed due South in the outer Circle you marked out for the Sun Bear Medicine Wheel. The first Moon of Shawnodese, Strong Sun Moon, begins with the Summer Solstice, when Father Sun is at his northernmost point. The second Moon is Ripe Berries, and the third is Harvest Moon. If you were born during any of these moons, your special Spirit Keeper is Shawnodese. It is important though to learn to communicate with all the Spirit Keepers and learn their gifts.

Salvia aplaria 
Sagebrush, the correct Sage for the South

The plant totem for Spirit Keeper of the South, is, appropriately, Sagebrush, plants of the genus Artemisia, especially A. tridentata, a shrub of arid regions of western North America, having silver-green leaves and large clusters of small white flower heads. It is the state flower for Nevada, which is also nicknamed The Sagebrush State.
[Note: technical Sagebrush information from Bookshelf 98 dictionary and encyclopedia.]
Sagebrush is sacred and is used in ceremony and as a smudge at other times as well. Sagebrush helps to "transform any energies that are not working for the highest good of a person place or ceremony."
(Dancing With The Wheel, page 153)   It cleanses your aura, objects, or an area, transforming negativity.

 Vein of Serpentine (Chrysotile) in rock
Mariposa Co., California 
Vein of Serpentine (Chrysotile) in rock
Copyright Hershel Friedman of

The mineral totem for Shawnodese is Serpentine, a common, widely distributed mineral, composed of hydrated magnesium silicate. It crystallizes and occurs in two forms: antigorite, a massive variety; and chrysotile, a fibrous variety. The massive variety has a greasy, waxy luster, and the fibrous variety is silky. Both varieties are colored light and dark green. In some traditions Serpentine is used for stings and bites from insects and snakes. Working with Serpentine helps us learn about ceremony, beauty, energy and action, trust, well-being, growth, and intimacy. Also, Dancing With The Wheel says it is still a stone of mystery and is considered the perfect complement to Shawnodese, who brings an air of mystery even to the familiar.

Here in the Southeast we use the color Red for the South - like the heat of summer. Red is also traditional for the Eastern Cherokee and many other Tribes. Other traditions use Green for the South, since the time of Shawnodese is the time of growth for Green Growing Things. Some Northwest traditions use the color Yellow for the South, especially those who use Red for the East.
Sun Bear's book on his Wheel, Dancing With The Wheel, lists Yellow and Green as colors for the South.


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