Native American Wisdom

Copied with permission from Moonlight Magick (

Legend of the colors

Based upon a Native American Legend

Once upon a time the colors of the world started to quarrel : All claimed that they were the best, the most important, the most useful, the favorite.

GREEN said :

"Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, trees, leaves -
without me, all animals would die. Look over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority."

BLUE interrupted :

"You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea. It is the water that is the basis of life and drawn up by the clouds from the deep sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without peace, you would all be nothing."

YELLOW chuckled :

"You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety, and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow, the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower, the whole world starts to smile. Without me there would be no fun."

ORANGE started next to blow her trumpet:
"I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious for I serve the needs of human life. I carry the most important vitamins. Think of carrots, pumpkins, oranges, mangoes, and pawpaws. I don't hang around all the time, but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you."

RED could stand it no longer. He shouted out:

"I am the ruler of all of you - I am blood - life's blood! I am the color of danger and of bravery. I am willing to fight for a cause. I bring fire into the blood. Without me, the earth would be as empty as the moon. I am the color of passion and of love, the red rose, the poinsettia and the poppy."

PURPLE rose up to his full height. He was very tall and spoke with great pomp:
"I am the color of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs, and bishops have always chosen me for I am the sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me - they listen and obey."

Finally, INDIGO spoke, much more quietly than all the others, but with just as much determination:

"Think of me. I am the color of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep water. You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace."

And so the colors went on boasting, each convinced of his or her own superiority. Their quarreling became louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of bright lightening - thunder rolled and boomed. Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colors crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.

In the midst of the clamor, rain began to speak :
"You foolish colors, fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Don't you know that you were each made for a special purpose, unique and different? Join hands with one another and come to me."

Doing as they were told, the colors united and joined hands.

The rain continued:
"From now on, when it rains, each of you will stretch across the sky in a great bow of color as a reminder that you can all live in peace. The rainbow is a sign of hope for tomorrow."

And so, whenever a good rain washes the world, and a rainbow appears in the sky, let us remember to appreciate one another.

A Sioux Story

The Creator gathered all of Creation and said :

"I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the realization that they create their own reality."

The eagle said, "Give it to me, I will take it to the moon."

The Creator said, "No. One day they will go there and find it."

The salmon said, "I will bury it on the bottom of the ocean."

"No. They will go there too."

The buffalo said, "I will bury it on the Great Plains."

The Creator said, "They will cut into the skin of the Earth and find it even there."

Grandmother Mole, who lives in the breast of Mother Earth, and who has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes, said, "Put it inside of them."

And the Creator said, "It is done."


Mandellas are a variation of the dance shield used by the Plains Indians, influenced by the herders of the West. It was thought to bring its owner good luck, prosperity, wealth, and happiness.

Mandellas were originally made from Buffalo hides, Eagle feathers, and wild animal furs. Currently all natural materials are used, which come solely as by-products from domesticated animals.

Wish Baskets

Wish Baskets were a tradition of the Sioux tribes. Natives believe; if they would write their wish on a leaf, place it under the fur and leave it inside the fur for three days then remove and burn the leaf the wish will come true. This one is wrapped with rabbit skin all the way through and the dream catcher in the center is a unique carving or stone .It has dark barred feathers to decorate it. These smaller Wish baskets are approximately 15 high and wide.

Dreamcatchers : The Legend

Long ago when the word was young, an old Lakota spiritual leader was on a high mountain and had a vision. In his vision, Iktomi, the great trickster and teacher of wisdom, appeared in the form of a spider. Iktomi spoke to him in a sacred language. As he spoke, Iktomi the spider picked up the elder's willow hoop which had feathers, horsehair, beads and offerings on it, and began to spin a web.

He spoke to the elder about the cycles of life; how we begin our lives as infants, move on through childhood and on to adulthood. Finally we go to old age where we must be taken care of as infants, completing the cycle. "But", Iktomi said as he continued to spin his web, "in each time of life there are many forces; some good and some bad. If you listen to the good forces, they will steer you in the right direction. But, if you listen to the bad forces, they'll steer you in the wrong direction and may hurt you. So these forces can help, or can interfere with the harmony of Nature." While the spider spoke, he continued to weave his web.

When Iktomi finished speaking, he gave the elder the web and said, "The web is a perfect circle with a hole in the center. Use the web to help your people reach their goals, making good use of their ideas, dreams and visions. If you believe in the great spirit, the web will catch your good ideas and the bad ones will go through the hole." The elder passed on his vision to the people and now many Indian people hang a dream catcher above their bed to sift their dreams and visions. The good is captured in the web of life and carried with the people, but the evil in their dreams drops through the hole in the center of the web and is no longer a part of their lives. It's said that the dream catcher holds the destiny of the future.