Waya Equoni means Wolf River. This is my Tsalagi or Cherokee Name. My Maternal Grandfather, Bernard Henri Johnson, was called Wolf. His Mother, Eliza Jane Davis, was a full blood Cherokee woman that ended up living in Chicago . HIs Father was named Henri Jean Baptiste, son of the infamous plantation owner of same name in New Orleans, and one of his slaves, one of my maternal great great grand mothers. River of course refers to the Great River, Mayu, The Tree of Life, The Milky Way, our Galactic Home.
I have had a Medicine Wheel in my life for over 20 years, maybe even longer. The Medicine Wheel is from the Lakota. I am Saponi (Blackfoot) on my Father’s maternal; side. My grandmother Ruth would be classified as tri-racial. She was from Mississippi. Many people are shocked to learn that some of the Lakota Nation ended up in Mississippi. My lineage is physical proof.
What is a Medicine Wheel? Please visit
the Medicine Wheel page at tchiya.com
What is Pejuta?
from The Lakota Way: Stories and Lessons for Living
By Joseph Marshall
I found the term here in an excerpt, plus much more valuable information…
When something is “having pejuta or medicine, can mean possessing a certain power or ability.”
I first became aware of the Medicine Wheel when I first learned about the Hopi Prophecy and the Lakota 4 Directions Song. Now I have songs about these same subjects!
Great Purification of All Things (from Celestial Folk Music)
Lakota : 4 Directions (from Rise Again Truth)
Waya Equoni Medicine Wheel has gone through many changes, just like my life. The first one that I vividly recall was at our home in Blanco, Texas. I could really stretch out there. I was highly influenced by the book called
I used my medicine wheel as a celestial clock, I kept track of planetary and other cosmic motions and cycles. I was living on a 3400 acre ranch at the time… life was a lot different for me back then…..
When I lived in the city, I had a small indoor medicine wheel. You can just use stones and other artifacts. Can use a drawing. Or, create a small outdoor one, like an area within your vegetable or flower garden. It does not have to be large like at Bighorn!
When I first moved to California, I created a Medicine Wheel Garden. My guide was the book
The Cherokee Herbal by J.T. Garrett
you can read a portion of the book here!
(not sure why, but let’s just be grateful!)
But there was no room for dancing, and when the weeds took over, it was well, a mess. So, I moved the medicine wheel to an area that could combine the Dancing Ground with the Medicine Wheel.
This Waya Equoni Medicine Wheel is unlike any other that I know about. I use the Hopi alignment for the directions.
and, I add a fifth element: SOUND!
Warrior/ North/ Fire/ Spirit/ White
Visionary/ East / Air/ Mind/ Yellow
Grounding / West / Earth/ Body/ Red
Nurturer/ South / Water/ Soul, Emotions/ Black
And SOUND is the fifth element. Each stone around the wheel represents something that I am praying for.
Many moons passed, and I stopped tending the medicine wheel. I stopped watering the garden. I forgot the meaning or the significance of the stones. Weeds took over, and the entrance on the southeast side had become blocked by weeds. Flowers and other plants had been growing inside of the wheel, and I was just letting them grow, saying things like, “It is such a pretty flower, I cannot kill it.” I even stopped my daily dancing.
Beginning the Purification Process with fire…
Panoramic view of Cherry Tree that has fallen over…
The Cherry Tree fell over, yet it did not die. I allowed blackberries to overtake the tree, and almost choked the life out of it. There was so much Lemon Balm growing like crazy inside the Medicine Wheel, that there was not enough room to dance!
One day, during the New Moon Aspolia (Sidereal Virgo) Fall Equinox 2014, it dawned on me that the state of my Medicine Wheel affected and reflected the state of my life: I had established boundaries, but I was not honoring them. An entrance was complexity blocked, and I was letting all kinds of unwanted vegetation thrive in what was supposed to be a sacred space to heal and meditate and dance.
To make matters worse, there was a broken down fountain, IN THE WEALTH CORNER! Not that I suggest combining feng shui with Native American spirituality, but come on now, a broken fountain in the wealth corner????? LOL!!!
On top of everything else, at the Winter Solstice I realized that the alignment with the directions was off by about 45 degrees. I had changed it inside, but not outside for the medicine wheel.
Imagine my horror when all of this dawned on me in one moment. I thought I was just going out to sit in the Medicine Wheel for the Equinox. I had no idea that I was about to rebuild the entire structure…Removed all rocks, they had to be washed off, and smudged, and set in place with alignment and new intentions. This time, I made a diagram! Used a compass to locate true East. Pulled up so many plants that were just growing crazy inside the medicine wheel. Bought a few colorful flowers, and now, it is perfect! I still need to add flags for the north and south, but other than that, it is fully activated! There is a special garden section devoted to My Clan and My Bloodline in particular, my two lovely daughters. My “nephew” from Chicago was here visiting, and he was able to rescue the Cherry Tree from the gigantic blackberry bush that was slowly taking over the entire area! GalLiELiGa Seneca. Wado Seneca!
Fire; North; Creativity; Spirit; KNOWLEDGE
AIR; East. Thoughts; The Mind; Also the WEALTH CORNER!
Earth; West; Grounding; Body; HELPFUL PEOPLE
Water; South; Emotions; The Soul; RELATIONSHIPS
Sound! Southeast; Vibrations; Movement; FAME
What do I do? How is it activated?
1. I have the elements in each “corner”.
Begin by lighting a candle in the North, then light the incense in the East. Place live food offering to the West. Offer Water Libations (Ancestors) in the South. then I hang up my drum. I placed the Sound Element in between Air and Water. It looks like a Peace Symbol. Pick up sticks, clear the dance path of any debris. Remember to Give Thanks!
2. Next, Sing the Lakota 4 Diirections song. Opening of the way.
3. Waya Equoni Medicine Wheel Ritual:
a. start a fire in the Fire Pit at the center of the Medicine Wheel. write out anything you need to release, and toss it into the fire. offer prayers, meditate, reflect as you throw onto the fire and watch prayers being released.
b. Smudge entire area: each rock, the dancing path, and yourself and any others present. The rocks contain the intentions, so each time you are purifying the intentions and offering them to the Creator.
c. Water the Garden and all of the rocks/intentions. Be sure to pour water for yourself to drink later.
d. Plant seeds of Intention, or make prayer ties or some other type of craft or gardening activity.
e. Drum, Sing, Chant, and DANCE THE INTENTIONS INTO MANIFESTATIONS! Remember to Give Thanks!
f. Reflection. Sit down in a particular element, and just sit in silence for awhile. Offer more prayers if you have them. Be sure to drink the water! It has been blessed just by being in the medicine Wheel. You are drinking your prayers and intentions. Making them real in your body, and soon, they will manifest in your life.
g. Partake of your offering. Make sure the fire is put out, and enjoy the rest of your day.
Flowers to be planted!
I have made a vow to keep up with the maintenance. As I stated earlier, it is a reflection of my life. Honoring Boundaries; Trust, Integrity, Protection. Guidance. Healing. Staying connected to my Indigenous Ancestors. All that and more is experienced in the Waya Equoni Medicine Wheel. My Spirit Guides informed me that it is very important for me to keep working with this Sacred Medicine. That they have been unable to reach me since I neglected my duties as Keeper of this Wolf Clan Medicine Wheel.
I am not suggesting combining Native American Spirituality with Kemetic Truths, but I will say this: THIS MEDICINE WHEEL IS A DEVICE THAT ENABLES ME TO PHYSICALLY FEEL MAAT: SAA MAAT; UNDERSTANDING WITH FEELING: FEELING THE BALANCE OF LIFE. MAINTAINING BALANCE AND ORDER IS UNIVERSAL. MAAT IS UNIVERSAL. According to my Teachers, Ancestors and Spirit Guides, All Indigenous Cultures have same root, same source, same origin. With many different cultures running through my life, my blood and my veins, it is only natural to see the common thread that exists in all Indigenous Practices. I love and respect them all dearly for their uniqueness and individuality, as well as for the connection that is shared.
Presently, the Herbs and Flowers living at the Waya Equoni Medicine Wheel:
I will be adding more soon, in accordance with the Cherokee Herbal. Will be starting White Sage seeds very soon….
Other activities or items associated with the Waya Equoni Pejuta:
Prayer Ties, Medicine Songs. and the Medicine Bundle. Offering Tobacco.
Ga LI E LI Ga. I am grateful.
Wado. Dohiyi. Thank You. Peace.
Waya Equoni, aka Tchiya Amet El Maat