The Mineral World
Let us look at the first World: The Minerals are the holders of energy (see Figure 7A). The saying goes, that “within one grain of sand lies the entire Universe.” It is from the Mineral World that plants are born, so we might say that what is “held” is the potential for life. The Mineral World teaches us that substance is primarily a container, a vessel for spirit. The Mineral World is thus like our physical body.
When we gather stone people for our medicine wheel, we ask them to hold the power, the energy of each of the directions on the wheel. In a Sweat Lodge Ceremony, the stone people hold the heat of the fire for release as steam when water is poured on them. This is what is meant by the Mineral World being holders. This is their medicine or teaching to humans, as they sit in the West of the wheel.
Each of the directions dance with the Mineral World in different ways (see Figure 8).
In the South, the sands and soils, are known as the holder-givers. As the above example states, the sands hold the potential for giving of life. Also the sands dance with the fluidity of water. Watch how the sands dance when waves crash the shore.
In the West, the rocks and stones are the holder-holders for they hold the stability and strength of the earth. One only has to lie down on a large rock on a sunny day to experience how they hold the sun’s heat.
In the North, the precious and semi-precious gems are holder-receivers. They are molded and hold meaning which they have received from varying cultures and uses. When humans wear the gems they act as a healer by receiving negative energy.
In the East are the crystals, the holder-determiners. The crystals are known as the brain cells of Grandmother Earth, and when used in a healing way, they clarify and transform disease with their fire energy. In the Center are the mixed ores and metals. They are the holder-transformer catalysts. These are ores like gold and aluminum that have been transformed by time and/or alchemy and are now used as catalysts in their own right.