Native Beliefs and Traditions                 

                                        The Way of Harmony More Inspiration Solutions ~
                                         In our search for meaning and in guidance for living our lives in more
                                         balanced ways, many of us turn to the wisdom of Native Americans.
                                         This beautiful Cherokee philosophy tells us about the purpose of life,
                                         our place in the sacred circle, and more.

                                                                                                Simple Solution:
                                          Native Americans believe that every life is a gift to be treated with
                                          gratitude and respect. What has been referred to as the Harmony Ethic
                                          guides much of Native American living. For the Cherokee this encompasses
                                          the conscious avoidance of interpersonal conflict in an attempt to maintain
                                          reciprocally harmonious relations with all members of the tribe.
                                          The Harmony Ethic is a system based upon caring for fellow human beings
                                          through the expression of deep respect. This is the way to achieve harmonious
                                          survival. It also involves the presence of individual choice. To the Cherokee,
                                          a person has just as much choice in creating harmony as in creating disharmony.
                                          Within Native American traditions, it is widely believed that every person has
                                          a purpose to fulfill during his or her lifetime. Every person, like every
                                          animal, tree, plant, and mineral, possesses some unique quality or talent to
                                          be discovered through a variety of experiences in this world. Harmony is the
                                          key to meaningful life experiences in which all learning contributes to over
                                          all life purpose. This purpose is manifested by a striving for the wisdom and
                                          generosity exemplified by the Native American elder who has accumulated a
                                          lifetime’s worth of experience in the world. Native American elders have
                                          learned the inner secrets to a harmonious existence and are the keepers of
                                          this wisdom.
                                          Traditional wisdom tells us that it is our purpose to face the world with
                                          courage in our hearts. This courage signifies a deep respect for the gift
                                          that we have been given through the ability to live, as well as a respect
                                          for all life. Courage transcends any circumstance, and ultimately comes from
                                          a harmony within oneself and between oneself and one’s universe--an inner
                                          strength derived from the unity of body, mind, nature, and spirit. There is
                                          an old saying: All that moves is sacred--only by understanding this can you
                                         realize the rhythm of Mother Earth, and thereby know how to place your feet.

                          Bear: The bear is usually seen as a symbol of strength, dreaming, and protector/healer/

                          Beaver: The beaver is usually characterized as a builder.

                          Buffalo: The buffalo is seen as a provider of all things for living and healing.

                          Coyote: The coyote is seen as a playful trickster ( not unlike Kokopelli), playful, and humorous.
 
                          Deer: Usually symbolize gentleness, kindness, and sometimes protection.

                          Eagle: The eagle is one of the more recognized symbols that characterize the spiritual connection,
                                             and is the protector.

                          Elk: The elk symbolize power.

                          Feather: The feather is a universal symbol of spirit and flight.

                          Fox: The fox is a symbol of intelligence.

                          Horse: The horse is a symbol of strength and power, both physical and spiritual.

                          Moose: The moose is a symbol of being headstrong, value and integrity.

                          Owl: The owl characterizes bad omens as well as being a death messenger,
                                          although it is also meant to symbolize truth and wisdom.

                             Pheasant: The pheasant is a symbol of warning.

                         Rabbit: The rabbit is a symbol of fear and overcoming limiting beliefs.

                         Snake: The snake has meaning as transformation (life cycles), as indicating life, death,
                                             and rebirth- because of the shedding of the skin. Sometimes it symbolizes a "life force."

                         Spider: Creative. Spider-woman is a Pueblo goddess.

                        Wolf: Symbolizes teacher of wisdom and new ideas.