Earth Day: Mending the Sacred Hoop

“Everything is part of the Sacred Hoop and everything is related.  Our existence is so intertwined that our survival depends upon maintaining a balanced relationship with everything within the Sacred Hoop.”  Bear Heart

 Sacred HoopEarth Day is the perfect day to focus on the Sacred Hoop of All Creation and how to establish a relationship with the natural world around us.

In indigenous cultures, the circle is sacred — when we sit in a circle there is a spirit of oneness and everyone is equal.

The elders teach that the universe is in harmony as long as the Sacred Hoop, the circle of life, is intact.

The Sacred Hoop includes all of life:

  • the four directions (West, North, East and South),
  • the earth,
  • trees,
  • plants,
  • rivers,
  • the waters,
  • two-leggeds,
  • four-leggeds,
  • winged creatures,
  • swimmers (fish) and
  • “creepy crawlers”  (insects).

They all bring their own unique contribution to the earth and one another.

Our existence is so intertwined that our survival depends upon maintaining a balanced relationship with all our relatives within the Sacred Hoop. Put more bluntly, the future of planet earth depends on our mending the Sacred Hoop.

The latest cutting-edge research by quantum physicists reveals that the universe is connected by a vast quantum energy field — something indigenous peoples have always taught.

Cedar Man understood that we must be responsible for one another’s well being if the Hoop is to remain intact.

In the Native American way, every tree, herb, plant and animal has a story of its origins and the gift it offers to the earth and those living upon it.

Everything in creation is respected as an equal.

Humans are not greater than or less than anything else — we are all related.

This is one of the key differences between the traditional Native outlook and that of modern western cultures which view the world as a hierarchy.

 Orphans and elders

Cedar Man had the compassion to take in orphans and help elders who had no children of their own to care for them.

In many traditional Native societies there was no need for orphanages because children who lost their parents were taken in and raised by relatives.

Women who lost their husbands would be given a home — this is one reason many men had more than one wife!

Elders and ancestors were honored and respected as caretakers of the wisdom of the tribe through their many years of experience.  Their status in the tribe is a far cry from the way our “civilized” society abandons its elders in old age homes to die alone and without dignity.

This respect for elders and ancestors is common to most indigenous societies.

 Communicating with the earth

Here are three small ways you can establish a relationship with Mother Earth and help mend the Sacred Hoop:

  1.  Greet a tree or shrub each day.  When you walk up to a tree that has a branch at your height, reach out and gently touch it, as if it were a friend.
  2.  Make regular tobacco offerings when you find something in nature that inspires you.
  3.  When you go for a walk or hike, take a garbage bag and pick up trash.

These are simple ways we can honor our Mother Earth and the nature spirits.

I promise they’ll take note and start honoring you in return.

“The sacred hoop of my people was one of many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the center grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.” Lakota holy man Nicholas  Black Elk

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Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at

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  1. This article means so much to me in my own period of growth. I am an elder who has come to see the lessons that life is teaching us. If we don’t start paying attention to our nature spirits by caring for them, we will be the ones crying at the edge of highway. Thank you once again Ms. Larkin for your inspiration.

    • Molly Larkin

      You are welcome. Thank you for knowing the importance of good relationship to the natural world!

    •  @jeanvit Thanks to you for knowing the importance of a good relationship with the natural world!  

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