Meaning of Native American Symbol for Wind
I got a question about the Native American symbol for wind, or more accurately, these magnificent people's concept of wind.
I can't claim to capture the tremendous depth and reverence this concept invokes...but this page gives a fair shot at trying to capsulate the intangible :-)
My studies and observations indicate the first peoples of North America considered the wind to be a living force in and of itself . The wind is a god - a power that is capable of communicating a larger-than-life language to those who would hear it. Those who were certifiably authorized to interpret these cosmic messages were shamans, medicine men, and the wise and spiritual leaders among tribes.
A common Native American Indian symbol for wind is (shown top page). It's a common motif among many North American tribes including Apache, Navajo and Hopi. It's considered a protective emblem and invokes the power of the four winds.
Interestingly, this is also a symbol of life and interpreted this way the sides symbolize...
The Inuit Indians had an Air Spirit among the ranks of their Sila (a term that means Wisdom and Weather). Their Air Spirit controls the seas, skies and wind. Although considered a kind and beneficial spirit, it strikes wrath against liars, beggars and theives in the form of illnesses. It is also blamed for bad weather and poor hunting.
Among the Micmac (a tribe belonging to the Wabanaki Confederacy native to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. They also migrated to Maine, US) there is a story of a hero named (in English) Strong Wind who turned evil people (specifically the nefarious sisters of his beloved) into aspen trees, and to this day he makes them tremble in fear when he comes near the aspen forest.
Outside of the US, the Aztec wind-god, Ehecatle (a facet of Quetzalcoatl), was believed to blow the moon and sun into orbit.
From a Native perspective, the wind seems to be personified as divine messenger, able to manipulate unseen energy. What an amazing experience to open the ears and have the voice of god emptied into it. Or, to view the path of the winds and know it is the soul of a divine being that is sweeping through the land.
These concepts made me think more deeply about the wind and its behavior in my little world. Perhaps they will for you too.
I hope you enjoyed this page on the Native American symbol for wind. For more thought provoking pages on this website check out Theo's picks: