Number Four as a Sacred Sioux Symbol

Number Four as a Sacred Sioux Symbol
Number Four as a Sacred Sioux Symbol

The number four is a sacred Sioux symbol, but why?  

I got this Native American symbolism question a few months ago.  The oncoming of (one of many) thanksgiving events charged my mind with ceremonies, and holy events orchestrated to honor the sacred in all things.

Never far from my thoughts are the Prime People, and their ways of elegant expressionSioux, among all Earth Cycle peoples have such clarity in perception, and an ease of understanding that sweeps me off my feet.

The Sioux, and other Native minds were open to the natural flow of Great Creation.  They allowed their observations of Creation to spill into every aspect of their lives.

The Sioux observed the number four  as dominating several profoundly influential aspects of existence.  To wit:

And so, to the Native Mind, as the number four is so vitally interwoven into such foundational concepts as the ones above mentioned – it was only honorable and logical to incorporate that sacred foundation into their living community practices.

We see these incorporations of the number four consistently in Sioux life.  Perhaps most poetically expressed is in ceremony:

  • Pipe Passings: The pipe is offered to participants from four different directions
  • Sweat Lodges: Traditional Sioux ceremonies guide initiates through four endurance challenges
  • Sun Dances:  There are four direction facings to this ceremony

Here are some other links that might assist you on your journey to explore the sacred meaning of number four in the Sioux way of thought and beyond:

Meaning of Number Four (generalized)

Sioux Symbols

Nature Symbolism

Spiritual Meaning of Numbers (brief)

Meaning of Numbers (portal page to more detailed explanations)

Native American Symbols

I also invite you to look at this post on the Navajo Medicine wheel symbolism – which is also in quadrants.


2 Comments on “Number Four as a Sacred Sioux Symbol”

  1. Numbers have deep symbolism for some people and little meaning in the lives of others. For a shaman, the number four evokes thoughts symbolic of the four elements; Earth, Air, Fire and Water being drawn together as one force. The Shaman learns to focus magickal intent, psychic power and his command over these four elements at his disposal.

  2. Hi Liara,
    Agreed. Numbers don’t speak to everyone. I find it amusing I worked in accounting for over a decade, but truly have blockages in deciphering simple math. However, the symbolism of numbers speaks to me loud and clear. Thanks for your comment.

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