Native American Indian Healing Ceremonies
Sacred Tree Dance Ceremony

The Grandmothers sit under the Sacred Tree, holding their empty baskets and calling their grandchildren to remember the dance of life. As part of MotherEarth's transition into the Fifth World, the Two-Leggeds are being reminded to remember their family and honor the dream of wholeness. The song of the Grandmothers calls us all to return to the Sacred Tree every cycle, to bring our gifts to nourish the web of life and to dance the Fifth World rhythm that creates harmony. This ceremony was given to us by the Grandmother Spirits so that the dance of the sacred tree could begin again.

The dance can be organized by anyone and done in any location where a tree is available. All people of any age are invited to attend. Although everyone shares in the leadership of the dance, it may be helpful to have a facilitator familiar with the dance format so that things flow smoothly. The dance of the sacred tree is a ceremony of give-away. Every participant is asked to prepare three give-aways for the ceremony:

  1. An intention for dedicating the energy of the dance
  2. A representation of a favorite relation in the web of life
  3. A give-away of something special for the Sacred Tree

Since this is also a celebration of nourishing the Sacred Tree, it is appropriate for everyone to contribute towards a feast that can be shared by all after the dancing is completed.

You will need a location with a tree, representing the Sacred Tree, that a group of people can dance around. You will also need four baskets to place around the tree, one in each of the four directions on the Medicine Wheel. The baskets should contain something to represent each direction, such as the color or sacred food of that direction.

A dance staff is needed for the leader of the dance to carry, and one or several drums to create the rhythm of the dance and carry the heartbeat rhythm. Rattles and medicine objects are welcome to add energy to the dance. The staff used in the dance represents the web of life. It should be a give-away from the tree people, about four or five feet tall, that is found laying on the ground rather than cut especially for the dance.

Each person brings a give-away to the dance that represents one of their favorite relations in the web of life. This can be a feather, shell, bone, leaf, seed, flower or a small carved or cut out image of that special relation. Before the dance begins, each person will attach this give-away to the staff. Each person also brings a give-away for the Sacred Tree to nourish all of the relations in the web of life. This gift represents something special to the person giving it. There are no limitations for this gift, it should come from the heart.

After each person ties their symbolic object onto the dance staff, they will take their other give-away to one of the four baskets placed around the Sacred Tree. The basket that calls to them is where they place their gift. The basket that is chosen reflects the direction in which each individual person is dancing on the Medicine Wheel.


Spider is a teacher of Earth connection following the Taino tradition of the Caney Indian Spiritual Circle and the Wisdom Wheel teachings of the Wolf Clan Teaching Lodge.

Stories, Ceremonies and Articles written by Spider   © 2002 - 2008

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About the images on this page:

  1. The Olive Pickers, Lassithi Valley, Crete, 1975, Color Transparency, Photography by Peter Shefler   © 1975-2008

  2. The Sacred Tree and the Grandmothers Baskets, Illustration by Tenanche Semiata-Akuaba, from the book, Songs of Bleeding, by Spider,   © 1992

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