The Red Lodge Shield
The Australian Red Lodge Shield image was imagined in 2009 during a purification lodge. Members of the community came together and dreamed of the future for what is now known as the Sweet Medicine Australian community. The shield holds the symbols of this combined dreaming. Then using artistic and creative flair of some of the apprentices, the shield was born and danced to the Sundance tree in 2010, the year before the first Red Lodge was held in Australia.
The turtles at the centre are symbols of Grandmother Earth, the keepers of the teachings of shields and the carrier of teachings of humanity. Australia, New Zealand and the Americas were also part of what was known as Turtle Island. For thousands of years medicine men & women, shamans and other seekers from the tribes of Turtle Island travelled beyond their tribal boundaries to gather wisdom and knowledge.
These three turtles are moving forward towards Uluru, the iconic land feature at the heart of Australia. For the Aboriginal people of Australia, Dreamtime represents the essence of their society, culture, traditions and spirituality. It is a time when ancestors, gods and living mortals come together to learn about the heritage and customs of the Aboriginal people. Dreamtime is the core of everything, and of the many sacred sites in Australia, few are as important as Uluru.According to Uluru dreamtime, the world was a featureless place until the ancestors of the Anangu emerged and travelled across the land, creating the features like Uluru that we see today. Uluru represents the physical evidence of their time on the earth. It is seen as one of their most dramatic and inspiring creations (http://uluru-australia.com/about-uluru/aboriginal-uluru-dreamtime/)
Above Uluru is the Hopi Sun symbol. The Sun symbol is of great importance as it is recognized as a giver of life, and a provider of warmth. The rays of the Sun signify the cardinal directions. An important annual ceremony held each year in this tradition is SunDance. Symbols from the Mayan calendar surround the outer edge. The Mayan Calendar brings in links to the Americas and cycles and timing.