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The Path 

The Sweet Medicine SunDance Path 


The Sweet Medicine SunDance Path is one of the ancient Mystery Schools of Turtle Island and has a long rich Lineage behind it.


Today, as always, this Path promotes a spiritual practice of self-discovery and evolution. Through the application of tools such as ceremony, connection with nature, awakening our natural self, developing physical mastery, balancing the masculine and feminine energies within – just to name a few – the Sweet Medicine SunDance Path offers the seeker many avenues of healing and personal transformation.


Our Lineage


Thousands of years ago, many shamans, medicine men & women, sorcerers and magicians traveled beyond their roots to experience knowledge from every direction of the sacred wheel of life. In their travels they evolved to great levels of wisdom, knowledge and power. Meeting in Oaxaca, Mexico in 1250 B.C., these wandering wise ones established the Rattlesnake School of Turtle Island. This encompassed North, Central and South America and originally, what is known today as New Zealand and Australia. At that time it was all one big land mass.       






























The Eight Great Powers Wheel 

Turtle Island holds the Southwest direction on the wheel of the Eight Great Powers. These are the 8 streams, or schools, of sacred knowledge that exist worldwide. The teachings of all these Mystery Schools guide people in their healing, maturity and evolution.  


Throughout history many of these Mystery Schools were forced to go underground in order to keep the teachings and knowledge safe from abuse and misuse by those who wished to use them to dominate others. This was the case with the Rattlesnake School of Turtle Island following the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors and the invasion of Europeans to North America.


The Path survived and continued to evolve over time. In 1250 A.D. the Twisted Hairs Metis (may-tee’ = mixed blood) Medicine Council of Elders was formed. When the Twisted Hairs Council of Elders took leadership, the more contemporary version of the Path emerged. It is now known as the Sweet Medicine SunDance Path.

What is a Twisted Hair?

For many tribal people, long hair has historically represented knowledge. Twisted Hair refers to those who acquire knowledge from multiple sources and weave it together creating the “braids of truth”. These braids are tried and tested over time. Those that uphold sacred law and lead to effective change in one’s life are kept and added to an ever-growing body of knowledge. Those that don’t are discarded.


In 1975 the Elders heard the call of Grandmother Earth and her children. They saw the readiness and need for the teachings of the Path to be available to anyone seeking personal growth and transformation. Harley Swiftdeer Reagan (Thunder Strikes), a member of the Elder’s Council, was designated as the Shield Carrier of Knowledge for this Path.


The wisdom of the Sweet Medicine SunDance Path is shared through an international network of teachers, lodges and study groups. The Raven Speaks Lightning Lodge in the Pacific Northwest is one such lodge founded by Mateo Swan and Martha Iosbaker in 2006.

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