The Sacred Hoop Garden is a large, enclosed garden behind the chapel, dedicated to the Huchiun people who once lived in the Berkeley area, to all Native American spirituality, and to all those who came before us.
The garden includes all native California plants. See Sacred Hoop Garden Plants for a full list of every plant in the garden. A map is included so each plant can be easily identified as you walk through the garden. The list includes some of the documented uses of each plant by the native people; as food, medicine, basket weaving, tool making, home building, and others uses. These uses are shown in italics.
As you walk around the garden, enjoy and discover how the native people in this area connected to their natural world of plants.
The garden is enclosed by a high curved rock wall. In fact, every feature of the garden is curved, symbolizing the “circle of life.” On the ground in the center is a medicine wheel or sacred hoop, one of the universal symbols of spirituality for Native Americans. The clearing on the north side is dominated by a coast live oak tree. On the south tucked in the corner is a Columbarium. The garden is open to the public for quiet contemplation. We welcome your enjoyment of this beautiful sacred space.
The Sacred Hoop Garden can be rented for events such as small outdoor weddings and memorials. See Rentals.
About The Medicine Wheel
The Medicine Wheel was commonly used in religious ceremonies by many native American tribes in North America. It is a “Sacred Hoop”, a symbol of the circularity of life, the endless cycle of life.
A medicine wheel is simply a circle on the ground, with a center and four directions. It is kept simple, or it loses its power. The center is the eye of God, the blue sky where the creator resides, from where existence flows, to where existence returns. The circumference is one’s self-discipline. Inside is the private inner territory of life. To be outside the circle of life is to be out of harmony.
The medicine wheel is constructed in four directions. North is white, midnight, winter, elder, wisdom. East is yellow, sunrise, spring, fire, infant, birth. South is red or green, noon, summer, earth, youth, growth. West is black, evening, autumn, air, adult, maturity, introspection.
Some medicine wheels are permanent, some not. Some are large, some small. They are ceremoniously constructed. They are the focal point for centering oneself, for spiritual communion, to show you your path, to maintain your path. They summon the spirits populating the invisible world.