May '08 Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Welcome to the Speakers' Corner, where members presented monthly seminars.

Moderators: Bracken, Oakapple

Forum rules
If you find a topic of interest and want to continue the discussion then start a new topic under The Hearthfire with a similar name and add a link back to the topic you want to continue.
To copy a link just copy the url on the top left of your browser and then put in your post, highlight it and press the url button.
User avatar
Donata
OBOD Druid
Posts: 7978
Joined: 22 Apr 2003, 17:37
Gender: Female
Location: Watching the seasons change in the woods at my home in Western NY
Contact:

May '08 Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Donata » 02 May 2008, 04:23

THE MEDICINE WHEEL: A WAY TO FIND SPIRIT OF PLACE FOR A "DISPLACED PERSON".

Respectfully submitted by Donata.

Note: The form of the Medicine Wheel, as presented in this seminar, is based on traditional ones (see bibliography).
The interpretation and spiritual/practical use of the Medicine Wheel presented is my own, which unfolded and developed for me as I worked and meditated with the Wheel over the last 25 years.


This seminar explains how I found the Spirit of Place in a land my distant ancestors never knew. My ancestors came from two different countries. One branch of my mother's line came to America about 1740, but that still makes us newcomers. A son of that branch married a Seneca woman. Records weren't kept that far back, so I can't officially claim a Seneca heritage. I only know the town in southern Italy from which my father's family emigrated in the late 19th c. and no further history. I'm not a citizen of either Ireland or Italy, so feel somewhat distant from the Spirit of Place of those lands. This is not an unusual situation for a child of America.


How does a 'displaced person' find Spirit of Place?


I found a partial answer in the Celtic ancestry of my mother's land, Ireland. Druidry called to me for years before I discovered OBOD Druidry.

I found the Spirit of Place of the land of my birth, the U.S., through teachings of the land of my birth, especially the Native American Medicine Wheel. This has become a strong daily anchor for my spiritual path. There are many versions of the Medicine Wheel. I’m sharing one I’ve studied for years.

My two spiritual paths of Druidry and the Medicine Wheel are similar in their teachings and beliefs. Both are Earth centered. Both see divinity (however defined) in all beings. Both paths recognize the value of intuitive knowledge. Both emphasize the importance of accepting personal responsibility for your choices in life. Their world view is one of cooperation with others. Impeccability is a basic requirement of these spiritual paths – that is, truthfulness and total honesty with yourself, and in your words and actions with others.

The Medicine Wheel has much in common with other earth centered spiritualities found around the world. The Four Directions are honored, and their qualities are studied to aid a person to become whole. There is great reverence for the land itself, which is seen as Mother Earth. Great Mystery is the Source of Life, and Mother Earth is the great Nurturer and Sustainer.

Two of the most generally known traditions found among most Native Americans are the Sweat Lodge, which is a purification ritual intended to be a release and renewal, and the Give-Away, in which gifts are freely given to others in gratitude for all we have received. I find these rituals compatible with OBOD. There are seasonal celebrations, and honoring of the Full Moon. These are usually limited to members of the Tribe. Healing is important, and Medicine people are similar in use of herbs and prayers to the Wise Men and Women of our European heritage, and of modern Pagan teachings. Both have been persecuted by conquering powers.

I’ve been drawn to Native American ways since childhood, and thus I discovered the Medicine Wheel. I’ve worked with it for over twenty-five years. The Wheel itself became my teacher, so my interpretation is a personal one. I share this seminar with deep respect for those who kept the teachings alive. The Medicine Wheel directly links me to the Spirit of Place of the land where I live, and it made me aware of the Planetary Spirit of Place which underlies each individual geographic Spirit of Place.

I am a modern shaman trained in the shamanic lineage of Don Jose Matusuwa, Huichol Elder. He says of sharing the teachings:
"The teachings are for all, not just for Indians... The white people never wanted to learn before. They thought we were savages. Now they have a different understanding, and they do want to learn. We are all children of God. The tradition is open to anyone who wants to learn." --Don Jose Matusuwa

In this spirit I offer my seminar.


What is the Medicine Wheel? What does “Medicine” mean in this context?

“Medicine” means “Power”; your personal power. Power is your life force, your personal energy, focused and directed to your purpose in life. The Medicine Wheel is a circle made of stones. The Center of the Wheel is the place of Great Mystery, Source, Great Spirit, or any other name you choose. Each stone on the rim of the Medicine Wheel is equal-distant from the Center. This illustrates the equality of all beings. Each being; plant, animal, and human, shares in the universal energy, the Life Force that animates all. This leads to greater respect for all other beings, and for the Earth herself.

The Medicine Wheel takes the form of an encircled cross. The circle represents the earth. Ancient people knew the earth is round by looking at the horizon and watching the movement of the stars in a great circle overhead. The encircled cross developed as a means of ordering and understanding the world, and is found all around the world. The cross divides the wheel or circle of the world into quarters. The rim corresponds to the horizon. The horizontal and perpendicular arms of the cross are based on astronomical observations of the solstices and the equinoxes, and mark the four cardinal directions. The four cardinal directions also correspond to times of the day, of the seasons of the year, and the stages of a person’s life.

The other major observation of early astronomy, the phases of the moon, gave humans a method of keeping time. The moons are represented by the stones that are placed around the rim of the wheel. Thus early people developed an understanding of time and space. This brought order to the apparent chaos of the world. There is a remarkable agreement on the meanings found in the encircled cross all around the world. The Medicine Wheel is truly a multi-cultural symbol.

The stones that run from the east of the Medicine Wheel to the west form the Black Road of Obstacles and Lessons. As you walk from East to West and back again, the Black Road helps you to grow as you overcome your obstacles and learn from their lessons.

The Sun goes through an ongoing cycle of seeming birth, death, and rebirth as it travels along the Black Road from East to West, from sunrise to sunset. It travels it again at night, from West to East beneath the apparent world (this is how it appears from where you stand) to rise again at dawn. As you travel back and forth on this road you may come to an understanding of the ever-repeating cycles of your life. The Sun returns each morning, and is a symbol of hope as you overcome your obstacles.

The day begins not at dawn, but at sunset. The sun is ‘born’ from darkness into the light and hope of dawn. Sense the difference in viewing the start of day as sunset. Follow the course of the Sun at night and see that the night is never fully dark. You can find guidance in the Moon, ever changing, ever renewing, and from the Stars, always circling about the spindle of the sky, which is marked by the constant North Star. The North Star corresponds to the Center of the wheel and your personal Spirit of Place. Thus the Black Road offers you the promise of stability, and a sense of order in chaos and confusion; It gives you hope and a ray of certainty in a confused, chaotic world.

The stones that run from the south of the Medicine Wheel to the north form the Good Red Road. When you walk on this road, from South to North and back again, you walk in balance and harmony.

The South terminal of the Red Road is in the Underworld, the home of the Ancestors and Animal Allies. The Beings of the Underworld offer you the freedom, wildness, and terrors of the unknown. The North terminal of the Red Road is in the Upperworld, home of great teachers, angels and deities. They offer you spiritual guidance and inspiration. The Red Road teaches that you must descend into the Underworld and experience its freedom and wildness before you travel to the Upperworld. In a seeming contradiction, the freedom of the Underworld is grounding and centering, rooting you in its regenerating creativity.

This is the pattern of Shamanic teachings and journeys. You begin on the Black Road, where you learn its cycles and its lessons for your daily life. Then you walk on the Red Road, descending first to the Underworld, meeting the Ancestors and your Allies. After that you may fly above to the Upperworld. You travel back and forth on these two roads throughout your life. Wherever you travel, the goal is always to return to Center. You begin in the Center, and return back again to the Center.

Center is the center of your own Being, your sacred place of life and love. Center is the place of the World Tree, the Tree of Life, and the Shaman’s Tree. It is the Tree of the restored Hoop of the People where Black Elk, a Native American mystic, saw in vision all the peoples of the world coming together in peace. Center is the Wisdom Tree of Druidry as well, and the Door to wisdom. Center is the place of Great Mystery, the Source of all life. What is the experience of Great Mystery? What is the experience of AWEN? Great Mystery is more easily experienced in a place of nature, but is present everywhere. You can sense Great Mystery in your own silence. Take time daily to sit in silence. Be the Silence.

Your personal Center, your heart center – and the center of your Medicine Wheel, Circle, or Grove - creates a unique Spirit of Place for you. You connect to all parts of the earth, and to all beings on the earth, and thus you can connect to the planetary Spirit of Place. Spirit of Place is found within your heart, wherever you are. You walk the path of the heart. In the end, there is only One great Spirit of Place, one that all share.


Practical Work with the Medicine Wheel:


The Medicine Wheel may be used as a problem solving tool, as a guide in your spiritual life, or to gain inspiration or energy to start a project.

Note: my correspondences may be different from the ones you use. On my Medicine Wheel, East is the place of Fire & Spirit, Inspiration, and Choices; South is the place of Water & Emotions; Giving, Service, and Nurturing; West is the place of the Body & Earth; Introspection, Intuition, and Releasing/ Renewal; North is the place of the Air & Mind; of Wisdom and Understanding, where you Receive or Gather the wisdom of the other directions.

Here is one way to use the Medicine Wheel to understand a problem. My friend Judy was planning to visit her daughter to help after her daughter’s surgery. Judy believes in alternate health and nutrition so she told her daughter that she’d bring her juicer with her. Her daughter laughed at the idea that raw juices could help her. When Judy told me about this she was very upset and saw her daughter’s rejection of the juicer as a rejection of Judy herself. As we talked, Judy mentally walked around the Medicine Wheel.

She began in the East, the place of Spirit, and choices made from the heart. Judy sincerely believed she could help her daughter, and she spoke from her heart.

Then she moved to the South,place of emotions. She shared her pain at the lack of respect and tolerance she felt from her daughter. After she fully expressed her feelings, which is important to do, she moved to the West.

In the West, Judy became calmer. She went inward. She saw that her daughter might have felt overwhelmed and undervalued by her own certainty. She released the need to have her daughter share her own beliefs.

Judy next moved to the North. She reflected on what she learned from the other directions and decided that she had been too directive for her daughter’s comfort level. She realized that her daughter could love her without wanting to adopt her way of life. The knowledge she gained from her Circle of the Four Directions gave her the wisdom to release the pain of the situation.

Judy moved into her Center, where she responded with love and compassion. She accepted her daughter’s differences and no longer felt rejected. She allowed her love for her daughter to guide her. Her visit to her daughter was successful and loving. She left the juicer at home. In the same way, you may examine any problem or question that concerns you.

Try this method for yourself. If it feels more important to begin in another direction than East, do so. You may choose to go to the opposite quarter, or direction, to balance yourself. Try different methods to see what works for you. The method may change with the problem or question.


Native American Bibliography:

Books referenced and recommended. This is not a complete listing, but only a few of my own preferences. There are many more I could list, including some that are more shamanic in focus.
Key: # - recommended book.

##Bopp, Judie, Michael Bopp, Lee Brown and Phil Lane, The Sacred Tree: Reflections on Native American Spirituality, Four Worlds Development Press, Four Worlds Development Project,University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, l984. 0-941524-58-2 The Sacred Tree and gifts of the directions.

## Mails, Thomas E., Secret Native American Pathways: A Guide to Inner Peace, Council Oak books, Tulsa, Okla., l988. 0-933031-15-7 Study of four native American pathways): Pueblo, Cherokee, Apache, Sioux.

# Mails, Thomas E., Exploring the Sacred Pathways, The Pathways Foundation, Lake Elsinore, CA. Practical workbook for making tools. 0-915357-00-1

## Mails, Thomas E., in dialogue with the Sioux Holy Man, Fools Crow, Fools Crow: Wisdom and Power, Council Oak Books, Tulsa Okla., 1991. 0-933031-35-1 Healing rituals of the Sioux Holy Man.

## Meadows, Kenneth, The Medicine Way to Self-Mastery, Element Books Ltd., Longmead, Shaftesbury, Dorset, l990. In-depth presentation of Native American teachings and attitudes. 1-85230-151-1

# Meadows, Kenneth, Earth Medicine, Elements Books, 1989. Native American Medicine Wheel and Earth Astrology. 1-85230-47-1

## Sun Bear, Wabun Wind, and Crysalis Mulligan, Dancing with the Wheel; The Medicine Wheel Workbook, Prentice Hall Press, New York, 1991. 0-13-572843-6 Visualizations, exercises, and ceremonies using the Medicine Wheel. Tools, mineral, plant, animal, color wheels.

Sun Bear and Wabun, The Medicine Wheel Earth Astrology, 0-13-572982-3
Animal totems, personal characteristics, with NA correspondences.

## Ywahoo, Dhyani, Voices of Our Ancestors: Cherokee Teachings from the Wisdom Fire, Shambhala Publications, Boston, Mass., l987. Teachings, attitudes, meditations by 27th generation elder. 0-87773-410-0
Last edited by Donata on 02 May 2008, 16:38, edited 2 times in total.
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

http://www.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com
http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


ImageImage ImageImage

Image

User avatar
Seeker
OBOD Druid
Posts: 3054
Joined: 26 Sep 2004, 20:17
Gender: Male
Location: Turtle Island
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Seeker » 02 May 2008, 13:25

Very inspiring work, Donata! Many thanks for sharing your approach - the medicine wheel can be a very powerful tool for walking one's path.
"Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought."
Matsuo Basho

User avatar
Donata
OBOD Druid
Posts: 7978
Joined: 22 Apr 2003, 17:37
Gender: Female
Location: Watching the seasons change in the woods at my home in Western NY
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Donata » 02 May 2008, 14:45

Thank you Seeker! I probably should have added (and will edit now) that while the form of the Medicine Wheel, as posted, is traditional, the interpretation of it is only my interpretation.

BB
Donata
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

http://www.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com
http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


ImageImage ImageImage

Image

User avatar
Dryadia2
OBOD Druid
Posts: 10055
Joined: 02 Jun 2005, 18:10
Gender: Female
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, USA
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Dryadia2 » 02 May 2008, 16:45

Absolutely wonderful presentation, Donata! :clap:
Thank you so much for sharing this! :hug:

Peace and Blessings,
:dryadia: /|\
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than any city on earth - Steve McQueen

User avatar
Jingle
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 2513
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 19:25
Gender: Female
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Jingle » 02 May 2008, 18:03

I have had a very difficult time, as an American, coming to terms with Spirit of Place. It is not only because my ancestry is European. I think it is partially because we as a culture are very mobile. People that visit from Europe find it a little strange, for example, that we cannot traverse our country by land vehicle in a single day.

My mother was born in Iowa, moved to Colorado, met my dad in Nebraska, and moved to California where they originally lived in San Francisco (where I was born) and then did most of my growing up in the Los Angeles area (which is just a little less three times the distance from London to Cardiff).

My father's life journey was about the same, only his origins were from New Mexico, Texas, Colorado then Nebraska.

I now live 2850 miles from the place of my birth (21 times the distance from London to Cardiff, and a 43 hour drive if you don't stop to eat, sleep or take a break)

So where and how do I find Spirit of Place? I am anxious to try the medicine wheel method, but I have a question regarding the wheel itself. Should it be on a grand scale in the yard, literally walking from point to point? Can it be smaller to "walk" from place to place by tracing with a finger? Can it simply be a vizualization of the wheel itself?

What do you recommend?

Is the Spirit of Place then found in the Center? So if you have a portable one, you can always find the center no matter where you are? Does the spirit of place change as you move around?

Thank you for your thoughts.
Light,

Jingle

ImageImage :ioho: :recycle:
Image
2008 IL
Image
2009 BS
---------------
Young and alone on a long road, Once I lost my way: Rich I felt when I found another; Man rejoices in man. ~ Hávamál
----------------
Avatar edited from http://www.hawkmountain.org - watching and protecting our magnificent birds of prey...

Crowsfeet
OBOD Bard
Posts: 445
Joined: 10 May 2006, 20:00
Gender: Female
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Crowsfeet » 02 May 2008, 19:05

Thank you, Donata!!

I, too, have oral tradition in my family that says an ancestor of mine from Scotland married a Seneca woman. I've not been able to confirm this. But I was told all my childhood that we had Native blood (about a thimble full!) Mostly my ancestry is from Ireland. So I can claim the Celts!! I appreciate Druidry because so much of it parallels Native American teaching. Now I live in Montana with 5 tribes (at least!) and I meet Native people all the time in my work. I appreciate your respectfulness because we of European descent must be careful not to "appropriate" Native culture. It does make them very angry. We have taken so much from them, I can really understand their feelings.

Thanks for the seminar, I enjoyed it very much.

Crowsfeet

User avatar
Donata
OBOD Druid
Posts: 7978
Joined: 22 Apr 2003, 17:37
Gender: Female
Location: Watching the seasons change in the woods at my home in Western NY
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Donata » 02 May 2008, 22:58

..........
My mother was born in Iowa, moved to Colorado, met my dad in Nebraska, and moved to California where they originally lived in San Francisco (where I was born) and then did most of my growing up in the Los Angeles area (which is just a little less three times the distance from London to Cardiff).
...............
I now live 2850 miles from the place of my birth....

So where and how do I find Spirit of Place? I am anxious to try the medicine wheel method, but I have a question regarding the wheel itself. Should it be on a grand scale in the yard, literally walking from point to point? Can it be smaller to "walk" from place to place by tracing with a finger? Can it simply be a vizualization of the wheel itself?

What do you recommend?

Is the Spirit of Place then found in the Center? So if you have a portable one, you can always find the center no matter where you are? Does the spirit of place change as you move around?

Thank you for your thoughts.
Hi Jingle,

I don't claim that the Medicine Wheel solves this problem for everyone - it helps me. Again, this is my personal interpretation, based on my own work with the MW. From it I realized that I can connect with the Planetary Spirit of Place, and that I don't have to divide that planetary spirit into the local spirit of place of where I live. The Wheel is a mandala of the planet and of the universe, and I am always at the Center - which is called the Child's Fire on the Mayan MW - I'm the child, as are you, and all others. Center is also the place of Great Mystery (however perceived - God, Creator, Spirit, God & Goddess) which shows me I'm part of Great Mystery and in 'it', and Great Mystery is part of me and in me.

Spirit is everywhere, as it's planetary. It is present wherever we are and will speak to us when we are in nature, are silent, respectful (as I know you are) and simply listen. It took me a while after my recent move to sense the difference in the manifestation of spirit of place here, where it's calmer and more subtle, more nurturing, than in my former home in the woods, which had a much higher, active energy. Trees help us connect with spirit of place anywhere as they can speak to each other across continents through their roots. They wish to help us.

The entire Wheel represents Spirit of Place, and also, Center does. Interestingly, as I continued to work and meditate with the Wheel it taught me that the Center and the rim of the Wheel, or outer circle of the MW, are mirror images of one another and at a certain level, there is no difference between them. They are the same thing.

Something else I've discovered about the Center - more than only a stone, it is the shamanic pole or world tree or spindle, that connects this world with the upper and lower worlds and can safely be climbed in either direction. I discovered there are Medicine Wheels, with the same pole or tree at their Center, in these other worlds, so that allows me to always journey within the protection of the Medicine Wheel. It's boundaries are only limited by my own limits.

As to size, that's up to you. When I lived in the woods I had an outdoor MW, where I could sit and walk within it for ceremony and meditation. I also had a small one indoors on a table. Now I don't have a place for an outdoor MW - or haven't found one yet - so I work with the smaller one indoors. I stand outside this one. It doesn't matter. The MW is physical, so I feel it's best for it to be physically manifested. I also find it's best to be able to move about it and feel the different energies of the stones at their different places on the Wheel.

Spirit of Place remains the same. Our perception of it may change. Experiment with it!

There's so much more - but the seminar can only be so long!

BB
Donata
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

http://www.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com
http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


ImageImage ImageImage

Image

User avatar
Jingle
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 2513
Joined: 14 Dec 2005, 19:25
Gender: Female
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Jingle » 02 May 2008, 23:29

Awesome. I may try to incorporate this superimposed on the Labyrinth, or around our circular altar table.
Thanks for a great seminar!
Light,

Jingle

ImageImage :ioho: :recycle:
Image
2008 IL
Image
2009 BS
---------------
Young and alone on a long road, Once I lost my way: Rich I felt when I found another; Man rejoices in man. ~ Hávamál
----------------
Avatar edited from http://www.hawkmountain.org - watching and protecting our magnificent birds of prey...

User avatar
Donata
OBOD Druid
Posts: 7978
Joined: 22 Apr 2003, 17:37
Gender: Female
Location: Watching the seasons change in the woods at my home in Western NY
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Donata » 02 May 2008, 23:33

Hi Jingle,

I think the labyrinth is another universal symbol that works very well for this! I love it too.

BB
Donata
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

http://www.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com
http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


ImageImage ImageImage

Image

User avatar
honor_your_life
Posts: 258
Joined: 26 Feb 2007, 02:43
Gender: Male
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby honor_your_life » 10 May 2008, 23:37

Very interesting seminar. :)
I Am The Shaman, I am the voice of the wilderness, the guide of all spirits, enter my realm and never leave.

"You don't have to be old to be wise"-Judas Priest

Honor your life.

User avatar
DaRC
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 4872
Joined: 06 Feb 2003, 17:13
Gender: Male
Location: Sussex
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby DaRC » 14 May 2008, 13:46

Hi Donata,
Note: my correspondences may be different from the ones you use. On my Medicine Wheel, East is the place of Fire & Spirit, Inspiration, and Choices; South is the place of Water & Emotions; Giving, Service, and Nurturing; West is the place of the Body & Earth; Introspection, Intuition, and Releasing/ Renewal; North is the place of the Air & Mind; of Wisdom and Understanding, where you Receive or Gather the wisdom of the other directions.
could you explain why you use the correspondences you do?
I noticed something similar in Kondratiev's book on Celtic Ritual but, again, without detailled explanation so I'm curious to know.

Cheers, Dave.
Most dear is fire to the sons of men,
most sweet the sight of the sun;
good is health if one can but keep it,
and to live a life without shame. (Havamal 68)
http://gewessiman.blogspot.co.uk Image

User avatar
Donata
OBOD Druid
Posts: 7978
Joined: 22 Apr 2003, 17:37
Gender: Female
Location: Watching the seasons change in the woods at my home in Western NY
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Donata » 14 May 2008, 16:55

On my Medicine Wheel, East is the place of Fire & Spirit, Inspiration, and Choices; South is the place of Water & Emotions; Giving, Service, and Nurturing; West is the place of the Body & Earth; Introspection, Intuition, and Releasing/ Renewal; North is the place of the Air & Mind; of Wisdom and Understanding, where you Receive or Gather the wisdom of the other directions.
These are the correspondences I was first taught when I began studying the Medicine Wheel. There are other correspondences with other Medicine Wheels (yes, it can get very confusing! 8-) . This is long, so that's why I didn't include it in my already lengthy seminar. :D

The interesting thing is to compare the systems. In the Western system, EAST is associated with Air/Mind, so we make our choices with the analytical Mind. SOUTH is associated with Fire/Spirit. WEST is associated with Water and Emotions, so we Hold our emotions within. NORTH is associated with the body and Earth. The correspondences of giving of the Spirit, and learning wisdom from the body are important (even though in the West we tend to discount the wisdom of the body). The main difference for us can be with the directions of East and West. See below.
(Adapted from my as yet unpublished, still being revised,book on the Medicine Wheel :grin:)


NATIVE AMERICAN DIRECTIONS ON THE MEDICINE WHEEL

The relationship of the four basic elements and the Four Cardinal Directions is generally recognized in all indigenous cultures. If you are familiar with the general Western Pagan correspondences, you will see a difference with the ones presented here. Note: Other versions of the Medicine Wheel may have other correspondences with the directions. This is the one I was first taught. There is a quarter turn of the Wheel or circle with the Native American elements in this system, as compared with the Western Pagan one. The elements are present at all directions; all attributions work.

EAST: Fire is associated with the Sun, which rises in the East. Fire is transformational, as is Spirit. East is the place of beginnings, of inspiration, thus the Direction of Determining and Making Choices. Thus,You determine with your Spirit. Fire corresponds to the spiritually oriented Higher Self or Spirit. Or as Joseph Campbell says:
If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. Wherever you are -- if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life
within you, all the time.


SOUTH: Water refreshes and renews, and is associated with Nurturing, with rapid growth and Emotions. South is the Direction of Giving. Thus, in this direction, you give of your Emotions and feelings. South is the place of rapid growth and is the direction of Water. Water has qualities of clinging and is similar to the Hidden Self/Younger Self.

WEST is the place of the setting sun, which appears to sink into the Earth, where it is held during the silence of the night. Earth is associated with the physical Body. West is the direction of Holding Within. West is the place of mysteries, intuition, releasing and transformation. Here you go within in meditation and learn to trust your Intuition.

NORTH: Air is associated with the North. Air, or wind, blows most strongly from the North, bringing cleansing and purity. The mind seeks purity and clarity of intent. North is the Direction of Receiving. You receive with the power of your Mind. Air is associated with the Mind, since both are elusive, intangible and cannot be seen, although their effects are known. Air and Mind are both in a state of constant motion.

Thus, on the Medicine Wheel, East is the direction of Determining, of Choices, and of Fire and Spirit. Its opposite direction, West, is the direction of Holding or Going Within, and of Earth and the Body.
North is the direction of Air and the Mind, and the power of Receiving. Its opposite direction, South, is the direction of Water and the Emotions, and the power of Giving. These qualities balance each other. Balance is the key to whatever you seek - happiness, spiritual growth, inner knowledge, and empowerment. Balance is the Beauty Way of Harmony.

Take time to meditate on these meanings and what they have to teach you about yourself. Enjoy! Walk in Beauty. Aho!
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

http://www.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com
http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


ImageImage ImageImage

Image

scopulus
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 615
Joined: 05 Dec 2006, 22:12
Gender: Male
Location: oostende , Belgium
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby scopulus » 16 May 2008, 14:20

Hello Donata,

I was wondering if the wheel you presented here by natives, is general taken by all natives? I also believe the quarter twist in the wheel , is because of location of where those people live, no? European Westerns will put fire in south, air in East, etc. This is also based on Galenius theory about the 4 elements in a human body, and Hypocrates, therefor I believe this is located on where you live.
What else I would like to add: The paths between the directions.
For instance, the Red path and the blue path. It is easy to go between East and West, but north and south seems quite hard to go through in my opinion. Im only slightly occupied with the wheel, and Definatly would love some studygroup regarding this, for I need that extra push in my back to actually get started with this sort of things. It is also already (albeit very slightly) mentioned in the course that OBOD offers. I tried to put everything so far in a wheel, even the 4 psyches/shields a human has, (or 4 souls according to LAkota believings told by Black Elk)

I have also put already some of my guiding animals in the wheel. At times Bear comes to West, other times at north, for example. Or a crow I put in East, while Gulls in West.
The wheel is in my opinion one of the strongest workable tools one can aquire, if we put enough time in it. Therefore, 1st may I decided to work again more deeply on the wheel.

For me, the wheel is one of my sacred tools.
For those who would like to make a wheel.. start by drawing one, divide it in 4 directions, and give each direction a color where you think it should suit well. Don't go surfing about the natives colors, for they can be a base, but those are groupbound, as an individual , we may have our own colors!

Good luck and Donata, keep up the wonderfull work. Perhaps we can go in more depth at times!
Words, mere words, Vivid, clear and sometimes Cruel!!!
Yet ... they have a subtle magic in them.

'Oscar Wilde' The picture of Dorian Gray.

User avatar
Donata
OBOD Druid
Posts: 7978
Joined: 22 Apr 2003, 17:37
Gender: Female
Location: Watching the seasons change in the woods at my home in Western NY
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Donata » 16 May 2008, 19:33

Much as I hate to muddy the waters and confuse everyone!
I was wondering if the wheel you presented here by natives, is general taken by all natives? I also believe the quarter twist in the wheel , is because of location of where those people live, no? European Westerns will put fire in south, air in East, etc.
No, the MW as I presented it is basically from the Lakota peoples. If you really wanted :o I could post at least 4-5 other variations, where the correspondences are very different, and not in the same order of Fire, Water, Earth, and Air (or Air, Fire, Water and Earth). After a while it just gets very confusing, at least for me, so I find it simpler to stick with what I first learned. Later on when I was studying with my Shamanic teacher, I had to look at that wheel (the one she used) and do a mental 'click' in my head to adjust to it. 8-) I can still find myself standing in circle, and going mentally, 'Where am I?' :boggle: - with Wiccan/Druid Circle, and several Medicine Wheel circles whirling in my poor head!

Geography may play a role in these correspondences, or the view of that people of the world - so earth in the West because the Sun seems to sink into the earth... and so on.
The paths between the directions.
For instance, the Red path and the blue path. It is easy to go between East and West, but north and south seems quite hard to go through in my opinion.
Interesting! Most of us find the Black (or Blue if you prefer) Road of Lessons and Obstacles the more difficult, while when we are 'doing it right' and are in harmony in our lives, we walk easily on the Red Road.
Im only slightly occupied with the wheel, and Definatly would love some studygroup regarding this, for I need that extra push in my back to actually get started with this sort of things.
I just completed a several weeks workshop on the Medicine Wheel last week, offered through my Center, Chrysalis Heart Center. I'd love to set up an online course, but I'm not sure how to do it.

I don't know if there's enough interest here to set up a sub-forum for classes??? If so, I think it would need to be one of the private forums, just for those who sign up for it, as it would get too confusing to have people coming in later. Or it could be one on one if I could figure it out. Thoughts, comments, ideas are welcome!

BB
Donata
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

http://www.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com
http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


ImageImage ImageImage

Image

User avatar
Aelfarh
OBOD Bard
Posts: 2033
Joined: 24 Nov 2007, 03:26
Gender: Male
Location: London, UK
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Aelfarh » 17 May 2008, 13:36

Impresive seminar, thanks for sharing

You know, you're very fortunate of your teacher, the Huichol people are one of the most interesting tribes that live in Mexico. I had the opportunity of watch one of their rituals, and they are just great. Also they have a strong culture, with music and dance of their own; and it's very interesting also the use of the peyote on their shamanic practices. Did you went to the sacred hill they have, "El quemado"? If I have time later I'll write something about it on the sacret sites post.

About the seminar, I just have a little question; if it's practice on the southern hemisfere, the meanings of North and South are inverted and that's it? I live also in the northern hemisfere, but I was thinking of that, since we have some southern fellows around here.

:applause:
Bennacht Dé ocus ainDé fort!
(The blessings of the gods and the non-gods upon you!)

http://al-tirnanog.blogspot.com/
http://www.losceltas.org

"We see things only as we are constructed to see them, and can gain no
idea of their absolute nature. With five feeble senses we pretend to
comprehend the boundlessly complex cosmos"


Image Speaker's Corner February 2009

User avatar
Donata
OBOD Druid
Posts: 7978
Joined: 22 Apr 2003, 17:37
Gender: Female
Location: Watching the seasons change in the woods at my home in Western NY
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Donata » 17 May 2008, 16:06

About the seminar, I just have a little question; if it's practice on the southern hemisfere, the meanings of North and South are inverted and that's it? I live also in the northern hemisfere, but I was thinking of that, since we have some southern fellows around here.
That's something that wasn't addressed in my own training, or in the books I've found so far. I don't have an answer for you. Yes, there are Medicine Wheels in the southern hemisphere, and yes, I would expect a reversal of the North and South correspondences. I simply don't know.

All of my work has been with Northern Hemisphere wheels. Some of my shamanic training - some journeys, some articles in the mesa (portable altar carried in a pouch) - are of Inka origin (modern Peru mostly), but the hemispheric differences weren't addressed. I met a woman last year, and took her workshop, who is trained in another Inka lineage than mine, who adjusts her MW to the Northern Hemisphere directions/ correspondences (she was taught MW this way).

I suspect it's a matter of pragmatic practicality. "When in Rome....." but I can't say that with :shrug: authority.

BB
Donata

Re Huichol sites - my one trip to Mexico was for my initiation as a Priestess of the Maya Temple of the Deer. No time for anything else! We were in the Guatemalan Peninsula where there are Mayan ruins.
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

http://www.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com
http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


ImageImage ImageImage

Image

scopulus
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 615
Joined: 05 Dec 2006, 22:12
Gender: Male
Location: oostende , Belgium
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby scopulus » 18 May 2008, 00:50

Interesting! Most of us find the Black (or Blue if you prefer) Road of Lessons and Obstacles the more difficult, while when we are 'doing it right' and are in harmony in our lives, we walk easily on the Red Road.

I prefer the blue path, as I understood the black path to be that of the flesheater. Again according to Black Elk ;)
I also believe it is how to look upon the wheely paths. For instance, Im more aligned with the Western believings, Air east, etc. So from my view of perspective and I do say this is quite personal, the gate of fears lies in the East. So to see your own Fears is easier then walking the path in spirit to action. Then again...I am born in the month of April, so according to SunBear Im a birdlike animal.. alot of thinking, not so much action ;)
Mind you, it may seem that I know abit of the wheel but in Reality I don't.. I know alot of theory, but to put it in practice is for me quite hard. Back on topic: so from reconising your own Fear, and walking the Blue path to the West for healing is in my opinion easier then aligning myself with the spirit of my ancestors and spirit in general. The last one I call the red path.
I may be totally mistaken here thought. I am still learning this all..... working now with Animal speak from Ted Andrews and even there I believe some things are not quite alright for me. I prefer to stick with the Archetypal wheels. I did made my own wheel and colored it, to what it was for me.

When I met the 4 directions for the first a couple of years ago, I was told by a so called shaman that I should meditate on the wheel and colors, and put animals in it. Earth came to West for me, Water in North. That worked for a few weeks, but it doesnt seemed alright. Daan vankampenhout even made his own wheel and book about it... sadly in dutch, but very good book thought. Wished they would translate it for you English speaking people. But where one fails , I may take up in a few years from now ;) At least that would be the fire from the south talking to me and I , acting to it. Now After a few weeks talking with my personnal friend and mentor who works with the wheel for the past 15 years now, I realised to stick first to the archetypal wheel. I can always adjust back later in my opinion.

Then we added animals, colors , plants and trees in the wheel. Again without background about it , but hey, money talks... (randomcuzzword) walks.. so I did as I was told and after a while I got so confused that I even quited working with the wheel.
Now a year or 2 ago I picked it back up. Worked alittle deeper on occasion. I even managed to put 4 archetypals shadowtraits in it: calling it the Wheel of Ego consisting of pain, sadness, debating to get the ego grow, etc. This is my own work offcourse.

I can only say that the wheel should be fundamental for all shamanic workers. It is more then a symbol, more then a religious symbol, more then a nice way of feeling. It is THE tool in my opinion for further grow.

If we look at modern psychiatry (my sister studies for this) they also use this in their courses. Albeit by another name called the Rose of Axl. Every person has an animal and so on combined into a wheellike pattern. I have not seen it yet, but we discussed it a few weeks ago (for she pities my path and my religion, yet scared the crap out of her when I told her her lessons are based on shamanic views...) So with a wheel you can even determine what sort of people you encounter, and so on.

Donata, I am gratefull you started a topic like this, and about the online classes, it is possible, I even got my own forum started last year, and it died over time. I may remake the forum in English and use it for those who are interested here in learning the wheel. So a seminar may grow deeper as a class.

I am dissapointed in one thing about the course.. the wheel didn't go deep enough for me. When I first saw it, I was like: wow , even here they talk about it. So I hope in future I will see more off it in the Gwers too. If not, I got a base already and can work from there out!
I just got to be carefull not to reproduce anything on either forum, for after all, the courses given in the Gwers are too wonderfull to spoil out.

ps: Today I spoke with my 12 year old niece. She also has a knick for this sort of stuff, and wants to learn about the wheel. Do you think this is good, considering her age? She is gifted with feeling and such, I even told her a little trick to get back at ease when she feels discomforted about her deceased grandfather (my uncle whom I guided to the spirits) but yet I am not sure if I should go to deep with her on the wheel yet. After all.. she is so young..


May the Gods and spirits bless us all,
May our wheel keep turning, narrowing and broadening, breathing and become silence, shine and radiate our lessons and gifts into the world.


Kristof/scopulus
Words, mere words, Vivid, clear and sometimes Cruel!!!
Yet ... they have a subtle magic in them.

'Oscar Wilde' The picture of Dorian Gray.

User avatar
Donata
OBOD Druid
Posts: 7978
Joined: 22 Apr 2003, 17:37
Gender: Female
Location: Watching the seasons change in the woods at my home in Western NY
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Donata » 18 May 2008, 05:59

As far as I can see, you may be working with a different version, or versions, of a more generic wheel than the Medicine Wheels I know. That's fine - whatever works for you - but I can't relate to what you are saying as I'm not familiar with it.

I've read Black Elk and Sun Bear though I don't see either as a primary teacher for me. I can't really comment on them. Correspondences will vary. I never heard that one about black as flesheaters! Black is the color of the earth as the sun sinks into it. Dark blue is a color I've seen used in place of black for the West. Otherwise, I'm not familiar with what you use.

Sun Bear's "Earth Astrology" is an interesting concept. As far as I can determine it's his personal interpretation and melding of western astrology and his version of the Medicine Wheel. Again, if it's useful for you use it.

I never heard of the Rose of Axl. It doesn't sound Native American! It sort of sounds to me as though you may be pulling pieces from different traditions, some Native American, some not. To be honest, I'm confused!

Most of what I do is also a personal interpretation - though not what I shared in the Seminar, other than the practical application of going around the Wheel.

I found the Medicine Wheel to be very deep - but only as the Wheel itself became my teacher as I meditated and worked with it. Rather than over complicating it with colors, animals, correspondences, etc., why not just sit with the Medicine Wheel and let it speak to you? It is very simple, yet very very deep and profound. It's possible to spend a long time meditating on Center, which is the place of Great Mystery, the Source, and also the place of the Child's Fire (you are the Child) - what does this mean? Another fruitful meditation is on the Wheel as a mandala of the Web of Life - meditate on the seven Clan stones which are equi-distant from the Center.

Follow your own instinct and good judgment re your niece. I don't think she's too young for basics - what do her parents think about this?

BB
Donata
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

http://www.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com
http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


ImageImage ImageImage

Image

scopulus
OBOD Ovate
Posts: 615
Joined: 05 Dec 2006, 22:12
Gender: Male
Location: oostende , Belgium
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby scopulus » 18 May 2008, 18:10

I can see you got confused haha.
Black Elk speaks is the book I referred too where he mentions the Black path that of the Flesh eater and not for his people.

The rose of Axl is not native at all, but a psychological approach they use now in psychiatry so far. I can't give details, for I dont have any, but it resembles alot of a medicine wheel as I understoof from my sister.

As for my niece, her father I don't know him (they got seperated), her mother is glad I would eventually do this. Thought about it the whole day, and I may delay it for awhile, and try it with storytelling. We see what the future brings ;)
I am just afraid I may damage her more then be good...

As for the generic wheels. Yes, it is not based on a tradition what I work with, and yet it is. I used the colors like the Lakota ones, which Black Elk explained for awhile, and with the other writers I mentioned in previous post, I adjusted my own colors into it. That part is generic.

Black Elk was a lakota tribesman with a big vision. If you have not read his books, I assure you it might be worthwhile. After all, he was a visionary , at least in my point of view. Black Elk Speaks is the title I can recommand.


Blessings and thanks for the advice,
In the coming months I am sure to work closer with the wheel... and even then it might not stop in the coming months! ;)
Words, mere words, Vivid, clear and sometimes Cruel!!!
Yet ... they have a subtle magic in them.

'Oscar Wilde' The picture of Dorian Gray.

User avatar
Donata
OBOD Druid
Posts: 7978
Joined: 22 Apr 2003, 17:37
Gender: Female
Location: Watching the seasons change in the woods at my home in Western NY
Contact:

Re: May Seminar: The Medicine Wheel

Postby Donata » 18 May 2008, 20:17

Yes, I've read Black Elk's prophecy and am very impressed with it. I don't remember his comments re the blue path and flesheaters. :shrug:

I remember his profound vision of the Hoop of the World coming together from the four corners of the world, in which he saw black, white, yellow, and red representing the four major races of people coming together as one and healing, restoring, the Hoop. He also, as I recall, 'switched' the placement of the colors of red and yellow, which I've struggled with. He places red in the East, for the rising sun, and yellow in the South, where the sun is at its zenith. I'm currently using his placements.

In the end, the circle or wheel is found all over the world, and is open to cultural and individual interpretation. I only present what I've personally worked with. I think the universality and adaptability of the wheel or circle is one of its greatest strengths!

BB
Donata
In some mysterious and wonderful way you are part of everything. And in that same mysterious and wonderful way, everything is a part of you. ---Nippawanock, ARAPAHOE

If I destroy you, I destroy myself. If I honor you, I honor myself. --- Hunbatz Men, MAYAN ELDER

http://www.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com
http://www.Donata.ChrysalisHeartCenter.com

The Medicine Wheel: Path of the Heart (book available through Amazon.com)


ImageImage ImageImage

Image


Return to “The Speakers' Corner”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests