Posts Tagged ‘medicine wheel’

Trying to explain this in one post is like diluting Shakespeare to fridge magnets:  it’s fine if you want to whet your whistle, or are already familiar with the material, but it’s probably not enough to make you an authority on the subject.  My main purpose in presenting this system of organization is to elucidate my own progress working with it, and to provide a starting point for others seeking a framework to begin their own healing processes.

The Medicine Wheel, or Sacred Hoop, is common to many native (including Celtic) traditions, representing the universe and the individual journey we all must take to become fully human.  Colors, animals, and symbolism vary from person to person, dependent on specific teachings and visions.  There is no wrong way to create a Medicine Wheel; its teachings are myriad and its purpose is to aid our search of universal knowledge.  It is a map that guides us so that we can establish a deeper relationship with ourselves while also connecting us to the larger community.  

There are physical manifestations of this spiritual energy, such as the Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming, which was created as a ceremonial space, but it also exists as a metaphor for life, and the endless series of cycles in our days, seasons, and the process of growing and evolving as spiritual beings.  The Medicine Wheel allows us to see where we are based on the choices we’ve made and how to learn from these experiences, so we are better equipped to move forward with our own healing, feeling a deeper sense of connection, and ultimately benefiting all of mankind.

I’ll delve deeper into each direction in later posts, but here is a little appetizer:

  • The winds of the South teach us to shed the past the way the Serpent sheds her skin.  We must let go of ideas, imprints, programs, and other wounds so that we can then experience a rebirth, allowing us to then fill the void with healing, compassion, love, and our lost power.
  • The winds of the West teach us how to heal and become luminous warriors, protected by Mother Jaguar.  We step beyond our fear, and learn the way of peace, to live impeccably upon the Earth.
  • The winds of the North, Hummingbird, bring us wisdom from Grandmothers and Grandfathers, the Ancient Ones.  We are not alone in our endeavors, and we honor those who have come before us, and those who will come after us.
  • The winds of the East teach us to fly with the Eagle, Condor, showing us the world as we have never seen it before, opening our eyes to the bigger picture (literally, a bird’s eye view!).
  • Mother Earth nourishes and grounds us, in all that we endeavor, and connects us to all of our relations, whether they are stone, plant, finned, furred, four-legged, or two-legged.
  • Father Sun, Grandmother Moon, and the Star Nations shine their light on us, guiding and helping us connect with the Great Spirit, the unnamable One, the infinite divine.  

As I mentioned before, these archetypes are not set in stone – they act as a mirror, showing us what we need to know about ourselves in relation to the entire universe.  There are many ways to work with this tool, and I encourage you to read Shaman Healer Sage by Alberto Villoldo for a deeper treatment of these concepts.


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The very first time I met Faith, she asked, “Do you think you’re a healer?”  My intuition said, “Yes!” but what came out of my mouth was, “No, um… I don’t know.”  I did know, but instead of saying that, my brain decided it wouldn’t be prudent to admit it, and I might sound like a weirdo to this person I had just met.  I had a beloved English teacher who used to refer to this as the “Editor Voice”.  He used to always tell us, “Just write.  Don’t listen to that little voice telling you it’s bad or wrong.  Listen to the other voice telling the story and get it onto paper.”  This was a case of choosing the right voice.

After an amazing wedding and honeymoon, I went to go see Faith again.  She had helped me earlier when I wanted to create sacred space for the wedding, and I was positive there was a lot I could learn from her.  Drew and I knew we wanted to start a family, and I wasn’t going to sit around waiting to get preggers before making sure all aspects of my being were ready.  I wanted to be proactive in my preparation.  Unaware of the medical history on my father’s side of the family, I knew the maternal side was plagued with reproductive and other health issues, including vaginal, testicular, and breast cancer, polyps and growths, and multiple sclerosis – and that’s only going back three generations!  I wanted to clear the energetic imprints in my family that were causing these ailments, not only for my own health, but for the future health of any children.  I want them to inherit their father’s green eyes and their mother’s cheekbones – not her messed up ovaries.  

Our first session was devoted mainly to the physical – my pelvic bowl (the Seat of the Soul, she calls it) was very tight, and this would need to be able to shift to carry a child with greater ease.  Stretching my psoas would assist in loosening that.  Posture-wise, for as long as I could remember, my head had always jutted forward, and I could never quite figure out how to stand up straight so that it felt AND looked right.  Faith took one look at me and recognized the problem:   I was locking my knees.  As a result, my entire body was leaning backwards; my head was tipping forward in an attempt to keep me balanced.  A few simple steps, and my entire posture changed (bend the knees, balance the weight evenly on my feet, zip up the dive suit, catch the ball and cradle it, open the window, elbows present!).  In addition, I had been walking on the outsides of my feet.  I have distinct memories of being told I had weak ankles as a child from the way they leaned in.  Years of compensating for that perceived weakness had actually weakened me.  By focusing on using my entire foot correctly with each step, as well as keeping my body in this new and improved alignment, I immediately noticed a difference.  I felt more grounded, more connected with the Earth, and stronger as I walked.  I felt almost regal standing up straight with my feet firmly on the ground.  Over the next week, my lower back began to frequently pop and adjust, and my pelvic bowl became looser.  Never having been very flexible (despite being double jointed), this new mobility in my hips allowed me to finally touch my toes without strain.  Amazing!

Faith and I decided that the next step was to work with the Medicine Wheel, both to facilitate my own healing, and also to teach me how to assist others in the way she was helping me.  My dowsing already gave me a sense of trust in my own intuition, and with some guidance, I could learn to develop my senses further.  I wanted to release energetic blocks, as well as old ideas and habits that were no longer serving me and didn’t allow me to fulfill my potential in all aspects of my life.  We would begin by working with the South, and the shedding power of the Serpent.

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