Links of the site are right at the bottom of the page)
The 24 pages in this Medicine Wheel section are linked below
How You Approach The Study Of
The Medicine Wheel Matters
Are you one who goes out to buy a
book seeking a structured learning approach? Then in trying
to understand working with the Medicine Wheel you find you are
totally confused and in way over your head? Or perhaps you are
one to follow your own inspiration and interests learning as
you go? Or maybe you seek out a teacher and ask a lot of questions
to learn by experience. Perhaps you poke here and there at information
on the Medicine Wheel out of curiosity and start to grasp it
that way? I think for most of us it's a bit of both. Something
strikes our interest and we look into it a bit wherever we can
then when we're stumped, we either go off seeking the answers
or toss our hands in the air and let it go. If the interest
still holds then we want to understand deeper so we seek to
explore the structure of what is before us. It's like this in
life lessons and it's like this in our spiritual explorations.
We seek to understand what interests us to the best of our ability
and if we can't get those answers we get frustrated. I'd like
to try to alleviate that frustration for some of you and share
my approach to understanding the Medicine Wheel.
People come the Lodge with an interest
in shamanism and Native spirituality, some are just curios and
others more seasoned on their paths. We see frequently that
it's the unseasoned who most readily demonstrate the inspirational
approach in their questioning and interests. I say this because
they are all over the place with looking into things and trying
to apply the information they gather in ways that relate to
mundane logic. There is structure to the Medicine Wheel but
an understanding of the foundations of it needs to form and
that forms not with the logic of the mundane but the logic of
the spiritual approach. When these individuals come to see that
the Medicine Wheel is a major factor in Native and earth-based
teachings they begin with interest to explore that foundation.
It is the container for all the knowledge
you could want to tap into. Some will buy a book, and as I've
indicated, they find it very confusing after the first few chapters.
Why? Because the foundation of the spiritual philosophy behind
the Medicine Wheel isn't clear yet. They get frustrated and
many turn away or start asking questions where the answers won't
make sense to them
yet. This is because they haven't experienced
the foundations that will put things into a cohesive context
for them. Maybe they've read a few articles or a book or two,
perhaps they've heard references to aspects of the Medicine
Wheel discussed at different times, but these are just bits
and pieces of information without any real cohesion to them.
Eventually structure is to be explored
if someone is serious about understanding the fundamental Medicine
Wheel and the capacity for its use in their lives. In this process
they discover, too, that there are many different kinds of Medicine
Wheels so now it's more confusing, which is which and what are
they used for? At that point everything they've gathered so
far has to basically be set aside until, in their exploring,
those pieces comes back into play and fit themselves into place.
The foundation of that structure is now being explored in a
spiritually logical manner. With the approach to studying the
Medicine Wheel that I use there is a shift in focus so that
we go from wandering around lost in the woods to taking a well-traveled
path that will get us to our destination much faster.
It is important to focus on the basic
Wheel rather than the variations, then once we get to that point,
understanding is present to explore other options with it. It's
important to understand that the basic wheel is like a map with
the placement of the 36 stones, each a significant factor
a classroom or course of study in itself. All other Wheels are
derivatives of that. So where does one begin? In my option it
is important to begin the study of the Seven Sacred Directions
because that leads up to understanding the Wheel. They are the
cornerstones of everything else. It is for this reason they
are so sacred and why instead of sending someone off to explore
the Wheel itself I direct them to the Sacred Directions course
which is in reality the foundation of understanding the Wheel...they
start you on the path of making sense of things.
In studying the Seven Sacred Directions,
taking one at a time and then bringing them into union, you
come to meet your Guides, to experience the elemental forces
at play, are introduced to your Totems, learn to recognize,
read, and weave the energies you're exploring, and take on an
enlightened understanding of what all this means.
These insights take time to absorb,
the growth takes time to be honed, and there's no quick way
to comprehending the whole without understanding the sum of
the parts. If you do try another approach it only leads to missing
links and confusion. With my method you will discover that your
abilities grow, your awareness becomes more pronounced, you
begin to understand what walking between the worlds really means,
and you are interacting on dimensional levels with the Spirit
Worlds and their inhabitants as well as your own Inner Spirit.
It's amazing! Then you learn to balance yourself there and to
see where your spiritual path is uniquely your own, where it
is taking you and why. At least to the capacity you can hold
at that time. This allows you to see where you are in the scope
of things, getting a feel for *your* needs and your successes
that have recently been achieved. It puts the Wheel into perspective
and allows you to grasp the rest of its benefits more fully.
I have seen this time and again over
the years and from the foundation of the Sacred Directions the
Medicine Wheel really begins to come together. You're already
familiar with 7 of the stone placements themselves so going
on from there is less confusing. In fact it takes you deeper
into the overview and layout that you hold expanding on what
you already know and understand. Mind you, we're still studying
at this point on spiritual terms but later it has placement
in the mundane sense as well because the physical and spiritual
come together as a whole. So in learning how the Wheel encompasses
all aspects of life it starts coming together for you and you
can see how the year, the seasons, the beginnings, middle and
end of things flow with harmony within it. You can see how it
can become a learning institution, a vehicle to travel dimensionally,
and how it holds its own navigational system where you can program
in any issue or intent you could want to explore and find your
way to investigate or manifest it.
In the Medicine Wheel section of
the Library youll find articles on understanding and exploring.
Ive asked our members who use the Wheel to share a little
on how they find it so helpful, what it is to Dance it, and
how they create the steps in that Dance. Why would you go to
a certain stone, or group of stones? Which ones would you choose
if you were looking for specific answers and why? They were
free to create examples to explain these things or to use examples
from their own explorations. I'd also like to thank them for
their participation because from what they have shared others
are able to grow.
find someone that seems insightful and knowledgeable. Bug her
three times... she gets a nudge and it starts from there lol.
Sorry I felt like being silly. But Cinn should get the inside
joke. But seriously, I think Im more of the follow your
inspiration type. Thats what I do now when a need arises,
I go and see what I can glimpse about it.
more of a where inspiration leads me person than a structured
step-by-step person. For me it's quite common to say 'hey, apparently
I'm working on lessons about North' or 'that's the third reference
to East for the day. Wonder what that's all about'. It's more
of a 'watery' style of learning I guess.
What I find extremely
helpful with the Wheel is to be able to use it on many levels
simultaneously. I can use it to quiet the mind, to turn inward,
to explore the query at hand from the different directions,
request support from Guides accordingly, move back into the
center and come out with a clearer mind and a clearer understanding
of the query.
It can take all
of 10 seconds or 10 minutes or half an hour - it can be done
while on my bicycle, cooking dinner or sitting in a meditative
position in a quiet room... it's always there, it's always available.
For me, before approaching the
medicine wheel I smudge and meditate to clear my thoughts. I
wrote this prayer for my medicine wheel and thought I had posted
it here before.
The Medicine Wheel
No grains of sand can equal
the teachings of the Medicine
Finding nothing but peace
You are the oldest of teachings
Oh great teacher of teachings
Seeing the universe
Seeing the universe
Seeing the universe
Seeing many worlds
of the inner soul
The left seeing the universe
The right seeing the universe
All directions seeing the
The teacher, healer, visionary,
warrior, Mother Earth,
Air, Earth, Fire, and Water,
Rooted beings, Ancestors,
stone beings, Earth crawlers
and walkers, Water beings,
Flying beings and Rainbow
Being humble in your presence,
Thank you Paah, that's
a lovely poem and embraces the Wheel beautifully.
was one of the people, as Cinn mentioned, who got a book and
tried to figure out the Medicine Wheel. I became frustrated.
Now for me it is intuitive, but there was a process I had to
go through to get to this point. I first had to spend time,
an entire year, intimately coming to understand, feel and know
the Seven Sacred Directions. Without spending the time, dedicated
and focused, on the Sacred Directions, I believe I would not
be as comfortable as I am now with the Medicine Wheel.
a newbie at it. Each time I use the Medicine Wheel I learn something,
I discover something new. It is exciting that way. I always
walk away from it knowing more about myself than I had before.
of the Medicine Wheel varies depending on what it is I need
or would like to more fully understand. I always center within
the Sacred Directions and then I pause. I Enter the Silence
and feel my Self fully.
go on the Medicine Wheel or the paths I take on the Wheel depend
solely on the reasons I am using it. I may just want some information
and there is a specific stone that I intuitively feel would
be most appropriate to go to. If I don't know where to start,
I ask Spirit and Mother for guidance on what stone to being
I walk the pathway stones of East, South, West or North. Which
direction I go to depends on what type of information, in which
area I'd like clarity. So, I may start on the outer stone and
move toward Creator and then back outward. Or I may start at
the inner stone, move outward and back in to Creator. So, you
see, understanding the Sacred Directions before using the Medicine
is the first step in my opinion. The deeper I understand the
Elements and my Guides in each Direction, the deeper my experience
is when I use the Medicine Wheel.
I walk around the Medicine Wheel through the same stones in
each Direction. For example, I am at a complete loss as to something.
I will walk the outer stones of the Medicine Wheel beginning
in Air, then Fire, then Water and then Earth for a comprehensive
picture of the initial situation. When and if I want more information,
I may Know which stone to go to next anywhere on the Wheel,
so I may begin to walk around again or I may fully go to an
entirely different stone. It
has happened to me before that I went around the Medicine Wheel
seeking insight, and I got stuck in the South, in Fire. I was
walking the middle pathway stones in each Element, but when
I got to Fire, I was not to move on to Water. I had to spend
time with each pathway stone in Fire. I realized then that the
issue before me involved me working through a lot of my stuff
as it related to that Element.
sometimes have questions and I would like a perspective of a
given Moon on the Medicine Wheel. I tend to go to the Moon at
the current time. I get different information and Insight depending
on which Element I am in, on which stone I have placed my awareness,
and on which Moon, plant or spirit animal connected with a stone.
this may sound complicated. But, thankfully it isn't now that
I dedicated time to coming to know the Elements and Sacred Directions.
Then it was just a matter of exploring, not being afraid to
explore and use, the Medicine Wheel. I figured that I had nothing
to lose and so much to gain.
more thing that is important to mention - I take time on each
stone (it may be seconds or more) to appreciate the Above World,
Below World and the Middle World. I try to appreciate the full
perspective of the given place or stone on which I've put my
a nutshell, is my experience with the Medicine Wheel.
Are you one who goes out
to buy a book seeking a structured learning approach? Then in
trying to understand working with the Medicine Wheel you find
you are totally confused and in way over your head?
I recently encountered a couple such as
this. We never ever stop learning the Circle just as we never
stop living it. I was lucky I had my grans as guides and my
guides as guides and I live the 7 Directions and the Wheel and
I hope never to have all the answers but continue to walk the
walk round and round. Today I honor the West
and weeks of introspection with goals. I find your explanations
and readings wondrous good Cinnamon Moon.
Thank you for sharing,
EagleSinging, well spoken! And thank you for the kind words,
Copyright: Cinnamon Moon & River WildFire Moon (Founders.)
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