Spiritual Development

Page 76

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By CinnamonMoon

Stepping into Native spirituality and shamanic study is often an intimidating matter to the new
seeker. As soon as the interest rises to awareness the questions of the mind flood us asking:
Where should I start? What should I read? Where should I look? Is it even possible to know
these things? After all, who am I to think that I have gifts and abilities or that I am capable of
doing things others claim to do? Is this even real or is it over-active imaginations at play? Is it
wicked to even look into these matters? How do I know which tradition or what teachings are
valid? Who should I talk to and how do I know they know what they're talking about? Where do
I find likeminded people to discuss matters with? We have so many questions, so many doubts,
there's so much 'out there' to look into, where does one start sorting all the confusion?

We start by making a choice to look into things, just to explore and get a feel for them. We start
by selecting a tradition that speaks to us (even if it's a tiny whisper). When the time is right Spirit
will cross our path with someone who can help guide us along in the right directions, perhaps
only for a short time to introduce us to others or a course of study, perhaps for a longer period
where they gift us with their knowledge and wisdom helping us to grow, or perhaps somewhere
in-between the extremes. Perhaps we have dreams, or visions, or strange things that seem to
happen to us now and then-things we can't explain. We may keep our awareness open for
anything that seems relative to what we're experiencing and when those matters arise we open to
listen, discuss, or explore them in some way…we have begun, and we need to feel right about
what we're entering into.

At Spirit Lodge we share 'a way' to developing your spiritual path and to self-empowerment
through Native teachings. One of the beautiful things about the wide variety of traditions among
the Native Peoples is that there is common ground in the foundations of their teachings and a
very natural unfoldment to understanding them. There's beauty in that path and for this and many
other reasons it is often called The Beauty Way.

For the new seeker there is a fair share of initial confusion as to where to start. There's so much
to take in, so many strange concepts to wrap our minds around. We all tend to want to get ahead
of ourselves, that's human nature when something grabs our attention and excites us. Each
encounter we have tends to create a little light in the darkness of the unknown. Is it something to
fear? No, not at all, you'll find your path, we all tend to hop-scotch a little at first, jumping
around and dabbling into this and that until we find what we can relate to, what starts to make
sense. In that jumping we can easily create more confusion too. There's so much to understand.
Whether we jump around from tradition to tradition or within a given tradition itself, we look
into whatever we can. Eventually we start to settle down and ask the question: "Where do I
'really' begin?"

Amid the Native traditions there is a pattern of learning that is very precise and effective when
we follow it taking things a step at a time. It may feel like you're putting on the breaks but it's
really getting things into focus. To understand spiritual concepts we have to step out of a comfort
zone, step out of the box, out of our old conditioning as we learn to see, hear, feel, touch, taste, to
use our senses in a whole new way…through spiritual perspectives. Once this is accomplished
we wonder where all the confusion resided, after all it's as much a part of life as our sensory
impressions bring us to in the physical understandings we hold. The spiritual perspectives just
take us deeper, expand our horizons, raise our conscious awareness and we begin to perceive not
only in the physical sense, but in the spiritual sense too-gosh, before we know it we understand
the duality of life and find ourselves in union with it…we've stepped into the Oneness everyone
talks about and in that awareness we walk between the worlds. Amazing! We understand that
too! *Soft smile*

When the student is ready they buckle down to learn and get serious. Putting on the breaks to the
hop-scotching activities, they start to seek a path of exploring that makes sense and keeps things
organized. As a seeker myself I know that frustration and I know the confusion so I went seeking
that matrix, roadmap, or pattern of learning, whatever you may want to call it, I needed an
outline and I found it in the Native teachings. My teachers showed me that there is a very 'easy'
(for lack of a better term at the moment) way to learn and it begins with 7 steps. Those 7 steps
take roughly a year to complete as we spend time at each stage grasping and experiencing them
in the physical as well as spiritual sense. These 7 steps or stages are the Seven Sacred Directions.
The Seven Sacred Directions each hold a unique perspective and when understood they lend us a
360 degree view of any given issue, circumstance, situation, relationship or aspect of life. They
provide a full and well-rounded understanding where we're not 'missing' anything but seeing
deeper to better navigate our way through things. The Seven Sacred Directions need to be
understood on a foundational level to go beyond it so I see them as one might through
elementary school. It is in these courses of study that we learn to journey, to tune ourselves into
the spiritual realms and meet other entities and beings that exist there. Wow! This is wild! We're
grasping things left, right and center and we start to wrap our minds around what others are
talking about. Greatest of all we're coming to know our Self…our Inner Spirit and through that
connection we connect to Spirit and the life force I call Source Energy. We come to understand
what energy signatures are, how to read them, and what they are telling us. We start to meet our
Guides and Totems, our Spirit Helpers and Teachers, and initially understand our guidance. We
learn as we go that it is always validated, to trust the spiritual aspects of life and to use that
knowledge as we experience things.

The exciting part about completing the Seven Sacred Directions is that we have in essence
placed 7 cornerstones on which everything else revolves. Now we don't have a full
understanding at this point, we have a basic understanding and it is these 7 perspectives that help
us move to another matrix. We can see the cornerstones as they apply to the Medicine Wheel
teachings begin to come into focus. We have our bearings and begin to learn to Dance the Wheel
and take up the positions upon it with these insights and they expand our understanding further.
Once we complete this study (and there are 36 stages to grasping all the Medicine Wheel holds)
we have all our foundational cornerstones linked together and we build from there as we
continue to grow, evolve, and raise our conscious awareness throughout the remainder of our
lives. Suddenly the Medicine Wheel has become a university wherein we achieve our master's
degree and it becomes a vehicle by which we propel ourselves through life. It becomes a
dimensional portal, a way of navigating time, space, and alternate realities. Wow! Whole new
worlds are opening up for us to explore and the lessons just keep coming, the evolution of Self
continues to expand and we abide in the Oneness with Spirit and All Our Relations.

The Medicine Wheel reflects the Web of Life and all the component parts and we come to see
the Oneness for what it is…and for its infinite wonders. Spirituality, when animated, is like the
human body, there are many parts that make it up in the cells, fluids, organs, nervous system,
spinal cord, skeleton, flesh, blood, and bone. There are many parts to the whole of spirituality too
and you have to start at the most practical place you can, that's with the elements of life…Air,
Fire, Water, and Earth in that order. Air is the element of the higher mind and to understand
spirituality we begin in our mind wrapping it around abstract concepts and finding our way to
exploring them…the beginning of understanding is found here and everything else follows…
how time and space become one, an axis by which we have access to everything that revolves
and we have the core of the gyroscopic, kaleidoscopic Medicine Wheel holds keys to all the
doors we could ever hope to open.

Direction is found in the Seven Sacred Directions, in the Medicine Wheel, in the Self that is the
Inner Spirit we each possess-it has purpose and has come to journey through life incarnated in
our physical body, contained there, restricted there until we as human beings learn to open our
minds and hearts and set it free. This pattern of learning is outstanding and self-validating as a
natural way to get foundations started. There is no sense of obligation to it either, if you like the
methods you can stay with them and if not you'll at least understand the nature of the spirit
worlds enough, have met several Guides, and be well on your way to wherever your path is
taking you. Once the foundations are in hand you will find them in every tradition you explore
from that point on. This is because the foundations are universal truths and realities and whatever
tradition or eclectic process you walk with will bring them to light. The only thing that changes
is the semantics and approach to 'how' we do things in that some are more aggressive than others,
some more abstract than others, and there is reason for this. We're all slightly different, we all
gravitate to the way our minds function and the myriad of paths accommodate those variations.
No one path is better than another, it's whatever feels right to you that matters.

Learn not to feel rushed or a sense of urgency to take it all in at once, this takes time-a lifetime to
learn, it's a way of life and as we journey through it we grow, so remember that a step at a time
in a focused manner will get you there. Like I said earlier, for those who undertake to study the
Sacred Directions that course is roughly about a year-long to grasp fully. From there one
continues learning in each of these areas while they begin to apply that in-sight to their study of
the Medicine Wheel which takes the individual into a fuller scope of the microcosmic and
macrocosmic aspects of the spiritual and physical sides of life…we take that path into the
Oneness and thus into the fullness of enlightenment….our lights come on and we learn to see in
a whole new way. We learn the many languages of All Our Relations and that there are no
barriers save those we create for ourselves. Our boundaries are set by us, no one else. Free your
mind, free yourself to explore, free your Inner Spirit and then share from the heart within the
world itself. Enter the Oneness and come to see what others mean when they say they Know. It's
a Beauty Way that awaits you, a beautiful path to walk. All the answers to all your questions will
begin with the Sacred Directions and Wheel. Join us won't you?

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

Cinnamon Moon
Text: © Copyright: Cinnamon Moon & River WildFire Moon (Founders.) 2000-date
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