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NATIVE AMERICAN MEDICINE WHEEL
NORTH * WABOOSE
EAST * WABUN
SOUTH * SHAWNODESE
WEST * MUDJEKEEWIS
THE MEDICINE WHEEL - Circle of Life
In researching past my personal believes of how a Medicine Wheel is represented, I found to my amazement that the construction and what the four (or six) directions and sections varied from different tribes. Some thoughts are common, such as the principle that life is a circle and that the four directions stand for North, South, East and West with Mother Earth being down and Father Sky being above; giving six directions. Some include one more - Spirit seen as either us as a human or as the All that Spirit is; giving then seven. A circle is also used in other practices considered pagan with the same four directions, general color schemes, and even most of the same animal totems. For links to more traditional Native American Medicine Wheels and additional great information on the Medicine Wheel - scroll to the bottom of this page.
What is A Medicine Wheel? by Tree-Song, who will be teaching at Montana 2000
A Medicine Wheel is a physical manifestation of Spiritual energy. An outward expression of an internal dialogue. A mirror in which we can better SEE what is going on within us. It is a wheel of protection and enables us, and allows us, to gather surrounding energies into a focal point and to commune with Spirit, Self and Nature (ALL elemental forces)........Creation!
It helps us with our "Vision," to see exactly where we are and in which areas we need to develop in order to realize and become our potentials. That we are all connected to one another, and by showing us the intricacies of the interwoven threads of life, what our part in it all is. It helps us understand that without our part in the tapestry the "Bigger Picture" is not as it should be. We add colour, dimension and life to each other, to all of life. No matter what color, race or creed we are, we need each of us to create a beautiful existence and expression of the Whole.
It is a model to be used to view self, society, or anything that one could ever think of looking into. The wheel, once learned how to dance within it, offers a picture to you and also helps to add clarity to a foggy view. Like so many other things...it is a tool to be used for the upliftment and betterment of mankind, healing and connecting to infinite. We are all but one realization of "God" trying to realize self...so lets see what part we ourselves are.
Please remember that all that I am to share with you although taken mainly from Native teachings, are also of my own teachings provided from Spirit and my own experiences. It is with an open heart and mind that I ask you receive these teachings. Not all will be for you. Take what is yours and disregard the rest or set it aside for another date. I will do my best to let you know from which teaching the information that you receive comes from, as there are many interpretations and symbologies applied to the Wheel, but the basic principle is the same. Tree-Song
As we grow, we change like the seasons, passing through the sections of the circle, learning from each. The center of the circle is the touching of the Spirit, the pure of heart, the truth as everything extends from the circle and everything comes together in the middle. For this reason the circle is used for ceremony, especially those that involve contacting the spirit world. This is a safe and protected place of love, a centered and grounding area.
The following are some general beliefs but do not represent the whole collection of varied colors, animal totems, and uses of the sections of medicine wheels. Different tribes use different symbols. I personal think we should use the colors and symbols that best represent what we believe. Here is just a small fraction of possible animal totems, plants, growth patterns, and colors. I think there are no 'right' and 'wrong' colors and animal totems.
To see how to make a medicine wheel click here
How to make a Medicine Wheel - Stone placements
I am Holding Rainbow Warrior Woman of Universal Love, Energy, and Knowledge; of a Rainbow Tribe.
|SOUTH - Fire - Passion
Growth in the South it is the time of Summer. From the bloom we transform into the fruit of the labors. It is the time of mid-day, the hottest part of the day, the part when the sun is overhead and no shadows are cast.. Maturing and growing into an adult to be that who was are. It is the time to accept the change and learn, to understand.
Red is for fire, passion, time of fertility. The South is the place of passion in all things, sex, fertility, mating - the fires that burn within. The direction of fire, like the phoenix we can rise from the flames, we take and rise again from childhood into being an adult in the direction of the South.
|EAST - Air -
Beginings starts in the east - from where the sun rises we begin a new dawn. Each day is a good new day with a fresh beginning, a new start. East is the direction of the physical body and newness including children and new borns. It is the time of change for all is a new beginning. New ideas and seeing the light. Change. Spring is the season when all things begin to grow and awaken. Yellow is the path of Life, to begin the walk as a warrior, to shine in all that you do. The sun rising in the east empowers each of us. The energy to do and to begin the action of the mind and heart is there.
Animals of wings and flight include hummingbird, the owl, and the hawk. Our words are given to the east that the smoke in the air or the voices in the air may be carried to Spirit.
( Blue) Water - Emotions
Later adulthood the time of Fall, the time of the setting sun - twilight. The daylight fades and brings a new awareness in this time of gradual change. When the darkness comes we must look inward to find the light and have courage. To understand what we see in the darkness may not be real but only shadows.
This is the emotional part of ourselves, like the flowing water we must learn to go with the flow of life. The time of the West is when we learn that we are responsible to all things and to each other. It is the time to prepare, to finish things for the time of Winter is coming. We gather ourselves and family, working together to prepare for what is to come. As the place of emotions it is the place of family and love - of responsibility from our hearts because of the love. It is hard work and team efforts. Black symbolizes change from this life.
(Green) Earth - Wisdom
As we get older our hair turn white, as we come to our time of winter. White (and purple) also symbolize spirituality. With experience and age we gain wisdom. Now we have time to rest and contemplate the lessons. North is purity and wisdom, a great place of healing. This is the time after midnight, a dream time. The time to be grounded within yourself and deep within, like a bear in a cave.
North is the place of winter. This reminds us to stop and listen. That we must have prepared for the long time of winter. Having been in action the other seasons we now rest and contemplate to understand the wisdom we have been given.
Types of Animal Totems
When discovering totems you must first understand if the totem is a Life Totem, A Journey Totem, Shadow Totem, or a Message Totem. All totems are powerful but the meaning that the totem brings will vary on your action depending on what type of totem has come to you.
Your Life Long Animal Totem works with you throughout your entire life or until such time that you no longer need that animal totem. It is always there when you need it's powers. Always reminding you of your power and connectivity. You may have only one or a few Life totems. They may become your Life totem at any time. But the primary Life Totem will be our focus at this time. The messages that your Life Totem brings are a hard reminder from Mother. Your Life Totem is always there for you and generally reflects your inner spiritual nature. Many call your Life Long animal totem your Spirit totem. For example if your Life Totem was a Penguin you would be a person who should be very spiritual since the penguin moves better in water (the symbol of the astral plane - which is were we go when we dream) than it does on land. Being able to leap out of the water (up to six feet) represents the ability of out of body experiences. It is also important to understand which type of penguin is your animal totem since some have additional characteristics that are important to consider, like most penguins life in tropical conditions not arctic ones.
A Journey Animal Totem reflects a period of time. Not just a day but weeks, months, or maybe year s- the time it takes you to walk the path that the Animal Totem is reminding or guiding you on. During this journey you will find that this animal is always showing up in your life or that several animal totems will appear in your life all to guide you on the path. When you find one, two or three animals all of a sudden making an appearance and their nature all has the same basis then you have found the basis of your path. The difference between the Journey Animal Totem and the Message Animal Totem is a period of time. A Message animal Totem will bring itself to you quickly and impartially where a Journey Animal Totem will slip in and out of your life over the course of a period. Looking into the cycle of the animal also can give insight to the length of the journey.
A Message Animal Totem usually is bringing you a self growth, spiritual message, or a cautionary warning. It is often a wake up call or slap in the face. It will usually be a very unusual experience making it very powerful at that time and very impartial. A Message Totem is a brief period of time, a day, a week, and occasionally as much as a couple of months but can be immediate for just a few hours. Sometimes a Message totem is not bringing you a message but causing a delay in your life. This delay, such as when you are trying to leave to go somewhere, is often in assistance for you; to be sure you are not in a place at a certain time so that you avoid an accident or can catch a phone call or meet someone you are supposed to run into.
A Shadow Animal Totem are those totems that test us. They have great power for us but will put us through tests before they will let their power work with and for us, instead of against us. In all of nature there is prey and predator. In the spiritual or Shadow World there is the same. A Shadow Animal Totem is one that initially you fear. The Shadow Totem often represents inner fears that you must overcome. You may have even been attracted by the animal; a very vivid test to see if you are ready to accept the power of the animal totem. Until you face the fears of the Shadow Animal Totem it's powers will work against you, not letting you soar high. When you overcome the fear of the Shadow Animal Totem you bring it into the Light World as a Spirit animal totem and they become one of your most powerful Animal Totems. Your goal with a Shadow Totem is to learn the lessons and incorporate that animal into your life. If you are scared by something over and over then you still have not accepted the lesson that animal has for you.
MEDICINE WHEEL LINKS
One of the most detailed explanations of the full Medicine Wheel,
what each stone means to animals totems http://users.erols.com/brddwolf/medwheel.html
This is a Medicine Wheel and some links to info http://www.ccm.net/~redturk/SacredCircle.html
Medicine Wheel as a life metaphor http://www.monitor.net/~circle/medicine_wh.htm
Medicine Wheel Meditation http://vortex.is/~rose/the1.htm
Creating a Medicine Wheel Outdoors http://www.sd.com.au/db/medicine.htm
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