Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Journey Begins

Welcome 2017.   Where has the time gone?

I started this blog in April, 2015, with good intention, and yet, life gets in the way.  I did work with the Medicine Wheel in my personal life, I just did not follow through on the blog.

Several people have asked me to teach them.   I have been a student of the Medicine Wheel for over 20 years now, but even after all these years of study, I know that I will never obtain complete knowledge, because life is a circle. We learn, we grow, we develop and we achieve wisdom, but there is always something more to learn, a new way of doing it or another point of view.  And then we "walk" the wheel all over again.  This process of growth and analysis is my focus for the blog, and is the best way that I know to share with you some of what I have learned on this journey.

If you wish to become a student of the Medicine Wheel, and you are willing to devote your time and energy to personal growth and understanding, you will achieve balance in your life.   This journey will require you to be a good listener and to think.   It will not be easy, but it will be rewarding.

It can be quite overwhelming, I know.   When I first started this journey, I was lost, and I didn't have anyone to ask.   Sometimes we just need someone to talk to.   For this reason, I have created a Facebook page that will serve as a study group, where we can share experiences, ask questions, and just support each other in our work here.  The group is a closed group, with moderators.  You can find the group and ask to join, but only other members of the group can see what is posted there, so that there is also some privacy.   You can find the page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1515954538434312/

In order to study the Medicine Wheel, you will need to create a personal model that you can use in your own studies.   For now,  we will start with a paper medicine wheel that you can print over and over and use as a sort of journal for your experiences.

Here is a template for you to use.  I strongly suggest that you keep a journal of your journeys and experiences.   A simple composition book from the dollar store will do.   It doesn't have to be fancy or complicated.   The important thing is to keep a record of everything you are thinking, feeling, seeing, hearing and experiencing.

I have kept a journal for many years now, and I often go back and re-read the posts.  I am always amazed at the depth of the lessons and teachings, and the entries serve as gentle reminders, which often pop up when I need them the most.

If a paper journal is hard for you, use your cell phone.   Most of the newer ones have voice recording capabilities and you can keep an audio-journal.

I painted my first Medicine Wheel onto the head of my drum.  I placed the eagle in the center of it, which represented some lessons I was learning during that time of my life, but also because in the wheel that I first learned, the Eagle was one of the spirit keepers.  We will talk about that in a future lesson.   If you would like, you can draw your medicine wheel onto some art board, wood or other media.



The Medicine Wheel is a circle, known in many native traditions as the "sacred hoop".    A circle never ends.   It keeps going and going.   There are many different models of a Medicine Wheel, with different colors and interpretations.   We will explore some of these as we go.   I will share what I have learned, but you will use and integrate the teachings as the Creator guides you, so that you can grow in your body, mind and spirit.

The simplest form of the Medicine Wheel is like the blank template above.   It is a circle, with a center, divided into quadrants with the four cardinal directions.   For many years, I used this cardinal model with East, West, North and South.    In later years, one of my mentors explained to me that the winds do not blow in a strict cardinal direction.  They move at an angle, traveling Northeast, or Southwest.   His medicine wheel model looked more like this:




This is the Medicine Wheel model that I use most today, and the colors of this model are as I have learned them.

East:  Yellow
South:  Red
West:  Black
North:  White

Exercise:  Print some pages of the template and think about how you would like to keep your journal. What kind of medicine wheel would you like to build for yourself?   Perhaps you want to collect stones and make a stone medicine wheel, or would like to create one from fabric or art board.   Write out of sketch your ideas.

In our next lesson together, we will be working in the center of the wheel.

May you walk in beauty and grace,

Spirit Bear





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