Medicine Wheel Wisdom

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"To learn these ways, learn the wisdom of the directions." 
---Grandma Mary Uslick, Shuswap/Sto:lo, as told to Jacob near Sardis, BC.

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Shared Medicine Wheel Wisdom:
 
"To the East, the place of insight and rebirth, I send a prayer.
To the West, the place of death and wisdom, I send a voice.
To the North, the place of clarity and cleansing, I offer respect.
To the South, the place where Amaru, the serpent spirit, dwells and teaches healing and the spiritual powers of plants in the green place of reproduction and regeneration, I sing a song.
To the Four Winds, I cast my spirit, open my heart, release my soul, and surrender to my destiny.
Grant me the wisdom to understand the sacred in nature."
---J.E.Williams, The Andean Codex, Adventures and Initiations Among The Peruvian Shamans.

 
Eduardo Palomino Caldero'n, Curandero, Peru, invoked the associated power animals of the cardinal directions. North - buffalo/horse/dragon; West - jaguar; South - eagle; East - serpent/sun.
---Curanderos and Clients in Northern Peru, Jorelmon and Sharon.
 
Some Curanderos in Amazonia, Peru, invoke the directions first facing East, then West, South and North.
 
Some shamans in Brazil and Paraguay first invoke the North, then the South, then the East and last the West.
 
"...the owners of the sacred songs showed me the way from the West, where the sun sets, to the East, where the sun rises. They were God's messengers. They explained that after our bodies die, our souls have to travel through a certain path. They said that East and West are where  people go to live after death. Their spirits live there. In the middle of the spritual road there is a path that comes from the ocean. This path originates from the South. The Northern path is also fromt the ocean. If your soul wants to go East, you are seeking perfection. Our spiritual father lives in the West where the sun goes down. Some day he will send his servers and soldiers to come and take away the darkenss. Then there will only be light. This is a danger for the world. We must pray for the return to the ways of our ancestors."
---Ava Tape Miri, Guarani Shamans Of The Forest, Bradford Keeney, PH.D, Ringing Rocks Foundation.
 
Northwest Pacific Coast Salish elders honour the colors of black and red and pray waterwise, first to the east, then north, west and south.

Peruvian Appachetta (Medicine Wheel):
South - Pachamama (Mother Earth) - Boa/Annaconda - Earth element - physical body.
West - Mamakila (Grandmother Moon) - Whale/Dolphin - water element - emotions.
North - Wirachocha (Great Spirit) - Condor/Eagle - Sky/Air element - spiritual.
East - Inti (Sun) - Jaguar/Puma - fire element - mind.
Center - Kuyeechee (Rainbow) - Lama - collective state of all the directions.
 
Cree Medicine Wheel:
East - yellow - morning - new day - beginnings.
South - red - warmth of full day sun. 
West - dark blue - night. 
North - white - snow - cold - white haired wisdom elders - white clothed birds and animals.   
 

Mexican Mescalero Medicine Wheel:
East - life returning, dawn, new beginnings, Spring;
South - growth, high noon, Summer;
West - setting sun, aging and decay, Autumn;
North - night time, death, Winter. 
 
"General sense of balance (for the Huichol of Mexico's Sierra Madre) is a proper relationship toward female ancestors which stem from the Ocean, to the West of the center where they live, and male energies which are primarily situated in the East, where the sun rises."
---Juan Negrin, The Wixarika Research Center.

Taoist Medicine Wheel:
North - winter - black - Water - fear and phobias - reaching out for peace.
East - spring - green -Wood (plant world) - growth - overcoming anger - reaching out for development and vision.
South - summer - red - Fire - overcoming chaos with clarity - transformation - reaching out for connection and warm relationships - trust - joy.
Southwest or centre - Indian Summer - yellow - Earth -overcoming insecurity and overthinking - reaching out for the Sacred Mother and nurture. 
West - autumn - white - air/metal 'the shining' - life receding into the stalk and roots - difficulty in letting go - loss - grief - reaching out for value and essence - the Sacred Father. 

Vedic Medicine Wheel:
Although that spirit of thine have gone far away to the the four quartered earth, we bring back that spirit of thine, to dwell here, to live long.
 
Although that spirit of thine have gone far away to the four regions of space, we bring back that spirit of thine, to dwell here, to live long.
---Rig Veda.

Sacred Elements Medicine Wheel:
The Air is the beginning of the World.
All breath comes from the Wind.
The Fire is the begining of the World.
All warmth comes from the Flame.
The Ocean is the beginning of the World.
All life comes from the Sea.
The Earth is the beginning of the World.
All strength comes from  Within.
---Unknown.

The Mystery of the Ancient Medicine Wheels:
The original wisdom associated with the ancient physical Medicine Wheel's of Turtle Island has been lost in the mists of antiquity. We do not know who built them and why they were assembled. No one can say for certain what the ritual practices were. And about all that can be stated with certainty, is that Medicine Wheel practices had already spread among the numerous indigenous tribes throughout the Rocky Mountain foothills by the time they came to the attention of European travellers in the mid 1800's. This fact alone argues for the antiquity of the N. American Medicine Wheels, beyond that, little is known. We can only speculate. The built up physical remains of these stone circles, show that Medicine Wheel practice was well established prior to this.
 
The majority of the built-up stone structures of ancient Medicine Wheels of Turtle Island are located in Alberta, Canada. Some artifacts at these locations have been radio carbon dated to 4,500 years ago. Recently scientific instruments have been used in order to study the old Medicine Wheels and present a hypothesis that they were associated with astronomy.
 
Local Medicine Wheel Wisdom:
When we look to the different directions in our locality, what are the geographic and climatic conditions. The local Laws of Nature of the Spirit of the Land spoke directly to the First People of Turtle Island that lived where we reside today. The Spirit voices of Nature still sing their songs to respectful relations of all nations, who have the clarity of perception to be able to hear with their hearts. The current rush of all segments of society towards the digital way of life has resulted in disconnection with the local Laws of Nature of the Spirit of the Land. If we take time to reconnect, these fundamental forces of Nature can help our hearts feel at home and be centered in relation to everything else in our life and environment.
 
The Medicine Wheel represents the fundamental pattern of Creation. In each locality the Laws of Nature of the Spirit of the Land speaks in unique metapatterns of creative power. Some aboriginal societies feel the beginning is East, the direction where the sun rises, others feel it is West, the direction from where the thunderbeings bring the rains and new life. In Southeast Asia ancient wisdom holds that South is the direction from where wealth manifests. In India, South is the least propitious direction. Whereas in the Mid-West of Turtle Island, South is understood as the direction signifying the end of life.
 
The cultural ways of the people over time have manifested due to the climatic and geographical conditions of their ancestral locality. If we were to live for an extended period in those localities, we may also may be blessed with personal dreaming vision of those local Laws of Nature as well. To memorize a Medicine Wheel perspective of a different people and land is a 'borrowed' understanding - empty medicine, superficial at best. Descriptions of zodiac signs, types of stones and animals in various quadrants of the Medicine Wheel are someone else's experience or concept. Some of these teachings seem very contrived. For example, that the Medicine Wheel directions and colours red, yellow, black and white somehow correspond to the racial characteristics of Mother Earth's people. Many native traditionals say there was no dream vision basis for this understanding. In what quadrant would brown people be arbitrarily placed.
 
When we look South do we see the 'jumping mouse' that teaches about the details in our life. When we look West do we see the 'brown bear' that knows the medicine roots and heals the people. To whom and where did these aspects of Nature appear in dream visions. Could this be a creative intellectual teaching or business agenda. Do those who refer to these Medicine Wheel teachings credit where that wisdom originated or do they acknowledge that for them it is a mental construct that helps to explain life situations of the people.
 
In our locality what do we see when we look to the four cardinal directions. Here in the Coastal Pacific Northwest of turtle Island, when we look South we can be aware of the coastal Laws of Nature reaching down to California, Central and South America. When we look West we can be aware of the oceanic Laws of Nature reaching out to Asia. This can be truly spiritually relevent to us. Locally the Laws of Nature of the Spirit of the Land of each direction can speak to us in our dream visions. Ancient wisdom is most powerful locally. Direct personal experience of the local Laws of Nature of the Spirit of the Land is a thousand times more meaningful to our inner spirit than importing distant cultural ways or another persons' conceptualization. 
 
Psychological Medicine Wheel Wisdom:
The lack of historical data or traditonal oral accounts from pre-Columbian times have resulted in an opening for creative interpretation of Medicine Wheel teachings. Currently, numerous inventive ideas are being presented promoting the Medicine Wheel as a teaching model. Sometimes these concepts are presented in cultural and psychological terms as absolutes, rather than only one way to look at Medicine Wheel wisdom. For example, there are teachings that the wisdom of the directions represents body, mind, emotions and spirit. Or childhood, teenage, adult and senior levels of life. But which specific psychological characteristics would you ascribe to each Medicine Wheel direction. Teaching tools employed to help us arrive at a more wholistic awareness of ourselves have great healing value. Although helpful for our psychological well-being, this can be seen as arbitrary. All models used to understand reality break down at some point because they are representational and not the actual manifestation of the spiritual Laws of Nature.

Your Personal Medicine Wheel:
Have Nature's creature teachers appeared in your night-time dreams. Were you shown various colours in the different directions. Your dreamtime experiences hold the key for your personal Medicine Wheel understanding and empowerment.  First experience, then understanding. Knowledge follows experience and in this way knowledge enhances experience. Here is the traditional way of gaining 'knowing' or 'being in wisdom.' This could be the beginning of your personal Medicine Wheel. Andf you may consider constructing your personal dreamtime Medicine Wheel in your garden.

Medicine Wheel Ceremony in the Vancouver, BC, Canada vicinity:
Everyone is invited to participate every equinox and solstice in the Medicine Wheel ceremony mentored by Amy Whutney-Eustergerling, Cree-Meti, with invited elders. At VanDusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver, BC, with entrance at 37th and Oak Street. This Medicine Wheel has been built up over ten years and is located in the Canadian Heritage section next to the native medicinal plant area. You can visit this Medicine Wheel anytime of year. Bring your prayers, respect for this ancient wisdom way and a stone that wants to come to this Medicine Wheel.
 
Also open to everyone - all relations of all nations - in mid-August, a four day/night Medicine Wheel camp with Grandma Mary Uslick, Shuswap-Sto:lo and native elders. 200-400 participants camp out annually for wisdom teachings, drumming, healing and social connection. This Medicine Wheel has been built up over more than ten years and is located behind St. Mary's School off Lougheed Highway, # 7, just east of Mission, BC, about one hour east of Vancouver, BC.  Bring a stone that wants to come to this Medicine Wheel.

With Beauty may I walk:
 
With Beauty before me, may I walk.
With Beauty behind me, may I walk.
With Beauty above me, may I walk.
Wish beauty below me, may I walk.
With Beauty all around me, may I walk.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in Beauty.
---Nightway Chant, Dine', Navaho.

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