The Circle of Life
The Medicine Wheel has been used by all indigenous cultures. it is an ancient and sacred tool that offers us the opportunity for introspection and discovery. It is a way to honor our ancestors and our path on the circle of life.
The ancestors knew that time is circular, not linear, and this was represented by the sacred hoop, circle, or wheel. The term medicine represents the inherent life force found in all of nature.
Travel occurs in the south, west, north, and east as we move around the wheel. This is much like how we travel through the seasons and phases of life. In doing so, we can look at all of our aspects: physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental.
As we travel the wheel, we explore the various influences of each direction in relation to our aspects and we honor ourselves through this exploration and integration. Our goal is to see the overall picture and to find harmony and balance at the center of our wheel.
The following is a guided meditation that I provided at the recent 2019 Path of Consciousness Spiritual and Writing Conference & Retreat that was held October 4-6, 2019 in beautiful southeast Michigan. It was a powerful gathering of community and we shared a magical and transformative weekend together.
I presented a workshop called Journaling Around the Wheel. I discussed using the wheel as a way to work through situations, problems, and ideas for the purpose of balanced exploration. I invite you to write down an idea, a problem, or a situation that you are working through and look at it through the lens of each direction.
Take a large breath in and release it from your mouth, perhaps sighing. And again, a large breath in… and let it out.
Now, continue breathing through your nose. Notice the coolness of the air as it passes your nostrils and enters your body. And notice how as you exhale, the warmth of the air.
Notice your body and where there is pressure – perhaps your seat on a chair, your feet on the floor, your hands on the table or in your lap. And then notice the places where there is no pressure.
Notice how you feel. By noticing our physical selves, we move into the Southern position on the wheel. The south represents the physical. This includes the body we reside in, the home that we live in, the money and resources that we have, and our ability to manifest.
The SOUTH is the place where life enters the planet. It represents children, lush growth, and the season of summer. It is here where we hold personal concerns.
Our emotions, thoughts, and life experiences make their ways into our bodies and become a living record – an innate physical wisdom that holds this information, waiting for us to notice, process, heal, and grow. The spaces that surround us and how we maintain them are an extension of this. We can allow life to flow or we can create blocks in the south.
I declare now, dear body, dear innate, thank you for supporting me and for this amazing experience of life on this planet. I love and nourish you. I allow life to flow and I release my blocks. I am safe and secure. I am grateful for all of the abundance in my life. I release the fear of self and embrace life, opening my heart to all of life.
Next we move to the WEST, the place of emotion. It is here where we watch for our inner cycles for understanding of the subtle tides that regulate the inner workings of self.
In taking time to examine ourselves, we can understand, heal, and grow our emotional selves and this extends to other areas of our lives as well.
The west is the season of autumn and adulthood. It holds the powers of introspection, intuition, and humility through which we will heal to receive dreams. It is the place where we have the first glimpse of the mystery beyond ourselves.
We meet our egos in the labyrinth of solitude. It is here that we confront our internal mirror and enter the passage where we meet our inner emotional selves within our consciousness.
We also look at dreams and death in the west. We confront and reflect on all the aspects of our emotional selves here. Explore your dreams, delve into your feelings about death. Society tells us to fear death, yet our ancestors knew that it is merely a phase in the eternal circle of life.
In the west we explore emotions such as anger, fear, sadness, surprise, and joy. It is here where we can choose to dive into emotion and feel it fully, get to know it intimately, and connect it with other aspects of our life to learn and grow.
Do your emotions control you? Do you bury your emotions away? Through confronting our emotions, we can harvest and reap the rewards of our transformation.
Dear emotional self, I honor this human experience and will not deny you any emotion, for every emotion offers an opportunity to learn and expand. Thank you for the beautiful experience of human emotion. I embrace it fully.
The NORTH is our next destination. The north represents the place of spirit that connects us to our soul’s journey. Every step we take is sacred and offers us the opportunity to learn and grow. Understanding that we are one with the universe and connected to everything helps us to align with our higher selves and our life purpose.
The north is the place of eternal winter, mountains, and old age. It is wisdom, strength, creativity, inspiration, understanding, and knowledge. It is here that we see the great vision of life. This is the place where we find true courage, to leave behind external authority and to find the creator within. It is a place of sovereignty, self-authority, and an expanded sense of knowingness.
It is here that we come to know the messages of our dreams, to tap into our power of healing, to find silence in meditation, and to connect with the circle of life.
This is where we find our true work, beyond competition and ambition, where life does not belong to us anymore but to our purpose and the vision of the universal whole.
Aham Bramasmi. I am the universe.
I am all that.
We move from the dark to the brilliance of light. We move to the EAST where the sun rises and spring arrives. The east is the direction of the mind. We use our mental abilities to create.
The east is represented by the eagle who flies high over the land with courage and swiftness. This represents the expansive view that offers great detail as well as an understanding of the overall picture. It signifies the awakening of the mind that represents our visionary selves. It is here that we learn about tools of personal alchemy and how we can harness the natural forces of the universe.
We can make our minds strong when we learn to control the mind, recognizing and controlling mind chatter so that we can make better use of this amazing computer that we have been equipped with. Our mind does not define us, rather it is an amazing tool that is at our service. By connecting to our heart first, we can then utilize the mind to assist us in living our right life.
How do you think about things? Are you logical? Are you disciplined? How do you approach problems? The east represents expanded wisdom and the season of Spring, a time of growth. It is a time to take great care of the seeds that we plant and bring the much-needed nourishment and moisture.
When we tend to our thoughts and utilize wisdom in a practical way, we are better able to live out our daily lives.
My mind is a clear and powerful tool that helps my heart to live its dream fully. I love my beautiful and practical mind.
Now take a deep breath. Move to the CENTER of the wheel. Feel each of the four directions surrounding you. You are at the zenith of the wheel, the place of all perspectives.
This is the great earth turtle in the middle of a calm ocean, extending to infinity. The powers found here are balance, perseverance, and patience. This is where shadow and light meet, a place of invulnerability, where the greatness of all creation lives within. It is a place of openness and complete protection.
In the center of my wheel I am in the sacred circle. It is here that I honor my highest self and all of creation. I am fully safe and protected here. I am patience. I am love. I am perseverance. I am balance.
A deep breath in and let it out through your mouth with a sigh… and again.
Miigwech. Thank you.