The human aspects of the wheel
The medicine wheel
Awakening The Shamanic Force Within
The medicine wheel addresses all aspects of the Self: the conscious aspects and the more unconscious aspects of our ego self, the dark and the light aspects of our psyche, and our soul and spirit aspects. We generally work with the wheel with the aim of integrating the aspects to the highest possible extent at any given moment. We can also use it to look at our development at each stage in our life and our connections to universal fields.
The following descriptions of the directions will provide a basis for you to work with:
· The east is the place of the sun, the place of birth, death and rebirth. It is associated with spirit, vision, illumination, creativity and the upper world. The east asks us to look at our spirituality.
· The south is the place of water, of our emotional self, of the inner child, with its beauty, innocence, playfulness and wonder but also its wounding. The south asks us to look at our emotional self.
· The west is the place of earth, of the Earth, the physical world. It is the place of our human body, and for our psyche it is the place of ’shadow’, the underworld and our Earth soul. The west asks us to be introspective, to go deep and confront and transform our own darkness, but also to retreat and dream.
· The north is the place of air. It is cold and dark. Humans need skill, knowledge, endurance and wisdom to thrive in the north. It is the place of the mental faculties, the place of the adult. The north asks us to ’stop the world’, examine our thoughts, philosophies and beliefs and grow wise before we die.
Exercise: Getting a snapshot
This is a basic but very effective exercise to tune into the four major aspects of yourself: the emotional, child self (south), the physical/manifesting self (west), the mental, adult self (north) and the spiritual self (east).
· Create a wheel.
· Call in spirit and centre yourself.
· Turn south. Ask:
’Which image represents the south for me? How do I feel in the south? What is my task right now in the south? Is there anything that needs changing in the south?’
· Turn west. Ask:
’Which image represents the west for me? How do I feel in the west? What is my task right now in the west? Is there anything that needs changing in the west?’
· Turn north. Ask:
’Which image represents the north for me? How do I feel in the north? What is my task right now in the north? Is there anything that needs changing in the north?’
· Turn east. Ask:
’Which image represents the east for me? How do I feel in the east? What is my task right now in the east? Is there anything that needs changing in the east?’
· Centre: Let it all go. Stay for a while in the centre and experience the calmness there. Whilst the wheel of life is turning, you can stay calmly in the centre.
· Finish: Write down what you remember. Thank spirit. Dismantle the wheel.
This exercise lends itself to a second round:
· Travel around the wheel again and ask in each direction: ’How can I change what needs changing?’
· Again, come back to the stillness in the centre at the end.
You can ask many deep questions in the directions. As long you set the wheel up in a ceremonial way, with focus and spirit present, you will get answers. Here are examples of some profound questions:
· East: ’For what service/purpose has spirit given birth to me?’
· West: ’How do I manifest this?’
· South: ’Which emotions do I need to bring to the fore to achieve this?’
· North: ’Which work would best align me with spirit’s intent for me?’