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The Medicine Wheel

medicine wheel

The medicine wheel is a circle with at least four stones laid in each of the cardinal directions: North, South, East, and West. Different cultures have varied interpretations for this simple yet powerful tool for growth. I'd like to share with you one of the interpretations I've learned.

The Medicine Wheel as a Metaphor for Life

Think of life as an endless series of cycles. There are cycles in our seasons, cycles in our days, and cycles in the process of growing and evolving as spiritual beings. Before reading any further, go back up to the wheel and click on one of the directions. You will intuitively know where you are in the process of your evolution.

The East

The East is the place of the dawning sun, of Springtime, and the home of the mind.

The sun rises in the east, bringing a new day. Insight strikes in your life. You can see a new way of thinking and a new way of being. An old problem is seen in a new light. A new direction is perceived. You are awakened to new possibilities.

The East is the Springtime when new ideas are planted by your soul in the subconscious mind. The East is the place where new ideas are tested by our imagination before they become part of our reality.

If you find yourself drawn to the East you are ripe for new ideas. Pay attention to the thoughts that creep into your mind, the nagging knowings the come from your spirit, and the murmurings of the heart that whisper of new directions. Don't do anything yet. Instead, take time to think, plan, and dream of future directions.

Prayer to the East

Powers of the East, the mind, the place of insight and illumination we call upon you. Enlighten us. Help us remember our divine light, our brilliance. Give us insight into all that has caused us pain and open the windows of our mind to see the love behind every moment in our lives.

Be with us as we clear our thoughts and remember how to see through the eyes of our soul. Show us new direction, new ways of seeing and perceiving ourselves, our relationships, our communities, and our world.

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The South

The South is the home of the midday sun, the place of summer, and the realm of the physical body.

The sun travels across the sky, pausing at the zenith to bring warmth and light to all that grows below. You play like a child now, innocently trusting in the grace of higher power to bring your ideas into fruition. You take action based on your ideas and insights, not yet knowing how the whole process of growth will unfold in your life.

The South is Summer, where cares are left behind and where action abounds. The south is the time of growth in action and a time of testing our ideas in the physical universe.

If you are drawn to the South you may be busy these days! You may be starting a new career, trusting in a new relationship or simply rebuilding the old ones. You may need to take time out to play. In the South you trust that the Divine Spirit will guide your actions. You need to pay attention to your physical body, renewing your commitment to give it the proper amount of rest, exercise, food, and water. You may need time to become more grounded. Be like a child. Act, play, and know that God is with you.

Prayer to the South

Powers of the South, place of childlike innocence and trust, place of action...help us become like children again, trusting, loving, innocent... expecting love. Help us live our lives with play, without fear, and with great self-expression. Help us live with freedom and joy, knowing that love always has reward. Give us a sense of playfulness as we learn to trust once again in the process of living.

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The West

The West is the home of the setting sun, the place of autumn, and the realm of the emotions.

The sun sinks into the horizon at the end of the day.You may be tired from acting on your insight and now you seek solace in a restful environment. You are in the in-between time, the time after action and before integration of all you have learned. You enter the cave, dream your dreams, and wait for wisdom and understanding in the stillness.

The West is Autumn, the time of the harvest where we reap what our actions have sown. The West brings a time of assessment, learning, and emotional release.

If you are drawn to the West you may not feel social these days. You may need to cocoon and spend more time alone contemplating your life. You may need more sleep as the energies shift within you and you certainly need time to pay attention to your dreams. You have worked or played long and hard and now you must rest. Your insights and actions have brought up emotional energy that must now be acknowledged. Go within, embrace the mystery here in the West and come to know yourself more deeply.

Prayer to the West

Powers of the West, place of introspection and delving into our deep emotions, help us find peace with our past and savor our joys. Help us look within and understand how all we have endured has made us wise. Help us travel into the subconscious mind and clear it of all that holds us back from experiencing love in our lives. Help us remember to dream once again and to trust that in our deepest feelings and desires lies our greatest truths..

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The North

The North is the place of higher perspective, the realms of wisdom and Spirit.

The North is the still hour before dawn when we journey into the realms of the soul and become wise. The North is Winter where power and life force fuel the roots just below the surface of our subconscious minds. The North is the place of knowing where we savor and share all we have learned. We network, we teach, we give thanks for how we have grown. Our minds, bodies, and emotions have just completed a cycle of growth. Now is the time for celebration.

If you are drawn to the North, reward yourself! You have acted on your insight, assessed your emotions, rested on the plateau after a cycle of personal growth and now you know yourself so much more. You are ready to share what you have learned and to embody your soul. You have integrated your knowledge and you are ready for another cycle of growth. You are pure life force: Spirit in Flesh, Wisdom married to Power, Divine Essence.

Prayer to the North

Powers of the North, place of wisdom and manifestation of spirit, help us take the energies that we have transformed out into our lives and fill us with the brilliant light of God. Help us remember who we are and help us share this wisdom with others. Help us bring forth into our lives in a balanced and joyful manner. Help us embody our soul.

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The Southeast

If you are drawn to the Southeast, your are preparing to take your insights and put them into action. You've thought things through and you know what steps lay ahead. Or perhaps you have agreed to give your mind a break and you are preparing to enter a time of childlike play.

The Southwest

If you are drawn to the Southwest you may be tiring of work or play and be preparing for a break. Plan to turn off the phones for as long as you need, contemplate a vacation, or simply warn your friends that you'll soon be taking some time off for yourself. .

The Northwest

If you are drawn to the Northwest, you are coming out of a time of stillness and beginning to feel life force once again. You have learned and grown from all your insight, action, and emotional processing, and you can see light at the end of the tunnel. You are blessed with new understanding of your life.

The Northeast

If you are drawn to the Northeast, you may be sensing change on the horizon. You may not yet know what the change will be, but you feel it deep within your bones. You are ready and restless for the next step in your life. Be patient. Like the dawn insight always comes on time.

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