|with Sandra before ceremony|
|Medicine Wheel at Joshua Tree Retreat Centre, California|
About the Sacred Medicine Wheel
This beautiful medicine wheel is in the wide grounds of the Joshua Tree Retreat Centre on the edge of the Mojave Desert. I sat with it sometime every day during the five-day Soul Retrieval training session with the extraordinary shamanic teacher, Sandra Ingerman in October 2014.
The term 'medicine wheel’ comes from American Indians but circles made of stones, sand or other natural materials have been used as energetic portals, sacred spaces or possibly scientific observatories since the beginning of humanity.
Circles are significant for all of us. Sharing things in circle makes them sacred. Circles are an ideal form, with neither beginning nor end. At birth you enter the family circle, then move through ever expanding circles - of community, humanity, earth and into the unknowable world of forces that we can neither see nor control.
There are prehistoric stone circles in many parts of the world, including Canada, USA, UK, Europe and Scandinavia.
As a sacred portal or threshold, the medicine wheel offers a journey into wisdom.
To build your own medicine wheel, even temporarily, align it with intuition and deep attention. The circle is alive with energy and responsive to you and the place where it is built, while also having the power to take you beyond the limitations of time and space.
Here are some ideas to help in the process.
Clear yourself and your working space.
Keep your attention focused by singing, chanting or drumming, or remain in deep silence.
Call in your helping spirits and power animals.
Be aware that you are opening into your depths and keep a journal of experiences and dreams.
Hold gratitude for all that you are and have.
Be patient and fully accept what you receive in your work.
Trust that Spirit will give you exactly what you need, even if your ego doesn’t agree.
When you’ve finished walk around your wheel, with incense, drum or rattle and invoke the energies of the seven directions.
Alignment with most of the seven directions is the same no matter where we are on the globe. For all of us, the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. The two central directions of Earth below and Sky above are the same for all peoples. Some traditions attribute femininity to Earth and masculinity to Sky, while others do the reverse. The Centre of the wheel is the same wherever we are.
The differences are that in the northern hemisphere, South is associated with warmth and therefore, summer, while North is the direction of cold and winter. In the southern hemisphere, it's reversed.
The best way to learn about the medicine wheel or sacred circle and for that matter about the powers & qualities of guides and animals is directly from them. This is much more important than relying on books or individuals to tell you what they ‘mean’.