In the West, we hold with the physical body with intimacy. Now, this does not mean to hold as in hold on tight. It is holding in the sense of transforming energy through stabilization and for utilization. Think of it as an electrical cord. The body is the structure through which electrical energy moves like a conduit, and provides the transformed energy to turn a fan, or work a toaster, or move the body parts. When our holding and transforming is out of balance, the earth is right there, ready for us to take off our shoes, to lie with our belly on the ground, to connect with her and listen deeply to her guidance. We can also look to the west energies of each of the Worlds to mirror back to us what it will take to come back into balance with our innate ability to hold and transform with intimacy.
Rocks and stones are double holders in the West. They are the muscles and bones of Grandmother Earth. A rock is alive; it talks to you. The Stone People hold the energy in a Medicine Wheel and give their alchemy to you in ceremony. In the purification lodge, the heated stones hold the heat of the fire and then release it inside the lodge. When water is poured over them, they sing their give-away song. This transforms the space and makes it possible for us to purify and heal ourselves
The herbs and shrubs are giver-holders, which sit in the West of the Plant World wheel. Herbs will hold their healing properties until such time as they are to give them. For example, the sage holds its cleansing ability until it is burned, then it can be used to heal negative energies. Notice when cooking how herbs change the taste of food. You can learn to tune into their song and know exactly which herb to take when you need healing.
The crawlers, those whose bellies are closest to Grandmother Earth and who often move through her. They are the receiver-holders who sit in the West of the Animal World wheel. The snake is the closest to the Earth, receiving her energy from the Earth, then giving back to us knowledge of the perfect alchemy of the Earth
We incarnate into the west race of humans with the opportunity to integrate the attributes of the West – learning how to hold and transform energy within our body, to develop mastery, and to experience our body as he sacred temple it truly is.
Check out the Song of the Deer by Thunder Strikes with Jan Orsi if you would like to learn more.
Is there and animal in your life that shows up as a guide or messenger? Would you like to understand what medicine they are bringing into your life? There are four aspects to consider: habitat, mating, den, and response to wounding.
Habitat: do they nest in a tree or rock cliff? Or dig a hole in the earth? Do live by themselves, a pack, or a herd? Do they roam far distances or stay in a very small area?
Mating: Are they playful and quick like the fox? Do they have a pecking order like eagles? Or a hierarchy like the elk? Do they mate in seclusion or out on the range?
Den: Are their dens clean and tidy like the bear? Or do they sleep standing up like the buffalo? Or maybe they back into their den like a raccoon?
Response to wounding: Do they whine, cry or whimper? Go to their nest to die? Or does their collective circle round them to heal the wounded?
These four aspects of any animal will begin to tell you what “medicine” they are sharing with you. Let us look at the mythological dragon as an example:
Habitat – wherever it chooses
Mating – only equal dragon
Den – likes to play with a bunch of dragons, den in sanctuary, unconquerable
Response to Wounding – heals itself with own power
If dragon is your totem animal, what can these four things tell you about its medicine?
Today, we begin our Twenty Count Tuesday series with the first Power, Grandfather Sun, who sings his Song of Illumination and Enlightenment from his sitting place in the East of this Great Medicine Wheel.
Here are a few facts that express the power of the Sun…
- The Sun holds the solar system together; pours life-giving light, heat, and energy on Earth; and generates space weather.
- The visible part of the Sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5,500 degrees Celsius), while temperatures in the core reach more than 27 million F (15 million C), driven by nuclear reactions.
- Each second, more than four million tons of matter are converted into energy within the Sun’s core, producing neutrinos and solar radiation.
- The Sun has enough nuclear fuel to stay much as it is for another 5 billion years.
- According to NASA, one would need to explode 100 billion tons of dynamite every second to match the energy produced by the Sun.
These facts are amazing, and quite frankly, a little hard to wrap your brain around.
I invite you to share your experience and relationship to this first Power of the Universe.
What is YOUR body knowing of the sun and how does this energy dance with YOU?
What does the Sun teach you about Illumination and Enlightenment?
The world in which we live is defined by the powers of four DIRECTIONS and stabilized by four basic ELEMENTS. Our lifestyle is determined by the four SEASONS and our companions on this earth consist of four groupings or what the Sweet Medicine SunDance Teachings call the four WORLDS. Within us, these elements, seasons and worlds are reflected in our heart, body, mind, spirit and soul. Both inside and outside of us humans the POWERS OF THE FOUR DIRECTIONS manifest their beauty and power.
Each of the directions, elements, seasons and worlds sit in a particular direction on the Medicine Wheel due to the essence of its energy and give away of beauty.
Each position on a Medicine Wheel corresponds to one of the four cardinal directions: South, North, West, East – or one of the four non-cardinal directions: SouthEast, SouthWest, NorthWest and NorthEast. On any medicine wheel, the cardinal directions hold the energy of a circle and the non-cardinals move energy in and out of the circle.
There are also specific qualities & characteristics that exist for each direction. Thus, no matter which wheel is being used, the subject matter is placed in a particular direction because it contains the corresponding properties. Every wheel has its own tune or vibration, part of the larger Song of the Universe. Each individual wheel can be overlaid on top of the other. When this is done, the layers form a harmony to one verse of the Song of the Universe.
Imagine a place in your life where you sat at a large table with lots of other people. It may be the family dinner table or maybe the conference room table at work. Most of us will choose a position at the table where we feel comfortable, a place where we return to each and every time we sit at this table. Silly as it is, we sometimes become territorial and protective because it is “our” seat. Have you experienced a time where someone else sat in “your” place and you had to sit somewhere else? Were you surprised at how different the table, those who sat around you, or even the room looked? Did this new perspective change your inner perception? Learning the medicine teachings from wheels assist us in changing “our seat,” our perspective, our way of thinking, and opens up different points of view.
Wheels or circles have been used since the ancient times as tools for teaching the ways of the Universe. Nothing is seen as linear for the idea of a linear existence is considered to be an illusion. There is no “beginning” or “end.” There is simply a change of reference points. Birth into physical existence is not the beginning of life (for spirit is eternally alive), but it is a different perception point through which spirit experiences its aliveness. It is simply movement in the wheel of life.
Learning of the Universe through wheels offers a way to perceive how one form of life is completely interconnected with all other life: flowing, changing and reaching out to touch all forms of all things with beauty. All the wheels of the Sweet Medicine SunDance Path spin and interconnect with one another in this way.
In the indigenous world, “wheels” or circles have been used since the ancient times as tools for teaching the ways of the universe. Nothing is seen as linear, for the idea of linear is considered to be an illusion. There is no “beginning” or “end,” but simply a change of reference points.
Birth into physical existence is not the beginning of life (for spirit is eternally alive). It is a different perception point through which spirit experiences its aliveness.
It is simply movement in the wheel of life.
It is time to celebrate and grow again! ICSS’ popular Medicine Wheel Gathering returns for its second year:
ICSS Medicine Wheel Gathering
Last year we celebrated the opening of the gates into the 5th world. We did ceremony, shared teachings, enjoyed the warmth of our community (including swimming and ice cream) and reveled in the beautiful weather of August.
This year we have entered the 5th world and are living in unsettled times. Our theme this year is “For the Love of Self” where you will discover your sacred container, the deep well of self-love and self-devotion. We invite you to dance with us again as we leave the familiar of the 4th world behind and enter into this new adventure called the 5th world.
The Medicine Wheel Gathering runs August 22-25, in Ontario. For more information, visit the Medicine Wheel Gathering Dream of the New World page at ICSS.