Long before modern medicine, technology, and science, there was the tribal shaman. “Shaman” is derived from an ancient Siberian word that means “one who sees in the dark”, “to know,” or “healer,” and is believed to be mankind’s oldest spiritual and healing tradition. A shaman uses his access to the Spirits and the Spirit World to heal body and soul of his patients. He actually communicates and works with the Spirits. In recognition of the ancient, sacred practices of indigenous peoples around the world, we reserve the word “shaman” for those individuals initiated and trained in these ancient practices.
The term “practitioner of the shamanic arts” is used to refer to each person’s biological heritage to utilise their own shamanic abilities.
Shamanism is not a religion, it resembles religion only in that they are both ways in which human beings try to deal with the spiritual or the numinous side of things, Shamanism and religion are both ways in which physical beings attempt to transcend that physicality. The primary difference is that a religion is something in which a person believes and, because of that belief, follows as an act of faith.
Shamanism may be defined as a state-of-being.
Shamanism is an attitude toward the human condition which views all of life, and all of consciousness as much more than it seems to be. It views communication and interaction between other sentient creatures and humans, between “the quick and the dead”, and most important of all, between non-physical and physical consciousness, all as things which are very much possible and highly desirable.
The Medicine Wheel represents the circle of life (sometimes referred to as the Sacred Hoop)
Starting at birth, continuing through life until death, when the circle has been completed.
The Medicine wheel has seven Directions, each direction offering it’s own lessons, animal guide, and colour,. There are two lines which cross in the centre, where the heart is created, (working from your heart, you can reach all directions.) The path from East to West is the path of spirits, (the Blue Road) the path from South to North is our physical Walk (the Red Road ).
East – Beginnings, family, innocence, amazement of Life, purity.
South – Youth – passions of life, self-control, friendships.
West – Adulthood – solitude, stillness, going inside oneself, reflection.
North – Place of the Ancient Ones who have gone over – place of wisdom.
Above – Freedom of mind, body, spirit.
Below – Nurturing, Mother, life.
Within – Direction of your Hearts Joy and how to be faithful to your own personal truths.
The Wheel contains the colours of the 4 directions, and each represents the races of mankind. White, Yellow, Black and Red.
Each of these 4 directions is connected in the centre by a heart, for it is from the Heart that the teachings should come. The Teachings from the heart are to reach others who seek to learn from the 4 directions. Then from the Hearts of those who are taught, will go the teachings to others who seek.
This is how the circle grows, and it is these teachings that are needed to heal our Mother Earth, who nurtures and provides everything that we need. Healing for Mother Earth, is shown by the colour green in the wheel. The colour blue is for Father (Sky) who is needed by Earth Mother, to help all life grow.
The Eagle Feather carries the lessons from the Creator, and carries back the Prayers.
In 1999 I started a year long introduction to the Medicine Wheel, it came with a set of instructions. I learned from those instructions a list of words, Creator, Spirit, Love, Respect, Honesty, Truth, Balance, Humility, Heart, Teach, Sharing, Prayer. I was to apply those words to all things in my life, and to pass on what I may have received. For when a person shares their knowledge, they are both teacher, and student.
If you would like to to know more about our 12 month”Living the Sacred Wheel” course just click on the Wolf!