Tag Archives: balance

Native American Medicine Wheel

Native American Medicine Wheel

Hello all!medicine wheel chart

I know I have been alluding to the concept of the Medicine Wheel for some time now. Soooooo, the meaning of the Medicine Wheel is the topic of this post. And where to begin!! The Medicine wheel is the Great Symbol for Life and is such a central concept within the native culture, embodying and representing a series of beliefs. It is basically the center and the source of all other concepts.

Well, as you can see from the image on the right, the wheel is separated in 4 quadrants. Those four quadrants themselves represent more than one concept. Let me explain. The quadrants represent the phases of life (childhood, adolescence, adulthood, Elder), the seasons of the year (spring, summer, fall, winter), the four cardinal directions (east, south, west, north) as well as our four sides (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual). Although the picture provides you with a lot of information, you will also find variants of it, especially in regards to the colors (their location) as well as each side associated with each position. The way how one looks at the wheel however, never changes: one always starts at the East direction going clockwise.

I will now go through the concepts as they were explained to me. This is another version of the wheel, which summarizes the concepts as I will explain them.

medicine wheel

The East direction 

The East direction, Spring, is associated with beginnings. The yellow represents the light of the sun in the Spring, the light of the innocence of childhood. As beings, we begin in the spiritual world and the East direction represents our arrival in the physical world. It then represents new growth, the conception of a new day, of a new being. It represents creation. We move, exploring the new world that we are in.

The South Direction

The South direction, Summer, is associated with experimentation. The red represents the heat of summer as well as adolescence and its associated growth spurt. It is a direction of growth, ofFour directions learning, of building one’s identity. As we all know, it is a time of differentiation and separation from our parents, of growing outward. This separation involves our emotional side.

The West direction

The West direction, Autumn, represents our adult years. It is a time when we build knowledge and wisdom. We throw away the “shoulds” and “should nots”, as they are no longer needed (well sometimes they are…). We empty our life of those should and should not (black) and fill it with wisdom (white). As adults, we form our own opinions and develop our own values, we live our own life rather than someone else’s. It is a time when we fill our bucket to feel fulfilled. It is a time of maturity, where our mental side is exercised.

The North direction

The North direction, the direction of the color white (which, when we think about it, is an accumulation of all colors, think of white light here, and your high school sciences classes). It is a time of enlightenment, where we become Elders. It is a time of refinement and purification. We wear the crown of white on our heads and enter a more spiritual life. From the North we are renewed, light and darkness mix and accent one another. We return in the spiritual world where we came from.

Balance

So there you go, the four quadrants of the Medicine Wheel, the meaning of the Native American medicine wheel. Even though each quadrant is associated with a different side, we all strive to find balance between those four sides, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Ways to accentuate or connect with each of those sides could be to attend ceremonies, sing, drum, meditate, spend time with friends and family, pray, smudge, talk with an Elder, exercise, fast, etc.

four directions

But wait there are 2  more directions….

Yes there are. Well what are they, I am guessing you are wondering! Well, the native culture actually speaks of 7 directions. Yes 7…. So far we have covered 4, east, south, west and north. However, we have to remember where we come from, Mother Earth, the fifth direction. Our Earthconnection to life, represented by the color Green. And finally, Father Sky (blue), the sixth direction, representing our present world as well as the world we are moving toward.sky

 

 

 

And…. the Seventh direction: YOU. Both the physical and spiritual you, at the center of it all. At the center of the medicine wheel. So not only are we striving to find balance and a connection between our four sides, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual, we also are striving to achieve a connection between what was, what is and what will be.

medicine wheel

All my Relations

 

 

 

 

Walking the Red Road

Walking the Red Road

Hello all

I just had a walk along water to reflect, meditate and recenter. I put on my head phones and listened to pow wow music for 2 hours. Below are some pictures I took.

We all need to reconnect with nature, with the water, with the trees, with the birds. With the natural elements. That is what I did today 🙂

water

beach

I listened to the sound of the waves, the rhythm of the ocean, the cries of the birds. And I took deep breaths. ocean

I try to take one day at a time, to focus on feeling peaceful and focused. Am I always successful? God, no!!! I have my moments of frustration, of sadness, of despair. But I let it ride, I take action and I ask for guidance and strength.

365 days of walking the Red Road

Yesterday, I remembered a book I bought a while back. 365 days of walking the Red Road. The Native American path to leading a spiritual life every day. In this book, you will find daily quotes, inspiration, historical facts and reflections. You can find it in the books section of the Resources page. I will make it my daily routine to read it every morning when I wake up.

The Red Road

The Red Road or the Red Path is the Native spiritual path. Walking the Red Road means living in the moment connected to all that surrounds us, respecting all of our relations and Mother Earth and Father Sky. It means finding a balance between and attending to our four sides: spiritual, physical, mental and emotional. It means taking care and respecting ourselves and the Creator. It means being thankful for what we have, to only take what we need and to give back. To give back to those around us and to the spiritual world. And to remember where we have been, to remember and honor our ancestors. It is walking in the right path of life, where we do the right thing even if it’s freaking hard at times…. Its opposite would be the path of self-destruction, aka the Black Road.

Simply put, the Red Road is a road of respect, humbleness, truthfulness, spirituality. It is believing that there is a power higher and greater than us who has a path for us. Each step on our path will be shown to us in time. It certainly does not mean having a perfect life. We can fall and stumble on the Red Path, but we also get up and keep going. We discover ourselves as we walk and learn from mistakes we have made. We grow and evolve. But the goal is to live a balanced life 365 days of the year. To balance our commitments to our family, friends, community, work, spirituality and to ourselves. Not an easy task! But one to strive toward.

All my Relationsred road