An activity of the Primer Group


A Special Integration Group (SIG) of the
International Society for the Systems Sciences (ISSS)
originally SGSR, Society for General Systems Research.







In Memorium

We knew her by Sage Dream. About a month ago, she passed away (asthma).
Losing Sage is a great loss. All we are left with are memories. "But the Tao lives on".

Sage lived the perspective of the North American Indian. This perspective is quite interesting, for it consistant with state of the art general systems theory. (See map page below & fourfold description, A. Judge UIA)

Most of North American Indian philosophy has been handed down by word of mouth.
Here is the story Sage told to me...


A letter from Sage



<< Date: 96-07-10 01:10:08 EDT
From: Sage Dream
To: ThomasM451
In a message dated 97-04-28 01:36:35 EDT, you write:

>>(s)Picture the equilateral cross. We live our lives in the >>horizontal, the
>>dimension of time and space and the physical world.


>(t)There seems to be something special about this Sage. I was told >that Indians
have a medicine wheel, and in one case it is >caled the four directions. The
idea is to sit around this wheel >made of painted skins and tell the story of
the direction you >are facing. Only when all directions are told is the
complete >story told? Is this true?



Hi, Tom,

Ahhhh, the medicine wheel. :)

Yes, what you say is true, and only the merest glimpse of what the medicine
wheel truly is.

The medicine wheel is a map, and it is also sacred space. It is all the
symbology of the circle, the equilateral cross, and the square. It is the
four elements of earth, air, fire, and water. It is the four cardinal
directions, it is above (sky) and below (earth), and the seventh direction of
within. It is a psychospiritual process of growth, and it is the vessel of
the alchemical process of transmutation.

There is no "one" medicine wheel and one way to use it. In ceremony, we
call in the directions, sometimes with words, sometimes with rattles and
whistles, or it could be done by dance, art, or anything else, as it is
intent and feeling that matters, not the form. This is creating sacred space
and inviting in spiritual support. At the end of the ceremony, spirit is
thanked and the sacred space is returned to ordinary space. My favorite way
to do that is with a sacred song.

The medicine wheel as a psychospiritual process and at the same time the
container for that process is the most powerful thing I know of in terms of
healing and growth. When I learned about this, I had already been walking it
for years unknowingly. Knowing it made a very big difference in my ability to
cope and support my own process instead of struggling against it.

This is the wheel for me in this sense, taught by Alberto Villoldo. We all
walk this, but a medicine man or woman walks it with full committment and no
net except Self and Spirit. Others have a milder version. We generally spend
about 4 years in each direction mastering its lessons, and we go around many
times, but usually only once in a major, major way.

The South is where we enter. It is the direction of change and shedding our
past. All is let go here, and what comes back is what is rightfully ours. ALL
is let go - family, history, attachments of all kinds. Fire ceremonies of
release are done here. Animals that help here are often snake, coyote, and/or
badger. Its element is fire.

The West comes next. This is were we die and cross over the Rainbow bridge
to the other side. We face our our rage in the West, and let it go. We might
be dismembered. Our personae are shed. We might face an adversary that brings
us to the very brink of our literal death. In the West we go within, we enter
the Void. The Death Arrow ceremony is done here. Animals associated with the
West are the great, golden, mother-sister Jaguar, bear, whale or dolphin. The
element is water.

These are the two difficult directions, especially the West.

In the North, we enter the Mystery. It is wisdom, ancestors, learning
invisibility. It is the most difficult to explain or talk about. Animals are
hummingbird, Quetzaquatl, buffalo, and the white buffalo. The element is
Earth. The fire ceremony of the North is where we give the best of ourselves
to the fire.

The East is where we bring the lessons of our medicine walk home to the
community, and use them to 'grow corn.' It is the place of the visionary and
the intellect. Animals are eagle, condor, hawk. Element is air.

Because the circle contains the cross, we are also working across the
wheel. In the South, we are also in a smaller way working in the North, etc..

This is but a short overview, the E mail version of what could be a life
time of study/process. I hope it may resonate in that place in which it felt
special to you. :)

May the Four Winds guide you gently,


Several months later...

<< Subj: Re: Four Directions
Date: 97-04-29 01:14:17 EDT
From: Sage Dream
To: ThomasM451

Hi, Tom,

What a nice surprise to hear from you, and REALLY a surprise that you forwarded back to me my writings on the Medicine Wheel.

On Saturday I visited a Medicine Wheel left on the land after a ceremony I attended in March. On Sunday I called in the directions at my monthly circle almost exactly as I described to you. The circle hasn't met for 7 months and I mostly call in the directions without words. How amazing that on the day I use these words, you send them back to me. Thank you. :)

Today at a significant place I saw the license plate 4 WINDS. Synchronicity plays with us again.

If you added any comment or send anything about why you happened to forward that to me, I didn't receive it. Or maybe you sent it to me in error? In any case, I appreciated having a copy of what I had written back last summer.

Hope you are well, Tom.

Sage >>

Bye Sage, I'll pass it on for you...