THE FOUR DIRECTIONS
<< Date: 96-07-10 01:10:08 EDT
From: Sage Dream
>>Picture the equilateral cross. We live our lives in the >>horizontal,
>>dimension of time and space and the physical world.
>There seems to be something special about this. I was told >that
have a medicine wheel, and in one case it is >called the four directions.
idea is to sit around this wheel >made of painted skins and tell the
the direction you >are facing. Only when all directions are told is the
complete >story told? Is this true?
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
within. It is a psychospiritual process of growth, and it is the vessel
the alchemical process of transmutation.
There is no "one" medicine wheel and one way to use it. In ceremony,
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
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
healing and growth. When I learned about this, I had already been walking
for years unknowingly. Knowing it made a very big difference in my ability
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
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
times, but usually only once in a major, major way.
The South is where we enter. It is the direction of change and shedding
past. All is let go here, and what comes back is what is rightfully ours.
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
the Void. The Death Arrow ceremony is done here. Animals associated with
West are the great, golden, mother-sister Jaguar, bear, whale or dolphin.
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
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
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,
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
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
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.
Editors note. Sage Dream passed away just a few weeks after writing