Medicine Wheel Provides Another Tool for Guidance

I love that there are many ways to connect with your Higher Self.  I had the pleasure Thursday afternoon to explore the use of the Native American medicine wheel as such a portal. Marilyn Naylor, a metaphysical counselor who uses this ancient wisdom in her work, shared this powerful approach for accessing guidance that is also totally congruent with our modern life.

The medicine wheel is structured around a North, East, South, and West orientation.  Each direction is associated with a particular process of guidance, and once begun, you must always move clockwise in the circle accessing higher/inner guidance in that order. Moving counterclockwise is problematic. That results in feeling stuck, disconnected, and out of synch, causing you to create discontent through bad decisions and poor choices.

The North (Winter) centers on thinking; the East (Spring) is about believing; the South (Summer) opens to your emotions and how you feel and the West (Fall) is what you physically know through your 5 senses and revolves around taking action.  Your season of birth indicates where you begin on the wheel.

My birthday is in the Spring and so my process is to consider life’s challenges based first on what I believe, then on how I feel about the challenge.  Next I consider how that challenge is impacting me in the “real” world, i.e., what is the impact on my physical body, the people around me, my environment, etc.  And the LAST thing is for me to use my intellect, to notice what I’m thinking about the challenge.  To move forward I must use the process of believe, feel, know, think.

Guess what the hardest part of this is?  We have so much conditioning in our world to THINK it’s easy to get sucked into trying to figure things out using my intellect and that, for me, (and any Spring baby), is going counterclockwise/backwards on the wheel!  Uh-oh.

Turns out, however, that no matter where you are supposed to start on the wheel, moving backwards is seductive.

It’s tempting to say it must be easiest to be born in the Winter and start in the North with thinking.  But, one look at our culture and you can see we are conditioned to take action (West orientation).  So Winter people start with “thinking” then get sucked into “doing” which is backwards!  The process that would put them into a flow state is to think, believe, feel, THEN do.

Not any easier for the Fall folks (West) who start taking action, but become afraid of the consequences of their actions ((feelings are South and moving backwards!).  Or the Summer people (South) who come from their heart, but feel compelled to justify their feelings based on their beliefs (which is East, backwards!).

Interestingly, even though there is the seduction to move backwards, it doesn’t take a whole lot of experimentation to feel the soothing effects of moving in flow with the correct, clockwise direction.  I had an opportunity several years ago to learn about this system of connection and have made it one of my “tools.”  When I remember to begin a project founded on my beliefs, feel for direction from my heart, create a prototype of the end result, and then create a plan, this tool invariably smoothes the way for a project to flow with ease and grace.

Want to experiment with this tool?  Use the ideas below and then let me hear from you.

How You Might Work with The Season of Birth Medicine Wheel:

1.     There is much more to this tool than I have space to write about, so if it interests you, please read more about it in The Sacred Tree: Reflections on Native American Spirituality, or Going Where:  Ancient Wisdom for People Today or visit with Marilyn Naylor at 406-563-3341.

2.     Do a little experimenting of your own. Use a small challenge in your life.  Begin the process according to your season of birth (birth months in parenthesis) and fill in the blank after each statement with the first thing that pops into your mind, ie. don’t “try” to come up with an answer, just put your pencil to the paper and write down whatever is present.  Notice what new insights show up for you.

Winter (Dec, Jan, Feb)

  • I think _________; I believe ___________; I feel __________; I know ___________

Spring (Mar, Apr, May)

  • I believe ___________; I feel __________; I know ___________; I think _________

Summer (June, July, Aug)

  • I feel __________; I know ___________; I think _________; I believe ___________

Fall (Sept, Oct, Nov)

  • I know ___________; I think _________; I believe ___________; I feel ___________
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