The Sun Wheel or Medicine Wheel, which exists all over the Earth, presents insights into the evolution and history of mankind through a better understanding of the cycles of nature. It is a very important part of our ongoingness. In the study of nature and its many patterns, the Medicine Wheel is duplicated in everything. It is constructed with stones, each one representing a part of the universe.
This pattern is symbolized by a circle or wheel, with directional spokes. The spokes demonstrate the natural progression of the stages of life as it spins in a full cycle. The pattern of the wheel can be applied in all our life situations where cyclical movements exist. Each spoke of the wheel tells us exactly where we are, both psychologically and physiologically, from where we have just come, and to where we will go next.
The word “medicine” means “sacred wisdom that represents the totality of the universe, all of the patterns of creation.” The circle becomes a Medicine Wheel when it is used for a specific purpose or focus. As human beings, we have a specific purpose. Thus, as we represent or discover our purpose through the circle/wheel/symbol of the Sun, that symbol is known as The Medicine Wheel.
The wheel teaches us to be respectful of all life and emphasizes that each step we take on our beloved Earth Mother, must always be a prayer.
The wheel teaches us that all aspects of the wheel intricately interact with all other aspects of the wheel. We are not alone but are part of the whole.
The wheel teaches us to break the illusion of separateness and to see ourselves as necessary parts of the whole. No one cell is any less important than the next, for it takes all cells to create the whole.
You cannot have a forest without the trees. This does not take away from the uniqueness of the individual; rather, it allows the individual access to the strength and resiliency found only in the whole.
Life is a cycle, a cycle is a circle, and in a circle, all things return to where they began.
Living the Medicine Wheel in Yana/Yanu Time
Yana/Yanu, the Bear, is the gatekeeper of the West gate on the Medicine Wheel. At sunset each day, we acknowledge Yana/Yanu and this is a time of celebration of joy, a beauty time.
We have a powerful daily practice that assists us to bring more of what we desire into our lives. We give back to Creator the joy and happiness we have experienced in our day. We offer it back to the Mystery.
The following prayer in the words of my Elders is an example to use as a model. Note that the word “wado” is the Tsalagi word to express thanksgiving and has a deeper and broader meaning than the word “thanks”.
“Great Spirit, my gifts from this day, as always, are the joys of this day.
For the joy of the winds that have blown gently across my face, Wado!
for the strength in the wind that has rigorously blown against my clothing, Wado! For the Sun, Nunda, who has nurtured all things and my relatives the flowers who sing and teach me the song of prayer,
For all that has been healthy and whole in my experience of this day, Wado!
For all of the gifts upon my table and the altar of my life, Wado!”
(At this point, it is good to speak aloud something of this day that has given you pleasure, that has brought you a smile or has made you feel some satisfaction. Stand with your hands extended out in front of you, palms facing up, at heart level as an altar.) “Great Spirit, my gifts to you this day ……………….”
When you are complete with your list of gifts, lift your hands upward and give all of these gifts back to Creator. Thus you send these blessings to all your relations on the other side of the world who are about to begin their day as you are ending yours. When Nunda, Grandmother Sun, returns at sunrise, what you have given away at sunset will be brought back to you by The Sun Wheel
An Act of Power is an Expression of Shapeshifting
An Act of Power is an opportunity to break destructive behaviors or habits that weaken one’s persona. To Native Peoples, an Act of Power is a practice that is given by Elders, for transformational purposes.
One makes a daily practice of it at particular times or throughout the day for an established number of days in order to change or alter a behavior and integrate a more empowering one. It is usually fearful or difficult for a person to change a habit. All the same, it is possible and must be done in order to have the desired result. In the Eastern Teachings this is known as a Sadhana.[Daily Practice]
A person may choose to do an Act of Power in any given situation, without an Elder or Teacher. It is a time for TOTAL awareness; a time when we are in a prayerful state. We are fully focused on our state of being. It is a place of personal observance, a time for standing outside of ourself; a time of full objectivity and watching as we carry out our Act of Power/Sadhana. We discover much about ourself and what we need to change and/or develop into our Being. When we are truly ready to awaken and become of Clear Mind, we take to ourself the Courage and Strength to stand in the West with our Elder Spirit Keeper, YANA YANU, the Great Bear. In time of complete introspection, we reveal our true self to the Fire and Transform all that we desire to change.
We draw forth our Courage, because we must persist and be determined to move past our weaknesses and our fears.
The TRICKSTER is a legendary character in Native Lore represented by the Coyote. It tricks us into seeing truth too often so painful we choose to deny it. The trickster comes for us at times of commitment as well as when we are running scared. It has many tricks to take us over and take us into the desolate places to brood and condemn, as it steals our Light/Life.
It has purpose; to assist only the healthy balance of Life. So, as we do Acts of Power, we are Empowering our Being and living in a Sacred Way.
You are an Altar where the Great Spirit moves and has Its Being.
The TRICKSTER exists on the weakness and uncertainty of our Minds and Bodies. When your faith and trust is gone or dim, and you do not walk in honor and live in a Sacred Way, he knows you are outside your Circle of Protection and he moves in fast.
The Trickster has a very powerful duty to perform and is responsible for maintaining a balance, so he weeds out the excesses in all forms of imbalance and weakness to provide more opportunity for the Whole and Balanced Forms of Life. It is his service to “The One That Is In All Things” to let grow and live all that is pure and whole. Then Joy and Peace is the experience of Life.
We need to overcome the addictions to ignorance, pain and suffering.
Prepare your Minds and Bodies so you are not the prey of the Wise Old Trickster. In the Eastern traditions, the Trickster is known as MAYA.
Give Thanksgiving for all you receive in Life. APPRECIATION is a key that opens the gates to powerful and rewarding transformation.