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Medicine Wheel

As I gathered at a medicine wheel with fellow souls on the path of shamanism, I was impressed with the simple lesson the experience offered.

In traditional indigenous beliefs of North and South America, the directions are saturated with meaning.

• The East is the place of the rising sun and is thereby associated with Spring, birth, and new beginnings.

• The South is the building of heat, associated with summer, abundance, and adolescence through adulthood.

• The West is the place of the setting sun, associated with Autumn, beauty, and the years of sage wisdom.

• The North is associated with closure, death, and the void that gives way to the impending new beginnings.

As we walked the Medicine Wheel, starting in the East, we individually gave thanks for that phase of our life and walked toward the center giving thanks to the center, creator’s stone. Then we entered a different direction walking from the center to the outer spoke. This followed for each direction, a cycle of four outward and inward journeys.

The experience with time was profound. Each direction associated with time on a multi-dimensional level. The day has its cycles. So does the year, a person’s entire life, and even one’s individual events—like love, for example.

I’ve made no secret to the ending of a recent relationship. I have openly mourned it and have felt it impossible to let go. It feels as painful as a reoccurring death, and as stubborn as trying to melt a glacier in winter.

The medicine wheel offered a new experience, one that promises progress. Thanking the exciting birth and messy beginnings of that love. Thanking the growing passion and associated fear of surrendering in its maturing. Thanking the strength and depth of the love, the adventures, the fear of being my full authentic self as the stakes rose. Thanking the wisdom the slow, torturous death has offered and the holes within myself it has exposed.

Walking this path of life doesn’t promise anything besides the experiences meant to initiate our deepest growth and authentic expansion. Giving thanks to each phase more closely aligns me to one of my favorite quotes as of late: “Those who love the journey will go further than those who love the destination.” The pain has led to self exploration and that has in turn lead to growth. The cycles get to be lessons and gifts of refinement whether this applies to a day, a year, one’s life, or the events that highlight that life. Aho.

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Tori Andrus
Tori Andrus
Jun 07, 2022

It takes effort to be grateful for EVERY step. love you.

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