Personal Healing Medicine Wheels

                                               

            Any season is a perfect time to create a personal medicine wheel for anyone who has yet to consider the project. Many traditions view the beginning of Spring as a time to work on healing ourselves of all the things that can now be brought into the light again. The sun is about to be out more very soon, and at the Spring Equinox the days will be brighter, and our endorphins will once again be stimulated by warm sunny days. The energies we perceive from these warmer days filled with more saturated colors will inspire our creativity as well. 

            Begin by choosing to work with the concept of a personal color wheel, which you can do at any time. You might begin to work on your medicine wheel while immersing yourself within the energies of the land or meditating on what ideas and power you want your personal creation to hold. A third option is to ‘add’ each celebrations’ energy to a wheel you may choose to build throughout a year’s turn of the great wheel of color and life. Remember that ‘healing is relative’ to the needs of the petitioner.

            The following are example of wheels created for specific purposes, all of which could be consider ‘medicine’ wheels in that they were created by an artist/petitioner to celebrate, express, or put into symbolic representation the artist’s perception of life around them and the possible forces in play that maintain balance or will intervene to restore balance.

Obviously, we can only guess that the artist of this ancient/primitive wheel was just admiring what it was that he or she saw. Or perhaps welcoming back the light half of the year. Part of the joy of art is that much of it leaves the way open for each of us to interpret as we see fit.

And the concept of primitive is relative as far as I am concerned. This wheel could have been drawn in ancient times or last Saturday when it was your first attempt at creating art. Only the artist knows for sure. Any visual image can have more than one interpretation as well, depending upon time, place, and experience. It inspires thought and the contemplation of tribal art. We are all a part of the life tribe of man. We can call ourselves tribal when we understand this.

The following example was completed as a freestyle “don’t think, just feel” journey through my emotions on a rainy day in front of my paint box. It began much like doing the crayon drawings in kindergarten where you just drew. Intuitively and without fear of doing anything in any particular manner. It was quite relaxing, and I affixed the wheel to my office wall for a time and studied my connection to the possibilities I had appeared to have rendered when letting go of my need to control the colors. The phases of the moon were of course a controlled rendering added later when I knew what was needed for it to feel complete.

The medicine wheel below was created for a dear friend who will finish adding her own energies to the magickal vehicle and set the medicinal powers of the wheel into motion in her own way. In this example, the totem animals connect stories of strength, hope, power, and determination rendered with color representing the eight sacred directions as interpreted by the artist and the needs of the bearer. All this energy is then encircled by a symbol of never-ending time and movement, an ongoing journey of motion and experience. In this case, a self-contained portable universe. This wheel was created for hope, healing, and joy.

The following wheel is an attempt to be a catalyst for inspiration and follow-through using the traditional colors and Red (passion) and White (purity) of Beltane to represent Ying and Yang energies, with the Green (new growth) and Yellow (success) complimenting the energies of the light months. This wheel still hangs in my office to remind me to always be inspired, but also as a record of where I was at the time I created it. Remember, they do not have to be works of art to anyone but the artist.

   Medicine wheels can and should be a mixture of intuition and purposeful intention.

 For those of you who get into creating medicine wheels as visual and physical vehicles to what you desire or wish to honor, think about doing a Medicine Wheel of the Year of your own. I will unveil my Midsummer and Halloween wheels shortly, and I challenge you each to consider at least creating one for a favorite sabbat or esbat. Only the bravest or most determine of you will join me in a yearly celebration of the turning of the seasons. Here are some more of my thoughts on the subject…

The creation and use of medicine wheels most likely exceed the vastness of recorded time. Possibly the grasp of our imagination as well if we were to attempt to imagine the endless possibilities that went into connecting the need for man to be a part of something that could only be thought of as ‘higher’ than ourselves.” For many of us, the phrase ‘medicine wheel’ often has us linking the energies they represent with our concept of tribal traditions. In truth, we will never know if our ancestors who lived alone on their own wove the same energies in thoughts and prayers to attempt to connect to the universe around them. I would like to believe the need to represent our thoughts is something we discover within ourselves on our own personal journeys. In any case, the creation of personal medicine wheels for a myriad of purposes has become quite popular today as this new time of mankind. And it seems that since we now feel we can connect with other members of our ‘tribe of mankind’ via cyber space on cell phones and laptops, literally in seconds with the push of a button, we have chosen to become tribal whether we recognize it or not.

            Perhaps we even feel that the sharing of our thoughts and dreams and hopes and fears have a better chance of being known to the universe when we connect to traditions already in place and can touch that which is unique about ourselves in doing so. Therefore, the turning of the year that brings us into the brilliant light and longer days feels like the appropriate time to work for those things we did not feel so confident about in the darker months. And what better time to celebrate the lush pure colors of the summer months than Beltane? This will be our creative project for the month of Beltane. The beginning of summer to our norther ancestors, and to many folks today who carry on this traditional belief as well.

Many of us have had the opportunity to study the group mind connection displayed in tribal medicine wheels that have lasted long enough to become symbols of both practicality and spirituality. If any of us have not, there are a multitude of examples over the last millennium alone that can be displayed by a bit of research online, or if you are fortunate enough to own a library card, within the walls of keepsakes and memories that have been built by man to preserve these often-forgotten treasures. The following are just three of uncountable numbers of representations between humankind and the energies of the earth and the universe of which we are all part. This first one was signed by the facility that created it. Remember to affix your mark or name or energies to yours as well for it is uniquely you.

            It is natural to see alignment with the world around us. We are all a part of nature. Color, the many aspects of light, are often included within examples of medicine wheels. Often by the way of using color in paint, gemstones, natural arrangements of plants or stones… the possibilities are endless. What matters is that everything that makes up the visual or tactile components of each wheel means something to the person or persons who create it. Ancient medicine wheels probably included elements of nature and offerings made by those who used them for meditation, worship, personal transformation. Many were created on natural surfaces which have supported this art throughout time.

In more modern times, man has created art in many mediums, often working within what would be known as traditional venues for times. Sometimes flirting between the traditional and nontraditional. Quite often returning frequently to that link between who we are as a tribe of mankind, and what it is that want and believe in. Over the last century, many artists have taken up the quest to render the mysteries of spiritism, shamanism and magicks with their own interpretations of what is to be one with other realms of reality.

            There are those who would consider the magick that exists within the creation of a hex sign an example of a medicine wheel. And many of us believed in the power of our purchased hex signs discovered on vacations to Pennsylvania and Ohio, conveniently empowered for us by folks who obviously knew more than we did at the time about using shapes and colors and patterns to weave whatever the sign was intended to do. Many of us have since dabbled in intuitively connecting ourselves with the world around us, even reaching further outward to include the energies of the stars. We became empowered ourselves and began creating our own sigils and signs and art that embodied who we are and what we desire. Some of us even decided to begin our own traditions. Creating personal medicine wheels of power is but one way to do just that.

            As humans, it is natural for us to seek balance and healing as we are only sentient beings, and these needs are a part of our daily lives. An example of a wheel that might be used for balance is the one pictured next. Incorporating shamanistic beliefs such as melding with the energies of power animals, believing that we can manifest what we need if our focus and faith is strong enough, and realizing that we can move between worlds whenever necessary.

Personal medicine wheels are but one way in which to connect with the energies around us, express what it is that we need or desire, and begin to manifest our hopes and dreams.  Happy Trails and Turtle onward!                                    

                           Creating Your Personal Healing Medicine Wheel

            A medicine wheel can be created any time you feel is the right time. Anytime you need to align yourself to the energies around you, to work magick for yourself or others, or just to celebrate all that is. This is being offered as a project for Ostara as we will all be thinking about colors and nature and forward motion, so why not take advantage of the forces in play? At the end of this section will be a medicine wheel created totally by way of colored eggs. Of course, there will be bunnies. Fertility of the land and the life tribe of man is favorite theme for the season.

  1. Decide the purpose of your medicine wheel. What are creating it for? What is it you want to draw to you? Maybe you are creating one for Mother Earth and you just wish Gaia to know that you care and are ready to assist. Some examples might be…

           Healing

Career

Love

Family

Success

Balance

Celebration

Gentle turning of the seasons

A celestial quest perhaps

The possibilities are endless. Use your imagination.

  • What medium will you be using and how large or small do you want it to be.

Will you be working in?

Wood

Paper

Metal

Natural items found outside.

Will it be temporary or permanent?

Will you paint on it?

Will you take it to the next level and build a sculpture on it?

Maybe it will be edible.

Mixed Media such as paint and gemstones, sand, and rocks

Again, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Will I glue images over a painted surface?

  • Will it be a group project or something you will do for yourself alone?

A group project is fun and rewarding. Especially if you build your wheel with natural elements meant to stand for an extended period of time and for others to utilize as well.

  • Will it be empowered in a ritual?

If so, who will you dedicate it to?

Timing may be important. New Moon? A power day?

  • What do you need to research first? What symbolism?

Maybe begin by just doing one in the colors you love.

One with the Moons and Stars.

Bunnies for The Spring Equinox or Sunflowers for Midsummer.

Planets or Gemstones.

Symbols or images that represent your childhood for you. Your place in the world at present. A Power Animal you align with…

The possibilities are endless. If you create on paper, you can inexpensively do as many as you wish to create.

 6.    Empower Your Medicine Wheel when you are satisfied with your creation.

Within a Ritual you write for yourself or a simple Rite or part of a ritual you create for yourself.

Cleansing and Consecrating it: Set it in the Sun for a few minutes; hold it in your hands and ask the Directions and Elements to bless it; dedicate it to whichever deity you desire.

Celebration of Song and Dance around your new creation.

Say a few words or offer a poem over your wheel.

A prayer.

Incorporate it in a spell.

Dedicate it to Deity or a Power Animal or To a Friend.

Finally…Set it Free by Using it!

Display it where you will see it and it will cause you to reflect and ponder, give you joy, make you smile, remember a special day or time in your life, live on just because you created it.

Just create. Creating is good for the heart and good for the soul. Gifting someone with something you created is sharing yourself with another.

Happy Trails and let us all go forth and create!

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