WELCOME TO THE
MEDICINE WHEEL COURSE
The medicine wheel is a model of how to connect with Spirit,
as well as how to lead a fulfilling physical life. It takes thirteen moons to
complete a one-year cycle, and this course will mirror that journey of once
around the medicine wheel. A wheel has no beginning and no end, and so with the
medicine wheel there is always another cycle to begin. In this way as our life
moves from one phase to another, we are able to understand deeper levels of
teachings around the wheel.
The majority of the teachings in this course centre on the Ojibwe or Anishinaabe medicine wheel. Anishinaabe is a term that means “The People”. My teachers always told me that Anishinaabe was what was in your heart, and the way you walked through this life. When pertinent, I have included teachings from other traditions such as the Sioux, Navajo, Celtic, and Buddhist.
My own background is diverse and started in my teens with a study of western philosophy. From there I moved into a study of eastern philosophies including Buddhism, Sufism and Taoism. As I started studying as a healer I drew in teachers from Celtic and Navajo traditions. From there began a journey into the teachings of Ojibwe, Cree, and Sioux. It was in these traditions that I earned the right to carry a pipe, lead sweat lodges, as well as being a Sun Dancer.
It is this background that gives me both the width and depth to discuss the teachings of the medicine wheel. It is my path to act as a bridge to find the common thread between traditions. In this role of a bridge, I have included teachings that parallel those of the native medicine wheel in order to illustrate points. While most of the course draws upon traditional native teachings I also have included modern insights. In this way we can balance tradition and innovation in the teachings.
It is my hope that you see the beauty in these teachings and are able to integrate them into your daily life. As the course is divided into thirteen moons it would be helpful to dedicate a year to going through this course. Although you may decide to read it all through at one time, you can then go through it a second time, taking each lesson as one month’s theme. There are exercises for each lesson, which I encourage you to participate in. I always feel experiential learning is the most productive way; the more you get involved the more you learn. Keep a journal that is specific to this course, and record your experiences as well as your feelings and beliefs. It is interesting at the end of the year to review these journals to see how far we have come along the path.
lesson #1 - Teachings of the Seven Directions
lesson#2 - Rituals & Ceremonies
lesson#3 - The Medicine Bundle - Role and use of Ritual/Medicine tools
lesson#4 - Spirit Helpers
lesson#5 - Medicines
lesson#6 - Contrares
lesson#7 - Dreams & Visions
lesson#8 - Totems
lesson#9 - Sweat Lodge Teachings
lesson#10 - Seven Teachers of the Pipe
lesson#11 - Shadow Teachers
lesson#12 - Protection
lesson#13 - The Spiritual Path
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