Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Medicine Wheel Wisdom

It's my understanding that the medicine wheel directions represent perspectives and not necessarily the physical direction though we use the physical directions as symbols for the perspectives which is what confuses some people. So your ancestors, just as the wind, could come from any direction. Also the perspective from which you view your ancestors could be all four -- you could look at their physical contribution to you through DNA (West), you could look at the wisdom they impart through the stories passed down from them (North), you could look at their contribution to you spiritually in this moment (East) and you could look at how they influence your family relationships today (South).

This post arose from a question I was asked: A friend thought the West was related to our Ancestors another workshop leader (besides me)
said it wasn't. This other woman said the North is the directions of our ancestors.

I think generally people want to make Native American culture simpler than it is and sort of formulaic -- like X comes from Y and A means B instead of the rich multi-layers that it has.

It's my understanding that the medicine wheel directions represent perspectives and not necessarily the physical direction though we use the physical directions as symbols for the perspectives which is what confuses some people. So your ancestors, just as the wind, could come from any direction. Also the perspective from which you view your ancestors could be all four -- you could look at their physical contribution to you through DNA (West), you could look at the wisdom they impart through the stories passed down from them (North), you could look at their contribution to you spiritually in this moment (East) and you could look at how they influence your family relationships today (South).