I am feeling a bit burnout and in a bit of a writers funk but will try my best here .
First I have to say I will be writing about the general knowledge of and my lessons / experiences regarding the medicine wheel. I cannot share the experiences of others as these are their own personal experiences and when shared within a sacred circle are to be kept there unless they themselves choose to share ☺
Fore my self the medicine wheel is actually a concept , perhaps a philosophy which we put into place & practice in our lives .
In the workshop a few of the basic explanations were the example there are as many teachings about and from the medicine wheel as grains of sand within a handful of sand . Basically the teachings are endless and always ongoing .
The presenters also gave examples throughout of connecting our catholic religion to and within the aboriginal teachings .
To me the medicine wheel is a circle interconnecting all aspects of ones life , I guess there are in fact medicine wheels within medicine wheels . There is the physical and spiritual aspects .
The medicine wheel is also very much so about balance . Having a healthy core or center and from there we branch out and have the other areas in our life balanced . and the center cannot be balanced if the outer is off balance .
I was actually introduced to the medicine wheel several times in my life and each time , yes, the teachings were different but all a part of that circle of learning for me .
First I want to begin with a bit of background . I unlike some was not brought up to not include aboriginal culture in my life . I was in fact very comfortable with aboriginal culture and ceremonies etc. As a child I was very much used to my mother dragging me along to the friendship center , the reserve to visit friends and even powwow . The concept of communicating with spirit was very early instilled in me so perhaps unlike many from the last several generations who had a negative aspect regarding the aboriginal way as somehow being evil.I did not encounter that . I did in fact encounter the hatred of the Christian faith though and I learned very well by the age of 10-11 yrs to pretend I did not love God nor believe in Him .It was also the same age I all of a sudden was shown I should be careful and claim not to be an Indiana in anyway .I was in fact told I had cooties because I was an Indian !
I will also say that most of my positive aboriginal cultural experiences were shared with me via my elders who were aboriginal & non aboriginal. My grandfather was one of the aslt to be building the canoe in the traditional method . He was shown my mr. Twoheart and my grandfather was not aboriginal but he learned and taught those ways to his community . My great grandmother was the local midwife and what people would call healer or medicine woman for the community. She was always created for this but not being from this country she had to be taught and shown which herbs to use here as her herbs were an ocean away. as those of you who know me well I believe ones calling has nothing to do with your colour , religion , educational status etc. it is your inner being .Who you truly are and were created from the beginning . Just as I say the same about abuse & abusive people know no boundaries , race , religion etc. it is the person who chooses to harm themselves and another .
In the work shop sister also explained that her father had said medicine is power .She also said this can be used in either an evil or good way. We are all aware of the abuses of power !
There are people who will in fact use workshops to then go out and use the knowledge shared with them to use in a non healthy way. Some may use it to have power themselves and make money .
I've had this this same issue regarding my gifts . what am I to share or use . As you know I charge people for products we make but never for my help or spiritual gifts etc.
So to start let me tell you my first and very short experience with the medicine wheel.
It was positive but out of great evil . yes I actually was introduced to the knowledge of the medicine wheel via a friend who took me to a hippy dippy commune run by who we now know is a cult leader and he also had an aboriginal man ( he is deceased now ) who practiced very very bad medicine ! I spent one night at this place .I was only 21yrs and a single mum but as those of you who know me well I love my gift of forewarning ! It may seem burdensome at times but nope I really love it ☺
As I walked around the grounds and saw the teepee, the people cooking wild meat ,and was told they had a medicine wheel on the property . I had that feeling , that this is not good feeling . I mean I've not been immune to wanting to fit in and be cool remember I was once a trying to be punk rocker and addicted to drugs . However This was the beginning of my conversion and my deciding I was not going to die and I was going to be a mother . I slept that night with my dd close to me , very close .
I never went back ! It was yrs later we discovered this person was charged with sexual abuse of a child , he skips from province to province setting up these new communes . The people who have lived on them end up often needing yrs of counselling . I will tell you I also had a friend who was driven to suicide on that commune she was only 18 yrs. I also later learned there were other suicides. This man is still doing this and is that dangerous ! This is why I have said before discernment is a gift and it is very hard to understand at times because people often mistake it feels good as being of God . Often misreading signs etc. Discernment is not about feeling s it does at times involve feeling but it is basically being able to see things ( including people ) for who they are not as they appear to be . It is very easy for us to be fooled into something is good or of God when it is in fact not at all. This is why I tell people to look and see the why you are looking at attending or following . is it to fit in ? is it to be cool ? is it God you are really following ? I lost my gf , my anam cara remember to wicca and it was not that it is the wiccan religion at all it the why and who she followed it was very very wrong . I've written about on my other blog as I healed from that experience . As an extreme example we can use hitler as an example of how extremely bad it can go when people follow the wrong person and the very wrong signs .
So yes I now trust the Holy Spirit !
That is me is it not , in the center of whom I am , I should be at one with spirit ☺
The second time I was introduced to the medicine wheel was via a workshop .This was offered through the clinic I volunteered doing street outreach for women in the prostitution industry.
The workshop was very good but it was geared for a very professional work environment standpoint . This was good because most of those attending were police , nurses , doctors , counsellors etc. The woman who is now very well known here as an aboriginal elder taught how all systems within the aboriginal society are interconnected . How in the European society we tend to separate medical from justice systems etc. how we need to be interconnected with each other in order to have a healthy functioning society . How one community would not make a big decision without consulting the other etc.
Wow did that hit home with me I mean even just within the medical community when our ds was in hospital how one dept. of specialists would not be in contact with another . There was only one wise old dr. who #1 kept us in the loop and treated us as intelligent beings and he also asked each and every person involved with our ds what was going on !
Imagine people who do not have family members to visit them in jail , hospital etc. look at our elderly how we separate them ! I thought it was just wonderful that the woman who runs the sheep farm takes the little lambs to her seniors home she visits once per week . My mother does the same with her dog !
is that not creating balance and interconnecting us with each other ?
So that example of the medicine wheel really showed me that aspect to not separate everything so much .
This January as usual I got that winter boredom again . Usually I run off start my own business or something ;-) This yr. I felt nope , I'm not spending any money . What ever comes comes. so I sat back. Really all my gifts have been given freely anyway have they not ☺
I had the opportunity come up to attend a weekly sharing circle and the teaching of the medicine wheel ! I called my friend and we thought we'd attend . I now know I need not obligate myself to things just because something may be of God and appear good does not mean it is for me or you and thats totally okay ☺
We went and it was a beautiful experience .I learned that the medicine wheel to some aboriginal peoples is used to teach lessons such as virtues . and how those virtues pertain to us etc. It was really helpful but it was just aboriginal.
I just felt it was not the teaching I was to be a part of.
As I said there was a time I was very anti christian / catholic . It was all fear based .It was all given to me by others , it just like guilt of my abuser was passed on to me. I carried this hate that was not even mine .I actually hated the words missionary , evangelize , discipline etc. Can you believe I am now a missionary ! Missionary means messenger that is all , sharing the message of your religion ! There are Hindu missionaries , wiccan missionaries etc. all over the Internet lol ! why I had such hate & fear ? Honestly I had not met a mean or abusive person who was christian at all in my life ! really if we are living our true religion , whatever it is , we would not ever be abusive would we ?
In fact now when I look back I see myself as a young child in school in gr. 1 I had a teacher it was her last yr. to teach. She was so great ! she loved all the children ! I mean all. get this , this is back when we still prayed the Our Father in school and read the bible ! oaky even though I home school and believe in child led learning I loved school as an abused child I had it as my refuge . what did I most love in gr. 1 lol get this my turn to stand up and read the bible reading that day !!! Yes , I of course was one of the few that could read early and as you know I love the written word but in all my yrs as a teen and young adult I forgot how the word of God was my love , we all will have a way in which God connects us to Him from the beginning of time . For me it is is the natural world & yep, you guessed it His word !
This is why now as I grow into an elder the issue of what we pass on to our children is so so very important. I hope never to pass on my fears and hates and worse that they would prevent a young person from becoming who ever it is God has called them to be .
So when I saw this offer of the medicine wheel workshop at our parish you can see the why I jumped at the chance ! well first I asked dh because he also has been working each and every weekend . However ds21 is home now helping us with our renos so I knew wise owl & adventure boy would be fine .
I am so very glad I went . I met such beautiful people ! I am encouraged to be me of course once again .
I thought of the medicine wheel was much more personal this time for me . I look to myself in the center. I am ever so filled with gratitude for my formation with the DJM . I love how much I am loved and as usual wish to be there for those few , not the many , to help them know that true and real love . To have balance in the areas of my life but for some reason the role as intercessor / missionary came into my mind . I felt called again to do the cleansing . I love love cleansing .It takes longer at times depending on what we need cleansing for ☺
I felt I need to be balanced in my areas of work . In regards to protection I cannot protect unless I too am willing to ask for and accept protection . In regards to healing I cannot help others heal unless I as healer am always willing to acknowledge I may need healing . As educator I cannot be the elder or good teacher unless I am always willing to be the student ☺
You know me one of my biggest weaknesses is self doubt . It is my thorn in my side . Doesn't stick around long but I do suffer from it .
I had no idea if I should share with the others at this workshop. I mean what would I say?
I then remembered the quote that the Holy spirit will speak for me , let me know what to say. So I prayed if I was to share or not .
I knew the reading , His word would tell me if I was to share this day or not.
I am not a speaker I verbalize through the written word mostly .
Yet the reading once again was to witness , to testify . so I did .
However what I shared was totally not what I thought I'd share .! as you know my one other weakness which is a fear is that of being unbelieved but is quickly lifted as we cannot control whether people beleive or not .
so get this I just learned this today as I did not have time to read in my fav saint book yesterday but the saint of april 10th was ST.Paternus the hermit ! so I now know I was being led ☺
Juan Diego helped me get through that uncertainty as usual and I shared my story of Our Lady Guadalupe's intercession in my life .
I have been given so very much and it seems so grand . I am very much basking in a love so very real .
I just want to take the next few days to be calm and be with the kids & dh , packing .
I am so looking forward to praying my morning 7 directions prayer on the lake shore and dipping my hand in lake Winnipeg praying for Kateri's beautiful intercession .
I hope I made some sense of the concept of the medicine wheel .
Below are some pics I took this week I'd love to share with you ☺
ps. I also forgot to say that there also was a talk about the sacred pipe and then a pipe ceremony but I will save writing about the pipe until another post
I've shown pics of our tabernacle before but the pictures on the wall are new and I wish you could see the painting of Our Lady of Sorrow it is done by an artist and the banners that are now hung up all round the church are also done by this artist ☺
sorry my camera is just not doing a very good job lately
these are a few of the banners
this was the small medicine wheel we were asked to share in creating .
did you know that the medicine wheel cross is the same as the one within the Eucharist ?
sister pointed that out ☺
oaky this is how and why I feel we are so blessed to be placed right here on this earth !!
we have the petroforms !
we really really want to visit there this yr. !!
when you look at the petroforms from an aireal view sister showed us the image looks like a rosary with a church in the center !
this banner is really really cool ! get this , sister had us stand at the back of the room and look at the image . from afar Kateri looks very serious and a little older. as you walk towards the front the image changes to appear quite young and get this , she is smiling !
if you have read the real story of Blessed Kateri the accounts by those who knew her , after her death her face which was quite pocked became clear and the most beautiful colour .
did I mention our parish now has an official Kateri relic !!
Can you see the 3 cards sister gave out ! Our Lady of Sorrows, Blseed Kateri painting by the priest who knew her & the Anishnebe Jesus
I had cleaned my altar off for lent but I just had to place the cards there