journey of healing winds (medicine wheel training)

(picture: medicine wheel, on medicine mountain wyoming…unknown original source but from )

“the medicine wheel, the fourfold path of knowledge. it is also called the journey of the four winds. it is the legendary journey that an initiate undertakes to become a person of knowledge….. the medicine wheel is the mandala…. although there exists no real symbol for it, just as there are no writings, no figure of worship, no human prophet, or son of a deity. none are needed.

 the journey through the medicine wheel is a journey taken to awaken vision and to discover and embrace the divine within oneself, to restablish one’s connection with nature and the mystery of the cosmos, to acquire skills and the wisdom to use them….

the four winds are marked out like the cardinal points of a compass….it begins in the south, the serpent path, where one goes to shed the past, just as the serpent shed its skin. the jaguar path in the west…is where one loses fear and faces death. In the north one takes the dragon path to discover the wisdom of the ancients and to create a union with the divine…..the eagle path of the east – the flight to the sun and the journey back to one’s home to exercises one’s vision in the context of one’s life and work….

many who tread this path stop along the way and are content to be healers and medicine men. they become masters of their own direction…and then there are those that are trapped by power….lost along the way…. it is a journey that can take a lifetime…but it is a charming program, don’t you think?”

(don jicaram, translated by alberto villoldo in dance of the four winds)

so what is medicine wheel training?

well, to me, like the quote above suggests, the medicine wheel is a basic program, a framework, to assist us find our own paths in life…a springboard into our finding our ‘inner knowing’ that comes from experiences….and learning from these experiences. a medicine wheel is a guide and assistant…with tools and processes assist us find our way…

medicine wheels vary between teachers, even when many have similarities, they also have their uniqueness. this is the flowing nature of this work (though so much stays the same over generations it free flows through our experiences and learnings) and this is the work of the east, where we can bring the teachings of our experiences back to our communities…in our own languages, ways of speaking and being…. 

i work with a basic framework, similar to the quote above…

with the winds of the south we release what we are not…our old stories that we may have identified with but no longer serve us… and we bring in what we are… what we can be…conscious co-creators of our realities…. we work with developing awareness of energy, of clearing imprints that attracted our old stories that we wish to release and have a foundation of tools and initiation/rites to hold us with care and assist us in our training, in our lives and in our work.

with the winds of the west we release what we are not…our ancestors, our ‘karmic’ ties, we give back to earth energies that do not belong in our energy field, we release trapped energies in our energy fields, clearing the way for free flowing energy… and we bring in more of what we are, reintegrating parts of ourselves that we thought we had to hide and realising the beautiful gifts in these parts as we journey to feel more ‘whole’.

with the winds of the north, we release more of what we are not… our (what experiences suggests is) our past lives stories and experiences… and bring in more of what we are… reintegrating life essence parts of ourselves that may have fled due to trauma, in the knowing that it is safe to come back now (also known as ‘soul retrieval…but we always have our ‘soul’ 😉 ). in the north we also enhance and strengthen our connection nature….that learning directly from nature as well as from others around us.

with the winds of the east… we release more of our unconscious beliefs and obstacles, releasing more of our attachments…. and we bring in more transformation…and step more into the freedom of potential…and of our visionary journeys. ready to come to our communities with our learnings, and to share them, if we choose.

all of this is a basic map…to which more details i could add…. and it is you, that, if you choose, that walk the land indicated in the map…see what you find…see where you go with this map….

someone recently described it as being given the bare bones of the work, and then, through working with it, through our experiences, insights, our work…we sing these bones to life.  the training is that springboard….only a small part of that overall work that we can work together with inbetween sessions.

the use of directions is a little bit how university degree courses have ‘year one, year two’, with the healing spiral/medicine wheel, we have south, west, north and east as compass points…bearings of the work on our training.

unlike most degree courses however, the later years aren’t viewed ‘better’ or ‘more advanced’ than the first years learning…. just different… and complementary…. stages in journeys of learning that have particular qualities and learning responses. and we can revisit these stages at any time as individual work comes up, as we journey our way to the centre.

i say medicine wheel, as it is quite a well known term but it can probably a little more accurately be viewed as a healing spiral. the steps we step as we go round can be a journey to the centre of this spiral.  and although we may go round the wheel a number of times in one way or another, it can be different each time, and we can progress to new rounds of the spirals…… we journey to the centre of ourselves.

{ picture : wood carving by mark cooper – from : }

and the time this journey can take can vary so much. you can take full medicine wheel courses in a year or two these days, whereas it used to (and still can) take much longer, but even in this shorter time period, the training itself is just part of it, what we do between training, and after our training can continue far beyond that year or two training. 

like with much of life it seems, much of it can be what we make of it. the more personal work we are willing to do, the even more benefits that can bring.
though saying that, i’ve seen amazing benefits even from fairly small amounts of personal work…that little nudge of encouragement to promote the self-healing processes.
and not everyone chooses to go round the whole wheel…many healers choose to just work with the south for example, and benefit people from the healing techniques from this stage, while those that move to the east, may use techniques from all stages

so you can go deep into it as you like.

 and when we do our personal work outside of that training, we may notice ourselves going through similar stages to those of the medicine wheel too…. some of us may find that, even before we had that framework of training and processes to hold and assist us, that we’ve been round phases similar to those in the medicine wheel in our lives. with the healing spiral ~ medicine wheel journey, however, with the training, we are held in sacred space to do so throughout that training, with many techniques and processes to assist and support us to do so.


some details of medicine wheel training held are here:  events and workshops~training.

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