North Medicine.

So with this current empty feeling, and “white season” we are on the north side of the medicine wheel. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, the medicine wheel is a very common practice and symbol in the Native world. The circle itself is very healing to us (representative of the earth, being connected) but also embodies the four directions that represent the four sacred things throughout life. These definitely change depending on which tribe you are referring to, as each has their own take on the wheel. The main colors are white, yellow, black and red which some say is a representation of the different races, but it changes once again with each tribe.

  • Stages of life: birth, youth, adult (or elder), death
  • Seasons of the year: spring, summer, winter, fall
  • Aspects of life: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical
  • Elements of nature: fire (or sun), air, water, and earth
  • Animals: Eagle, Bear, Wolf, Buffalo and many others
  • Ceremonial plants: tobacco, sweet grass, sage, cedar

medicinewheel2

This is also what the Zia closely resembles that is present on the New Mexico flag, and why I have it tattooed on me. Moving on, we are in the north season on the medicine wheel which would be the white section. I was with some lovely friends last week venting about life problems, and how I have been longing for summer which they agreed. I feel very “off” in the winter, very internal, and almost as if I am unable to communicate; everything is silent. That’s when it hit me, and I remembered my studies of the medicine wheel, and what winter is supposed to be.

I believe that the earth silents itself because we too need to become silent with it. It is a time for everything to almost shut down, and internalize. It’s a time for spiritual reflection, for contemplation, and to think of the coming months when we will act on our newfound feelings and rebuild. When you are forced to sit silently with yourself, and “contemplate” it’s not the greatest. I feel panicky, confused, and lost. I long for summer days where I’m much more certain, carefree, and loving. After remembering my upbringing, and the how the medicine wheel is truly just a reflection of what our spirit, earth, and bodies go through, I feel much calmer. This is why the medicine wheel is exactly that; it is medicine because it helps us understand “us” a little better.

No I don’t always appreciate this time of year, and it really doesn’t excite me sometimes to reflect and push myself through spiritual change. But, moments like these past few weeks where things are coming to light, I’m figuring out what I want to do, and where I somewhat want to go is exciting! Shedding old skin is exciting, and feeling slight shifts of the east spring air coming in is a relief! If you are feeling internal, thoughtful, or maybe emotional while all of this snow is on the ground, or as the icy air hits your face it’s because it is natural. Let your spirit sort through these times to prepare for our new seasons, and to put your newfound idea’s into action.

-haley.

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