Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Medicine Wheel

Last June I built my Medicine Wheel. It is a permanent and very personal Wheel. It will no doubt change over the years, as I gather talismans presented to me by my allies. I built it in the early morning, waiting for the sun to pass over Grandfather Tree. Eagle even came to watch, letting me know that he would carry my intent to spirit. He spun a few concentric circles, and then went on with his day.

When Gray and I bought our home, we were both impressed by the huge tree growing in the backyard. It was the only tree, and of a kind neither of us could identify. Eventually, we learned it was a Sequoia, a species that is not indigenous to our northern area. But it is grand…very tall, with a trunk that seemed to grow upwards in a spiraling pattern. It exudes power.

It was struggling a bit when we came; we have fertilized and watered and Reiki’d it, and it has repaid us over and over. Last year, I felt we required a definitive ending to the lawn, from where the protected root area of the tree began. The cedar logs, originally used and discarded by previous owners, lay behind the fence…and we restored them, in a rather haphazard manner, around the tree. Immediately, the tree gained even more stature, if that were possible. And then, when we were rockscaping the back yard, we placed three very large boulders around the tree. Again, the gain in definition.

Then we left it. I knew full well there was more work to be done to honour the tree…but I needed to contemplate and speak with him. A season passed, and then two. Work that needed to be done in the yard had to be put aside while I nursed a hip injury. And then a lesson from Shaman Elder Maggie on the Medicine Wheel arrived. My musings and reality collided…where was I going to put a Medicine Wheel? The answer was obvious.

But would it harm the tree, me messing about among its roots? I wanted the grand old tree to know I felt the logs around it made a beautiful, personal wheel. I asked the tree to care for the plants I intended to place inside the wheel…much the same as it did for the baby sequoias that clustered around its trunk. It declared its happiness and joy with my plan by seeming to dance with the wind with much more gusto than ever.

I started by planting the boulders, to look as if they had been there for eons. I planted hosta and ferns, always apologizing and assuring Tree that I would not dig deep enough to injure the fine feeder roots, and then I filled the small pockets with the plants and compost and soil. As I planted, Wind blew thoughts into my awareness. It told me which talismans to use for the wheel. It told me we needed Wind chimes, to welcome crystal clear thoughts and ideas. Wind brings power, it tells me I can do anything, and gives me incentive. I knew I must honour Wind. Now, when I wander around my Medicine Wheel, the chimes softly speak, reminding me to pay my respects to the Wheel and Tree.

I chose talismans and tools I had received over the years to add power to the Wheel. The first, my scrying stone, is one I found on the beach. This is an oblong stone that time and sand and water created a tunnel into one end. I first learned of my scrying gift looking into the rain water that collected in the tunnel's pool. The blue glass rock that was left to me by my ex-husband’s mother, a rock given to her by a shaman from New Mexico, is nestled within a craggy fold in the tree’s trunk. There are seashells, pinecones, and birds nests clustered around the boulders. Tree tells me it requires a water feature in the West, and I become overwhelmed. I ask for help from my guides to help me find the features Grandfather Tree desires.

My guides send me dreams of my completed Medicine Wheel. I see a bench, made of stone, snuggled under the tree’s branches. I see it so clearly, I know it isn’t far away, and I know it will manifest soon. And it does. Only a few days further in time, and I find what I perceive at first to be the perfect rock bench. Wisdom was etched into the faces on the slabs of rock, but somehow I knew it was not the one that was destined for Grandfather Tree. My rock bench will be made by my own hands...perhaps not so different from the example the Universe sent me.

I was in a dream state while I worked, one in which I communed with the tree, rocks, plants and other objects. I used my intuition, and later discovered every talisman had been placed in the correct position. East, West, North and South...their properties were all honoured by the tools I was directed to place under Grandfather Tree.

The tree, already so powerful, became immensely so…a benevolent power, and one which aids both Gray and I in practicing Reiki, or in trance dreaming. It has a purpose now, and I can feel the relief, joy and peace emanating from our spiral Universal Tree.

Now that Winter has arrived, our meditations are taking place indoors. But, in the night, as I lie in bed waiting for sleep, I hear the Wind chimes singing their song, as if summoning my soul. As I drift into dreaming, Grandfather Tree, the Medicine Wheel beneath it, and the chimes are the ones that direct my dreams, that tell me stories of mankind.

Those dreams tell me which path to follow, as I continue my Shaman apprenticeship. And as I walk this sometimes rocky path, the Medicine Wheel is where I will go to find the answers I need...the Wheel and Grandfather Tree.