Our property is criss-crossed with game trails. When Snow arrives in the Spring, all the trails are delineated...it looks very like Hobbit pathways throughout. As cold as it is right now, all over British Columbia, the dogs and I cannot resist following those trails, in the early morning, before Snow melts.
As a result, I have found many paths that I may not have been aware of so easily, had we not had Snow overnight.
And down one of those trails, coming from a hillock covered with Berry bushes and other delicious plants yet to be identified, the dogs and I came upon a very large Boulder, which completely blocks the path.
I noticed immediately that the Boulder had been there for a long age...it was covered in Lichen and Moss, and his base was deeply grounded. I was interested in the Plant life covering it and knew I would have to later bring my camera to take pictures of the configurations all over the surface of this Rock.
In order to go around the Boulder, I had to push my way through Rose Bushes which grew very close to him. I stumbled a bit, and placed my hand on his surface for balance...and received a powerful, very warm jolt of energy. Taking my hand away, and caught in the Roses, I stared at the Rock in wonder.
And then I noticed the ring of Stones, covered in Moss, which surrounded the bigger Boulder.
Oh! Had I stumbled upon an ancient Medicine Wheel?
The Circle was still intact, but the larger Stones, the ones which would have been placed for honouring each direction, were piled off to the side. Old, crumbling branches had been gathered and heaped, barely visible now through Aspen Tree, Rose and Berry bushes.
This large Rock is directly in line with and just below The Bench. There is a distinctive Fir tree close by, his Bark shining golden in Sun's rays, the only Tree which shines like this that I have noticed so far. It is easy to notice the Tree; I had wondered what his kind was, when I saw him from the deck of the house.
Suddenly, all the small pointers, blazes and Altars I have found on the Trails made some sense. Again, these are in a direct line to the Rock. Did they once designate the way to the large Stone? Or were they small offerings to honour Mother Earth along the way to the gathering place?
Long ago, the Native peoples would have followed the game trails, hunting Wildlife and gathering Berries. This land was tended by them, just as a farmer would tend his crops. They were expert at it, pruning the Saskatoon berries, and using the whip-like branches for baskets. They would use controlled fires, close to Rivers and Creeks, to rejuvenate the growth on the land.
The Natives knew their land and what was required to honour it, thereby honouring Spirit.
A Medicine Wheel, put very simply, is the demarcation of Sacred space, a holy place where all are reminded to live in harmony with all life. These Stones, then, mark a vortex of energy where all life is honoured, and joined in the Wheel of Life; the unending Spiral or Circle or Wheel of interdependence. It is a space to honour oneness with all Beings.
In the centre of the Wheel is a large Stone...one that represents Spirit. And then there are four more Boulders, which are gateways to the four directions...North, South, East and West. These hold archetypes and patterns to life. There would be more Stones, more lines, their meaning clear to the builders of the Wheel.
Each element of the Wheel holds a different meaning...and it takes years, sometimes, to understand the deeper significance. When I built my Medicine Wheel, I felt directed to use Grandfather Tree as representing Spirit. He did not let me down, but I lived there for a couple of years before I understood him and what he was about. I had only begun on the directions and their meanings in my life.
Whether or not this large Stone marks a spot once considered sacred is of small consequence to me. I feel he was utilized for something...he may have given warmth and shelter to travellers through the land, as he is situated at the bottom of two hillocks, giving surcease from the North Wind. Or, perhaps, he was a Stone who children learned to climb upon, sitting on his warm back in the strong Sunshine.
He was left here by Glaciers; I know he has many stories to tell, if he would share with me. I have only recently met him; this morning, in below-freezing temperatures, when I laid my hand upon his back, again, he felt warm...and again, he sends a warm, energetic flow.
And lately, my dreams have been extremely vivid...extremely telling. Have I met this large Boulder before, in another reality? And will he invite me in?
I imagine I will clear the area a little...keep it cut back, when Spring arrives. There are ticks about.
Because I believe I will be visiting this large Rock many times over, during the time I spend here.