Women’s Wisdom Circle – Fourth Year
The Turning of the Medicine Wheel*
We walk the Medicine Wheel many times in our life, each time coming to acquire more of the bounty of the direction, as we become more aligned with our true self. Each direction has it’s challenges (shadows), it’s opportunities, it’s blessings and gifts. We can tell where we are walking on the wheel at any given time by the nature of our experiences. When we add consciousness to the mix, our discovery of the gifts in the situation happens much more readily, our path softened by the infusion of our spirit’s awareness. As we access the Wise Woman within, and learn to focus on our walk from the perspective of her wisdom, the light of self-realization appears with ease, and we are more and more blessed all the time.
This year is our fourth turning of the circle and represents a full cycle. The first year in Wisdom Circle here in Sacramento, we started in the north. That was very unusual for both Sonya and Dena, as we had been both taught to always begin in the east. Spider came to us in the first ceremony when we were dedicating ourselves to doing this circle in the right way. Spider showed us that for this circle we would start in the north, in the place of the elders, and the wisdomkeepers. Our circle was dedicated at its inception to awakening (strengthening, listening to, and honoring) the wise woman within each woman that ever attended. The place of that wise woman is in the north.
The second year we traveled the circle in the east, awakening our spiritual connections. In the third year, we grounded ourselves in our physical reality, and traversed the circle on the path of this reality’s duality, the yin and yang, the gifts and the shadows of our existance – for our centeredness comes when we embrace all of ourselves.
This, our fourth year – the year of the snake, we walk from the west back to the north. It is an emotionally led path, and each quarter is marked by connecting through our emotions and feelings, thereby tying together all of the previous years experiences and epiphanies. In the spring we move through anchoring to our truth in an individual way. The circle shrank in numbers attending, yet the strength of all of those having previously attended anchored us to our core as mostly in solo travel each woman called upon her own wise woman. This time was one of getting our individual sea-legs, coccooning and many even isolating as they faced their own personal challenges.
As we headed toward the south of the western circle, we build our own tools of self-empowerment. For some this is physical tools like a medicine rattle or drum. For others this is a meditative or prayerful practice, or some physical fitness thing like bicycling or swimming. Simply put it is the tools that empower us as we learn to lean on our own spine, breathe, and walk in the world fully connected to our own inner wise-woman.
Summer solstice marks the beginning of the switch from solo individual emphasis to individual within community, as an integral part of community. And Fall equinox we will head toward the completion of the cycle. Each woman, every participant will be called upon to share their gifts as they have fully embodied their wise self.
The 4th year, even more than the previous three, participants were encouraged to share in the development of the circles ceremonies. Every one has something to offer, and it is a blessing indeed when they do.
Honesty – Self Realization (Powerlessness)
Hope – Belief – Discovering our own creation story (Cause of suffering)
March 20th at Picollo Pastures (Saturday)
Faith – Internalization (Surrender, Letting go)
Courage – Taking Stock (8 fold path)
Integrity – Right Speech (Rattling clear)
June 19th at Picollo Pastures (Saturday)
Willingness – Right Intention (Community connection)
Humility – Right view (Fellowship)
Love – Forgiveness (Kindness)
September 18th at Picollo Pastures (Saturday)
Balance – Integration (Living amends)
Perseverance – Daily Asanas (5 precepts)
Spirituality – Mindfulness (Prayer and Meditation)
December 18th at Picollo Pastures (Saturday)
Service – Completion of the circle (Sangha)
*The 4th years wheel is based in part on information gleaned from Sacred Connections. Our thanks to that source