A project I’ve been working on for at least a decade has finally come to fruition. After years of exploring wheels of life or medicine wheels, I’ve created a piece of folk, contemplative art for the times, printed on 100% organic cotton (natural color) using soy-based ink (teal, as seen above). It was printed by the awesome folks at Cream Design & Print, an awesome collective in Arizona.
Originally, I used this medicine wheel as a guide for a few 5-day back-country retreats in Yosemite. Each day we faced a new direction and stretched our limbs. At night we used the wheel to guide our discussions and introspective activities under the endless, star-filled sky. It was on these back-country trips that I realized how medicine wheels, which are guideposts for the soul, are accessed for soul growth and personal/community reflection.
(Scroll to the very bottom of this post to find out how to win a free, 1-hour consultation!)
Teachers, elders, and healers such as Elina Avila, Jeanette Armstrong, Starhawk, and Laura Van dernoot Lipsky inspired my work. As well, I drew from the book, ‘The Sacred Tree,’ which was created to support First Peoples who happened to be dealing with substance abuse issues.
It doesn’t surprise me that a book about the traditional medicine wheel would help those dealing with substance abuse issues, either. Medicine wheels have always been used to orient oneself, to guide the soul on its journey, and to reconnect a person with their own narrative within the greater current of life.
In terms of soul-work, medicine wheels open the mind to the spiral flow of time, allowing us to tap into archetypal concepts. It is with these age-old concepts that we find our place in the wheel of life.
Each direction of the wheel of life I’ve created is host to a contemplative question, themes, a psycho-spiritual action, and a creature or spirit guide.
Over the years, I’ve had some really powerful dreams of certain creatures. This is how I chose the creature or guide for each direction of the medicine wheel.
Hawk provides us with an overarching vision and the ability to see the whole picture. It is from this place that we can figure out what needs attention in our life. Hawk flies above and rides thermals until it has spotted its prey. Then, with attention and focus it dives down for its catch. Hawk’s energy catapults us into the each turning of the wheel.
Skunk is keeper of the transformative and creative powers of the south. It teaches us to honor ourselves (our gifts) and walk our own walk because no one else can do this for us. It also teaches us the importance of healing, integrating, or transforming old wounds so that creative/life energy can flow. As you well know, its reputation is strong in the animal world because it has fully embraced its stink (the dark and the light side).
Snake teaches us the importance of coiling up in the earth for safety and rest. It also teaches us the importance of shedding our skin for renewal and personal growth. Indeed, if the skin is not shed or the snake is caught in the shedding skin, death is surely a result. For people, this can cause a soul death or the loss of a part of our soul due to incomplete personal process. Snake can guide us through the difficulty of parting with a part of our life to make room for new growth.
Whale is the great record-keeper, storing the narratives of all times in its dark, cavernous body. Whale shows us the way to our ancestors as well as our ancestral myths and stories. When we connect with these narratives, we connect with a living language that speaks so the life questions we are living out. Without this connection to the ancestors, our life lacks context, connection, and continuity. Whale teaches us to remember.
With each bandana, you will receive a piece of paper outlining ways to use the contemplative art for soul growth and repair. However, some of you may intuitively come up with ways to integrate this contemplative art into your personal life; go for it. Either way, the medicine wheel can be used on your own solitary hikes, walks, and travels or it can be used in a group therapy setting.
I’m doing a limited printing of these bandanas. They will be available to ship out by October 15, 2018.
If you are interested in purchasing one, you can pre-order at this time. They will be $28 each (that includes shipping cost).
HOW TO ORDER
PAYPAL – Send $28 to email@example.com using paypal money transfer or you can click the donate button (paypal as well) to the right of your screen. Make sure to write “bandana” in the description section of your transaction.
Please email me your mailing address when you are done at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will respond letting you know I received your order!
CHECK – You can also mail me a check. Just email me at the email address above and we’ll go from there.
I WILL DRAW FIVE NAMES to win a free 1-hour consultation using the medicine wheel from the pool of the first 30 purchasers (there are only 60 bandanas being printed).