"To the East, the place of insight and rebirth, I send a prayer.
To the West, the place of death and wisdom, I send a voice.
To the North, the place of clarity and cleansing, I offer respect.
To the South, the place where Amaru, the serpent spirit, dwells and teaches healing and the spiritual powers of plants in the green place of reproduction and regeneration, I sing a song.
To the Four Winds, I cast my spirit, open my heart, release my soul, and surrender to my destiny.
Grant me the wisdom to understand the sacred in nature."
---J.E.Williams, The Andean Codex, Adventures and Initiations Among The Peruvian Shamans.
The medicine wheel at Heartwood offers a place to meditate, reflect, and hold discussions about the wisdom available through nature's teachings. Heartwood offers programs to explore the basic teachings of shamanism to help students mine the inherent wisdom of nature's spirits in ways that can be applied to life today so students and guests can forge deeper connections with their heritage, personal nature and place in the grand web of life. We offer retreats and workshops that include shamanic journeys, ceremonies, soul retrievals, and learning opportunities that introduce the power of nature as a tool for healing, self discovery, and connection to the spirit.
While medicine wheels differ from different shamanic practices, each with poignant symbolism and meaning, the wheel at Heartwood follows the methodology of Sun Bear and the symbolism of native american shamanism. Each stone set on the peramitor represents one of the 28 seasonal moons, and the stones separating the colored quadrants represent nature's spirits and healing energies. Our stones are tagged with small labeling rocks to invite visitors to explore the symbolism and meaning of this wheel and to make it easy to learn about the wheel and how it can assist one's meditation and personal spiritual quest.
The wheel was built in several stages, first by preparing the land and aligning it to the polar gravity of the earth and stars. Members of our spiritual community later joined together to place the stones in a new moon ceremony, following the traditional spirit honoring tradition of placing a wheel for sacred purposes with prayers, spirit offerings, and harmonious hands working together (despite the rain that joined us that evening!) We built the surrounding benches and finished off the pathway and labels last, striving to make this medicine wheel a welcoming space for people to gather, talk, meditate and learn.