This path is a hero’s journey. Your journey. It isn’t one of the monk or ascetic, contemplating in isolation in a mountaintop cave. Instead, this journey is one where you learn to stand in your power, fully aware and conscious, connected to the world and its beings. You reacquaint with your perfect, original self, no longer fated to live a life of quiet desperation. You learn to create your destiny and move the world closer to harmony and balance.
In the hero’s journey—as described by Joseph Campbell, played out in myths, and shown in numerous movies such as Star Wars—you hear the call and even though you might push snooze and ignore it for a while, eventually you simply cannot put it off it any longer. The need to grow is greater than the desire to be safe. And then you make that leap of courage and faith.
After you answer the call, you’re dismembered (metaphorically, of course) so that you emerge as your essential self, and you’re given a gift by God, an angel, or a messenger of Spirit. There are always amazing and precious gifts that are unique to you… and just what the community at large needs. In the final phase of that journey, you share your gifts with society.
Life calls us in so many ways and with varying degrees of urgency: a diagnosis of cancer, divorce, death of a loved one, or simply the barely audible but insistent inner voice that tells us there is more to life than what we’re presently doing. Often you suddenly become aware of a repeating pattern in your life or a fear that you simply cannot squelch. The container of your life has become
too tight and binding for you.
The Medicine Wheel journey begins in the South and continues clockwise through the remaining directions. More of a spiral than circle, you finish where you began, but as a healed and powerful person with self-knowledge.
In the South, you begin with the woundings of your past. The intention is not simply to understand them in the manner of modern psychotherapy, but to discover the source of the original wounding. For example, your worry about abandonment didn’t originate with the time your spouse or lover left you. It may have originated in childhood (as it did with this author) when your mother took your beloved blanket to wash it. Lacking understanding as an infant, you established a story that said whatever I love will be taken from me. The brilliance of the South direction is that you re-visit these original woundings to understand them and see the gift of how they may have served you as you developed and how they limit you now. You learn experientially, in a way you could never be taught by another, to source from this power as you release their hold over you. And then, like a snake, you shed the skin of your past identity in one swift movement.
Complicated creatures that we are, we often have several layers to shed, but each time you release a layer, your entire being becomes lighter and more joyous. Each layer you shed removes not only the wounding, but the energies and affinity to it within your subconscious. You become less likely to repeat
those stories and behaviors.
Does completing the Medicine Wheel mean that you’ll never be affected by the vicissitudes of life? Never get angry? Never fall back on old behaviors? Probably not. However, you find that you recover more quickly as you remember your power and move more quickly back into the center, the hub of the Medicine Wheel, that place of stillness. This heroic journey is your unique journey, your path to discovery. What you discover, in addition to your bright beautiful original self, is a tribe of likehearted
people who have also worked through their woundings, stepped into their power and completed their journeys. That support and friendship is immeasurable; each of you holding space for the world to heal, to come into balance and harmony, and to create a better future for all beings.