The World in Which We Live – West
In the Native American world, wheels or circles have been used since the ancient times as tools for teaching the ways of the Universe. Nothing is seen as linear for the idea of a linear existence is considered to be an illusion. There is no “beginning” or “end.” There is simply a change of reference points.
Learning of the Universe through wheels offers a way to perceive how one form of life is completely interconnected with all other life: flowing, changing, and reaching out to touch all forms of all things with beauty. All the wheels of the Sweet Medicine SunDance Path spin and interconnect with one another in this way.
Each of the aspects we are about to explore sit on a wheel. When we look at a single wheel, e.g. the Season Wheel, we have the opportunity to learn about the specific items in each direction: spring in the south, winter in the west, autumn in the north, summer in the east, and the solstices and equinoxes in the center. Understanding one wheel at a time exhibits one level of knowledge. Deeper teachings beckon us as we overlay wheels to investigate the interrelationships of the myriad of aspects that all sit in one direction. It is through the overlays and interrelationships of energy that we can begin to know, honor, and be in harmony with the world in which we live.
We started with the South direction of the wheel here.
Moving to the West direction, we continue our exploration of the world in live in…
The element of earth sits in the west, joined by the season of winter, the mineral world, the Earth as the heavenly body, our body and physical as our human aspect, and the self-expression of introspection, intuition, change, and death.
The stability and endurance of the Earth is song the West direction sings, and what does this better than the element of earth? From the tiniest grain of sand to the monumental Himalayas, both speak to us about stability and endurance.
Winter calls the earth and its inhabitants into itself, into ourselves, for a time on introspection and death. As the earth slows down and sleeps, we live off her abundant autumnal harvest. As our outer activity also slows, we drop into our inner world, our wombs and spirit wombs, to hear the wisdom of our intuition. We identify what needs to change and die within us, what needs to be composted, so to speak, so that the seeds we dream into fruition have fertile ground to root and grow. What dreams and seeds will align us with the earth’s stability and endurance?
From the sands and soils that soak up the waters, to the rocks and stones that hold the transformative heat for a purification lodge, or the gems and precious gems, the crystals, or mixed ores and metals, the mineral world teaches us to hold and transform energy. The mineral world also teaches us that substance is merely, primarily and basically a container, a vessel for spirit. Similarly, our physical body, with all of the minerals that make up our structure or support its functioning, is also a vessel for spirit. We are spirit having a human experience.
When we are aligned with the west energies of holding and transforming with intimacy, our dance or choreography is balanced in our physical aspect and the gift of the universe (the huaqua) to us is health.