Understanding the Self
Medicine Wheels are tools to understand both relationships and balance.
Each Wheel is both a simple and sophisticated mirror to the Self and the world that illuminates, through its reflections, important information about ourselves and one another. There are many different Wheels, and the relationships between them deepen their teachings to those who are open to learn.
Read more to learn about Dr. Sichler's history as a student of the Medicine Wheels, approach as a teacher, and ways to develop a relationship to the Medicine Wheels in daily life.
Dr. Conrad Sichler is a former student and now colleague of Hyemeyohsts Storm, author of Seven Arrows and Lightningbolt, the first published books that shared the Medicine Wheels with the broader public. The teachings of the Medicine Wheels are a spiritual philosophy and an Earth science that teach about balance within the Self and within Creation.
A Lesson on the Self
A lesson on the Medicine Wheel, Interpreted by Dr. Conrad Sichler:
By now, many people may have seen a Wheel that is at least similar to the one pictured to the right.
To understand and begin an initial lesson on this wheel, there are a few things about this particular Wheel.
The Self is in the centre of the wheel. I have always found it funny that the term ‘self-centred’ has such a negative connotation. Is there anything wrong with having a ‘self’? Isn’t it desirable to be ‘centred’? If so, how can there be anything wrong with being centred in yourself? Paradoxically, when one is truly centred in the self (as opposed to having an egotistically over-inflated sense of self), it is easy to be generous and kind.
What aspects are there to the Self? And what are the relationships between them?
The teachings of balance within the Wheel are important here. The Spirit and the Body in this wheel are at opposite sides of the Wheel, and these two aspects of Self are in balance. Someone who is overly focused on their Spirit and has left the Body aside may find themselves having difficulty being grounded and attending to practical matters. And someone who has become seduced by an over-focus on their material form may lack meaning, value, and purpose in what they do and need inspiration about what, precisely, to do with themselves in this life. Interestingly, in the Element Wheel, fire is placed in the East, the same position of the Spirit. This helps us to illuminate what is meant when someone says that they are "burned out". It may be that they have pursued their spiritual leanings too avidly, past the point where their physical endurance can sustain them. In this case, they would need to reconnect with the needs of the body, and tend it until it recovers. Alternately, when someone has been too disconnected from their true inspirations and the desires of their essence in the pursuit of purely material aims, their flame (in the East) can burn low or even 'out'. In that case, they would need to reconnect with what truly 'sets them on fire' about being alive.
Similarly, the thinking Mind and the Emotions balance each another. Someone who lives in the dry confines of their own thinking Mind may be lacking the juiciness that a deeper engagement in their emotional lives could bring. And someone swamped by the Emotional part of themselves can often benefit from new mental perspectives and knowledge about the ebbs and flows of their feeling world.
When the Self can find a balance between Spirit, Body, Emotions, and Mind, it can be centred in itself and experience life in a good way.