When SO decided to do her thesis for her master's degree she planned to write about "wellbeing" and it's importance in our Shamanic community. She discovered while interviewing members that wellbeing wasn't so much of a central theme. After reading her thesis, all 98pages of it, I realized that wellbeing was indeed an important topic but never really the goal for any of the participants. It seemed to me that even though the focus moved from Sacred Circle Tradition, to dreaming, to inter-relationships, to initiations etc... every attitude, choice and behavior or action was done with wellbeing in mind. I do believe that whomever commits to Shamanism wants to be well which means wants to be healthy, to be whole, to be at peace. Yet, it's true the shamanic path isn't the easiest path to take and so in many ways the difficulties of dealing with issues, with old programs, with past lives, with ghosts, with negative energy etc... doesn't exactly spell out comfort. Still does being comfortable mean being well?
Joseph Raël, an Pueblo elder once said "wellbeing is a Spiritual quest. Spirituality isn't about acquiring matter although it's potentially possible, it's about looking for wellbeing."
If I look back at my own reasons for walking a shamanic path I'd say "Raël may have something..." I was certainly looking for stability, answers and inner peace. I was seeking purpose. I wanted to be inspired by my Earth Walk.
Raël explains in quite a few of his books that "we are born from inspiration and we are constantly looking to be inspired." I think that's true. He mentions that inspiration is power and that when we have this kind of power we are full and driven.
On the Medicine Wheel, all is born in the East where the sun rises and hence, everything is conceived in the NE where we find the morning star. In the NE is where resides the Firekeeper. This wind or breath of life is about fire, fuel for our different bodies (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual). Where the physical body needs food and sleep, the emotional body needs pleasure and pain; the mental body needs thoughts and memories; and the spiritual body needs inspiration and communication with all things. The Firekeeper is all about desire, needs, wants, intentions etc.. Fire is where life begins.
For me the Medicine Wheel needs to be a practical tool. I need to constantly be able to apply it to my life. I like to see it in action around me and hear it teach me. Recently in another entry in this blog - I talked about our society lacking in readiness. Perhaps, I could have said instead that our society boils over with heat but doesn't know how to be disciplined with fire. We want, we need, we flood over with ideas etc... but we can't seem to follow the full cycle that fire gives us access to. We want without getting; we need without ever feeling fulfilled; and we may have lots of ideas but we never accomplish anything. Fire is at the start of the Wheel and not the whole Wheel...
Every day I wake up around 4:00am. My body naturally awakens at that time as it does for so many people. It doesn't mean that I don't go back to sleep for a few hours after I've been to the bathroom or just looked at the clock. 4:00am is when my body starts preparing for the day. It's proof that my body follows a cycle of life without my mind needing to tell it what to do.
The Firekeeper is a gestational period. It's where we get inspired. It's where we prepare for the next 24 hours to come. Lots of people come to me to understand their dreams. They usually tell me that their best dreams occur in early morning, between 4 and 6 am. It's clear that part of preparing for the day means dreaming about it. I've noticed that 8 out of 10 dreams received during these early morning hours accurately and precisely tell us what we need to be ready for - to have a good day!
The Medicine Wheel supported by synchronicities, visions and dreams tells us over and over again that our main purpose on Earth is to be as aware and as committed to our life story as we can possibly be. It all starts with FIRE and then, it moves around the wheel one breath at a time...
*Inspired by some quick reading through Joseph Raël's book "The Way of Inspiration."