Thursday, May 5, 2011
The Seven Clans
“Look at people and see which clan they can belong to; or look at behaviors and attitudes and try to connect them to one of the Clans.”
We often speak of the clans as the seven faces of Creator. In Christianity or Judaism God can be angry, impatient, judgmental and destructive; but he can also be merciful, compassionate, forgiving and loving. The Medicine Wheel may not personalize Creator in the same way many Religions do, yet in many ways it accomplishes the same end result where we can see ourselves as children of divinity.
Often in non-traditional circles the seven clans are understood as archetypes. Each clan holds particular attributes, describes different personalities and has different perspectives towards life, issues, challenges, relationships etc… In traditional circles the Clans often imply that there are seven species of humanity or like I said in an earlier paragraph – seven faces of Creator. Once you start observing anything and everything in your environment you start believing that there could be seven species of trees, ravens, bears, cars and even umbrellas. It may sound strange; but truthfully the Clans basically convey the message that Creator knew what he/she was doing when he/she created the Earth in 7 days. All perspectives hold merit and can apply to the Wheel. It all depends on how you’ve experienced the Clans for yourself.
The seven clans of the Medicine Wheel are:
• Thunder Being
The Father Clan is all about order, rules and perfection. My husband who’s definitely Father Clan often says: “There is a right way to use everything. It isn’t about perspective, it’s about maximum performance.” Father Clan people are protective and careful. They are unceasingly thinking and planning. Life comes around set up on a calendar, scheduled in such a way that it can be experienced moment by moment in its own box.
Mother Clan people are all about sensing. JP who without a shred of a doubt is from the Mother Clan says that for her, life is about texture, flavors and sensations. In childhood she once swallowed buttons because they were small, colorful like candy and looked “yummy.” Carried away by the story in her mind she ate every single one. I’ve watched JP in the kitchen how she likes to have her hands into everything. Mother Clan people don’t mind being sticky and stinky. There’s something about experiencing life from the point of view of senses that appeals to them.
Definitely there’s more to the Clans than what I’m sharing in this blog entry. I’m just giving you a quick superficial overview, guiding the way so to speak. I’m sure that with the help of my short descriptions you’ll be able to recognize some people in your life and nod along with me, suddenly becoming more aware that indeed there are seven species of humans or countless seven species of creatures on our Planet.
On Friday in our Montreal circle, we were discussing our findings on the seven clans. It was quite wonderful to listen to everyone’s stories. KM who’s a real estate agent mentioned how she noticed that many of her co-workers were of the Frog clan. Real estate is a cutthroat business and people in the field are very competitive. Success techniques vary from one agent to another but one thing is for sure for the Frog people, it’s all about who is going to beat the system; the other agents or real estate houses; and their own monthly quotas. The focus is always on doing better, getting more and eventually being the best. KM said that whenever Frog people talk they always try to stuff you with egotistic mumbo jumbo about how they are so fantastic at their job. We often say that many of the Olympic athletes or star athletes are from the Frog Clan: Huge competitors.
JP who from the Earth clan said that she too gets very competitive at times. I mentioned that all clans can be competitive but it’s how individuals approach competition through motive or action that tells us which clan people are from. I’ve never seen JP or anyone else from the Earth clan brag continuously about their achievements. They’ll be proud but usually it’s not something they advertize. JP agreed that it would be a challenge for her to take center stage during a party and talk continuously about her accomplishments. Frog Clan people wouldn’t have a problem with that…
There’s so much to learn from observing people and their Clan. For example Grand-Mother Clan people give a lot of attention to the way they look. They like to be eccentric and love mystery and darkness. There’s no competition for these individuals because they believe it’s impossible for them to be beaten. This clan loves beauty and abundance.
The Turtle Clan People are the Keepers of Stories and Ancestry. They are the collectors or archivists. They are usually those people in a crowd who can share random information on the most bizarre topics. They have hobbies. JA who’s from the Turtle Clan got into fishing almost a decade ago. At first he was just curious and responding to a call; but with time it became almost an obsession. Turtle Clan people can be driven. When they dedicate to a cause they do it for the long haul.
Thunder Beings usually catch our attention most of all. They can be diva queens and kings. Like the Turtle people they don’t like change unless they’ve prepared for it. Where the Turtle people will adapt and accept, the Thunder Beings will argue and complain about it. Thunder Beings can be extremely stubborn. They need the time to think and figure things out. If you try to impose your ideas on them, they’ll buck and definitely walk or run away. These individuals don’t necessarily like the center stage many are quite introverted and timid; but at some point or another they do end up unexpectedly in the middle of drama.
The last Clan is called Butterfly. MR and I both share this Clan. People will say, that “it’s hard to tell that we share the same Clan because we are very different from one another.” I’ve always said that MR is a lot more “flaky” than I am and I don’t mean this as a judgment. In the ‘70’s for example she once traveled barefoot – plane and all. She blames it on the hippie influence. Hippie or not you have the personality to carry this kind of personality trait. Butterfly People like Grand-Mother Clan People like eccentricity. Yet unlike the Grand-Mother Clan it doesn’t become their identity. Butterfly People are shape shifters. They experiment through all kinds of attitudes, attributes and behaviors like moving through the caterpillar, cocooning and butterfly phase. Life is too short for these people. By the time they reach the elder experience of their life --- they feel like they’ve lived a few life times in one. Amazingly their story can actually confirm that it is possible like in Buddha’s time to live 500 years and keep going…
To be honest it would easy to write a short book on the topic and give you countless examples. These are the people in our lives; the characters who move through our personal story; and the individuals we care for and love. They are also the people who drive us crazy. It’s because we have seven clans that we often end up in conflict or like human history has shown us – at war. I’ve come to understand that the more we learn about the Clans the easier it gets to figure out our mates, our children and friends. We can better manage our relationships if we know about Clans and build teams, communities or circles that work. Who knows we may even build a World one day that understand what it means to be at peace?
P.S. If you are reading MY BLOG -- please take the time to become one of my "Followers" --- it's not a must but it would be great to see how many of us are sitting in this circle. HAU!
P.P.S. I couldn't find a photo with 7 people. Yet, I think that in this particular picture these individuals actually identify a different Clan. If you recognize yourself in this photo leave me a comment about your Clan.