Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Seven Clans

Wow! I can’t believe that in the last three years, I haven’t written a single blog on the topic of “the seven clans” of the Medicine Wheel. For the last two months our Montreal circle has been exploring the subject. I think it’s the first time in fifteen years that I ask my students to go out into the World and experience the clans first hand.

“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:
• Father
• Mother
• Grand-Mother
• Turtle
• Frog
• Thunder Being
• Butterfly

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.


Anonymous said...

I am in this photo, standing in the back wearing the wht/blk dress. I am from the Thunderbeing Clan.


Lili said...

Hi Lisa, Love this blog can you share these to facebook for others to read. I think they would find it interesting.
BY the way there are a couple of us ANGELS in the pic...
I like ANGEL clan. I spoke with Deb and Michelle about the clans yesterday and added its only now i realised that my perspective is not ALWAYS the best one....but it JUST appears as though it IS.
What can i say???? Things always seem logical to me. There is an ANGEL way to do things and awkward ways to do things....LOL....we are in the Initiator Wind right?
LOVE Leanne

Lili said...

THANK YOU for sharing :-)

Michelle said...

Do our clans come at birth? The reason I ask is some of my kids exibit other clan traits but I think they are Butterfly I have one who is Thunderbeing but I havent seen this in him yet...well maybe at times I have lol I like knowing the clans of the people around me it gives you more to work with or listening to their perspective seeing where it comes from. Awesome Blog!

Anonymous said...

I'm in the photo, I believe I am butterfly clan.

Kate said...

I'm grandmother clan and laughed when you said we like to pay attention to our looks...I always joke that I'm vain. But I'm not really joking! I want to look good damn it!

Anonymous said...

LOL,, Kate,, you're too funny

Sublime said...

I am Turtle Clan.
I can identify with the part when you talked about change.
I know at work I don't like change to much. For instance if we have a program we have to learn, I would feel like I finally just learned something and got it down pack and I would get to a stage of feeling comfortable. But then the program changes, it becomes obsolete and we have to learn a new program, I hate it when this happens. I feel stressed and anxiety when things change suddenly and fast, especially when i wasn't planned for it. There are times I don’t mind change, as it could be exciting and renewing, it’s just that I like a bit of notice, or to be able to test the waters so to speak... I don't like to be pushed or caught off guard.
Also I have been looking at my work history and I noticed I have a tendency to take jobs for the long haul. I usually stay in a job for at least 5 years. After 5 years that’s usually when I start to feel bored. But I don’t like to go search for a new job, because I feel comfortable and secure with eh one I have.. sometimes looking for a new job seems like there are to many choices and unsecure and risky too.
I am not too sure if that’s part of turtle clan or maybe a moon . but I thought they were connected.

Useless information. Yep I know some. But it’s not like I am an encyclopedia, it; just a few things here and there never really connecting with other stuff. For example; Dandelions, were never really part of Alberta, they were imported here so people could make dandelion wine. Also, another fact or piece of information I came across about Rats. They can are known for their leaping skills. They can climb telephone wires and leap across to a tree and then leap into your second story window.

Wheelkeeper said...

Its funny, I posted a comment and it didn't show up... so I will try again..

Whenever I read another interpretation of my Clan, Butterfly, I always get some new insight. Its true that I have lived so many lives in one... and that we can live long because we are always being reborn... We literally renew our entire bodies with each phase. It keeps us young.

I am the one in the red blouse and headband sitting on the stone.


P.S. I came to read the blog on my dream and it disappeared. Its a repetition. What is the message.... Am I disappearing lately???

4cougar said...

I'm the other angel :) I have found it interesting recently to look at the clans that surround me and explore the clans through my personal story. I am pretty sure that I grew up with at least 6 of the clans in the same family! As an angel, I want order, a sort of perfection and harmony...and I believe it wouldn't be so hard...if people could just get on board! And yet I'm a sort of splat! mix of a creature and angel isn't the only voice in my world ;)
Enjoying the exploration!

4cougar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
4cougar said...

oops...posted twice by accident, deleted one, but it still shows up...


Anonymous said...

I love the clan entry. It reminded me of one thing that came to me one day about competing. I think we focus too much attention today on competition and need to remember that we are our own best competitiors and no one can competewith us really, in the space we are breathing in at any moment. We really need to remind people that competition is a great tool if not overdone...its meant to show us how far we've come in our own competitiveness with ourselves. Loves always, SW

Howling Wolf said...

Can't find a lot of additional info on these clans. Suggestions?, links?

Anonymous said...

This entry fills me with such curiosity what a great way to see humanity....Are you chosen by a clan or do you pick it on your own? What is the space of these clans? Is it heaven or a grand council do they govern areas of earth? So many questions...