Monday, July 30, 2012

The Sixteen Gateways to the Medicine Wheel (part 1).

It’s been a wonderful summer: Lots of sun and heat.  It’s the kind of summer I remember enjoying as a child and teenager; but ironically haven’t witnessed since my children were born.   When I was growing up my grandfather often compared his childhood with mine; showing me each time how much our worlds were different. I loved listening to his stories because they invited me into the unknown where I could imagine a life without a refrigerator, television or even cars.  Recently, I’ve been noticing how much my life has been different then the life of my children.  It’s no longer difficult to understand the Mayan perspective that all it takes for the world to change is 52 years.

In August of 2012 we’ll be celebrating a Blue Moon.  This event occurs approximately every 3 years when there are two Full Moons in the same month.  The second Full Moon of the month is what we refer to as a Blue Moon.  For as long as I’ve participated to Medicine Wheel Circles, we’ve always celebrated the Blue Moon with a ceremony; which is about crossing two of the sixteen gates; which lead to the Dream Time realms:  One outer gate and one inner gate.  Depending on the gates we cross, our experience is meant to decide our journey for the next 3 years until the next Blue Moon.  It’s understood amongst traditional people that within 52 years you should experience approximately 16 give or take a year – Blue Moons… 

Notice the genius and sacredness or medicine (power) within these numbers. Change occurs through a process of sixteen steps or sixteen challenges; which give us access to sixteen divine teachings.

Since spring many of the participants who are coming to the Great Gathering (a workshop we give every year) have been preparing for their Blue Moon experience.  For many it implies getting to know the gates; and choosing two gates to cross.  It’s also about asking questions and gathering knowledge as well as opening up to the experience each gate can offer. 

You don’t have to be an initiate of a Shamanic path or even part of our circle / community to be interested in the Ceremony of crossing the gates; which is done every Blue Moon.  In fact the Blue Moon phenomenon is a cosmological event; which affects everyone and every thing on Earth.  For a great majority of people crossing the gates is simply unconscious experience as well as its results.

I definitely encourage everyone to learn more about the Medicine Wheel and it’s different teachings because it allows an expansion in consciousness that is no doubt well worth the time and effort. 

Like anything in Shamanism it’s not enough to simply theoretically understand the meaning behind each gate; but it’s also crucial to back up knowledge with experience.   During the ceremony, a gatekeeper whose role is to initiate and celebrate the individuals who attempt to cross their gates protects each gate.  Along with bringing an offering every participant to the ceremony is asked to be ready to face a challenge.  

In traditional shamanic circles these gates are understood as very real doorways that we can regularly cross in order to shift reality.  Some traditionalists will speak of these “black holes” as bound to specific geological sites.  Dreamers in particular will refer to gateways as belonging to “no-man’s land:”  A reality that is not of our human world and not attached to our earthly principles.  Mages, Witches, Sorcerers, Shamans, Priests and Priestesses etc… have talked about these gateways for millenniums often referring to these gates as a veil between worlds or realities.

Life constantly brings us to “change” and every time we allow a shift in our life whether it be about “inner or external transformations” we are crossing one of the sixteen gateways of the Sacred Circle.

The first eight gateways – outer gates

·      Spider (fears)
·      Deer (choices)
·      Lizard (conjuring)
·      Coyote (trickster)
·      Raven (the world of in-between)
·      Snake (sexuality, sensuality, seduction)
·      Owl (death)
·      Dolphin (love)

The last eight gateways --- inner gates

·      Eagle (guidance)
·      Dinosaur (extinction)
·      Bison (family, community, nation)
·      Wapiti (not having any choices)
·      Turtle (storytelling)
·      Wolf (path finder, the way of the pack)
·      Thunderbird (destruction/construction/creation)
·      Orca (determination)

There’s no doubt that “change” is part of our daily living; but no matter how many changes we come across in life there are as many “consistent, repetitive ribbons” threading through life.  The gateways bring us both to change and to the awareness of the timeless consciousness behind it. 

The gateways basically ask us the question: “Are we ready to explore stillness and movement; and their countless teachings and lessons?”

P.S.  Part 2 “The Sixteen Gateways of the Medicine Wheel” is being written as we speak.  I’d like to give you a more empirical and personal description of the gateways.  If you have any questions mean time – please don’t hesitate to ask or share. 


Gypsymoon said...

Question: Even with this blue moon in 2012 we choose two gates to cross through? The Bison gate being a collective gate, so no matter what I am experiencing that gate as a community. Of the two gates is one of the inner and one of the outer? I do believe I got the impression that we can experience the gate now even before the full moon, does that mean if we pass the gate now, it won't come up again at the blue moon? Is the blue moon gate the one that we will need the three years to work on?

Oh that is a big question.... more like three questions in one!

Thx for your time and energy Lisa.


MaryRose Lessoway said...

Brandy - you cross two gates , one outer and one inner, in that order. Plus we all are supposed to go through the bison gate as a collective.

You will be experiencing different gates up until the blue moon , but the ones you are passing through now might not be the ones you go through in the end . The universe is bringing us chances to explore all of the gates.

The ones that we do go through will be evident for the next three years. Going through a gate means we get to live the abundance of that dream space. If we get stuck at one gate we can try another one , but we only get one chance at each gate.

If you don't get through the first gate, you are not allowed to try a second gate.
If we don't make it through any gates or make through the first and not the second one, we take the next three years to prepare to go through on the next blue moon in 2015.. or you have one year to keep trying to get through a gate because they will remain open for one year.

Hope that answers your questions!

Gypsymoon said...

Will spirit guide you to the two gates you are meant to try on the Blue moon, or do you have full control over the pick and if you don't make it through its because you picked wrong? How much free will is here, I guess is what I am asking.

Tricia said...

What happens if I leave it up to Spirit to decide for me? Do I have to choose or can I just be open to whatever will be?


MaryRose Lessoway said...

I was just reading this blog again and saw that there were some unanswered questions. You are both asking the same thing... does Spirit decide for us or do we have free will?

Gypsymoon, you do and don't have control over your gates... lol.. You can choose but not necessarily will make it through, even if you do physcically go through the ritual... only time will tell what gate you really went through. The Dreaming will protect their kingdom.

The idea of choosing our gates is to learn about them and see if we are aligned with the dreaming. If we are good dreamers, then we will choose the right gate for us. It takes training and discipline to choose the right gates.Do don't feel bad if in time its not the ones you thought.

Trish... you can let spirit/the dreaming decide. But it is still good to study the gates and know them well. That way you can be more aware of the challenges that the gates are showing you for the next three years. That much more consciousness will make a big difference in how you handle the tests that come your way.