We recently started advertising our workshop in Calgary; which will be happening around the Summer Solstice (June 21st to 25th, 2013). It’s very rare I get involved in the publicity aspect of a workshop mostly because I don’t want to interfere in the experience of building an empirical Wheel. We forget that everything we do in life refers to a Sacred Circle. Constructing a Medicine Wheel doesn’t only refer to the process of finding stones; seeking out a power spot; and then, laying down a Wheel transfiguration. Even organizing a Medicine Wheel workshop is about building a Sacred Circle.
The Medicine Wheel is often referred to as a self-originated ceremony. Basically what this implies if the Wheel is a representation of every detail within our daily living is that each of us are different and depending on our perspective we’ll all solve problems differently; face crisis or good fortune differently; or ultimately, live and die differently as well. Gérard and I always teach or speak of the Medicine Wheel, Indigenous Dreaming and Shamanism. Yet, most of our workshops are organized and prepared by third parties: People who have their own ideas and perceptions of the Wheel; and obviously, their own expectations. Since the Medicine Wheel as a science speaks of magnetism, I’ve always been amazed and fascinated at what can be magnetized by having different people setting up the Wheels.
I guess some people would say it’s all about intention; but we’ve (G and I – and other enthusiasts) come to observe that many Wheels don’t manifest intention; but basically manifest what people need to learn, to heal, and to grow.
There’s a huge difference between what we’d like to live
and what is necessary for us to live.
Through exploring sacred site Medicine Wheels we’ve noted that sacred circles are intricately connected to natural and cosmological influences. There are so many great examples showing how the Wheel is a conduit of sorts for natural realities to manifest. A great example was at one of our Great Gathering workshops almost a decade ago.
The title and theme of this four-day experience was: The Dance of the Thunder Dragon. It all started with the intention of teaching the value of sound and dance to the concept of Shamanism, initiation and ritual. The woman who was organizing the workshop at the time was passionate about Tai-Chi; and Asia. She managed to get access to the Tai-Chi centre in the countryside near Montreal to host us.
At some point during the workshop while everyone was separated into teams and busy in all four corners of the estate a beautiful sunny day suddenly turned into an unexpected storm. Dark clouds came over the valley while a group of participants were building an outdoor Wheel and devoting to a ritual power hunt. The rest of us were watching up the hill near the cottage. Just as the thunder started the wind quickly came up as well, and the clouds began to move. It seemed like it was almost rehearsed and synchronized because nature followed the story; which was playing itself out bellow. One of the participants was acting out a dream where she was a deer running away from a hunter.
People started screaming from everywhere: Down bellow, at the meadow and on the hill. We were quite a large group: 35 people. Everyone saw the clouds literally become the form of a menacing and hunting – Black Dragon. It was unbelievable.
The individuals in the Circle bellow later said: “It felt as if the Dragon was coming right at us. It was scary. We had no idea anyone else could see this. We thought we were the only ones somehow living through a deep trance state.”
Soon the rain began to fall and everyone was running for cover. For those of us up the hill, near the cabin it was as if we had imagined the scene as children do when they see shapes in the clouds. Half an hour later, the sun returned and we gathered together to discuss the event. The room was buzzing with excitement. Every perspective from the four corners of the estate brought the story together and suddenly gave us a completely different understanding of the main theme: The Dance of the Thunder Dragon.
No matter the conference or the workshop it seems the organizer(s) and the dynamics of the group are instrumental in the uniqueness of the experience; the kind of phenomenon that manifests; as well as the type of learning and healing that occurs. Every single workshop is different and yet, what Gérard and I bring to the plate is usually the same. It seems our role is mostly as container, stability, safety, consciousness and skill. Like the making of a Medicine Wheel it takes different conditions, different details, and different participants to create a magnetic field; which will allow deep connections, deep learning and healing; and inevitable transformation.
This is where I would add some testimonies… I think every workshop offers powerful experiences; which leave a memorable impact. I look forward to reading some of your comments.