The four directions of the medicine wheel in the southern hemishere

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    • #9855
      Elaine Whitwam

      Living in South Africa and in the process of constructing and energising a medicine wheel, I find the four directions to be different here to those in the Northern hemisphere e.g. the seasons are not the same. Can anyone put light on this subject. My instincts tell me to sense the different energies rather than listening to the standard principles. Thank you and greetings.

    • #10026

      Greetings, Elaine!
      Although I live in the Northern hemisphere in the US, I have been to South Africa and the feel of the land and my orientation to the directions was different than when at home. Perhaps it does not have to be the directions OR your feelings. I always start with the four directions according to a compass, then adjust my personal orientation according to my feeling. The power from the direction guides me and “feels” right when I use this process. Of course, I would never speak for anyone else or give advice. I am simply telling what process I use.
      Blessings to you, your loved ones, and to your beautiful country!

    • #11838
      Katie Oberlin

      Hi Elaine. Here are my initial thoughts: Whether we are in the northern or southern hemisphere, the sun always rises in the East and sets in the West, right? The seasons are the result of the way Earth tips on her axis, bringing us Autumn, then Winter, when she tips away from the Sun and Spiring, then Summer, when she tips towards the Sun.

      Since the East is associated with sunrise, it is the beginning of a new day, new life, new possibilities, all of these qualities associated with Spring. The South is associated with midday, lots of activity, everything in full bloom, all of these qualities associated with Summer. The West is associated with sunset, the end of the day, releasing, letting go, harvesting the fruits of our labor, all of these qualities associated with Autumn. The North is associated with nighttime, resting, restoring and building our chi, the dream state, all of these qualities associated with Winter.

      I don’t think it matters what hemisphere you are in to work with the medicine wheel in this way. Just know that your friends in the Northern hemisphere are in a different season than those in the Southern hemisphere at any given time. It’s like a beautiful dance!

      I constructed a medicine wheel in my back yard (I live in Illinois, USA) a few years ago and I visit it every day for my morning prayers. I would love to hear your perspectives, now that you have had your wheel for a while.

      Thanks for the great question!
      Many blessings,

      • #15905

        The Medicine Wheel comes with its lessons and should not be changed.
        the sun rises in the East Eagle Clan and is the direction where prayers are offered
        The lesson is in Illumination, the South Mouse Clan the lesson Innocence and Trust,
        The West Bear Clan Introspection, The North Buffalo Clan the lesson Abundance and The Wisdom of Prayer.
        Most importantly The Medicine Wheel is a Native American teaching and tradition. Living in Australia
        I run across this problem of practioners wanting to change someone else’s spirituality.
        the seasons may vary but the teachings and the lessons are the same. although each country will have their own Medicine Wheel and totems attached to the original. You may add but there is no need to change anything.

    • #11918
      Elaine Whitwam

      Thank you for your reply.I have been working with the wheel for a while now and get the feeling that the South relates more to water and Winter. Our rain comes from that direction. As for the North the feeling is that it relates to Summer, warmth and sunshine. To the North of South Africa is the Equator and thus warmth. Having asked this question some time ago, I felt that I must remain with the feeling that I get. So again many thanks for your reply. Maybe its time that someone if the Southern Hemisphere puts pen to paper re medicine wheel. East and West remain the same wherever you are. The interesting thought this morning was however, that if I greet the four directions I start with East, South, West then North in a clockwise direction. Are our magnetics not different in S. Hemisphere to N. Hemisphere.
      I shall remain curious,
      Thank you again.
      Elaine Whitwam Southern Kwa Zulu Natal South Africa

    • #15389
      Arianna Gray

      During my research and studies over the years, I have heard/read/been taught that the southern hemisphere is opposite the northern hemisphere. Since the wheel and directions are simply constructs by which we can understand and relate to life, nature, the elements and so forth, there doesn’t have to be one correct way. I am currently immersed with a group that has particular associations to the directions. I “get” why they use them and mostly follow along. But I have tweaked the meanings, associated animals and such to what my guides and my inner knowing feel is right. Elaine, do what feels right. There is no inherent “north is the element earth”. Again, the concepts we read about in books, for example, were designed by particular cultures based on their position on the planet and their understanding of their environment. It does not necessarily apply to everyone. Warm Regards, Arianna Gray, Texas.

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