How do you put into words that which cannot be transcribed? Many things in life become lost in our attempts to capture them, to employ our language in place of direct experience. There is no substitute for experience, which is why I highly recommend you consider having your own first-hand experience, as I have had, with the Medicine Wheel class taught by Heather Principe. As the great Sufi mystic poet Kabir once said, “If you have not lived through something, it is not true.”
I entered the Medicine Wheel class with anticipation but no expectations. My girlfriend took this course a year ago, and it was her overflowing love for both the teachings and the teacher that influenced my decision to enroll in the class.
Before we entered the classroom at SWIHA, a fellow student was awaiting us at the door, feather in one hand, and sage held in an abalone shell, in her other hand. We were smudged one by one, and proceeded to enter the classroom, beckoned by the ancient rhythm of Heather’s Native American drum playing.
There were 23 students all seated together in a wide circle. In the center of the room laid the sacred medicine wheel, which was probably around six-feet in diameter. Heather explained to us how each stone represented our ancestors, going back seven generations! We took turns going around the circle, each of us calling upon one of our ancestors, while sharing a quick story or memory about them. For the sanctity of the teachings and the class itself, I’ll have to leave specific details out -- so if you want the juicy details, experience this class for yourself!
What I can share is that the tremendously powerful work we did and the experience as a whole was amazing. So much so that I find it difficult to do it justice in the form of words. Our “white mind”, as Heather called it, would like to rationalize that a bunch of rocks on the ground are, well, simply rocks devoid of meaning. In actuality, these simple rocks represent all of our ancestors, the blood and sweat of the earth and her history. By showing up and setting the intention to connect with our ancestors in this sacred way, we can begin to work out deep ancestral blocks, karmic patterns that have been passed on through generations.
We were taught how to create a medicine wheel that extended into our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. The ‘Four Directions’ all come heavily into play and are loaded with symbolic meaning, including sacred colors and various spirit animals that protect each direction.
Heather Principe is an incredibly wise woman, with loads of stories to share about these teachings and her journey into Native American tradition. One moment, she’d have the class cracking up over a certain story; the next, she’d be lovingly, yet fiercely calling us out on our collective stuff.
There are many anecdotes from this class I would love to share; yet like I said before, certain things are better left unsaid. Go into this class and have your perception of reality shattered before you! We are much more than this current incarnation, as many of you probably know. As Heather shared, it took millions of beings to come together in unison to eventually pave the way for our current existence today! That says nothing of the fact that much of the stuff we came into this lifetime carrying is meant for us to transmute, not only for ourselves, yet for our entire family line.
All in all, this class made me realize that I’m not alone; I have my entire ancestral family behind me, helping me to overcome the challenges that they couldn’t face in their lifetimes. And so do you.
Southwest Institute of Healing Arts hosts the Medicine Wheel class, taught by Heather Principe, twice a year. This class can be taken as a part of the Polarity Therapy program, the Spiritual Studies programs, or for personal development.
Heather Principe is the owner of the Yoga & Polarity Center, Inc. in Malverne, New York, which offers a full range of yoga classes, as well as 200 and 500 hour certifications in Polarity Therapy, approved by the American Polarity Therapy Association and the International Polarity Network. Heather is a woman of great magnitude, with deep wisdom and understanding of the healing arts. She is a true leader in the yoga and polarity communities.
Ceremonies (Native American) Medicine Wheel
Start Date: Sat, July 16, 2016
End Date: Sun, July 17, 2016
About the Author, Anthony Scarpulla
As a recent graduate of the University of Miami with a B.A. in Creative Writing and Journalism, Anthony Scarpulla serves as freelance Creative Copywriter. With a deep yearning to uncover the hidden, spiritual and esoteric realms of life and nature, Anthony aims to incorporate his passion into everything he loves, whether it’s writing poetry, music production and djing, to blogging, editing, and one day soon, healing work!