These are two of the many ceremonies that Joseph and David have written about in Walking the Medicine Wheel.
Giving & Receiving Ceremony (page 164)
Sacred Heart of the Madonna by David Kopacz, MD
The heart has four chambers, just as the Medicine Wheel has four sections.
Just as blood circulates through the heart, so too our lives circulate through the medicine wheel. This means that the heart is a Medicine Wheel. We can watch how this Medicine Wheel of the Heart works by following how blood is transformed as it moves through the heart.
Let us look at what the heart does, from a physiological level in the body.
The heart receives (through the right atrium) the blood that has travelled throughout the entire body. This blood has the lowest oxygen content, because all the tissues of the body have already absorbed oxygen from this blood; it is blue, venous blood. From the perspective of the body, it is “bad” blood, no longer oxygen-rich. The heart receives and accepts this “bad blood.” However it doesn’t complain or cling to it, but gives it away, lets it go, and it passes on to the lungs. There it is replenished with oxygen. The heart then receives again, only this time it is the “best blood,” the most oxygen-rich.
Once again, however, the heart doesn’t cling or hoard the goodness for itself, but gives it away to the rest of the body. Hopefully you are already grasping how the physiological actions of the heart’s giving and receiving have another level of meaning for your life. How much do you cling to the good? How much to you reject the gift of “bad” life experience? How much do you negatively cling to “bad” experiences instead of receiving them and then giving them over to your inherent ability to purify them as they pass through you?
Sit back for a moment, close your eyes. Focus in on what your heart is doing 60-80 times a minute. Receiving “bad blood,” giving it away; receiving “good blood,” and giving it away. Become aware of this ongoing process within you. Now, focus on this same movement in your life. What is something “bad” that recently happened? Allow yourself to receive it. Once you have received it, give it away again. Allow it to transform and then allow yourself to receive it again; then give it away once again. Life happens through movement and flow and connection, not through clinging or rejecting.
Now, focus on this movement at a deeper level yet. What is something “bad” in your life that you have struggled to accept for years? Breathe in deeply, and let it go. Breathe in again, as deeply as you can, and let it go. On the third breath, allow yourself to receive your experience you have been rejecting. Breathe in deeply—let it flow through you; breathe out—let it go. Practice this three more times. Feel the movement of the action of your heart throughout your being. Even when you stop focusing on this process, it is continually happening many times a minute. Take a deep breath, and open your eyes.
The Grandfathers by Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow)
Sounding Out the Medicine Wheel Ceremony (page 181)
You can do this throughout the course of an entire day. Start at daybreak, facing East and make the sound “Ahh.” Then at noon face South and make the sound “Ehh.” At sunset face West and make the sound “Eee.” Finally, at midnight, face North and make the sound “Ohh.” At 3 AM, if you would like, you can face inwards, to the Center, and make the sound “Uuu.” You can also do this at night if you cannot sleep, go out into the yard, or in a room by yourself. Look to the North and make the sound “Ohh” deep in your chest. Let the vibration of spirit enter into your body, your mind, and your emotions, renewing you for the next day. If you are up at daybreak, turn to the East and make the sound “Ahh.” Like when the doctor says “Open your mouth and say ‘Ahh,’” you can drink in the light of the new day, purifying yourself for the new day.
Joseph writes that, “One of the ways to use the medicine wheel is as a preparation for a ceremony. Face the East and purify yourself with the sound “Ahh. Turn to the West and repeat the sound “Eee” to bond you with all things and all of the eternities and to connect you to the physicality of all things in that moment. Face now the direction of the South and sound “Ehh” that you may be related to yourself and to others. Turn to the North and sound “Ohh” to connect you to spirit, the breath of everything (Being & Vibration, 72).