The Wheel of Selves is a medicine wheel that is close to my heart. It offers us an opportunity to delve deep into our inner cosmos, revealing all the parts of ourselves so that we can heal our wounds and learn from our own wisdom.
The wheel is comprised of four parts, The Innocent Child, The Dreaming Youth, The Visionary Warrior, and the Illuminated Elder. Each willing to contribute their own special gifts if we but open our arms to accept them.
The following are descriptions of each of these beings, and a short meditation you can use to access them.
South- The Innocent Child- We begin in the South of the wheel. This is the little Boy/Girl Self, the child within. The child approaches the world with acceptance, making "imagination" and reality, one and the same. Just like other wheels, the south respresents physicality, however in this wheel this physicality relates to the realness of all things accepted by the child spirit. The child feels no need to explain, or question the realness of its existence, all things are a joyous thing to experience.When working with your Child self, it is important to create a nurturing relationship. Discover what that little girl or boy needs by speaking to them in your meditations. This is an opportunity to heal the scars and pain that were caused during childhood. In a sense, you can "parent" your inner child, giving them all the love and nurturing you may have not received. Many times your child self just wants to be held, to feel safe and loved.
West- The Dreaming Youth- This is the teenager within. The Adolescent dreams of what he wants to one day become, he dreams of what he will do in the World. He is in a powerful space of soul-searching, many times stumbling over societal pressures and rules. He is trying to find his place in the World, often times rebelling against control in order to find his own way. Note that he sits in the West, a place associated with the giveaway and finality. It is a powerfully emotional period of transition to say goodbye to life as he knows it, in his process of becoming an adult. It is his great metamorphosis to be able to stand in his own power in the North. When working with the teenage self, focus on the dreams you have always wanted to achieve. Example: You may have always dreamed of living in a far away place. This does not necessarily mean you need to pack your bags and move immediately. It may only be that this place represents an idea, maybe its freedom, or perhaps the experience of something unfamiliar or even a sense of thrill and danger. Working with the teenager is an opportunity to rediscover all the dreams and inspirations that still dwell within you. When seeking new dreams, this is a wonderful self to talk with.
North- The Visionary Warrior- This is the adult Self, your sacred vision within the World. The warrior/warrioress knows how to stand at the center of their circle. Living in their own personal power, the warrior seeks his Vision from the Spirit of all things. He takes responsibility for his actions, and seeks the path that will lead to illumination. As an exercise, imagine you are in the grocery store waiting in line, you look at the magazine racks, and you see your face on the cover of TIMES magazine. What would the cover say? Who are you in the World? What is your vision within the World? For example, I’ve always wanted to be an artist, a teacher, a shaman, this is my vision. Try to stay away from amorphous ideas, such as "I want to make people feel good…" This is wonderful, but HOW? That is the main focus. When working with the adult, allow yourself to be open to seeing the Truth of who you really are.
East- The Illuminated Elder- This is the Wise Self. The Wise Woman or Man within your being. This Wise Man is a reflection of your own wisdom, of who you will be and who you have been. He remembers all that you are, and has walked down the trails before you. He is the council you keep when you pray to the higher self. He is a shaman, a mystic, he knows the worlds, and the Mysteries. When working with the Wise Self, hold him or her in esteem and give them respect. They are the Elders within you and can teach you many things. If you ever feel like you are lost, speak to your Inner Wise Man. He can help you find your way.
Exercise: Sit down, close your eyes and fix your breathing. Visualize yourself standing inside of a medicine wheel. Go to each of the directions, starting in the South, and meet each of your selves. It’s alright if your selves do not reflect your form in terms of ethnicity, orientation, or gender. Each will appear in the form that is appropriate for you. Once you meet each one, ask them what message they have for you in your life, and ask what you can do to help them in return. Once you have met and received messages from each of your selves, thank each one for what they have given to you. After this point you can end your meditation.