Sun Bear, Wabun
Wind & Crysalis Mulligan,
Dancing with the Wheel:
The Medicine Wheel Workbook

& Schuster, 1991)

Dancing with the Wheel is a workbook for spiritual growth, using the Native American Medicine Wheel as a guide and outline. The Wheel relates to the wheel of the year, the seasons and the relationship between all aspects of the natural world. In addition to building a personal Medicine Wheel, using various stones and found objects, the seeker performs visualizations and ceremonies to become closer to nature and spirit.

The workbook is divided into two parts. Part One: Steps to the Dance describes the main focus points of the Wheel and the preparatory steps of meditation. This involves grounding and centering, visualization exercises, smudging and creating sacred space. Each exercise or meditation is clearly outlined, listing any needed components and the estimated amount of time to perform the exercise. The stones of the center circle form the basis of the path; each stone in its position has gifts and lessons for the seeker. Then, the Spirit Keeper stones are described, along with their positional meanings and relationship to the four directions. The Wheel is then built outwards, incorporating the Twelve Moons and the Spirit Pathways, completing the entire wheel.

By using the Medicine Wheel as a framework, the reader can use the exercises to meditate on aspects of the world and his or her relationship to them. Each stone in its position has correspondences to various animals, plants and minerals, and thus is used as a guide for meditation.

In addition to mental exercises, there are a number of crafts designed to assist in the personal growth process. One can build a private Medicine Wheel in order to aid in meditation, and there are a variety of methods and types that the individual can choose from. The seeker can also create bundles, wands and masks designed to enhance the experience of working with this particular method of study.

I found the format of the book to be a bit confusing, and at first I was uncertain whether or not one needed to build a Medicine Wheel in order to follow the path. However, this is explained in Chapter 6: Traveling the Wheel. The charts of correspondences were well done and the visualizations were clearly written. If the Native American way of spiritual understanding draws you, Dancing with the Wheel may prove helpful to you. I do feel it is a better book for a more experienced seeker, one who has spent some time in researching the legends of the various Native American tribes and feels an affinity with this metaphysical path.

[ by Beth Derochea ]
Rambles: 10 November 2001

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