Monday, May 14, 2012

Honoring Our Sacred Roles

I've been exploring my Visionary lately. Visionary is a Sacred Role on the Medicine Wheel. There are 8 Roles... Firekeeper, Visionary, Peacekeeper, Warrior, Nomad, Dreamer, Initiator, Healer. We all have five of these Roles on our Personal wheel. Each Role also has a totem and is a fragment of our Inner Community. You could explore just one Role for a lifetime and still learn more about it.

Such is the case for my Visionary. This Role is in the East of the Wheel and on my Personal Wheel it landed in the East as well, although this is not usually the case for everyone.

I recently learned that I had rejected my Visionary as I explored other parts of my Wheel. But I also realized that I judged this Role as insignificant, less important than other Roles. Yet, I was fully immersed in my Visionary when I stepped onto my path over twenty years ago. I learned that it is related to the feminine and Moontime, the woman's monthly cycle. Each month when a woman menstruates, she is considered to be on her Moontime, connected with Grandmother Moon. Woman today don't honor their feminine, they don't take time out during their Moontime to go inside and receive visions. In the past, our Female Aboriginal Ancestors would go to a lodge for women on their Moontime. All the women who were of the bleeding  years would automatically synchronize with the full moon and end up in the Moonlodge together.

When I started on my path, I had never heard of the words Moontime. In our Western society, we called it the "curse" because of the pain and inconvenience it caused, or "our period" which never made any sense to me at all.When I went to the Peace Elders Gathering with Grandmother Twylah in 1991, I was on my moontime. I was told I didn't have to work in the kitchen as planned, I was free to just be there. That was new to me. At first I felt guilty for not doing the work exchange, then I felt dirty and ashamed. But when it was explained to me that a woman on her moontime is in a sacred place, she is in her power, I felt a lot better. That week I had the most incredible visions left, right and center. The Medicine Men would make a wide circle around me. Again I felt like there was something wrong with me. But I learned that they felt the power emanating from me and it is a grounded energy and the men needed to be in a more Spiritual place to do the work they were doing. 

I learned to honor my Moontime, my feminine, by wearing special jewellery, by wearing a special skirt, by keeping a moontime journal, eating and resting well. Grandmother Twylah built a Moonlodge on her land. She said it was for our "Vision Time" and a place to go for a "clarity quest". 

After that, I never stopped honoring that special time of month. I was a strong Visionary and would bleed often, every three week and it would last a week. I loved that time of the month. I would curl up with my journal and feel the honor of being a woman. The name I had at that time was Willow. I got it during a meditation under a huge Willow tree on that sacred land. I loved the Willow tree, it is a feminine healing tree. I would offer my moon blood to it and cry with gratitude, feeling the connection. I would sit out under the Full Moon and place a glass jar of water out to receive the Moon energy and drink it in the morning. Again I would cry with tears of joy and gratitude at the beauty of the Moon and the love I felt. I used to cry a lot. Visionaries are emotional. 

During my menopause, which was a piece of cake for me, a few mild hot flashes and fewer and fewer moon times over the years. It started at about age 50 and by time I was 55, it was all over. At that point, women are considered to be Elders. They would be the ones who led the Moonlodges by sharing the wisdom of their experiences.

By time you are in menopause, you have been around the 13 Moon cycle at least four times. Hopefully, you have gained a lot of wisdom and life experience. Each time you do your Moonwork (emotional healing or Inner child work), you repair a broken moon. After four or five rounds on the Moon Wheel, you have learned what works and doesn't work. I feel blessed to have these teachings that helped me heal some very broken moons from childhood neglect and abuse. 

 My Visionary is a Wolf, she is an adolescent and very full of life. When I turned towards other fragments and lost touch with her, I also lost touch with my feelings. That is not a bad thing, seeing as I was once called "Niagara Falls" by my friends. I would cry when I read the newspaper, cry when I saw an old sick person alone on the street... there is so much to be sad and happy about in life. But we need to be balanced and can't stay in one fragment all the time. I went on to explore my Peacekeeper, Firekeeper, Dreamer and Initiator.

Now I have come full circle once again, and am back to my Visionary at a much deeper level. I learned the Ancestral story (past life) that left me with some healing to do. In a past life, I had seen the vision of our people being slaughtered. The vision was strong and I had to live with it for a long time before it happened. It hurt a lot, but it also helped me and my husband to make the most of the time we had left. 

Today I wondered what is the value of the Visionary in our world? It is one thing to love your Roles, but another for it to be in service to the Collective. We have so many prophecies and predictions about the future of the world, that it is hard to believe anyone anymore. I turned off the gift of vision because of the pain. Who wants to see the horrible things that can happen before they take place? Yet, if we ignore what is to come, we will not be prepared for it. 

The other day as I went out to do some errands, I had a premonition that there would be traffic delays and long lineups in the stores. There was, but I was okay with it because I was prepared. Usually I would get impatient and frustrated. 

This week I am going to take four days of silence to do a Vision Quest or Clarity Quest as Grandmother Twylah called it. Many people will go to a hill top and fast for three or four days. Some of us can't fast, but we can go into silence. If you can't go out to the country, you can stay inside and be still. There are many ways to "Cry for a Vision" as the Lakota call it.. .Hanblechya. 

Mother Earth needs us women to be in our Feminine, to be balanced and to honor Grandmother Moon and our connection with her. I welcome back my Visionary "She who Magnetizes Truth" - the name that Grandmother Twylah gave me when she initiated me into the Wolf Clan tribe. It is interesting that my Visionary is Wolf and "magnetism" speaks about the Wheel, and my Role as Wheelkeeper. I love how it all fits!!!


The photo is a banner that I made years ago for Mata Fest, a May Day celebration. She is a Tree Spirit.



Rose said...

Thank you for sharing this. I often feel that our western lifestlye does not leave many women, including me, the space to connect with our feminine in this way. It is hard to disconnect when you have to go to work.

Your story is beautiful and inspiring and it will be interesting to see how you connect to your Visionary as an Elder.

Wheelkeeper said...

Thank you Rose. I am really loving it. The four day retreat I did to connect with my Visionary reminded me of when I used to honor my moontime by taking time out. It helped me pace myself and make the passage of time, of the Moons and the month.


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