Medicine Wheel, The
Fire, Earth, Air and Water: the Medicine Wheel shows us what we are made of and how to transform ourselves.
The Medicine Wheel shows us how to both live and transform ourselves while remaining in balance with the natural world. Indigenous peoples in the Americas, with whom these Wheels originate, have a profound understanding of what it means to be human that has been largely lost in the modern world. This book is not just another ‘self-help’ guide, but rather an exploration of an ancient map that shows how human beings and the world work. A Wheel is very simple and experiential – dividing the world into the four basic elements of Fire, Water, Earth and Air – and on that basis it creates a deep and transformative psychology, a subtle and practical philosophy and a ceremonial form through which the community can celebrate the sacredness of life.
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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This a very informative, eclectic approach to the concept of the medicine wheel. The author is very knowledgable and is able to pull relevant ideas from different places and traditions to create something very relevant to twenty-first century spirituality. He deals very sensitively with the issue of cultural appropriation, continually referencing his Native American sources. He also references traditions such as Buddhism and I could detect several traditionally Pagan elements too. This book goes incredibly deeply into meanings and symbolisms of the four quarters of the circle and is definitely not a book to be read in one or two sittings as you would almost certainly suffer from information overload! Although content-dense, the book is written in an easy to read style and was a fascinating, enjoyable read. Don’t be put off if you feel you are not interested in Native American culture, because this book has so much breadth and depth due to the fact that it incorporates other cultural ideas, all filtered through the well-informed lens of the author. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to go deeply into the four directions/elements/quarters - it will definitely enrich your practice and introduce you to new ideas and concepts. There is a lot of valuable content here. ~ Laura Jones (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I am familiar with the medicine wheel both from a ritual perspective and a historical one. Mr Goddard has written an interesting and comprehensive method to live life in a positive way. There are many components to this and not just Indigenous ones are discussed. Eastern influences and psychological ideas are interwoven into the thread of doing the work. This book IMO is meant to be used and its ideas tried in a real way as much as possible. When you do this you will become one of the people that live with the earth and on her surface. Part of the circle of life. Excellent story and practices abound in this by Barry Goddard. ~ Patrick Carmen (Reviewer) , NetGalley
Barry has created a meditation on meaning, a most interesting discourse on the Medicine wheel tempered with Jung and other interesting philosophers, matching and mixing and extracting clarity and knowledge. I hear Barry as I read, his voice is clear and direct, there is no bull here but challenging discussions on teachings and the real meanings behind them. I have just read his lovely piece on aging, a subject I am deeply involved in through necessity, and I feel encouraged, emboldened and enlivened. It is like that through this book, Barry weaves teachings together from Jung to Winnie the Pooh in a most emcompassing and enlightnening way, always grounded and useable. A really good read! I heartily recommend this book as a good addition to texts on the Medicine Wheel and the mysteries of life. ~ Leo Rutherford, author of The View Through The Medicine Wheel: Shamanic Maps of How the Universe Work
The Medicine Wheel affirms Plotinus’ dictum that ‘the native motion of the soul is circular’: as we move around the Medicine Wheel’s four (or eight) directions, each of which provides a different perspective on ourselves, we approach the four-fold wholeness of the Self so beloved by C.G. Jung. A sensitive and sensible guide to our circumambulation, Barry Goddard offers us telling suggestions and practical advice on how to understand ourselves and to manage life’s waywardness. We trust him because he doesn’t lay down the law so much as let us in on his own tribulations with endearing honesty and refreshing humility. The lessons we feel he has learnt the hard way are passed on unassumingly – even chattily – until they add up almost imperceptibly to more than the sum of their parts: a kind of wise Middle Way which he nowhere mentions, but which may owe as much to his Buddhist background as to Aristotle’s Golden Mean. ~ Patrick Harpur (author of The Philosopher's Secret Fire, Penguin 2002)
Barry Goddard has written a book about the medicine wheel based on in-depth study, clear insights, and personal experience. The medicine wheel teachings guide humans on how to live in a way of wholeness, as a part of the web of life. The teachings are highly relevant today in a world that is changing rapidly. They provide a map that can help people understand themselves and the world in general. ~ Chris Luttichau (author of Calling Us Home, pub The Head of Zeus 2018)