I wish to dedicate this blog to a new teacher of mine, Visionary Activist, Compassionate Trickster, and...
I wish to dedicate this blog to a new teacher of mine, Visionary Activist, Compassionate Trickster, and Keeper of the Mythic Landscape that has been lost to contemporary western culture: Caroline Casey. Please check out her Trickster Training Council and her Pacifica Radio Broadcast, Coyote Network News. http://coyotenetworknews.com/bio/
The Medicine Wheel is a Mandala and expression of the whole. Wheels and circles create circumferences and contain space. Each point on the circumference represents one facet, one perspective, one segment of the whole. It is a circle because it is joined and has no beginning or ending,. Everything is centered around the same center, while each point on the circumference is also a center in itself. Each center radiates a field that overlaps the fields with other centers. This is a geometric expression that points to metaphysical truths and the deeper or more subtle dimensions of the Universe and Life.
As a Mandala of Creation and a guide to living in balance in the physically manifest world, the Medicine Wheel also represents time, the cycle of days, seasons, and the cycle of one’s experiences in life. (See the guide lecture 155 the Pulsation of Consciousness http://pathwork.org/lectures/pulsation-of-consciousness/)
The Medicine Wheel has a cross through the center with 4 main radiating arms that are aligned with the 4 directions. East, the direction of the rising sun, West the direction of the setting sun and the North and South then represent noon and midnight in the cycle of the day. In the cycle of the seasons and life, East is the Spring, South is Summer, and West is the Fall , North is Winter. These are understood as the seasons of the Earth, but also as the seasons of the soul and the seasons of experience, from a new beginning to expansion and development, to integration and fruition, back to the ending and then something new is born again.
In this blog I want to spend some time with the fast receding season of summer and honor the powers of the south particularly it’s significant teacher, the Trickster, and Trickster Medicine.
Life itself is best understood as trickster medicine, and life is in its exhaltation in the summer, a time of rapid growth and expansion, the synergy of relationship is supported and adventure is in the air. In the south is where we look without leaping, the fool going backward over the cliff, yet there is much to be learned if we accept life’s school of experience,. We can be healed by this medicine and become the compassionate trickster ourselves.
This trickster takes two opposing forces and spirals them into a new dance. This is natures way. this is a new model for activism in our time. In this time of conflict and polarization we need to learn this trickster wisdom so we can move forward out of the state of conflict, friction and war. These are actually mirroring our own splits inside us. As my teacher Caroline would say, “in this time of dire beauty” we need the trickster attitude of tackling what seems impossible. The answers are outside the box and it is Trickster who can think outside the box. The answers are beyond our harumphitudes and definitions of right and wrong. This is the work of cultivating the wisdom of the heart and enjoying this beautiful garden of life called planet earth.
Life is always offering us good trickster medicine but we usually aren’t paying attention. We misinterpret the cause of the events and miss the lesson. Human beings are naturally determining beings….One medicine wheel story is that in the great circle of life, all creatures know their place based on what each has to give away to the other. Human beings though must find or determine their place in life by discovering what it is they have to give away. This is another way of saying that our native powers require us to choose how we live our life. Most of our lives are actually chosen unconsciously, so part of our journey is to learn from the whole of life, so we can be conscious and chose wisely.
Trickster Medicine is what frees us from our little stories and our self importance often by challenging our plans and ideas of how it should be. We can get quiet upset at the trickster when we are still attached to our limited perspective. Trickster knows this and just chuckles at our antics. Trickster is the spirit of the child who is playful and doesn’t take the world as seriously as the adult. Humor, light heartedness, playfulness, and compassion are aspects of this Medicine as it shows us our self importance and attachments! We must laugh at ourselves with good humor and compassion for our own childish fears and demands of life.
It is Life with its twists unexpected turns and “problems” that shows us things are not what we think. Our stories are too small, our imaginations too constrained. If we don’t know the Compassionate Trickster we may feel Life has become our enemy, thwarting us or beating us up. We need to look a little deeper and longer to withdraw that conclusion. We need to examine our own self importance and lack of perspective of the whole. We may be caught in a “Harumphitude” about the way something is. This hot reaction to what is keeps our life force hot and seething, adding to the increasingly hot, contentious frictions in human affairs.
Trickster Medicine is a force to heal us and to heal the world. First we need to cultivate our trickster consciousness. We need to realize that life is the ultimate Trickster Teacher, so when we notice things didn’t turn out as planned, instead of hitting the panic button or the upset button, we need to ask what is life up to. Where is this result coming from and what is it working toward….If we can get out of our small ego narratives we can find a much larger more life giving story, that allows us to go with the flow and start cooperating with the larger thing trying to happen.
We need to reset the default button to “woof woof wanna play”, quoting Caroline again. And that is play with everything, keeping everything in play as does nature. It is not a win lose game or a good/bad game. The foundation is cooperation, and inter-connectivity. Could that mean, cooperators are standing by, when everything seems haywire and out of our control, then is the moment of power, where we can invite them in and we can invoke the larger story, discover the life giving story and the true reasons for our suffering..
When we learn how to do this for ourselves, we can take Activism to a new level, no longer part of the polarization, but part of the animating energies that activate the higher vision. We need compassion for the whole, not aggression and anger. There are no special victims of life. If we listen instead of complain, we might recognize the loving playful but ego-defeating trickster nipping our heals. What is being transformed here. What harumphitudes composted. So thanks Caroline for leading the way and resurrecting the Trickster Medicine we all need so much.