North East Shield – Imagination

northeast shield

Take a moment to stop reading and listen…. You hear that? That is the sound of the North East

We are now entering into the end of our series, and as our name implies, the Medicine Wheel is a circle. The North East represents the mystery between where things end and new things begin.

This is the time seasonally where winter is still around but things are bubbling below the snow and the days are getting longer. The North East represents the mystery of the dormant seed shaking into new life.

It represents both death and conception in the human cycle. A place for the imagination to wander.

In this shield we teach Bird Language and Awareness. Two areas that engage our imagination and expand our human potential. Imagine for a moment that bird sounds are not random. Imagine in fact that there is a whole conversation going on. Now, what if you could interpret that conversation and maybe even partake in it. This is all true, possible, and easy, all you need to do is pay attention.

Taking a moment to stop, listen, and observe what is going on around you. What trees do you have in your yard? Does that tree produce fruit or seeds? What animals or birds feed from those trees? Have a deep knowledge of place helps you discover those patterns. Similar to why know when traffic is going to be bad. How do you know that? Probably because you’ve paid attention to your experiences over a period of time.

This is the same process of learning bird language. Expanding your imagination by interpreting your observations and proving yourself right or wrong. Either way, learning takes place.

By listening to the birds and the quietest sounds around us we also learn to quiet our mind. This is the indicator of the NORTH EAST. When we listen deeply we become calm and quiet internally. We become comfortable with stillness and silence. As the mind quiets our other senses activate and create a stronger picture of the world around us.

Our NORTH EAST on the facilitation teams is responsible for helping to cultivate awareness among the group as well as growth opportunities. They do this with scout games, deeper questions, tricks, and challenges. They also help to start and end each event with a thanksgiving address. They embody the sacred and the profane. A true master of coyote mentoring.

As one journey ends another begins around the wheel we go. We can learn and cultivate skills from each of these 8 shields. It may be that you can go through this wheel in a day with something and others may take a lifetime.

You may find that you only get part way or go back to the beginning. We may find our students in all different parts of the wheel at the same time. And it is all ok.

This is just one way, one guide to help recognize and fill a need on our teaching team and in our student’s journey. We find this way to be really successful at connecting people to themselves, their community, and the natural world around them.

Wilderness Awareness School