Bear's Blog

Medicine Wheels: Part Three

Aug 24, 2023

Over the years our School retreats have been held at various sites with medicine wheels - at the Big Horn Wheel, the WD Ranch, and Bear Canyon where Sandee Mills (a graduate) built a spectacular wheel.

At the WD Ranch students Paul and Ellie Hawks built an enormous wheel; it’s a single circle, with a VERY large crystal planted in its center. We would begin with a silent “walk of intention” – like the Buddhist kinhin walking meditation – up the hill, with a few rattles and drums to accompany us.

Once there, we did some ceremony – sometimes it included movement, sometimes an art project (like the ”dream sticks” we placed around the wheel one year). Having in mind a basic structure for a ceremony, and then creating it on the spot, makes it lively, personal, and deeper with meaning in the moment. So let loose and make grace!

Our 2012 Retreat was at the Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming. I was told by Blue Thunder (of the Wind River Reservation) that it was actually the center point – the hub – of ALL the medicine wheels in North America. He also told of how he and and fellow tribal members would create medicine wheels to calm the Yellowstone caldera when it became especially agitated. The seismic activity would always subside after they did their ceremony.

Generally, medicine wheels are located at earth “chakras”; on my scouting trip I sensed down into its root – and it took me deeply into the earth. I saw the surface energy extending at least 3 miles across (the energetic influence expanding out much farther).

A huge vortex of energy can adversely affect the people living in it. I saw the force there destabilized our chakras, so I started the Retreat with a technique to align and steady our energetic systems. In light of this disruptive influence, Natives don’t often live in these areas – they go there specifically for spiritual purposes.

This Retreat was particularly mind-blowing. The vortex affected  the retreat center staff, which introduced another aspect of chaos; they all quit within hours of our arrival, and took all the food for the retreat with them(!)

Our schedule was out the window the first afternoon and throughout the entire three days. It became a lesson in spontaneity and truly Being in what was ultimately a magical time.

At the Wheel we did a ceremony I received from guidance. Our offering, as was traditional at this wheel, was tobacco wrapped in red cloth and tied to the rope fence around the wheel (only Native Americans are allowed inside). We were at the wheel much later than “scheduled,” which brought us there just as a full blood moon was rising. Perfect!

On a few retreats we made “to-go” personal medicine wheels. A faux suede circle with a drawstring and slits along the edge, it was a pouch of tumbled semi-precious stones when gathered up in a bundle. Laid out, it was a mini-wheel that could enhance any space - and travel with you!

Soul level healing is part of what I teach, and indigenous spirituality and shamanism go hand in hand with that dimension. All my medicine wheel adventures have been a beautiful way for me to engage with earth energies - and powerful, ancient realities that guide us still today.

Whether your wheel is in your bedroom, a hotel room, your backyard or on a wild mountainside out in nature, create one to amplify your intentions and celebrate the beauty of this world!

Would you love to learn more about energy healing? We work with the human body, but you can apply these techniques and principles to animals, plants, land energies - and even the weather! My next class is in September:

Peace, love and healing -


Subscribe to receive my newsletter with commentary and great resources about personal development, healing, and spirituality.