The Light Magazine 2003


The Sacred Wheel is a universal symbol of life and nature that exists in traditions of many Earth Based cultures from around the world. Each culture expresses the teachings reflected in the wheel in their own way, yet the common themes explore the cycles and frequencies of nature.

This often includes: moon phases, the resonance of color, animal spirits, stages of life, seasons and other aspects that are used as tools for understanding the Natural Law of Spirit embodied in the rhythms and cycles of the natural world. This wheel is divided into 4 directions. Each direction is a point in a cycle with corresponding elements and rhythms and often an associated animal spirit. For example in some Native American systems the Bear lives in the West, yet in some South American traditions the West is home to the Jaguar. Each area on Earth is home to different species of animals and a different turning of the seasons in time, so the corresponding animals, colors and natural elements of any particular direction will reflect the resonance of that specific location and place on Earth.
You may find that a different animal speaks to you for that direction. All of this information is available to us personally if we listen closely to Nature, watch her changing form and her creatures. They are all telling us a story, guiding us to see each day in it’s place on the wheel, its place in our life cycle, each season, each color, animal, all of life reflected in nature teaches us how to walk united and in balance with spirit and natural law. The more our awareness and frequency is aligned with natural law, the more conscious and sacred life becomes and the more we live in harmony with our soul’s purpose.

I will list some of the most common teachings and associations held in each direction, synthesized from various Earth based & Pagan traditions, so that you may begin to understand some of the wisdom that the Sacred Wheel teaches us. In addition to what is listed below listen inwardly to your own wisdom that each direction speaks to you.


Color: yellow

Season: Spring, Spring Equinox

Moon Phase: waxing

Sun: rising sun

Life Cycle Archetype: woman/maiden, man/page

Qualities: Seeds of new beginnings, rebirth & resurrection, potential, visions & initiations, inner and outer light returning. Spring Equinox brings a brief moment when polarities are in harmony/balance.

Animal Spirit: EAGLE Medicine is the connection to the divine. It is the ability to stay connected to spirit yet remain grounded on the Earth plane – or as Christ said, "To be in the world, but not of the world".


Color: red

Season: Summer, Summer Solstice

Moon Phase: full

Sun: full,risen sun

Life Cycle Archetype: woman/mother, man/father

Qualities: Actualized visions and potential, wholeness, overcoming darkness, creative forces in action, managing power and accepting what is manifested. Summer Solstice brings a time of actualization manifested and oneness in the light.

Animal Spirit: COYOTE Medicine is that of the trickster. Coyote brings humor to the drama of our journey and teaches us of the fool.


Color: black

Season: Fall, Fall Equinox

Moon Phase: waning

Sun: setting sun

Life Cycle Archetype: woman/ goddess-queen, man/king

Qualities: Preparing to return within, introspection and inner wisdom, shadow calls, learning to trust letting go as do the leaves from the tree. Fall Equinox is again when polarities are in balance,

Animal Spirit: BEAR Medicine is in the power of introspection. Bear goes within to the deepest truth, into the cave world of inner life and wisdom, and retreats to the womb world of mother Earth.


Color: white

Season: winter, winter solstice

Moon Phase: void

Sun: sun has set

Life Cycle Archetype: woman/ crone, man/wise man

Qualities: Inner world, completion of cycles, void, still, embraced by the womb, embracing the shadow, death, peace of resolution, winter solstice teaches to embrace the ultimate darkness and still feel the stirring of potential beneath.

Animal Spirit: BUFFALO Medicine comes through prayer, abundance and gratitude. Buffalo carries our prayers to the heavens, as does the smoke of the pipe brought to the people by White Buffalo Calf Woman.



Sowell Magazine Spring 2000


I wish that when I was younger someone had shared with me an understanding of a woman’s life cycle. Something more profound than... "You must save for retirement;" something that honored the changes I would be going through rather than the social fear of growing old.

We are always changing and transforming ourselves. If we clung to what once was, we would be resisting the natural changes and rhythms of our being. Imagine if the trees hung on to their leaves and didn’t allow them to drop in the fall. The branches would not be bare in the winter, so the trees would send nutrients to the old leaves, still clinging, when it should be sending all of its energy to the inner tree, preparing for the spring. Imagine then in the spring when the new leaves tried to stir and could not come through because the old leaves were blocking their way. We have seasons of our lives just like the trees and it helps to understand how we move through them.

There are many ways to explore the changing stages of a woman’s life. One way is to see the cycles of a woman’s life reflected in the three stages of the Triple Goddess: The Maiden, The Mother, and The Crone. In many cultures we find myths of the Triple Goddess. For example in Greek mythology we find the story of Hera. She is made up of three aspects; Hebe-the Virgin (Maiden), Hera -the Mother, and Theria -the Crone. On February 2nd Celtic tradition honors Brigid who also has three aspects called the Three Blessed Ladies. In France, on May 24th, they honor The Mother of Arles, another triple myth. The Moon Goddess is celebrated in Greece on November 16th. Her Maiden is Artemis, the Mother -Selene and the Crone- Hecate. All of these myths speak about the cycles of the feminine, the changing seasons in life and in nature: birth, death and rebirth.
As the human experience evolves so do the collective archetypes. We see in the collective feminine the archetype of the Queen taking her place between the Mother and the Crone. We now live long enough to have many years between the stages of the Mother and the Crone, and we see this evolutionary shift reflected in the archetypal world. The Queen must now take her place in mythology, transforming the collective feminine into what we may now call the Quadruple Goddess.

Each stage has particular tasks that are best when accomplished at that time. When the tasks of the previous stage are actualized then a solid foundation is laid for the accomplishments of the following stage. It’s like building a house. If the foundation of the house is not solid and well built than no matter how beautiful and well built the house, it rests on unstable support. Eventually the beautiful house will begin to show signs of stress and strain. Until one day they may have to jack the house up so they can get underneath to reinforce the foundation. If we have not properly completed the earlier tasks in our lives we too, at a later date, may have to "jack up" parts of ourselves to allow us to get underneath to deeper levels of earlier experiences and make "repairs."

Though each stage may be symbolized by a woman of a particular age and stage of life, their essences interweaving within us. They exist as archetypes. Think of an archetype as an aspect of the human experience that continuallyoccurs, a pattern of behavior that becomes represented or embodied by a symbolic personality. We embody aspects of the Maiden, Mother and Crone within us always, yet we can see where one archetype may more powerfully influence a particular stage of our life. But for the sake of understanding our progression through these stages, I will speak of them as symbols of distinct times of our lives.

The Maiden: (developing ego) She is a young woman, pure of heart, full of love and curiosity, experimenting with life, trying new things and having new experiences. She carries the seeds of all potential: anything is possible and all possibilities are within her. She does not limit herself by the needs or beliefs of others. She is in love with the mystery of life. She is whole unto herself and finds complete meaning within herself. Sometimes you may find the Maiden also referred to as the Virgin. This is not referring to a girl who has not yet had sex. This is speaking of the fact that she is whole without other. She is complete by herself.

The dark aspects of the Maiden: She can get lost in her own world, dangerously taking risks, becoming self destructive, holding a deaf ear to the inner voice of her own Wise Woman and to the wisdom of others. She may be the dutiful daughter, her self worth linked to pleasing others in order to receive their approval. She has not developed a strong sense of self and may "lose herself" when she enters the next stage.

The Maiden’s job: To come to know her own thoughts, ideas, values, and purpose, and to dream and generate vision for her life. It can be difficult when she doesn’t have the encouragement she needs to explore and believe in herself, especially when other peoples opinions of her take on more power than her own journey of self discovery. In this stage the Maiden must find herself and her voice.

The Mother: (actualizing ego) The mother births creation and devotes herself to "other": people and things outside of herself. Often the archetype of the mother makes you think of a woman giving birth to or devoting herself to a child, but here we are speaking of all of the possibilities of creation. This could be a work of art, acquiring knowledge, a profession: some process that allows the birthing of the creative energy within us. She is a selfless soul whose devotion and love are unconditional. It is here that a focus, a path of some kind must be chosen and her responsibility and commitment to it established. In her choosing lies the creative responsibility for her life. She is taking the visions of the Maiden and manifesting the dreams of her choice. The strong self she hopefully developed as a Maiden now learns to be humbled in service as she develops selflessness and unconditional giving, it will be a choice to act selflessly, not a duty.

The dark aspects of the Mother: We depend on the mother to nurture us and protect us and so she has the power to abuse and abandon us. She can control, criticize and reject the young maiden within us. If she does not have a strong maiden inside of her she may lose herself into the "other", and dissolve away, taking care of other while denying herself, becoming a martyr.
The Mother’s job: To actualize the dreams of the Maiden by allowing and
encouraging them to be manifested in the world. This is a stage where she learns to put someone or something before herself, her ego. If she has a healthy Maiden and Mother inside she won’t lose herself in this process and she can discover a deeper aspect of being. For some, a spiritual awareness is discovered as the ego is tempered and humbled by love, service and creation. She begins to find the wisdom of the Crone.

The Queen: (mastering ego)
The queen can be seen as the later phase of the mother archetype. She is a woman owning her own power and authority within herself and in the world. If she had children they are now older allowing her greater focus on her other creations. This is a woman negotiating her responsibility and power and reveling in all that she has mastered and accomplished. She has much to teach and remains actively engaged in society, either directly or through her teachings. She is renegotiating the all encompassing giving of the mother and creating clearer boundaries around herself, her time and her expenditure of energies. She reaps the benefits personally of all she has done and directs more of her power and attention to her own needs and creations. This can be a powerful personal, spiritual, and political stage of her life.

The dark aspects of the Queen: - The powerful queen can abuse her power and direct her knowledge and status for negative purposes, clinging to all she has achieved, becoming consumed with acquiring more and more power. She may respond to her sense of personal, familial or social responsibilities by withdrawing and withholding. If she did not experience a positive mother phase she may feel drained, resentful and misdirect her anger. She may not feel she has anything to offer this stage of life.

The Queens' job: To renegotiate her boundaries, realize and actualize her power and knowledge, and use her expertise for the good of all. This might be difficult for her if she lives in a patriarchal culture that devalues women and is threatened by her power.

The Crone: (surrendering ego) This is a very wise woman, no longer focused on others she has turned her reflections inward, as the Maiden did. She is not detached from the world; just not involved in the ways she was before. She seeks more solitude. Others seek her out for guidance and she welcomes them. She has a wide perspective, gained from years of experience. Been there! Done that! She can be completely honest because she has nothing to lose. She holds the wisdom, teaches and shares stories with those who will listen.

The dark aspects of the Crone: She can be bitter if she did not complete actualization of the previous stages of life, making it difficult for her to let go of her youth, dreams, people and living in the body. She may isolate herself and may blame others for her misfortunes. Her rage can be fiery. Her sadness and pain deep.

The Crone’s job: She is hopefully fulfilled by a life well lived, dreams and visions actualized. Her children, if any, are grown. Her responsibilities have moved into the arena of sharing the knowledge that she has acquired and she welcomes the invitation to share it. She returns the seed of vision back to the Maiden. Within her is a lively Maiden and a creative Mother. Our culture tends to devalue our elders, retiring them from work and often from the family and life in general. We lose so much of ourselves, within and without when we lose connection with the wisdom of the Crone.

We all have within us the good aspects as well as the dark aspects of these archetypes. If we find Maidens, Mothers, Queen’s and Crones who can serve as role models, we can learn from how they are negotiating the cycles of their lives. Life is a thread of single moments woven together, side by side, creating one continuos experience, each moment separate but connected to the whole.



Sowell Magazine Spring 2000


As dawn’s light emerges from the dark star-lit night I awaken and give thanks for the gift of another day. I have a personal ritual that begins most days. This morning ritual usually begins as I sit at my altar and breathe to shift my energy and raise my vibration. I burn sage and the call for guidance from my guides, ancestors and all spirit beings that are connected to me. I offer gratitude for all that is in my life and good in the world and also for the gifts that have come from the hardships as well.

Sometimes I am in prayer or empowering a vision of what I see to manifest in my future. I usually include music or some kind of sound vibration; my voice, my guitar, a simple repetitive beat on my hoop drum or an accompaniment on my Ashika drum to a special piece of music I use to move energy through my body and beyond. Other mornings I feel called to use my body in movement through what I call the Honor Dance, which is an expression of honoring spirit, those above & those below, the Earth, and extending my open heart to another and allowing heart offerings to come into mine.

Through this process I am graced with the peace of expanded being, and it is at this point, if I desire, that I will send out healing energy to someone, empower a vision I wish to manifest, or send out an aspect of my being to connect with another person. Whatever I do that involves another person on any level is always offered for the good of all and according to free will. Nothing should ever be imposed upon another being without their permission. With an open heart I then sit in silence. When I feel complete I give thanks to all the spirits who have heard my prayers, who are present in my life. I release my call upon them and offer for them to stay if they so choose. Then I close in some way, with some words or a heart felt honoring of what is sacred, what is Spirit. This is a simple example of a ritual, a personal ritual, held in a ceremonial container, and includes some form of trance inducing aspect like the drum, dance or breath.

Truly there is ultimately no beginning or end of ritual space. That expanded state we attempt to create in such a ceremonial way has no beginning or no end. It is a continuous stream of Spirit, Universal Consciousness, God, whatever you choose to call that inner aspect of our own divine nature where we are one with Creator. Ceremonial use of ritual and trance-inducing aspects of ritual serve to reunite us with that which we truly already are, but have forgotten. The breath, the drum, the song, the dance, the prayer all serve to raise the frequency of our vibration so we may align with Spirit realm and awaken again to the truth of what is most sacred, what is our true nature in alignment with Creator.

Ceremony and ritual then become part of a Way of living expressed in every breath, in every word, in every moment, in every action. Ritual is alive and in harmony with the Natural Law of the Universe. True ceremony is the ritual art of living Spirit. You cannot take a ceremonial ritual and perform it as a rote practice, empty of the living Way. In the beginning many people start in this rote manner, but when ritual is practiced on a regular basis there is the opportunity to experience and expand, to understand it as a sacred Way, a Way of life, a Way of being.

Ritual Space is sacred space and I approach it always with the deepest respect, honor and pureness of heart. The words ritual, ceremony and trance are often used in relation to practices of Spirit work, yet many people get confused as to what they actually are, what distinguishes one from the other. Think of ceremony as a sacred container that provides space for ritual. Now hold ritual as a series of gestures, behaviors and expressions with intent and focus that are practiced in ceremony. Ritual is the symbolic expression of higher truths. Historically and cross-culturally people have used scared substances such as Peyote, Mescaline, Ayahuasca and other psychotropics in ritual to alter and expand consciousness. But more frequently the tool used is trance induction. Trance induction raises the individuals level of vibration through the use of various techniques including repetitive sound like the beat of the drum, light, movement, dance, breathwork, prayer or chanting. An increase in an individuals energetic field expands their awareness beyond the personal level of existence, and creates a point of inner reference that transcends the mind chatter and the emotional & physical veils. Trance becomes the doorway to the other side.

The power of words in ritual cannot be underestimated. Words give form to intent, to creative energy. They carry our intent out in to the world of form as vibration and have impact. It is essential in all of life and in ritual space to be conscious of the words spoken. Be sure they represent your truth and serve the highest good for you and others. I often think of ritual as a story or journey, one with a beginning, middle and an end. The beginning sets the sacred space and creates connection to others and Spirit. The middle raises the power and the energy and directs it with intent to the chosen place, vision or experience, and provides the container for us to travel through other dimensions and realms. The end calls us back, grounds us into the world of form, our bodies, and allows us the time to give thanks and our offerings and bring closure to the whole experience.

There are personal rituals, collective group rituals and trance-inducing rituals. Personal ritual is done for one’s own purpose and experience. It may be created spontaneously from the heart and direction of Spirit or it may incorporate a more traditional and formal series of practices. Collective or group ritual usually has an agreed upon tradition or practice of some sort that the group will follow. Group ritual is a powerful experience as one’s individual energies merge into the collective and the frequency of the group’s energy exponentially raises and expands. The raised energy is so powerful that when directed by group intent, focused in one direction, it has profound potential for effecting creative manifestation, healing and intedimensional travel. The larger the group the more powerful the energy that group can direct with intention. A ritual will not contain a trance induction if the intent does not include shifting consciousness by raising the vibration of the participants energy fields.

All of life is energy and through this energy we transmit, receive and connect. So imagine that individuals are transmitters and receivers, and just as a television receives channels on various wavelengths so do we. Think of our daily state of consciousness as airing on Channel 4, and other dimensions as airing on other channels. If your receiver only gets the frequency of Channel 4 then your experience and your life is limited to that channel. Through various methods, trance ritual is one, we raise our vibration and frequency making more dimensional channels available to our energetic receivers. We transcend the limited channels of mind, thoughts and emotions and now see with our expanded inner eye.

Our ability to perceive and experience other dimensions, other aspects of spirit realms is then possible. Non –embodied beings become visible and traveling between dimensions becomes a reality on these expanded frequencies. Shape shifting occurs in this state, where we merge with the spirits of animals and other forms and have access to the energetic Universal imprint, of all that was and all that will be, as we access our own cellular memory and the Akashic level. The elements, seasons, directions, sacred symbols and sacred geometry take on deeper meaning as our ability to perceive symbolic levels expands. This state of consciousness and alignment with Spirit and Natural Law is the intent of most ritual. In this state of awareness not only can we move between the worlds, but also we have greater abilities of healing and manifesting creatively in the word of form.

As your life becomes more aligned with Creator and you walk more firmly on your own sacred path you will begin to see how ceremony and ritual become of part of all that you do. It will emerge easily from within you in such simple ways. You may seek to find a tradition that speaks to your soul and walk that path and explore it’s ritual practices, or you may have a more solitary walk and ritual may remain a personal and private matter. No matter what path you walk, when you are on Spirits path life will be your ceremony and how you live it will be your most powerful ritual.



Surrendering Ego


One of the most important questions we may ask ourselves when we are in a helping role is:

  • Why do we want this role?

  • Are we doing this work because of our love of youth?

  • Because we want to heal our own wounds?

  • Because we want to change the world? Because we feel empty inside and want to feel better?

  • Because we want to serve?

There are no right or wrong answers here, only the need to know what aspect of our own ego we are bringing to this work. The answer to this question may very well be the largest obstacle we bring to doing this work and seeing another human being through a clean & clear lens, and being present with someone without our own agenda getting in the way. Why? Because the attachments we have to whatever we are doing are the veils through which we are seeing, the veils of personal attachment that interfere with our ability to be truly present in a non judgmental and helpful relationship with another person.
The same holds true for all of our ideas, opinions, and beliefs about how anything "should" be. So the second question to ask is: What are our beliefs and feelings about all of the issues we are discussing with young people?

Our beliefs are the filters that prevent us from truly listening and hearing with an open heart and mind. These will be the filters that truly prevent us from connecting on a deeper level with another person. We must honor our beliefs because they comprise the personality we identify with and live within. And, when it comes to truly listening, in a non-judgmental manner, in a healing manner, we must suspend (not deny) this aspect of our being. When we come invested in our own "SELF" then we will unconsciously, and at times consciously, direct, mold, mutate the process to the issues, feelings and behaviors that serve us, not necessarily the person or persons we are desiring to serve.

Our task is to listen deeply, to help another person come to the conscious understanding of their own feelings and beliefs, the etiology of these beliefs, how they do or don’t serve the individual, and how they can be changed, if desired, to better support a more conscious self and life.

When a young person feels in their gut that we are offering our unconditional presence, then, and only then, will they ask us for guidance. They WILL ask us for the wisdom we have within, based on our experience and deeper knowing. They WILL want to know us, our feelings and beliefs, once this healing relationship is established. A loving relationship is healing in and of itself!

Yet the most profound and helpful guidance will be when we can gently redirect that individual to their own inner wise person. Whatever the age, we each carry within us the collective Wise One, who feels deeply and knows what is the truest of truths for that soul. When we can guide a person to their own deepest truth, then we are supporting that being in actualizing their soul purpose, not ours, not societies, not their family’s, but their own. It is our responsibility, and essential for our common good, to provide this to our youth and each other.

The Shadow

Question number three: Are there any monsters in the shadows that we are afraid of and what will we do when they are mirrored to us by anothers pain? Hearing someone elses fears, anger, hopelessness, or any form of pain or distress, mirrors for us own shadow side – our own pain. To truly serve another we must be willing to sit in our own darkness, feel our own hopelessness and stare into the eyes of the monster. Our own fears may prevent us from being willing to journey there with someone else. Often adults interpret the discomfort they feel, when listening to the darkness their children express, as a measure of their concern for their children. And though at times that might be true, there are other times when it is our own inner shadow being reflected back. The most courageous way to serve a person is in the willingness to hear their darkness, identify when it is triggering our own, and knowing when to suspend our own veil of fear so we may listen fully and be present for them. When a person seeks out our personal experience we must be courageous enough to share our own darkness with them as well as our light.

The Many Ways of Serving

There are many ways to "be" with someone and many ways to serve. When working with an individual or a group it is important to find out what that person needs rather that assume that what we want to give them is what they truly need. So – go to the expert, the person you are trying to serve, and ask them what would serve them best. Always attempt to be clear as to the intention of the meeting and then be open to the organic evolution that will occur. In whatever way we chose to serve and share of our selves, let it be experienced in a container of love and trust.


Sometimes what someone needs is for us to only listen. They do not want or need us to resolve the issue, fix it or give advice. They want their feelings to be received and held in the loving vessel of our attention. Reflective Listening: Sometimes what someone needs is to be "heard" – which means not only do they need us to be present with their words or feelings, they also need to know that we have understood the essence of what they have said. This can be especially important in times of conflict. At these times we can reflect back to them what we have heard them say so that they know they have been heard. We may need to do this process more than once to get to the understanding correctly – since though we have listened we have not always necessarily heard.

Play, Celebration, Ecstasy:

Serving can take the form of sharing joy, creativity, dance, celebration, or sharing an ecstatic moment. Allow the celebration of life and each other to as much a part of your work as any other.


The deep connection to our own inner spirit and just sitting with another person in that "space" can be the most healing sharing of all. We culturally tend to place the highest value on the sharing our emotions, mind or our bodies. I offer that what we most truly have to give in service is the presence of our own spirit, our own deepest self- shared in the silence of the moment.