Since sitting in ceremony, I grow intimate with the Circle. Next to my plant allies, the circle has become one of the most important medicines in my apothecary. The circle has no beginning, or end, nor hierarchy and meets itself in the centre. Like a living being it has a breath, a will and an intelligence.
My own lineage goes back to the ancient people of Anatolia. Their old nature-based wisdom of a cyclical nature seems to be buried under layers of history. The Circle of Life can be found in the medicine wheel of the Native Indians, in the Celtic wheel, in stone circles and also in the Buddhist mandala. Within the circle are the forces that hold the world together. The circle of life is interwoven with people, culture and land. Yet in their architecture, they have much in common. Four cardinal directions represent, the four seasons, the four elements or four phases of life. Adding the above and the below, a centre forms, turning the circle into a sphere. Changing a location brings new anchoring points which offer new relationships in return.
The Celtic Wheel has been used in old Europe and moved over time with the people further north. The Celtic wheel counts the moon phases. The four seasonal festivals are celebrated between the equinoxes and solstices. Yet, over time, calendars and perspectives influenced one another and today, the Celtic wheel holds eight cardinal points. The Celtic new year starts on November 1st and is called Samhain. It marks the end of the harvest and the beginning of the ‘darker half’ of the year. This has been a time to breathe out, to lean into the darkness and honour the ancestors.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the five elements have a specific vibration. North, winter, water, the kidneys, the colour black - all vibrate similar. It’s energy is dark and cold, deeply yin with the essence of fire which melts the ice back into water. Two spirit animals symbolise the North: the snake and the turtle - one for each kidney. This is the place of the past, the mystery and the ancestors. Ideally, one stands in the centre, facing south held by the North. Your center here is earth. What wisdom holds the North when we dare to turn around and face it?
We’re in the broadcast station Berlin in north-east Germany in the autumn season of 2020. This month, we were consciously being informed by Samhain, November, Mercury direct, the 11:11 stargate, Saint Martin’s day, a new moon in Scorpio and the beginning of the advent season. Berlin houses calendar systems from many different cultures. Planetary and astrological calendars weave into the old nature-based wisdom and blend into the Gregorian calendar. The Gregorian calendar has been changed based on logic and today doesn't make any sense anymore. Interestingly, this one has become the one calendar the world community has agreed upon.
The calendars may come from a different time. But they hold a blueprint for us to learn how to weave with intention a universal medicine to live in right relationship with people, cultures and nature. The keepers of time have woven the threads of wisdom in a way that we can find the ends within our own time to follow a path back. What if it’s time itself that creates its own systems for timekeeping to fulfill itself? If life is cyclic, at some point the orbit of the past must meet the orbit of the future. I imagine that this where the wisdom meets to share itself through/in the ancient future. it must be a timeless ceremony. It is said that the Maya are the keepers of time. We imagine a bridge into the past that leads us in the rhythm of the season back to the medicine tribes, who hold pure medicine and the wisdom of balance. We bring an offering when we ask for a blessing. Then we can start weaving a living medicine wheel to teach us, and guide us into a connected global culture.
We give heartfelt thanks to the North, the guardians of the wisdom,. the water, the winter, and the womb of the darkness that holds the light within.
Text by Serap