Sun Bear Medicine Wheel is NOT the Medicine Wheel of any Native Nation (Tribe), but comes from a Vision given to Sun Bear by Grandfather.
Second Gift from Spirit Keeper of the West
The middle Stone of the path from the Spirit Keeper of the West to the Center honors
the Gift of Introspection. The Spirits that represent and assist with Introspection are
Mouse, Chamomile, and Lapis Lazuli.
"Eeek! A Mouse!" goes the woman standing on a chair in a famous cartoon. Then
there is the famous quotation from Ralph Waldo Emerson, "If a man can . . . . . make a
better mouse-trap, than his neighbor, though he build his house in the woods, the
world will make a beaten path to his door."
These describe the way the majority of humankind regard Mouse. Our Native
ancestors and many Elders and others even today have a different kind of regard
for Mouse. Many spend time enjoying the small miracles, and have observed that
Mouse lives in a small territory. Although they do not see the larger picture, they
see clearly what is under their wiggly little noses. We too need to look closely and
see that which is around us is also within us. Mouse has few defenses, and
must depend on his inner knowledge for survival. They also spend a lot of time
sleeping (going within). In some traditions Mouse is the totem for the Spirit Keeper
of the South. To others Mouse symbolizes innocence because, living in
his small world, he stays completely unaware of what is going on in the larger world.
So although we need to learn to soar with Hawk or Eagle to see the larger picture, we
also need to learn to see clearly what is "right here" and within ourselves. Working
with Mouse can help us learn this important skill.
Although there are more species of rodents than any other mammal, with 400
genera and about 2000 species worldwide, Mice belong to only three families of
the order Rodentia. The house mouse and the field or meadow mouse, which is
really a "vole", are the most common. In the USA, there is also the semidesert
mouse, called the white-footed mouse, of New Mexico that feeds on crop-damaging
insects. The gestation period for Mouse is
21 days, and average lifespan is only three years.
Chamomile is a plant with feathery green foliage, and small daisylike flowers. The
annual "German" Chamomile, Matricaria recutita, is the one we are concerned with
here. Chamomile has been known for being peaceful and calming, for relieving stress
and pain, for many thousands of years. A cup of tea made from the blossoms will
calm and relax you so that you can go deep within your being (introspection).
This tea is also an excellent bedtime relaxant. It is good to carry some of the blossoms
and leaves with you when you are working on learning to go within. You can also
sit by the Stone for Introspection in a medicine Wheel and ask for help with this. If
you have no Wheel available and cannot build one, just visualize a circle of Stones,
and sit at the Introspection position - halfway between due West and the Center.
Chamomile is easy to grow and makes an attractive addition to an herb or
flower garden. It has a sweet fragrance, especially the leaves. This plant is
also very good for your skin and can be used in oils and/or salves for this purpose.
There is an especially good article on cultivating and using Chamomile, including
medicinal uses, at Garden Guides - Herbs.
The mineral totem for Introspection is Lapis Lazuli, a fascinating Stone, often
Royal Blue in color, with grey streaks and gold flecks. These characteristics
are an identifying feature even for ones that are darker or lighter in color. Many
other traditions besides Native Americans considered this to be a special Stone
to use for meditation and Spiritual insight. Both the Old Testament and ancient
Egyptian records refer to this Stone. Carry and/or meditate with Lapis Lazuli
to help you with contemplation, introspection, to reach your higher consciousness
to gain wisdom and balance.
When cut and polished, Lapis Lazuli makes beautiful but fragile jewelry
stones for pendants, earrings, etc.
Royal Blue is the color for this Gift from the Spirit Keeper of the West. This is the
color you need for contemplation, meditation, going within. It has a calming,
healing effect, helpful for introspective work.
NOTE: The description of the positions and totems and their meanings given on these pages is meant only as an introduction, and not a complete explanation. Meditate and study further for a more complete understanding.