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The Medicine Wheel and the Creation of Art

August 19, 2009

 

Big Horn Medicine Wheel, Wyoming.

Big Horn Medicine Wheel, Wyoming.

 

 

In order to maximize our potency as creators, or creative artists, we here at Craigmore Creations align ourselves with the forces of nature.

Over the years I have been taught various ways to do this, but all the ways are built off the same template, that of the Medicine Wheel of the Lakota and other indigenous tribes of North America.

In order to understand the Medicine Wheel, it is first necessary to understand a compass. On a compass, there are 4 cardinal directions (East, South, West, North) and four cross quarter directions (Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Northwest).

Now, think about the progression of the day. The sun rises in the east, shines hottest in the south, sets in the west, and is in the north while it is night.

Now, think about the seasons. Spring is like the east, it is a time of beginnings. Summer is like the south, it is a time of the suns greatest strength. Fall is akin to the West, especially when you consider the colors and winter is like the North, the days are short and darkness prevails.

In the teachings of the Medicine Wheel, there are two other directions to consider; Northeast and Southwest. They are especially important in times of project development and follow through.

If we follow the course of our current project and place it on the Medicine Wheel it would look something like this: We will start in the Northeast, this is the place of the “stirring”, the bubbling up of ideas. Likened to the day, it is comparable to the time when the robins start to sing, just as the first blue light of dawn cracks the darkness of night. This was the time of creating the characters and researching the science behind the story.

Then comes the East, this is the time of the inspiration, of the honing the focus of the idea. This is when all of the story writing was done as well as the time when Chris was found and we all took the research trip to Floodland to check out the sights and scenes that would later wind up in the book.

Then comes the South. This is the time of execution. This is the “get er’ done” portion of the wheel, in which a tremendous amount of work is done. Chris was illustrating, Erica was co-ordinating and keeping it all organized and I was polishing the story and doing the legwork to set the sales of the project in motion.

The next station along the wheel is the Southwest. This is the time of “wandering”. In our work it comes down to editing, and searching for publishers in order to find “home” for the project. Erica and I spent time with the flowers on the mountain and there was some soul searching done regarding the project. We are just about out of this station. Erica has found a new knack for coloring and will take the lead on bringing the color of the story to life. Chris is almost done with the pencil illustrations and I am pleased at the direction we are heading in.

Then comes the West. This is the phase of celebration…book signings, library tours, and all that jazz. We are not there yet, but we will get there. It is only a matter of time.

Eventually we will get to the station of the North, the time of rest, in which we focus our efforts on to the next project and get ready to go around the wheel again!

–David

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