In the practice of using movement as meditation and self-discovery, combining the 5Rhythms with the Shapeshifter creates a powerful practice that delves into the Four Directions within the Native American Medicine Wheel.
This transformative combination invites us to explore deeply connected movement with the elemental forces and wisdom in each direction of the sacred wheel.
Understanding the 4 Directions of the Medicine Wheel
The Medicine Wheel, a sacred and symbolic circle used by various indigenous cultures, represents the interconnectedness of all life and the cyclical nature of existence. Within this wheel, the Four Directions – East, South, West, and North – are integral aspects, each associated with unique energies, teachings, and elements.
1. North – The Element of Air and the Bison
The North is linked to the element of Air, symbolizing new beginnings and the mental realm. The 5Rhythms Shapeshifter encourages us to embody the expansiveness of the North, allowing our movements to awaken mental clarity and fresh perspectives. Our "shifting" may evoke the sensation of the wind, facilitating a sense of liberation and charging forward.
2. East – The Element of Fire and the Eagle
Representing passion, transformation, and the emotional realm, the East is associated with the element of Fire. Here, we shift and move into the fiery energy of the East, expressing emotions through dynamic and vibrant movements. Our shapeshifting ignites our inner flame, allowing for personal transformation, and a release of stagnant energy to soar to new heights.
3. South – The Element of Water and the Wolf
Symbolic of introspection, healing, and the spiritual realm, the South is aligned with the element of Water.
Engaging with the flow of water in our movements, we move with the fluidity of wild energy, exploring deep and introspective breath. We shapeshift to connect with our emotional depth to facilitate a healing journey as we navigate the currents of our intuitive self.
4. West – The Element of Earth and the Bear
Representing wisdom, stability, and the physical realm, the West is connected to the element of Earth.
Anchoring into the grounding energy of the West, the shapeshifter embodies strength and stability through grounded, rooted movements, like the bear. This direction fosters a connection to the physical body, allowing us to connect ourselves in the present moment and cultivate our inner stability.
Through intentionally exploring deep movement within the 5Rhythms Shapeshifter, we embark on a journey that aligns with the teachings of the Medicine Wheel's Four Directions. Participation becomes a sacred ritual, a dynamic meditation that honors the interconnectedness of self, community, and the natural world.
As our movements unfold, so does the wisdom embedded in the elemental forces of the East, South, West, and North, offering a transformative experience that harmonizes mind, body, and spirit.
Syzygy Dance Project (SDP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that transforms lives through dance movement. We offer regular dance classes to the public and outreach dance classes for inmates, veterans, recovering addicts, chronically ill patients, and the elderly.
Syzygy Dance Project
P.O. Box 2532
Sausalito CA 94966