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The Medicine Wheel with Heather Thomas

Listen in as Shamanic Practitioner Heather Thomas takes a look at the Medicine Wheel and how we can use it to help us through the phases of life.

Heather will be discussing the Medicine Wheel in depth in the Writual Society, and will host a live event on February 13 to ask questions and create your very own Medicine Wheel! 

Click here to join us in the Society:


Video Summary

Shamanic tools, medicine wheel, and its use in class. @0:00

  • Heather Thomas explains the shamanic medicine wheel as a tool for balance and direction.

Using medicine wheel for personal growth and healing. @1:34

  • Heather discusses using medicine wheel and shamanic journey to process life issues and move forward.

Shamanic journeying and the three worlds explored. @3:15

  • Heather discusses using sound to access different states of consciousness, including theta waves for slowing down the mind and lower world for processing past experiences.

  • Heather mentions three worlds to travel to during journeying: lower world for immediate past, middle world for interacting with spirits, and upper world for looking into the future.

Similarities between ancient teachings and practices. @6:02

  • Heather and Dayna discuss similarities between ancient teachings and practices from different cultures.

Indigenous medicine wheel practices and cultural sharing. @7:44

  • Heather reflects on their ancestral heritage and the sharing of ancient native South American practices.

  • Heather shares her knowledge of indigenous cultures and their connection to the land, emphasizing the importance of respect and understanding in honoring their traditions.



Dayna Schmidt-Johnson
Hello everyone, my name is Dayna Schmidt-Johnson. I am the community manager of the Writual Society as well as the house astrologer here at Writual Planner. Today we're going to be talking about the medicine wheel. We have shamanic practitioner Heather Thomas here today to talk about the shamanic journey and using the Medicine Wheel. Hello, Heather!

Heather Thomas
Hello, thanks for having me. I'm so excited.

And we're so excited to have you here. Tell us: what the heck is a medicine wheel?

So a medicine wheel is a shamanic tool that incorporates natural objects. And so as we build a medicine wheel, it will honor the four directions, the elements, the different chakras, Mother Earth, Father sky, it will also create the center place for us to really find balance and to feel good about the direction it's heading.

Well, that sounds like it can do a whole lot! When is a medicine wheel used, and how will we be using it in the class?

So it can be used a couple of different ways. In our class, we are going to build a medicine wheel together. And so we'll use our natural objects. If you bought some from around your house great. If not, you can just follow along with me.

And as we build the medicine wheel, we are talking about different archetypes. So how does the fire element show up in your life? How does the serpent show up in your life and we'll talk about what the serpent means about shedding our past, shedding our skin so that we don't feel stuck in the past or things that have already happened to us. We can move forward, different animals, different elements, hold those energies.

And as we talk about them and get to, like, know the language of them in your own way. We can use them to help us development to develop and change our energy within ourselves. So that as we show up, we're not bringing or dragging that past baggage around with us everywhere we go.

That's amazing. It seems like this medicine wheel can do a whole lot in talking about this longer journey of our lives. Does that go along with the shamanic journey? What what exactly is a shamanic journey?

So yeah, so one piece of the question I want to talk about is if you think about like, we're living our lives, and our stories or issues, like we work on them in one way, and then like, come back up again. And hopefully, as they come back up again, we have new tools to process them, and a deeper or new way.

So if you think of that spiral, or the wheel, we're going through our stuff. And so the medicine wheel can be used in conjunction with a journey, or sometimes separate, sometimes together.

And so the shamanic journey is similar in a lot of ways to a guided meditation. And so we use the drum often, but we can use the rattle or the flute as well. But we use sound to help us get into that lower state or theta, the theta waves vibrate, and so we slow everything down, we kind of step out of the busy, busy, busy mind. And then the shaman or the guide will lead us to a different place.

And so when we're journeying, there's three different worlds that will travel to and we use, I always use a tree, but you use natural objects to travel to these places within your imagination or your mind.

And so the lower world as where we're gonna process, things of our past, and our physical like, things of our immediate past. So our physical world, how we're dealing with things, how we can release things, we'll meet spirit guides there. People often have a couple of main spirit guides. And they could be beings they could be animals, they could be like colored balls of energy, it doesn't it depends on your senses, as how you're gonna see those, see those or hear them or kind of just know, it's not always a visual experience for everybody. So just to know that we all process the world differently. We're gonna process journeying differently.

And then the next level is the middle world. And so think of that, to go a little witchy on you, think of that as like crossing the veil and kind of interacting with spirits here. And so you might have a spirit in your house that you want to get to know or ask to leave If you can do that, or if one example of my daughter was having really bad dreams, and so she could go into that space and ask, there was a piggy lady that was giving her nightmares and to like, kind of interact with that energy and be like, are you here for my highest and best good? Nope. Okay, you can move on as one other aspect.

And then the third world that you can travel to, is the upper world. And that's why I like the Book of the Soul, or the Akashic Records is another word for it. That's where you can really go deep into the future, if that's your thing.

For me, I like to stay in the lower world and kind of deal with my everyday life. Some people love the Akashic records and looking at the book of their soul, and finding those different aspects. And so it kind of depends on what you have an affinity for, what type of journey that you're just gonna lot like all the journeys have beneficial aspects. But, you know, as we all are learning all these different tools, we're gonna really like and resonate with different aspects of them.

I think that makes a ton of sense. There's all kinds of different tools, some of us gravitate to certain ones. As you're talking about this, it's so interesting, how many things kind of crossed over; there's so much interconnectedness. But this is really an ancient practice, right? This medicine wheel is not new. The shamanic journey is not new.

How can we in today's world, and as the people that we are now, in what is kind of a new-agey spiritual realm, acknowledge and honor the sanctity of things like the medicine wheel?

So in my experience, or my personality, I like to look at the similarities. So I always am like, really excited, like, oh, you know, if you went witchy, we're kind of doing the same thing. Or if you went kind of down the Vedic yogic path, like they're doing some of these aspects too. And so that's just my personality. I'm like, wow, look at all these ancient teachings are kind of similar. And so I like to look at that aspect.

Because it the circle, and the idea of the Medicine Wheel pops up in cultures around the world. And so there's some different aspects about them, because their life was different. And they didn't have the internet to share everything then. So I find that aspect really fascinating. Whether you call it a Medicine Wheel, or a Mandala, or whatever you want, whatever language you want to use, I think is it's fascinating that it's all coming back up. We're all finding these teachings again.

And then I know it can be a hot topic among some cultures, but the way I was taught, my direct lineage through my teachers of the Medicine Wheel and other shamanic practices, they are from Peru, they're the Carroll people that may have Incan ties. So they may have that link 1000s of years ago to the Inca culture of that area in the mountains and values of Peru.

But they had a couple, I don't know how long ago exactly, but a couple generations ago, there was a meditation done and they have decided it's time to share their teachings. So this specific culture around Machu Picchu is ready to share.

So it made me feel okay, like I'm taking these ancient, native South American practices with the way I look, with blonde hair, blue eyes - or used to have blonde hair - that it's okay. Like they want us to learn, they want us to share that knowledge on down to new generations. And I know some cultures are willing to do that, and some are a little more hesitant.

And I think, as we honor the Wheel, we've got to be very respectful of honoring where it came from, and honoring, like, just using a few of their words in their language, to me, honors that, like Mother Earth is Pachamama and Mother Earth, is so powerful term in English, but Pachamama in their culture is a big deal. And you honor Pachamama all the time by placing your hands on the earth, or bowing down. And so taking those little aspects and beginning to understand their culture, and beginning to understand why they are doing it, and if it feels right for you incorporating it into your own practice.

That's really lovely. And, you know, the unfortunate reality is that a lot of those cultures kind of have either disappeared, or are very much changing. So to be able to connect and have a culture be like, we want to pass this on, we want more people to understand it and keep using it because it's such a powerful practice, that's really lovely.

Heather, thank you so much for being here today. You are going to come into the society in February - what a lovely month to work on a Medicine Wheel. Whether you want to bring things or just watch along as Heather creates the Medicine Wheel, and then take that knowledge and make your own or you want to bring things in play along. You can do any of those.

So we're really excited to work with you in February, but in the meantime, where can people find you?

Please feel free to message me directly in the Society or my email is the best, easiest way to find me, at

Sounds great. Thank you so much. And we'll see you in February!

See you then!


About Heather

Heather Thomas

Heather Thomas is a yoga teacher, preschool teacher, Reiki Master and Shamanic Practitioner. She has been developing her own spiritual practice through movement, crystals, cards, gratitude, and nature. Heather believes that energy healing is the key to finding joy everyday.



Want to join Erin and learn more about the Tarot Card of the Year in community with others? Head on over to the Writual Society! Join us for tons of great events and conversations to kickstart 2024 with Writual Planner! 

Looking to create a sacred space for your medicine wheel at home? Take a look at our Altar Cloths, perfect for conjuring all of your manifestations. 

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