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Medicine Wheel
Tags: MedicineWheel Parsifal Königsdorf Germany SunBear Wabun Rain Angelica

Everything that is, runs in cycles, recurring cycles determine our lives:

Day and night, the circle of the seasons, the cycle of the stars, the cycle of the lunar cycle from new moon to new moon, death, birth, rebirth.

The circle itself is an 'ingenious invention', has neither beginning nor end.

Stone circles, medicine wheels and circular megalithic can be found all over the world.

They play an important role in the traditional knowledge of many tribal cultures.

Shamanic traditions, there have been and still exist in many parts of our earth, and they lie alive everywhere where people have remained in touch with nature.

Stone circles represent connection points between the influences of the earth and the sky.



In Königsdorf, Bavaria near the village I was born, there are forests with old mossy trees and steep slopes leading down to the merrily swirling Lech creek.

At this idyllic place met some five hundred friends and followers of the Ojibwa medicine man Sun Bear, to celebrate a Medicine Wheel Ritual.

The Medicine Wheel, a mandala (vision board) of stones is based on a vision that had received the medicine man from high spirits.

The origin of Shamanism: Altay, Russian Federation

The stone circle connects all beings- the animals, the 'green people' (plants), the stones, the stars, the clouds- spirits, people and all things (everything that is) - with one another and with the Great Spirit.

In the centre of the wheel is a large stone, which represents as 'Grandpa Stone' the Creator and the sole origin of the universe.

In addition to the grandfather stone is directed eastward a buffalo skull.

Buffalo Scull on Grandfathers Stone Centre Sacred Medicine Wheel

Four paths lined with stones radiate from this centre and hit the outer stone circle, which symbolizes the entire creation circle.

In the seventies of the last century emerged from the New Age Movement (i.e.. Vision of Sun Bear, a Metis Ojibwa Indian) astrological horoscope and aligned medicine wheels.

One result of the Zeitgeist of earlier New Age dreams.

The ancient Indians turned to astronomical knowledge for the basic orientation of the wheel (e.g. solstices), and certainly little astrology, not at all for horoscopes.

Current traditional Indian representatives reject the alienation of their spiritual traditions from consistent.

These Indians will not be dictated by the stars, but transferred from a singular personal vision out of a totem (e.g. animals, plants, rocks, etc.).

In this sense our (Lakota) Medicine Wheel was launched and aligned.

'The Medicine Wheel is a springboard of power that will allow you to link up to all the energies of the universe'

- Sun Bear


Parsifal, August 09, 2015

Participants in the ceremony are smoked with Sage - Steppe Wormwood (Artemisia prairie trilobata), the guardians of the four directions and the other spirits are invoked; the sacred pipe is lit and circling in the course of the sun, and last tobacco and small gifts deposits on the outer circle.

Tobacco sacrifice at the outer circle

Sun Bear said the ritual radiates peace, harmony, prosperity and healing to the entire environment.

In order to conduct the rituals at the meeting and to convey sacred knowledge, indigenous medicine people and carriers of wisdom were flown in from the Russian Federation and America and invited domestic European 'shamans' and spiritual leaders.

My friend and mentor J. Reuben Ortiz Silverbird ('walk in beauty') the Peace Ambassador and accomplished musician, singer and performer, internationally recognised as a leading teacher of Native American spirituality could unfortunately not partake.


Manitonquat - also called Medicin Story -, the guardian of the tradition of the Wampanoag Indians, was there, as well as the Canadian Indian Luke Blue Eagle.

Wabun (Wind), the wife of late Sun Bear clearly produced.

Although she is a White of Anglo-Welsh origin but has been adopted by the Ojibwa and feels very Indian.

Drum makers, traders in skins, animal skulls, Native American jewellery, glass beads, fuming herbs and leather clothing, and also sellers of wilderness and Indian literature presented at their stands.

Large and small tepees were erected and many camping tents.

Everywhere smudged campfires.

There was a cheerful mood, full of expectation.



Ghost rain

Right at the beginning, at the dedication of the medicine wheel, there were disagreements.

One of the organizers, a dedicated women's rights activist, considered it as an affront to womanhood that a male grandparent stone occupied the centre of the circle as the creator.

It was supposed to be a grandmother, who sits there, finally be the women bearers and creators.

The argument that this stone in the middle really would carry the entire masculine as well as the feminine, in itself that he was androgynous, she let not apply.

Without further ado, she dragged another stone in, a 'Grandmother Stone', and superimposed him on the Grandfather Stone.

The slightly corpulent, flaxen blonde chief of 'Bear Tribe' of the German section would therefore not pick a quarrel; he put up with the grandmother, just let her go.

He tried to perform the ritual, the smoking and the invocation harmonious and correctly.

But no sooner had he started, the sky moved unexpectedly because unannounced, and there fell the first drops of rain.

There were always more.

Soon it rained so hard that many participants left the medicine wheel to get to dry land.

The rain did not let up.

It rained the rest of the day and the whole night.

It dripped through the chimney and out of the rods of the tepees, cold dampness penetrated the tents, sleeping bags soaked full with water.

The next morning, in completely drenched clothes, the Bear Tribe people took their breakfast in the canteen.

Some had not slept all night.

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The next morning it was raining blithely, except during short interruptions.

The workshops outdoors, in the forest and the river cancelled.

Heavy and gray closed the sky and everywhere there was dribbling down.

Wabun and the Indians said they would do something about it.


The Spiritual Leaders met behind closed doors in the sacred tepee, where in the middle blazed an 'Eternal Flame' for the late Sun Bear.

Also, I was invited into the illustrious circle.

'Wherever I am, the sun comes forth. I can talk with the clouds spirits. They listen to me!'

Told Luke Blue Eagle, who immediately took the chief seat opposite the teepee entrance.

Using an eagle feather he let ascend swaths of sacred prairie mugwort (ragwort) qualms, took the frame drum in the hand and sang his Medicine Song.

'Heya, Heya, ya, ya, ho' or something like it sounded.

An impressive performance - but without effect !

It was raining even harder !


Now came the turn for the white-haired old Manitonquat.

He also burned incense and sang Indian power songs.

The cloud spirits did not seem to be impressed.

On the contrary, now it flowed torrentially down.

Cernunnos, the Deer God as Lord of the Weather

'Parsifal Rain', they now asked me smiling, 'you know something that calmed down the rain spirits?!'

I did not want to blow and explain that 'making the weather' was actually to my cradle, not only because I'm still experimenting very cautious, thus I decided to keep my big mouth.

After all I've done with the 'rain-making' already quite a loss which was certainly due to a particular arrogance after initial successes and besides, I have, as Goethe's sorcerer's apprentice handled with powers of which I knew next to nothing.

Actually, I knew very little except that with the Ordinary Hemp Agrimony (Cunegonde herb, Eupatorium cannabinum), the ancient Celts have operated weather spells.

The herb that grew by chance next to the Tipi was - according the tradition - ordained the weather sensitive deer, the antlered Cernunnos, the sun god of the underworld.

Only I did not know whether the Pagan Celts summoned the rain with the herb or dispelled or whether they were able to do the both.

It was worth the try.

I picked the high-growing herb, waved it in the air and put it next to the sacred fire in the ground.

Now I would like to be able to say: ... and once the rain stopped.

But it was not so.

General perplexity now spread through the round.

Since Wabun spoke - after she was the boss.


'Someone said, in this place here was once a camp of the Hitler Youth'

she said in a meaningful sound.

'We bring light and good energy, but the spirits of the Nazis want to prevent that.

These evil spirits intend to expel us by the weather'.

This explanation seemed plausible to those present and witnessed her high spiritual gift - that but did not harm the rain.

It seemed to me the explanation anyway was somewhat far-fetched, especially if you know what the Hitler Youth was - and what it was not, and the thing about 'light and energy' is anyway fishy to me.

But that's beside the point.


I had learned from the Cheyenne that a ritual that the spiritual beings make known a medicine man in his vision, never ever may not be amended in the slightest detail.

A ritual sets forces in the spirit world in motion, which then have very concrete effects in everyday reality.

Even if one does have very best intentions, one must not simply change a ritual fixed by the Manitus (deities).

We must not create a 'Great Mother Stone' and then, moreover, put on the grandfather stone at will out of political correctness.

Thereby is the original quiescent centre, the primal unity split, so that polar tension and discord are possible.

But 'ho', Wabun had spoken !

She brooked no argument.

It seemed like confirmation of my suspicion that Wabun somehow could be wrong, as next day I met the master of herbalism, Sepp Ott.


He had heard that I and also the 'Aschenbrennerin' - the talented Bavarian herbalist Eva Aschenbrenner - were here at the meeting, that's why he once came by.

Sepp Ott, a Munich original and old outdoorsman who performs with a lot of wit and humour very educational herb hikes in the middle of the Bavarian capital, was in a particularly good mood.

'It's wonderful to be here, in spite of the rain. Königsdorf makes me wonderful memories, I tell you. Back when twelve or thirteen years of Bua (lad), I camped here with the Hitler Youth.

Yes, my, what a Gaudi (jamboree) we had!'

I must well have looked a little strange, so he answered my thoughts:

'Uh, so (such) a rubbish that has never had anything to do with Nazis.

We were just boys who even came out from the narrow streets of the city and took the opportunity to let off steam in the woods and down the river, and to sit in the evening around the campfire. Really enjoy the great outdoors, which was wonderful!'

I felt my thoughts confirmed and was glad to meet the old Sepp again after years and above all that he could remember me.


Also on the third day it rained on.

Only when my herb hike there was - as luck would have it - a short break, so I could show people native medicinal plants and edible wild vegetables.

That night were heard suspicious noises: hasty steps to the latrines, choking and throwing up.

Everywhere, behind the tents and in the bushes, was puking.

It smelled like diarrhoea and sour vomit.

The constant rain and cold had done theirs - epidemically spread from to an intestinal flu.

One of the participants, with whom I had befriended, was a young doctor.

He let it be known publicly that he would put up a tent and ordaining anyone who is afflicted with the intestinal flu treatment, free of charge.

'What kind of medicine do you have?', I asked him curiously.

'Oh, you know, nothing. I serve little white placebo pills.

This stabilizes at least the psyche. We do not want a panic. Why, you know about a herbal remedy?'

'No, nothing comes to mind', I answered truthfully.

Despite abdominal cramps, nausea and the runs the ordination tent remained virtually empty.

The Naturals, eco-freaks and Indians fans were indeed come to get out at least for a week from the estranged from nature, wired, over-technological consumer society to get rid of electronic bracelets and to behold the rehearsal for future natural, harmonious and spiritual New Neolithic.

They were almost offended when one came up with pills that had been produced in any chemistry lab.

Wild growing medicinal herbs, as they used the Indians or Celts, was which they wanted.

On this, they insisted.

They turned to me and jostling:

'Come, Parsifal, you certainly know any herb that acts at intestinal flu!'

As so often I stood there helplessly.

Why all these people come just to me !

There are some experts familiar with a high number of plants signatures and can assign therefore a specific form of the disease.

Certainly I had somewhere once, read in Maria Treben's herbs lexica, the herb priest Künzle, the pharmacist Pavlov, Ethno-Botanist, Culture-Anthropologist Stohrl learnt about herbs for intestinal flu, but for the moment struck me nothing at all, except chamomile.

But suddenly it was as if I heard the voice of a ghost:

'Open your eyes, you stupid man!

The solution to the problem is right in front of you. Know, salvation is always present'

'What's the hardest part of it all?

What you seem the easiest:

With the eyes to see

what lies before your eyes'

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe



At that moment I saw it:

As they grew everywhere at the brook and on the meadow - Engelwurz, Wild Angelica (Angelica, Archangel, Holy Ghost, Alexander, Master Word), the Angel of the Forest.

I had little experience with the large plant until then.

In the community near Villingen in the Black Forest, where I was once a vegetable gardener, we had daily drunk in the cold and damp transitional period between autumn and winter for the prevention of colds and flu the Angelica tee as infusion.

It was said that the spicy herb infusion strengthen the immune system.

The plant itself I knew then not, as we got the dry, crushed roots from the pharmacy.

But the tea seemed to work.

The actual plant I had learned to know much later as the herb master Sepp Ott, at a herbal excursion in the Black Forest showed me radiant of joy a nearly two meters tall, thriving umbellifer and said: 'Look, is she not beautiful?'

He was amazed that I, the alleged herbal expert who did not know Angelica.

Yes, and now she had called me.

Bill TallBull, the Cheyenne medicine man had always told me: 'Not you are looking for the plant, but she is looking for you!'

I took a bucket, my friend, the doctor got hold of two spades, and together we dug out in incessantly pouring rain, the strong white roots, one by one.

We were soaked to the skin.

In the kitchen we washed and brushed the roots clean and cut them to small pieces.

The chain-smoking cook, who was not a member of the 'Bear Tribe', looked at us too sceptical.

When we asked about her biggest pots, she hesitated.

She wanted to know first what kind of a root it was and who could account for it, to brew a tea.

I could read her gloomy thoughts.

She was afraid it might be a poison herb.

In her mind she saw already, printed in thick black letters, the headline of the German Bild newspaper: PSEUDO-INDIAN CULT COMMITTED MASS SUICIDE WITH POISONOUS PLANTS.

Yes, had there not once been the Jonestown cult in Guyana, by losing it and had itself killed with poisoned effervescent powder ?

Hundreds sect members had died.

Nevertheless, I managed to reassure the cook.

She lit another cigarette and debouched with the 50-liter pots.

Soon the people were queuing after refreshing, sharp spicy tasting elixir.

Some became immediately well, others took a little longer.

For many it was an important confirmation that the straight nature to those which correspond to it can provide a cure.

One need not even to import expensive exotic plants.

Everything we need grows where you need it.


Pause and look:

Unique, always new and fresh

is our world and full of wonder.

Hold on.

Rush not past like a madman,

trapped in endless thoughts loops

and the sticky web of pipe dreams

Look deep, look the miracle,

the gift of nature,

the gift of our true self !




Angelica - an abstract

click image to enlarge

Planetary affiliation:

Sun, Mercury. Nicolas Culpeper (1616-1654). The famous English herbalist and Herbal-Astronomer, presents the majestic plant under the rule of the sun. 'The plant is like the sun when it is in her house in the lion', he writes.

In addition, it takes effect against all diseases of Saturn: hardening (concretion), cold, toxicosis (poisoning) (Culpeper, 1999: 8).


The Angelica is with her hollow stems and inflated leaf sheaths open to air and light effects; at the same time reveals the vigorous taproot a solid relationship with the earth forces. The signature suggests a holistic harmonizing effect. Her protective property is reflected in the bracts that protect the flower umbels from external influences.


Essential oils or terpene hydrocarbons (have a cleansing effect and expectorant for the lungs and respiratory system), angelic acid, coumarins (Woodruff smell!), Bitter substances (stimulate digestion), flavonoids, tannic acid.

Warning: contains furocoumarin; the fresh juice can induce in direct sunlight in susceptible persons skin irritation.


The root was once used against plague, cholera and typhoid, today in lung ailments, colds, flu, viral diseases, indigestion, and loss of appetite, mononucleosis, digestive problems, intestinal fungi and pancreas weakness.

Because it promotes the intestinal blood flow, it is also indicated for colitis, enteritis, gastritis and even with gallbladder and liver disorders.



to be continued

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