**COURSES AND PROGRAMS OF STUDY
Our programs provide a safe and sacred space in which self-exploration and transformation can occur. Our experiential approach to learning is based on the sacred knowledge of the ancient earth-centered traditions. Our goal is to provide you with tools that help you attune to your true self - to access your inner wisdom, and support your ongoing process of growth and spiritual development from a stable center which extends out to the world with increasing care-fulness and skill. We offer methods to help you deeply connect with your body, mind, emotions and spirit, and to feel that resonate throughout your entire life, your family, your community, nation and world.
**AN INTRODUCTION TO THE WALKING THE SACRED WHEEL COURSE
OUR HOME STUDY PROGRAM
Our home study program, WALKING THE SACRED WHEEL is suited for both individual and group study. The course offers a path of spiritual inquiry and development that is conducted through correspondence, and provides optional quarterly in-depth intensive workshops.
We have a two level program of study. The First Year program is designed to give the adult student a basic foundation of knowledge by exploring the Old Spiritual Ways of all the major Earth-centered spiritual traditions. With this training the student can practice personal spiritual growth and integrate it into everyday life as either a solitary individual or as a group member. The second year deepens that experience as well as preparing the student for teaching certification.
**THE FIRST YEAR - A PATH OF MYSTERY
The first year course shares an integrated experience towards spiritual wholeness. It is designed as a year-long walk of discovery in which your spirit and spiritual purpose is discovered, accessed and activated. Like all life, we are influenced by the rhythms of the earth. Coordinating with the power of the energies of the seasons, the wheel course is divided into quarterly gates and thirteen moons that work in depth with the meaning of each season and the cardinal direction of that season. An opportunity is offered to learn from the natural world how to live in harmony with the seasons, attune to their deep changes, and thus explore and nurture our own inner worlds. Wheel work is a time-honored cross-cultural quest for knowledge and personal strength that predates all known religions, philosophies and psychologies. It is an ancient and powerful form of inner relationship and information retrieval. Four areas are accessed in the process: healing, development of inner strength or empowerment, accessing new or lost knowledge, and foretelling. The key aspect is that on this path one has a direct personal connection with Spirit rather than a mediated experience through a teacher, priest, minister, rabbi, guru, etc. The course presents methods and processes, but it is Spirit that does the teaching. The methods and process are the vehicle through which the necessary relationship is established. This is not a course in shamanism although we use shamanic techniques extensively throughout because they teach us how to be in relationship with nature and therefore in sacred relationship to ourselves and others. And, though Wheel work is a visionary quest in the mystery play we call life, it is not ascetic, nor a colorless way of self-denial; it is full, and earthy, it is sacred and it is fun.
There are 13 moon month lessons of study. Included are meditation exercises, pathworking, ritual and reading assignments, as well as written study questions (required if applying for teacher certification) that are completed and posted to the Institute.
Areas covered during the year long process of the first year include: initiation and the call; grounding, protection and purification; altars and the setting of sacred space; the web of power and power sites; service and the give-away; the spirit body; naming; the evolution of consciousness; life marking rituals; women’s and men’s mysteries; chanting, toning and power songs; ceremonial objects and medicine piece construction; journeying; power animals; sacred and trance dancing; help from guardians and guides; opening energy centers; sacred relationship with the elements; the magic of minerals, stones, herbs and plants; story telling and mythic realms; vision quests; praying, healing techniques and foretelling; transitions and thresholds; releasing and transformation; and using the Wheel to work with the power of dreams.
A key element of the Sacred Wheel course is individual practice. While we teach a cross-cultural body of material, we want the student to learn to do independent study and find his or her own truth. Thus we stress learning and applied practice so that the student learns about their personal spiritual path.
**OPTIONAL QUARTERLY INTENSIVES
**At the conclusion of the quarterly seasonal cycles, an optional weekend intensive of personal sharing, ceremony and in-depth learning is offered at ceremonial lands on beautiful Whidbey Island in the Puget Sound of Washington State or at other sacred sites around the world. (Weekend intensives can also be arranged to take place in the area in which you live.) The weekends provide an opportunity for you to sit in Council and ceremonial space, an opportunity to experience and facilitate the seasonal rituals, and time for deeper relationship with the power of the elements of the cardinal directions. In the Spring Intensive (the direction of the East) for example, you will experience a purification sweat and be taught the fundamentals of purification facilitation. You will work with the false-self masks, love flutes, and other East elements that give you direct experience with the powers of that direction.
**THE SECOND YEAR TEACHER CERTIFICATION PROGRAM
The Second Year Program is available to those who have satisfactorily finished the first year course. During the 2nd Year of “Walking the Sacred Wheel” the student moves from the circumference of the sacred circle into the center where they explore The World Tree from its roots to its branches, traveling with ease along the vertical plane of the shaman’s cosmology. Please see our teaching certification page for more information.
Even though Walking the Sacred Wheel is a course by correspondence, we work hard at staying in touch and being available through e-mail, regular mail, and will soon be available for Internet communication through a weekly chat hour. We also encourage attendance at one of our quarterly intensive gatherings where students can meet instructors and other students in a powerful in-depth experience of learning, fellowship and ritual.
Individuals seeking greater knowledge in any of the areas covered in the course, regardless of where they live, can contact and make arrangements for a facilitator to come to their area for personal instruction. The interested individual forms a group of at least six others interested participants. The instructor’s expenses for travel, lodging, and home-base living expenses are divided among the individuals in the area who wish to participate. We thus keep a balance between intent and information: not making spiritual growth difficult due to finances and/or geography, while making the institute self-sufficient financially.
For more information on the Walking the Sacred Wheel Home Study Course, please contact us, or request a free brochure.