Taking that next step up in the North of the Medicine Wheel, is like hiking the high mountians of wisdom where we move into a different sense of time and reality. We step into the mystery teachings, a place where you have to go to have accesss and experience. We learn to work the unknown, to shapeshift our world in our courageous journey of Destiny and realize that the future never comes to us, we are here to meet it in the moment. A moment of sacred power when we have certainty in our hearts, the moment when everything is possible. From working our wounded story in the South and practiced our Spiritual warrior skills in the West, we are ready for an adventure of the soul where we go beyond ego investments and all that we already know.  

The Teacher

Andean despacho ceremony
North direction of the Medicine Wheel - The Teacher

The North is a place of winter, of white snows that remind us of the white hair of the elders. It is the dawning place of true wisdom. Here dwell the teachers of intellectual gifts symbolized by the great mountain and the sacred lake. Some of the special gifts that awaits the leader in the north of the medicine wheel is to imagine, to understand, to organize, to remember, to interpret hidden meanings. It is the place of the great mystery.

The principle that guides the teacher is to be open to outcome, not attached to outcome. The way of the teacher is a practice in trust. Trust is the container out of which the qualities of wisdom grow; clarity, objectivity, discernment, and detachment.

Shamanic traditions access the human resource of wisdom by learning how to trust and be comfortable with states of not knowing. The opposite of trusting is trying to control. An individual who has difficulty with surprises or the unexpected has attachements, fixed perspectives and a strong need to control. Attachments are specific expectations and desires that are projected onto people, places and situations. It makes us ridgid and controlling instead of open and flexible to new ways.


If we look to the natural world, we learn that everyting is in constant motion. We need to be flexible, to adapt to change and go out of our repetitions of routine to flow healthy with life. Life itself will bring us wisdom in ways we may neither understand nor choose from the level of mind. It is up to us to be open to all these sources of wisdom and to embrace them with our whole heart. Along with knowledge we must seek wisdom. Knowledge is understanding what is seen - wisdom is knowing what is not seen. No one can be whole without both dimensions of learning.

The element of the North is fire. In this medicine tradition we take our seat among the ancestors, the wisdom keepers, the luminous ones and pray around sacred fires. We pray from the level of our heart, both for what we are ready to let go of ( any attachment, limiting beliefs, old stories, fear patterns ) and we give silent prayers and offerings of dream, discovery, courage, endurance with openess to outcome. The fire becomes our teacher and place of ceremony.

The great mountains is another teacher of the North. The higher we climb its slopes, the steeper and more difficult the way becomes. And yet the higher we go, the more we can see and the stronger we can become. We embark upon the quest for life! Hummingbird asks us to remember that the journey is long and requires much energy and concentration but along the way there are always joy, grace and sweetness. She is the renewer of life, the sacred pollinator that reminds us to adapt, to work within the journey we are on, and stay awake in the moment to the potential of the gifts each day offers. Not every day hold greatness, not everyday offers us to shine our colors in the brightest way, but each day does offer something of sweet nectar, of learning, of wisdom that enrich our soul and its journey of Living Destiny!

We all know that our deeds today affect tomorrow, that our smallest gestures influence destiny, that the future of our species changes constantly with every action of every living thing on Earth. But can you imagine that today´s experience might also depend on something that happens tomorrow? That you and I might not be sitting here were it not for something that happens a month from now? The second lesson of mastery is that time is polychronic and monochromic - it does not fly like an arrow only. It also turns. Like a wheel. When these two kinds of time intersect, that is sacred time, ritual time, when you can influence the past and summon destiny from the future.                         

- Alberto Villoldo

Qualities of the North Direction

Element: Fire

Color: White

Aspect of human nature: Mental

Cycle of human development: Growth

Teacher Archetype: Hummingbird

Ausangate in Peru