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Update on the Wheel.

Just like the world around us changing and improving the wheel is growing. Ground has been broken for the hogan project and we expect the posts to be set by the end of the week. We have finally finished construction on the ceremonial maze. The hogan is traditionally a meeting place for the community. Our plans are to mirror that purpose.

The newest addition to windwalkers is the man in the middle labyrinth. The labyrinth is as old as human society. They differ from a maze by having only one way in and out. There is a set path to a labyrinth unlike a maze that has dead ends and multiple openings. With a labyrinth it is all about the journey. Taking each step in turn and focusing inward to help you heal. Walking the path can help one find the answers to many issues. There are medical benefits for walking a labyrinth. It triggers the relaxation response. What is that?? The relaxation response is the opposite of our Fight or Flight response. When we are stressed and anxious our nervous system kicks into high gear. It increases blood pressure, heart rate, and shunts blood away from non vital organs. Walking a labyrinth and practicing controlled breathing stimulates the rest and relax part of your nervous system. It can lower your blood pressure and heart rate and shutting off your fight or flight response. This is so beneficial that hospitals have been including them in their designs for decades.

According to O'odham oral history, the labyrinth design depicts experiences and choices individuals make in the journey through life. In the middle of the "maze," a person finds their dreams and goals. When one reaches the center, the individual has a final opportunity (the last turn in the design) to look back upon choices made and the path taken, before the Sun God greets us, blesses us and passes us into the next world.

The Man in the Maze motif appears frequently in contemporary crafts and art of the Southwest of the United States, most prominently by Tohono O'odham silversmiths rings and other jewelry and Akimel O'odham artisans in baskets. Among these groups, the pattern has been very popular since the 1900s. Every basket pattern has a "mistake," called a dau ("door"), which is intentionally integrated into its design so that the spirit of the basket can be released.

Hogan, traditional dwelling and ceremonial structure of the Navajo Indians of Arizona and New Mexico. Early hogans were dome-shaped buildings with log, or occasionally stone, frameworks. Once framed, the structure was then covered with mud, dirt, or sometimes sod. The entrance generally faced east, toward the rising sun, and was usually covered with a blanket. Except for a circular opening in the roof to allow smoke to escape, traditional hogans were without windows or interior divisions.

We are excited about the changes coming to WIndWalkers. We are also adding on to our workshops and offerings. You can always ask about private workshops for small groups or individuals.



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