Tonight I learned about the Seven Stages of Life – Ojibwe (or in the US Chipewyan) approach to life story. As I venture on my second winter journey with Julia Cameron’s books and journaling reflections I am now going a bit deeper into my self and my story (it’s important for trainee counsellors to get their own story right).
The tribal tonality of the Vein of Gold is perfectly aligned with my past interest in Ojibwe culture. (It also resonates with the emerging need for nations to go to their tribal cultures – something I’m noticing in many public conversations). So I am going to look at my seven stages of life: the good life, the fast life, the wandering life, truth, planning, doing and being an elder too, even though the last one is still ahead of me. What a brilliant framework for life, but how sad that we no longer nurture our elders.
I feel sad I have no access to a trusted group of those wise teachers. I am lucky enough to know a few elders in a more fragmented way so when I’m done with the current “doing” stage I might consider a ritual, a journey of some kind. Last night discovered the work of Stephen Jenkinson (Due Wise book), and it moved me deeply.
Anyway, this update was inspired by my evening but also this branch from @freddiesflowers – when I was a child we’d pop them under our shoes and giggle so there were hardly any left around. Receiving such a rich branch is quite astonishing and so abundant. I actually don’t want to ruin it! (Still tempted time sneak out at the back and pop a few, mind you).
Not sure if life happens in stages, possibly in circles, but the Ojibwe approach makes sense to me.