The ELEMENTAL PROCESS or CYCLE OF THE SEASONS can help us understand the INNATE NATURE or CYCLE of ALL THINGS – A PROJECT, A RELATIONSHIP, A BUSINESS, A LIFE and thus give us tools to ENHANCE or IMPROVE and SUPPORT the inevitable CYCLE OF CHANGE.
Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of humankind is a circle from childhood to childhood and so it is in everything where power moves. Our tepees were round like the nest of birds, and these were always set in a circle, the nation’s hoop.
The understanding of Cycles and Elements is profound and universal – a process that informs all scenarios – relationships, projects, business, personal – daily, yearly, a lifetime. It is a way of describing the world and ourselves found in the wisdom of the great philosophers and teachers worldwide.
“Wise Druids were the priests, philosophers, scientists, judges and teachers of their people, and reached a standard in each of these fields that at least equalled, and probably exceeded, that of any other practitioners in the ancient world . . . [T]heir knowledge of the natural world was based on close, intelligent and accurate observations; and their arbitration of civil disputes and judgement of criminal cases were regarded as final, so absolute was the respect in which they were held by the communities whom they served. They were exemplars of personal sanctity and sagacity, working within a tradition of received wisdom, training and mutual support that brought out the best of which humans were capable.”
Ronald Hutton, Professor of History, University of Bristol
The Druids, as with other ancient cultures, used their observations and understanding of the planting cycle and the cycle of the seasons to offer wise counsel on the correct order of all things.
The time of INITIATION (Fire), of Potential and Possibility, of Beginnings. The SEED beneath the winter soil is excited by the spark of life, promising what is to come.
The time of EMERGENCE (Water). The passion for growth is nurtured by the warming SPRING RAIN.
The time of MATURATION (Air). Under the harsh glare of the summer sun, the plant’s abundance requires some discipline and structure, laterals are pinched out and a TRELLIS is erected, to ensure the best possible harvest (outcome).
The time of MANIFESTATION (Autumn). A time of completion, of HARVEST. A time of satisfaction and reflection.
And the cycle goes on – we can choose DECAY or GENESIS – an ending or the planting of a new Seed.
THE WHEEL OF SEGAIS describes this Cycle as a vitally important process in healthy organisations –
All projects start with initiative, idea, potential, big picture (Fire). The idea then needs some support and nurturing (Water) in order to discover its potential and help it grow. When it is ready, the project/idea must be given structure and subjected to intellectual rigour (Air) to make sure it can mature and, finally, it must be practically completed (Earth).
Unfortunately, in our western society, we almost always leave out water (nurture) and go straight to intellectual rigour before the poor idea has had a chance to be fed or, even worse, we go straight from fire to earth, i.e. from idea to ‘do it’!
THE WHEEL OF SEGAIS is an invaluable tool for supporting and managing the Cycle of Change and for creating Effective Teams.