Source – nlm.nih.gov
– “…The ancient peoples recognized that they were influenced by the rhythms of Mother Earth and the cycles of life and lived in accordance with those natural rhythms. They honoured all the life cycles – times for creation, gestation, planting, birth, growth, change, death & rebirth. “Medicine” was about coming back into balance and harmony with those cycles”:
The Medicine Wheel and the Four Directions
The medicine wheel, originating from Native American traditions, is also referred to as Sacred Hoop. The medicine wheel represents the sacred circle of life, its basic four directions, and the elements. Animal totems serve as guardian of each of the directions. The four animals commonly represented in this role are The Bear, The Buffalo, The Eagle, and The Mouse. However, there are no fast rules about which animals represent the directions of the Medicine Wheel. Michael Samuels, co-author of The Path of the Feather, teaches that all native peoples have different spirit animals and meanings of the directions, encouraging us in choosing our own. Each direction of the wheel offers its own lessons, color, and animal spirit guide.
Medicine Wheel as an Introspection Tool
The medicine wheel is a symbol of symmetry and balance. During the process of constructing the wheel you will begin to recognize what areas of your life are not in balance, and where your attention is lacking and requires focus.
The medicine wheel represents the many cycles of life. The circle is representative of life’s never ending cycle (birth, death, rebirth). Each stone or spoke placement in the wheel focuses on a different aspect of living.
A personal medicine wheel can be made using fetishes such as crystals, arrowheads, seashells, feathers, animal fur/bones, and so on. Take time to reflect on each aspect of your life (self, family, relationships, life purpose, community, finances, health, etc.) as you place objects within the circle.
Simple and Complex Medicine Wheels
A medicine wheel can also be constructed without the use of objects, simply draw out your circle with colored pencils and paper. If you have the room outdoors for a large scale medicine wheel and are up to the project go ahead. If you can make it big enough for you to sit inside the spaces between the spokes of the wheel after you have constructed it all the better!
Medicine Wheel Elements and Directions
Air, Water, Fire, Earth
North, East, South, West
North, East, South,West, Center (Heart)
North, East, South, West, Sky, Earth
North, East, South, West, Father Sky, Mother Earth, Center (Self)
(The Medicine Wheel: Earth Astrology – By
The Medicine Wheel is a springboard of power that will allow you to link up to all the energies of the universe.” —Sun Bear
Millions of people around the world have incorporated Native American philosophy into their everyday lives. Now, with this special 25th anniversary edition of the late Sun Bear’s classic bestseller, readers old and new can benefit from the teachings and techniques of the Medicine Wheel.
In The Medicine Wheel, Sun Bear and Wabun put forth a whole new system of earth astrology to help guide people not only in their daily living but also in their life paths. In the authors’ own words, this book was written to “help all people relate better to our Earth Mother…and find a kinship with the universe.” The Medicine Wheel is a beautiful and inspiring approach to graceful, holistic living in trying modern times. The Medicine Wheel‘s philosophy is derived from a basic principle known by all people who live close to the earth: Once you fully embrace the elemental forces of nature, you become a part of the whole. Let this book be your first step toward finding peace and prosperity — and your own special place in the circle of life.