Enjoy the medicine Wheel / Labyritnth
Introduction to the Medicine Wheel
Medicine wheels - similar to the mandalas of the East, the labyrinths of France, the stone circles of Europe, and the Mayan and Aztec circles - have been used all over the world by indigenous people. The purpose of the wheel is to connect you with spirit and bring you into oneness. It teaches you how to work with the elements, the directions, and the spirit within you.
The medicine wheel teaches you how to be one with everything. It is an experiential tool that teaches you the four directions and how to use the flow of them to carry you through life. You experience the power and magic of the elements and awaken the elements within you.
The Wheel is a representation of the interconnectedness we have with nature. It expresses your internal relationship with all that is. It is a guide to truly see an honest reflection of who you are, where you are in life, and what to further develop. It is a personal exploration tool for growth and transformation.
The Medicine Wheel reminds us to balance the spiritual (east), emotional (west), physical (south), and mental aspects (north). It is a representation of the “four directions.” with the center of the wheel representing spirit. The sacred mysteries in the wheel encompass all that was, all that is, and all that is yet to come.
The four cardinal directions: North, South, East, and West, are represented by distinctive colors; black, red, yellow, and white. Each quadrant represents different stages of life: seasons of the year, and human aspects. Elements of nature: fire, air, water, and earth.
Animal totems: eagle, bear, wolf, buffalo, and many others.
Ceremonial plants: tobacco, sweet grass, sage, cedar. It is used to honor stages of life: birth, youth, adulthood, and death.
Seasons of the year: spring, summer, winter, fall. Human aspects: spiritual, emotional, mental, physical. Elements of nature: fire, air, water, and earth.
The medicine wheel has many layers to it and many ways to utilize it in your practice. Since it carries the energy of the earth and great spirit it is a great place to do ceremony and transformational healing work. It is perfect for hosting moon ceremonies, summer solstice, and winter equinox ceremonies.
Basics of the Medicine Wheel - direction, element, animal totem, seasons/aspects, color
● East - Air - Eagle - New Beginnings - Yellow
● South - Fire - Wolf - Celebration - Red
● West - Water - Bear - Cleansing - Black
● North - Earth - Buffalo - Reflection - White
Medicine Wheel - The Four Directions
The Medicine Wheel is a sacred symbol to represent all knowledge of the universe. It is a symbol of hope — a tool used for healing those who seek it.
The circle of the Medicine Wheel mimics the sacred outer boundary of the earth. It represents the circle of life and death, the path of the sun and moon. Entering the medicine wheel is walking the spiral of the feminine.
To the untrained eye, the Medicine Wheel might seem like a simple circle, but it holds a much deeper meaning. Every part of it has a meaning. Its shape is that of a circle; however, the accompanying lines and the wheel’s Four Directions are all significant.
The circle of the Medicine Wheel represents the sacred outer boundary of the Earth and is called the Sacred Hoop. Its shape represents the continuous pattern of life and death, the path of the sun and moon.
Both the horizontal and vertical lines represent the sun’s and man’s sacred paths. The crossing of the two lines in the middle of the circle indicates the center of the Earth.
The Four Directions
According to “Native Voices” as a part of the National Library of Medicine, different tribes interpret the Medicine Wheel differently in terms of direction and color association. Each of the Four Directions (west, north, east, and south) is typically represented by a distinctive color, usually black, white, yellow, and red. This is what I was taught by Vasiliki Lagoudis from Teaching Spirit. Passed down from her teacher Artie Red Medicine from the Lenape tribe.
East - Air - visualize clouds - angels - ask for Inspiration and guidance.
Birth - Tobacco
Yellow – Morning – Eagle – Spring – Dandelion.
Sunrise – New beginning.
It is where you go for inspiration when you are starting something. It is associated with spirituality, enlightenment, and returning back to your origin.
South - Fire - visualize flames - motivation - courage- clear the way
Red – Mid-day – Wolf – Summer – Wild Rose.
High sun – the place that receives the most light.
It is responsible for the growth and flowering of all living beings. South is most often associated with passion and movement as it is the polar opposite of the North. It symbolizes your inner child and child-like wonders.
Youth – Sweetgrass
West - Water - visualize water - cleansing and refreshing
Black – Sunset – Bear – Fall – Mullein.
Time of letting go and cleanse. The West symbolizes a place of transition and preparing for the dark days of winter. It is a time of introspection and confrontation.
Adult - Sage
North - Earth - visualize the grandmothers - guidance, nurturing
White – Night – Buffalo – Winter – Birch Tree.
Time to go within to reflect and contemplate. To shift your knowledge into wisdom. North is associated with wisdom, your mind, logic, and beliefs.
Elder – Cedar
Walking the Medicine Wheel
Take a few deep breaths, center yourself, and step into the East quadrant.
Step into the east facing the altar in the center. Think about change, new beginnings,
the wind, and air. Consider what medicine Eagle has for you. Is Eagle asking you to rise
above and see things from a greater perspective? Or to open up to new possibilities?
When you feel ready, step into the south.
Once at South, contemplate your passion, enthusiasm, and fire. What medicine does
Wolf have for you? Wolf is asking you to release what no longer serves you. He has
come to tell you to journey deeper. Give thanks for the abundance in your life and all
you have to be joyful about, no matter how big or small. Dance for joy. Step into the
Visualize healing water pouring down on you, cleansing and refreshing you. The next
medicine comes from Bear. Bear asks you to love and honor yourself. Set boundaries
that honor your need for self-care and self-love. Step into the North.
Think about grounding, family, work, and what makes you feel safe, and grounded. Call
upon the Grandmothers for guidance. Here Buffalo Medicine asks you to be in gratitude
and to trust in the abundance of the universe. Buffalo asks you to release any beliefs
keeping you from your divine wisdom and guidance. Feel the support and guidance at
your disposal. Step back into the east and face the center.
Think about your spiritual center. In what ways can you create a greater connection
with the Divine? What daily rituals are you being called to create? How can you serve?
Sit with this and allow it to come up through your heart.
When you have finished, close your eyes, bless the medicine wheel, and ask the
Divine to continue to guide your healing and meditations.