The First Peoples of the Americas use the circle or Medicine Wheel symbol as a way to remember and teach the lessons of the creator on many aspects of daily life. Typically medicine wheels were constructed at ground level and laid out as a wheel like pattern of stones symbolizing many aspects and teachings. In most instances the alignment of the wheel symbol was consistent with the cardinal directions.
The symbol of the circle, the alignment of the medicine wheel and the wisdom that is associated with this iconic symbol is truly amazing and elegantly demonstrates the religious/spiritual, astronomical, seasonal calendars and shows the cycles of all things, the harmony and interconnectedness and the depth of knowledge that the elders possessed. It is a proud symbol to explore and learn as it shows the cultural depth and level of awareness of complex scientific and spiritual truths that predates the first contact with Europeans by many generations.
The Medicine Wheel is a circle divided into four colored sections, each of which represent an aspect of human life and the world around us or the seven common teachings. It ties together important teachings of balance, harmony and respect for one’s self and respect for the community.
The Medicine Wheel can be used as a valuable teaching and conversational tool and sample lessons or conversation starters are provided in the form of a booklet.
Summary: Teachings of the Medicine Wheel
There are seven common teachings that can be demonstrated in the symbol of the Medicine Wheel. As seen above these are:
- The Cardinal Directions
- The Seasons of the Year
- The Elements
- The Sacred Spirit Animals
- The Sacred Medicinal Plants
- The Heavenly Bodies
- The Life Stages of Humans