19 /* Meaning’s of the Medicine Wheel
Here at the centre of center, we have the ability to see and understand all
things, and illustrate the wisdom of the infinite well of knowledge
contained within the pages of the BOOK of LIFE.
I AM Tony Gray’Owl
Cherokee ~ Shaman ~ Keeper of the Hidden
Knowledge ~ I share it with you now.
I will teach you of our Medicine Wheel
First of all the Medicine wheel has many forms and symbols and is expressed in many ways ~ this is but one of them ~ representing our connection to all there is.
Mitakuye oyasin ~ ( we are all related to everything that exists )
Everything is a circle or cycle: life, the wind, Earth, moon, stars, drum
and dance. Lessons are hidden everywhere in creation, so look for them
and the lessons will guide you. Everything has a spirit and was created
for a purpose. Every being possesses their own voice and energy, and
anyone can learn to communicate with everything.
The Medicine Wheel is also known as the Sacred Hoop. It is a powerful
and ancient representative symbol of the Earth and Universe. Medicine
Wheels are built in places where the Earth remembers ceremonies. The
Wheel is a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual tool that enables the
participants to attune themselves to Earth Spirit influences and forces,
teaching that we all are related and connected within the same family.
The Medicine Wheel is a silent teacher guiding us through a circle of
lessons that we all must pass through in order to complete our Road of
Life. It teaches that we have four aspects within us that need to be
equally balanced and developed. The Wheel is a sacred place where one can
gain knowledge, where addictions, abuse, obsessions and compulsive
activities can be studied as life lessons and then learned from. It can help
us to see things within us that have not yet been developed, and how we
could be if these gifts were developed. It can be used to help us see or
understand things, and it can show our strengths and weaknesses. The
main factor is the participants willingness to reach out and touch these
Universal truths that are presented to them. Different people will see
aspects of the Wheel that will speak personally to them, and everyone
who looks into the Medicine Wheel will see a different personal
reflection. There are many ways to look at these reflected truths.
You may feel drawn to one direction or another due to the connection of
given gifts with that of the direction, etc. But do not categorize yourself
as a person of that direction only, because we constantly turn from one
direction to another. One must reside in the centre and face out to all
directions in order to become a whole person.
Some teachings speak of the North-South path being the Red Road of
Life, with the East-West direction being the Blue Road of Spirit. Those
who have finished their Earthwalk are said to drop their robe and travel
along from North to East along the Trail of the Ancestor Spirits to enter
the Golden Door (at the East) which is the entry point to all other levels
Three different examples of the Spirit Keepers according to different tribes are:
They are represented in Totems such as this one
North — Buffalo
East —– Eagle
South — Mouse
West —- Bear
North — Bear
East —– Turtle
South — Eagle
West — Thunder spirit
North — Buffalo
East —– Eagle
South — Deer
West —- Bear
A simplified version of a Medicine Wheel has the outer rim representing
the council fires, the chiefs, clan mothers and elders. Inside the circle are
the families and clans living in peace. The beads at the cross in the centre
represent the four directions and the good thing s that come from them.
The three feathers hanging remind us of what is within us all: body, mind
A larger version of the Medicine Wheel contains 36 stones, according to
the Cherokee teachings.
The 36 stones represent different sacred symbols with different meanings.
Different nations will obviously use different
colours and animals, etc.
The centre represents The One True Source, the Creator, Great Spirit, etc.,
the centre of all life. It can be represented by a stone, or it can be left
empty as a reminder of the Great Void which is the source of everything.
Often a buffalo skull will be used as it is a creature that gave everything
that was needed for survival.
The seven stones around the centre represent the Universe — life, matter,
time, energy, motion, dimension and spirit. They also represent the Earth
Mother, Father Sun, Grandmother Moon, the Turtle Clan (earth), Frog
Clan (water), Thunderbird Clan (fire), and Butterfly Clan (air).
The four paths going to the centre are spirit paths that represent the
qualities of daily life that lead us into the sacred space of The One True
Source. The Northern three stones are cleansing, renewal, and purity, and
they form the Path of Wisdom and Knowledge. The Eastern ones are
clarity, wisdom, and illumination, and form the Path of Enlightenment.
The Southern ones are trust, growth, and love, and form the Path of Life
and Growth. The Western three are Experience, introspection, and
strength, and form the Path of Introspection and Transformation.
The four directional stones represent the Spirit Keepers who watch over
the four seasons, the power of the four directions, the four sacred
elements, and the four sacred medicines.
The outer ring of stones that runs between the directional stones
represents the different full moons of the year. Between the North and
East they are basically January, February, and March. From East to
South they are April, May and June. From South to West they are July,
August, and September. From West to North they are October, November,
and December. There are many names for these moons depending on which
nation you refer to.
The Cree call the moons (from Jan. to Dec.) Frost Exploding Trees Moon
Egg Laying Moon
The Ojibwe call the moons
Snow Crust Moon
Broken Snowshoe Moon
Maple Sugar Moon
Wild Rice Moon
Leaves Turning Moon
Falling Leaves Moon
Little Spirit Moon (13th moon)
The Cherokee call the moons
Earth Renewal Moon
Rest and Cleansing Moon
Big Winds Moon
Budding Trees Moon
Frogs Return Moon
Corn planting Moon
Strong Sun Moon
Ripe Berries Moon
Ducks Fly Moon
Freeze Up Moon
Long Snows Moon
The new day starts here. It is the place of childhood and the place of
beginnings of all journeys. It is spring, elements of air and earth, and of
male energy. The animals associated with the East are the eagle, mouse,and snake.
The colours are gold and yellow.
The east is where we learn of warmth of spirit, purity, trust, hope, and
acceptance of others for who they are. It teaches of a love that doesn’t
question others and doesn’t know itself. It teaches us to trust in our own
vision and the capacity to believe in the unseen. It teaches renewal,
innocence, joy, spontaneity, and of a child’s love. The East shares the gift
of beautiful and clear speech, of guidance and leadership, courage,
truthfulness and patience. It teaches of healing and transmuting poison,
energy exchange, healing, and vulnerability. It helps us to understand and
gain enlightenment, spiritual nature, prayer and illumination through
birth and rebirth. It teaches creativity, communication, and strength of
will. It gives us the understanding needed to see clearly through complex
situations. It gives the capacity to focus our attention on the here and
now, to be fully in the moment, and to merge fully with the task at hand.
Yet it also helps us to look at the overall picture to ensure happiness and
well-being. It brings the capacity to watch over and guard the well-being
of others by combining seeing the situation, with wanting to help, with
knowing what to do. It teaches devotion to the service of others and of
having hope for the people. It teaches that greatness of spirit and
humility are opposite sides of the same reality. It tells how to let go of
The south is the place of the heart and generosity. It heralds a time to
prepare for fall and winter, and the future in general. It is the place where
great tests of the physical body are undertaken. It is the place of summer.
The colours associated with the South are green and red.
connected with the South are the cougar, mouse, coyote, porcupine and the
red willow tree. It relates to the elements of fire or air.
The South speaks of fullness, youth, and physical strength and vigour. It
teaches about control of appetites, purification and balanced development
of the physical body. It teaches of sensitivity to the feelings of others,
the love of one person for another, and of having a passionate
involvement with the world. It speaks of emotional idealism, compassion
and kindness, and having refined, controlled, and developed feelings. It
teaches of having an open expression of feelings without hurting others,
and of having an emotional attraction to good and repulsion to bad, such
as a repulsion at senseless violence and anger at injustice. It teaches of
having strong feeling and emotions, and the ability to set aside strong
feelings in order to serve others. It speaks of needing a balance of humour
and sadness, and of having trust in order to destroy the illusion of who
we are to others and to be ourselves. It brings the gifts of music,
gracefulness of movement, and an appreciation for the arts. It teaches
training the senses of hearing, taste and sight to incorporate the powers
of discrimination. It teaches determination, goal setting and of
awakening inner child energy of playfulness. It helps with overcoming
obstacles, self-sufficiency, interaction, resurrection, loyalty, and noble
The West is the place of testing through perseverance, and of maturity. It
is where the thunder and lightning comes from the Thunder beings. It is
from where darkness comes.
The color associated here is Black
This is where I entered upon the Medicine Wheel I speak with these powers to you.
The West is the place of the unknown and of going within one’s spirit to
the source of power and strength from deep within.
It is a place of sacrifice (something taken for something given) and of
harvest time. It carries the female energy of the black bear and turtle, as
well as rain and water.
The West teaches of awareness of spirituality, dreams, prayer, ceremonies
and meditation, and vision quests and journeys for inner spiritual
renewal. It gives the courage to go within and face what is in the dark
cave of the heart through reflection, contemplation, and silence. By
journeying to centre of your being, it is possible to experience directly the
connection between the Human Spirit and the Universe and Creator. It is
best to meet the Creator alone upon rising and before sleeping. It brings
gifts of fasting, ceremony, clear self-knowledge and inner-vision, with
deep inner thoughts. It teaches of consolidating and managing personal
power. It speaks of commitment to path of personal development, to
accept ourselves as we really are (physically and spiritually), Universal
life values, high moral code, helping others develop spiritually. It speaks
of the symbolic power to heal, protect and defend, see and know. It
teaches of having respect for elders, the spiritual struggles of others, and
for others’ beliefs. It teaches humility and of having love for the Creator.
It teaches physical nature (dance, sports), imagination, creative arts and
The North is the place of winter where the knowledge of elders and the
Old Ones exists in the place of true wisdom. Its symbols include the great
mountain, sacred lake, crystals, moose, snowy owl, and white buffalo. Its
colour is white
This is also where I entered the Medicine Wheel as I am born into this
live at the center between the West and The North, I speak here to you
from the great Wisdom also.
and its elements are earth or fire.
The gifts of the North include the capacity to think, speculate, predict,
discriminate, imagine, synthesize, solve problems, analyse, understand,
calculate, organize, criticize, remember, listen, and interpret hidden
meanings. All may possess them, though through different methods for
each person. It brings an integration of intellectual abilities and mental
natures, with freedom through knowledge and wisdom. It teaches the
lesson of things that end through completion and fulfilment, and speaks
of freedom from hate, jealousy, desire, anger and fear. It teaches of a
complete letting go of all things by stepping outside its shadow to see in a
different light, enabling one to learn to stand within the centre with
balance of all the gifts in all directions. It teaches about the justice to see
things as they really are and how things all fit together. It brings insight
and empathic intuition made conscious with prayers and of drawing forth
inner treasures. It speaks of moderation, strength and endurance,
gratitude, teaching, abundance, and gentleness. It is often hard to endure
the lessons. It is like climbing a mountain — the higher you go, the harder
it becomes, yet we become stronger for it.
these are the links to . . .
the BOOK of LIFE as seen through the eyes of a stranger,
the INNER CIRCLE of LIFE foundation of the highest realization of Self