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

of awareness.

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

and spirit.

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

Eagle Moon

Goose Moon

Frog Moon

Egg Laying Moon

Hatching Moon

Molting Moon

Flying Moon

Mating Moon

Freezing Moon

Foggy Moon

Drifting Moon

The Ojibwe call the moons

Spirit Moon

Bear Moon

Snow Crust Moon

Broken Snowshoe Moon

Maple Sugar Moon

Sucker Moon

Blooming Moon

Berry Moon

Wild Rice Moon

Leaves Turning Moon

Falling Leaves Moon

Freezing 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

Harvest 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

old habits.


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.

The animals

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



18 responses

  1. Rose E May

    Thank you for this beautiful written work my soul feels it’s giving inspiration to dive deeper into my souls journey.

    November 4, 2017 at 9:49 PM

  2. Genevieve Yamaguchi

    A native women’s spirit told me i need to go back and return something. I had to find a medicine wheel. Im of Cherokee and chippawa descent. Mostly cherokee.
    I don’t know what wheel or where or any wheel in particular.

    June 8, 2017 at 12:59 PM

    • Aho. I believe perhaps a dream catcher… it is also considered a medicine wheel. Gray’Owl

      June 12, 2017 at 5:37 PM

  3. Jolita cummings

    I’ve been interested in the medicine wheel for Manny years,(childhood), and would like to find someone to help me learn and understand. Finding this has moved me in leaps and bound’s. Thank you so much. Could you lend me any advice? If not, don’t worrie bout it, I know your buissey. Thank you again.

    May 20, 2016 at 8:46 PM

  4. Very well written. Thank you, as you are the only person I’ve found this information from. “Mitakue oyasin” ..

    January 26, 2016 at 9:42 PM

  5. Jan

    Would love to learn more. I am starting a quest to return the balance and harmony to my life. Would like to start with a medicine wheel.

    September 1, 2015 at 9:26 PM

  6. Thank you for sharing your wisdom – would like to learn uses / how to work with the directions – for balance – mental-physical-emotional spiritual ect..

    May 21, 2015 at 1:05 AM

    • It is simple dear sister… you are the direction. Simply focus yourself and look within… there you will discover your guide. And the journey begins.

      May 21, 2015 at 7:29 PM

  7. Thank you, i love your site

    April 20, 2015 at 5:25 PM

  8. hi
    is it possible to ask you a question Tony, about a dream i had when i was 8,

    February 4, 2015 at 6:17 AM

  9. Katherine McMurry

    This is good information…I’m trying to create a tattoo with the medicine wheel as the center…I like your teachings about the medicine wheel. Thank you.

    October 3, 2012 at 10:45 PM

  10. Damon

    thank-you for shareing your knowledge. I would like to learn more of healing stones

    June 17, 2012 at 8:11 AM

  11. I’m impressed, I have to say. Really not often do I encounter a blog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you could have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is excellent; the difficulty is one thing that not sufficient persons are speaking intelligently about. I’m very blissful that I stumbled throughout this in my search for something regarding this.

    January 11, 2012 at 7:50 AM

  12. laura

    is there a tattoo of the four elements with cherokee symbols

    June 14, 2011 at 1:54 PM

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