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 What is a medicine wheel?

            A medicine wheel is an ancient way of creating a sacred space. In a medicine wheel each direction has an animal that lives there and stands for one type of energy. For example in our medicine wheel the East has the owl and stands for change, the South has the lion and stands for passion, the West has the bear and stands for healing power and the North has the turtle and stands for grounding. Each person calls in their own animals that hold or represent for them each energy and each direction. The medicine wheel can be populated by many of the animals that live on the earth.

            The medicine wheel is built by placing a small object that stands for the animal or energy in each direction around a circle. The circle can be as small as a hand or as large as the earth. The object can be a animal fetish, a feather, a sea shell or a special stone. It is always something deeply meaningful to you, something you have found or been given as a gift. In the process a center is also created and another special object can be put there. Through this process you create a sacred space that becomes a mini vortex of power. It is used to create intention.. Balance is created by the equal presence of all four energies acting at once.

            By creating the medicine wheel, you makes a physical manifestation of earth’s energies. It is a sacred alter which evokes the powers of the earth. Like an alter it brings your prayers in harmony with the energies of the earth. By actually making something real in physical space you act and create. The energy and prayer to heal is embodied and seen and can be touched.

            A medicine wheel is simply a way of making sacred space more real and more visible. Ancient peoples  believed that the medicine wheel in itself had great power and helped create change and healing. Medicine wheel are circles that were made all over the world. They come from the most ancient cultures and persist to the present. They were found throughout history in every culture.

            Medicine wheels were always a place of ceremony and rutual. The rituals that were done at the medicine wheel are hidden or long forgotten. They probably were about the hunt, rites of passage, the stars, planting, migrations, the spirits. They were done at a community level, and involved huge amts of energy. Often the making of a medicine wheel involved moving huge stones hundreds or thousands of miles. It was like the making of the pyrimids in Egypt. The technology of making a medicine wheel or stone circle is not clear, how did they move those huge stones? Medicine wheel or stones cirlces exist from Europe to North America. There are stone circles in Florida cedar key England. They were certainly a place of great cermony, a place for the gathering of peoples, and were often away from village sites. Sometimes they were places of burial and temples too.

                          Where were medicine wheels built?

            Medicine wheel were always in sacred sites. The sites were often at the intersection of rivers, on mountain tops, in the center of plains between mountain and rivers. People could get there via the rivers. The water ways lead you to them. They were often on the high places, a point to look at the distant landscape. In any case, the palces were deeply sacred. You can feel the energy. They are in places that are the intersections of ley lines, energy lines, places where chuches, and later sacred sites were built intuitively by more modern peoples.

You can make your first medicine wheel immediately. Your first medicine wheel is the beginning and your doorway to making your life a sacred vision quest. We will make a simple five animal wheel with one animal in each direction and one in the center.

            Pick a place that is special to you to set up your first medicine wheel. Choose a place that is protected, it can be a table, or dresser, or even on the floor.

            Stop for a moment and say a prayer for the medicine wheel to change your life, to heal, to protect you and to create sacred space.

            Get a compass and find the directions. On our medicine wheel, North is grounding, East is change, South is passion, west is power and healing, and the center is spirit.

            Find little animal carvings, animal fetishes, animal toys, stuffed animals or feathers, stones, jewelry, or things that are sacred to you in your life. You can do the guided imagery exercise to help you find the animal who chooses you and its direction or you can simple let an animal call to you or attract you when you look in a direction. Or you can put your animals on the ground and pick one withthout seeing them. For this first medicine wheel, do not worry about which animal starts out. They will change later.

            Put your hand down in the east. Think about change, the wind, air, and let an animal call you and put it in the east. It can be an animal you have had or a new one.

            Now move your hand to the south. Think about passion, falling in love, energy, fire, and let an animal call you and put it in the south. It can be an animal you have had or a new one.

            Now move your hand to the west. Think about healing, power, water, deep dreams, inner spaces, and let an animal call you and put it in the west. It can be an animal you have had or a new one.

            Now move your hand to the north. Think about grounding, about family, work, what makes you feel safe, the earth, and let an animal call you and put it in the north. It can be an animal you have had or a new one.

            Now put your hand in the center of the circle. The center is your life. Think about your spiritual center, who helps you and guides you, and let an figure or an animal call you and put it in the center. It can be an guide or animal you have had or a new one.

            If you wish you can ask the animals what they do for you and how they will help you in your life.

            You have now made your first medicine wheel Close your eyes, bless the medicine wheel, ask it to change your life. Say you will make a medicine wheel again and leave in peace