What are medicine wheels?
The medicine wheel is a sacred Native American tradition that has been used for centuries to connect with the natural world and the spirit realm. It shows how everything in the universe is connected. Like a compass beginning in the east and moving clockwise, the medicine wheel can be harnessed for physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing. It can also be used for the four steps of manifestation.
To simplify, the medicine wheel represents life’s cyclical, regenerative nature and has four parts: the east, south, west, and north. Each direction represents a different season, element, energy, and animal. There are no firm rules about which animals to utilize and the medicine wheel you create must be yours.
- East – gain a higher perspective. What wants to be birthed?
- South – discover your passion and purpose. What’s giving you energy?
- West – follow your guides and take action.
- North – a new vision for your life emerges.
The east is the direction of spring, the element of air, and the energy of new beginnings. This medicine wheel is associated with the animal totem of the eagle, which is a powerful symbol of vision, strength, and healing. It represents the ability to see what you cannot from an earthbound perspective.
When working with the medicine wheel east, it is important to remember that this is a time for setting your sights high, and for taking flight into your dreams and aspirations. Consider what you want to bring into your life and develop a clear vision of what it is you want to manifest. You can let go of the past and move forward into the future with hope and determination.
The medicine wheel south represents the season of summer, the element of fire, the energy of passion, and the wolf. The wolf is a symbol of courage, curiosity, and instinct. Wolves are also known for their loyalty and devotion to their pack. When you embody the medicine of the wolf, you are able to access these same qualities within yourself.
Summer is a time of growth and abundance. The sun is at its highest point in the sky and there is an abundance of light and warmth. The element of fire is associated with passion and creativity. When you are in alignment with the medicine wheel south, you are able to channel your energy into creative pursuits. Which project is lighting you up right now? What is giving you energy?
Your emotional development and relationship to what you want to manifest determine why it matters to you. Think about what it is that you are passionate about, and what makes your heart sing.
The west is the season of autumn, the element of water, and the energy of flow. Where attention goes, energy flows. The animal associated with this medicine wheel is the bear. Bears are known for their strength and determination, which are qualities that can help you navigate through tough times.
When you are in the medicine wheel west, you can tap into your own inner strength and determination to achieve your goals. The medicine wheel west is a time to connect with your ancestors and the wisdom of the ages to help guide you on your journey, which can help you make decisions that are in alignment with your highest good. Reflect on past experiences, connect with ancestral wisdom, and then take action.
The medicine wheel north is associated with the winter season, the element of earth, and the energy of introspection. It is the time for buffalo medicine. The buffalo represents power, abundance, and a firm connection to the Earth. When you’re grounded, centered, and connected with the Earth’s energy, it’s easier to stay calm and collected.
The north direction aligns with introspection and self-reflection. It is a time to look inward and update the image of yourself based on the cycle of manifesting and taking action. The medicine wheel north corresponds with stability and grounding. The buffalo medicine helps you to find your center and remain rooted in who you are. The energy of winter provides rest and rejuvenation. Your manifestation is complete and the material world may take some time to catch up.
Focusing and Balancing Energy
Meditate on the meaning of each medicine wheel stage and what it represents for you. Draw and write what comes to mind. You can also create a physical medicine wheel. Then work with the four elements to bring focus to each energy. For example, light a candle and say a prayer or affirmation related to your intention for working with the medicine wheel south. You can also use crystals. Finally, spend some time in nature, and allow yourself to be open to whatever insights and guidance the medicine wheel has to offer you.
An Enlightening Journey
As you walk the medicine wheel, remember that each step is a chance to move closer to your goals. Each turn of the wheel is an opportunity to heal and learn. These ancient symbols represent the interconnectedness of all things and can help you to find your place in the world. The medicine wheel is a powerful tool that can provide guidance and support on your journey. Trust your intuition and follow your heart – the medicine wheel will lead you to your truth.