The Medicine Wheel

Medicine wheels are places for energy and healing, teaching and understanding.

They are used for times of reflecting on life and for joyous celebrations.

There were about 20,000 medicine wheels in North America before the Europeans came.

Each stone is a "tool" to help us understand ourselves in relation to the universe and teaches us to respect ourselves and our relation to other life forms, mother earth, and the universe, in keeping with the Law of Right Relations.

Face the wind - tatohiyetakiya

The medicine wheel represents all of creation.

All races of people, animals, birds, fish, insects, trees,and stones,
the sun, moon and earth are in the circle of the medicine wheel.

Each stone tells part of the story.

The circle is all of the cycles of nature, day and night, seasons,
moons, life cycles, and orbits of the moon and planets.

What is the Law of Right Relations?

Respect for ourselves and other life forms;

Non-hurting/non-violence towards other life forms;

Seeing mother earth and the universe as living.

The medicine wheel traditionally has 36 stones.
(there are many different ancient versions shown further down at the end of this page.***)

The medicine wheel begins with placement of the center universal stone.

Creator Stone 1:
symbolizes the creator which is the center of all life,
therefore, it is in the center of the medicine wheel.

Spirit Keepers or Anchor Stones
are the 4 end stones that point north (white), south (red), east (yellow), west (black)***

They honor and represent the Spirit Keepers:

      Stone 2 placed is east: teacher - yellow

Stone 3 placed is south: healer - red

Stone 4 placed is west: visionary - black

 Stone 5 placed is north: warrior;
place of the elders; wisdom - white

Next placed are (7 stones) for the Foundation of All Life.

The inner circle surrounding the creator represents the Foundation of All Life,
teaching us the basic building blocks of our natural world.

Stone 6: Father Sky

Stone 7: Earth Mother

Stone 8: Grandmother Moon

Stone 9: Grandfather Sun

Stone 10: Star Nation

Stone 11: Other worlds (planets)

Stone 12: Wolf Road (Milky Way)

Moon Stones (12 stones): the outer circle; represent the moons
that divide the year, from which we can learn about the seasons, time of day, time of life, other beings, plants, animals, minerals, etc.
The moon stones represent our animal totems.
(There is also an invisible 13th moon, which, if discovered, will shift our world view).

We have invited the addition of the stone placement by others as long as the stone fits into the directional meaning. This is why our wheel will always have more than 36 stones in the outer ring.



EAST - Ay-ee, this is where all life begins; this is where Grandfather Sun begins his leisurely walk across the breast of Mother Earth's mate, Father Sky; this is where the trees point to the heavens and honesty is born; this is where wisdom and strength of the mind lives. Where the stories of Indigenous people are spoken and come out of the dreamtime of the wise ones. Elders sit in the east.

Spirit Paths (12 stones):  4 groups of 3 stones each which connect the outer circle to the inner circle.  These stones represent qualities that take us from our daily life into the sacred space of the creator.

The 4 connecting stones to the universal stone are East from center

Southeast-these stones represent the 4  legged creatures.
There is much to learn from our 4 legged relatives who share the planet with us.

SOUTH - The Great Mystery planted a sacred tree - which represented the animals, plants and trees and their sharing/caring ways. They give themselves to humans as food, shelter and clothing. Children sit in the south. The spirit soars on the breath of warm winds.
The 4 (spoke) connecting stones to the Universal stone in the Southern position represent

Southwest- these stones represent the ancients and rainbow spirits.

WEST - Sacred rocks. "I will stand here for humankind. I carry the history, music and words of the everlasting great circle of life; In my sweatlodge I will pour life-giving, life-sustaining water onto the grandfathers and spiritual, emotional, mental and physical life will regenerate through the mist of endless time. Balanced emotions will be sought through the braiding and sent of the sweet grass. Women sit in the West.
The 4 (spoke) connecting stones to the Universal stone in the West position represent

Northwest- representing water beings.

NORTH -  Kindness. Humans will remember The Great Mystery. Physical life will be sustained through the aroma and smoke of the great Cedar trees. Wisdom of the ages will prevail, rebirth of new ways of being will emerge from the song of the white bear. Men sit in the North.

The 4 (spoke) connecting stones to the Universal stone in the North position represent
Physical Cleansing,

North- flying beings.

Northeast- rooted beings.

***Please understand that differing tribal cultures may have differing colors for directional stones and inner stones.
See this link for the many varieties of Medicine Wheels dicovered in Alberta and British Columbia which are about 50 miles North of us as the Raven flies.  Here are  pictures of types of wheels found:

I hope that individuality in creation is honored for the
spirit in which it is created. Check out this link for more archaeologic information on these sites!

© bitterroot 2004

We must seek the assistance of the Spirit World Ashkibewig [Spirit Helpers] in this time of great turmoil on Our Earth Mother.
The Ghost Dancers are calling to us; Are you listening?

Wopila (Thank-you ceremony)
June 21st, 2005
Black Hills- USA
For four years, beginning in 1996, Chief Looking Horse honored June 21st by offering ceremony in the Four Directions. He traveled to Gray Horn Butte in Wyoming (aka Devils Tower), the Cree Nation in Canada, Pipestone Quarry in Minnesota and to Costa Rica. People of all the Nations of the globe were invited to offer ceremony at Sacred Sites. Thousands around the world have responded and began honoring their local Sites.
Following the Wopila (Thank-you ceremony) in the "Heart of Everything That Is," the Sacred Black Hills in 2000, it was decided that Chief Looking Horse must once again offer ceremony to the Four Directions of the globe. He began in Ireland in 2001, South Africa 2002, Australia 2003, and Japan in 2004. In 2005 the ceremony will return to the Black Hills to offer another Wopila on Turtle Island (North America) to complete his commitment to bring about awareness.