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The Healing Arts
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The Medicine Wheel by “Uriel” Sherri Wheeler
The Medicine Wheel
By “Uriel” Sherri Wheeler


North American Medicine Wheel

The Native American medicine wheel is a symbol of symmetry and balance. During the process of constructing the wheel you will begin to recognize what areas of your life are not in balance and where your attention is lacking and requires focus. Every medicine wheel is an energy spiral created to provide a place of prayer and meditation. It is a place to diagnose and heal spiritual and mental conditions along with the resulting physical problems. The wheel represents the many cycles of life. The circle is representative of life’s never ending cycle (birth, death, and rebirth). Each stone or spoke placement in the wheel focuses on a different aspect of life.

The medicine wheel is a symbol for the wheel of life, which is forever evolving and bringing new lessons and truths to the walking path. The Earthwalk is based on the understanding that each of us must stand on every spoke on the great wheel of life many times and that every direction is to be honored. The medicine wheel teaches us that all lessons are equal, as are all talents and abilities. Every living creature will one day see and experience each spoke of the wheel and know those truths. It is a pathway to truth, peace and harmony. The circle is never ending, life without end.

In experiencing the Good Red Road, which runs south to north in the circle of the medicine wheel, one learns the lessons of the physical life, of being human. After the death one enters the Blue or Black Road, the world of the grandfathers and grandmothers. This road runs east to west. In spirit one will continue to learn by counseling those remaining on the Good Red Road. The medicine wheel is life, afterlife, rebirth and the honoring of each step along the way.

A personal medicine wheel can be made using fetishes such as crystals, arrowheads, seashells, feathers, animal fur/bones and so on. Take time to reflect on each aspect of your life (self, family, relationships, purpose, community, finance, health, etc.) as you place each object within your circle. The medicine wheel can be as simple as a drawing with colored pencils and paper or as big as all outdoors.

The circle of the medicine wheel represents all the people, animals, rocks, rivers and religions in the universe. Each part of the circle is connected to all other parts. All people and creatures are equally important in the perfect circle of understanding. Like the medicine wheel, which represents life itself, learning is a continuous, ever changing process of growth.

For your own medicine wheel you need five or more marker stones. Before you start cleanse yourself by smudging with sage. You spiral in clockwise with the first stone, raise it and ask that this stone be used to symbolize the Creator or God. From this time on the wheel is a sacred place where healing and change are its function. Place the marker gently on Mother Earth in the center of your wheel, spiral outward and select the next marker. Spiral back in and ask that this marker symbolize the presence of the Spirit Vision, Illumination and Clarity then place it in the East. Spiral back outward to choose the next marker.

Continue this process asking that the marker represent the Spirit of Growth, Trust and Love, and place it in the South. Repeat the procedure asking that the marker symbolize the presence of the Spirit of Introspection, Experience and Strength. Place this marker in the West. Once again repeat the process asking that the marker represent the Spirit of Cleansing, Renewal and Purity. Place this marker in the North.

Now go to the location within the wheel to which you feel drawn. When you have felt the energy, vision or knowing that you need spiral outward and offer a gift of thanksgiving for the gift you have received. This can be a handful of cornmeal or sage. The wheel is a place of prayer and meditation so you will find that four legged and feathered friends are drawn to it also. You will also find its energy with expands with use, far beyond the rim of this wheel, bringing increased growth to the plants and helping to heal Mother Earth.

The medicine wheel is an ancient method for teaching important concepts about truth and life. Although the colors and symbols are different, depending on the culture, many Native American communities use the medicine wheel. The purpose of the wheel is the same in each culture. These teachings, when applied to one’s life, have the power to influence significant change in attitudes, behaviors, values and intent. The Elders teach based upon the natural order of the way things should be. These are sometimes referred to as the ‘original instructions’.

Four Elements Medicine Wheel Prayer

O Great Spirit of the East

Radiance of the rising Sun,

Spirit of new beginnings

O Grandfather Fire,

Great fire of the Sun.

From you comes life energy,

Vital spark, power to see

And envision with boldness;

With you we can purify the senses,

Our hearts and our minds.

We pray that we may be aligned with you,

So that your energies may flow through us,

And be expressed by us.

O Great Spirit of the South,

Protector of the fruitful land,

And of all green and growing things,

The noble trees and grasses.

Grandmother Earth, Soul of Nature,

Great power of the receptive,

Of nurturance and endurance,

Of bringing forth and growing,

Flowers of the field,

Fruits of the garden.

We pray that we may be aligned with you,

So that your powers may flow through us,

And be expressed by us,

For the good of this planet,

And all living beings upon it.

O Great Spirit of the West,

Spirit of the great waters,

Of rain and rivers, lakes and springs;

O Grandmother Ocean,

Deepest matrix, womb of all life.

With you comes the dissolving

Of boundaries and holdings,

The power to taste and to feel,

To cleanse and to heal.

Great blissful darkness of peace.

We pray that we may be aligned with you,

So that your powers may flow through us,

And be expressed by us,

For the good of this planet

And all living beings upon it.

O Great Spirit of the North,

Invisible spirits of the air,

And of the fresh, cool winds;

O vast and boundless Grandfather Sky,

Your living breath animates all life.

From you comes clarity and strength,

And the power to hear inner sounds,

To seep out old patterns,

And bring challenge and change.

The ecstasy of movement and the dance.

We pray that we may be aligned with you,

So that your powers may flow through us

And be expressed by us,

For the good of this planet

And all loving beings upon it.


Visit Uriel on Myspace!

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