Medicine Wheel

Page 16

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Stones of the Medicine Wheel
By CinnamonMoon

Who can name the 36 stones of the Medicine Wheel?

I can't, but this is something that's been on my mind lately (the building of a Medicine Wheel, and the meaning(s) behind one)...I've been hoping someone would share this information *grins*

So...instead I've been mulling over it this weekend, deliberately not trying to find information on it as I wanted to try and feel it out, and have come up with some ideas, but not 36 of them.

This is guess work on my part, so please feel free to correct me, here goes: the center represents the Divine Creator. There would have to be 4 major markers representing the directions, East, South, West and North. Between those markers would be 3 markers representing the 12 months? Or maybe Animals associated with the directions? To equal 12 additional stones.

Additional stones to represent split directions i.e. NW, NE, SW, SE? Three more to represent Above, Below and Between? (Or the Star people, the Ancestors, and Self) Something to represent the Moon, the Sun and the Mother? Something to represent the cycles i.e. birth, life, death and rebirth? Like I said, I know nothing about the Wheel, but really do want to learn about it...this is just what I came up with.

Question: what are the inner and outer circle(s)? I just had an image of circles upon circles. That just popped into my mind...so many questions! *grins* As always, the patience, understanding and teaching of all of you here is greatly valued. *Smile* Blessings and love, Katt

Very good guesses! Hello Katt! You've done well. I'm going to wait a couple days and see what others come up with. You are quite close though and the reply you posted was impressive. I will list them, explain the circles etc., and then more as we go, but wanted to see what the community knows.

I know we have some people here that do work with the Medicine Wheel, and they have some valuable input too. So let's see what the question gets us over the next couple of days and then I'll post the answer. Hope you don't mind a brief wait.

Silver Eagle Dream Dancer:
Very good guesses! I didn't know there were ones that were supposed to go in a wheel. I learned a different system of wheels and keys that were more categorical. You were to go on nature journeys to find the items that belonged or were gifted to you, in your medicine wheel.

North - Rocks East - Crystals South - Sands West - Gemstones Center - Mixed Ores

When my parents built theirs in a circle of trees on their property, I gave them a geode to represent the womb of creation. They asked that if my brother and I had stones that wanted to go, that we donate them as representations of us in their lives.

Each of the four directions also has corresponding colors, people, critters and nature element on the wheel system I learned. I'm interested to hear about others take on this.

Cinnamon Moon:
Interesting!...and the answer to my initial question... I like this version SEDD, and there are many different Medicine Wheel *patterns* out there.

You can approach it with four or five stones to represent the four directions and the Creator and work from there with what I term a ‘simple wheel’. It's highly effective.

It is very much a part of the construction to have a nature walk and find stones that want to be a part of your Wheel. This is actually traditional construction you describe. When I addressed the 36 stones I was talking about a ceremonial wheel and the most complete one I know of being used today. There haven't been that many replies to this so I guess it's time to share the placements and let questions arise from there. I'm going to probably have a long post here but will try to be as basic as possible.

The layout of the Medicine Wheel has one center stone/Creator.

The inner hub has 7 stones for: Mother Earth, Grandfather Sun, Grandmother Moon, and the four elemental clans of: Turtle/Earth, Frog/Water, Thunderbird/Fire, and Butterfly/Air.

There are four ‘pathway’ sections along the outer rim representing the Spirit Keepers of each element. Eagle/East, Mouse/South, Bear/West, and Buffalo/North.

Within them and completing the outer rim will be 12 stones (3 to each of 4 quadrants) representing the *Moons* of the year and their Animal Teachers: Snowgoose, Otter, Cougar, Red Hawk, Beaver, Deer, Flicker, Sturgeon, Brown Bear, Raven, Snake, and Elk.

From the pathway stones to the center are the four paths we take to find our way to the Creator through 3 stones/perspectives that open us to understanding and growth.

Thus, from the East we have: Clarity into Wisdom into Illumination.
The Southern path is: Growth into Trust into Love.
The Western path is Experience into Introspection into Strength.
The Northern path is: Cleansing into Renewal into Purity.

The Eastern and Southern paths are considered Masculine/aggressive energy.
The Western and Northern paths are considered Feminine/passive energy.
Thus the paths directly across the Wheel from one another create a state of balance between the two energies.
We need to balance our inspiration and insights from the East with our introspection and strengths of the West.
We need to balance our passions and growth in the South with the wisdom and understanding of the North.
Together, in this way, we achieve harmony with life and our awareness of walking between the worlds aware of the many voices that will speak with us.

I hope this helps some of you see how you can Dance the Wheel by working with each stone, and why certain stones will feel ‘right’ to place in a specific position of the wheel you are constructing.

If anyone has call for a good source for reference, I suggest Sunbear's book: Dancing With The Wheel...the workbook version.


There are Seven Sacred Directions, Seven Sacred perspectives that allow us to explore any given issue or situation.
These are East/Mental, South/Physical/Passion, West/Emotion, North/Heart, Above World/Higher Self and Guides...the Future, Below World/Ancestors and Elders...the Past, and Middle World/Self and the Now of the moment where all is brought together. In this way, the Dance of the Wheel allows us to take separate views, filter them, and bring them together in the Middle World where we take our Earthwalk. Doing things in this way allows us to be attuned to life and see our way.

I hope this has helped some of you. If you have questions I'll be happy to answer them as best I can.

Silver Eagle Dreamer:
I just love SunBear! I have a picture of him hanging in my living room that my mother framed for me. It's a copy of one in her home that used to talk to me when I'd stay with them. It's disappointing what happened with the Bear Tribe after his death. He'd wondered why the tribe seemed to get larger, only to shrink over the course of a few years and then once again get larger and stronger. That's when it hit him, bears hibernate. Maybe this hibernation is just longer than the others. I'm going to try to make a gif of the wheel I've worked with to share so I can post it here.

I could, I've got the book Dancing With the Wheel by Sunbear and they're all written in there. That's why Cinn knows them ;)

Cinnamon Moon:
Actually... I came upon that book long after I began working with the Medicine Wheel. I first learned them from a Sioux Medicine Woman. Surprised? *Smiles*

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 air illumination wisdom clarity

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 Earth, Spirit, Trust, Love/Growth

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 Fire, Emotions, Dreams, Experience/introspection.

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 Water, Body, Physical Cleansing, Purity/Renewal.

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 discovered 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!

Medicine Wheel June 21, 2006 © 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.

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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