The Medicine Wheel

The Medicine Wheel has been an important part of human reality both as a tool and a way of life for millennia and thus, on all continents of this Planet.

medicinewheel2

The word “medicine” for contemporary people means medication or cure for a disease. Yet in aboriginal languages “medicine” means “power or life force.”

The Medicine Wheel is devoted to natural and cosmological law.
The Wheel is an Ancient Philosophy that focuses on teaching us that there are different perspectives to everything and this helps us become more balance and functional in our daily lives.

A good twelve years ago while discussing the Medicine Wheel with a Passamaquody friend and elder, I asked what “our First Nation ancestors called these circular stone altars?”

After studying the Wheel for several years I had learnt that it had received its name after a Jesuit priest described it to his superiors in Europe. This was in the late 1800’s. Since the Medicine Wheel can be found all over the Planet and dating back to before the ice age, it made sense to me that it was most probably called something else than what the Jesuit named it. EC answered that the stone circles didn’t need to be named anything because they were the medium to express “experiences that reached beyond words.”

“These stone altars,” explained EC “are the word you are looking for.”

Together we hunted for stones that day on the Bay of Fundy. EC shared countless of stories with me that afternoon, ending each one with the comment: “I’ve been keeping this story just for you.”

I wondered at first if this was her quirky way of being affectionate and intimate with me or was I really the first person she had shared these stories with.

It only took me a decade to figure out the answers and to realize how Westerner I had been when we first met. Western people use linear thought and our first focus is always our own ego.

We made a Wheel on the beach at sunset, and returned to her home where we laughed hysterically all night long. I came to understand that each Wheel that was ever found on the Planet shared a story that reached beyond human language.

Each Wheel represented a divine word – one that everyone could understand if they had the courage to reach for an experience bigger than themselves.