The Medicine Wheel was a tool that was commonly used in ceremonies, teachings, and therapies by the native people of North America. Within the Wheel is a representation of the interconnectedness of humans and nature; the microcosm and macrocosm, as cycles and spirals of energy.
Our wheel has colors that represent the directions:
South East: orange
South West: burgundy
North West: lavender/magenta
North East: green
East: The East represents the beginning, the ending, and the renewal. The East represents the moment of the sunrise, the blossoming of spring, the candle in the darkness. It is typically associated with the “upper world” of light, “enlightenment,” and returning back to our origin.
South: At the peak of the Sun’s journey through the sky, the South is the place that receives the most light; it is responsible for the growth and flowerings of all living beings. South is most often associated with the “flowing” of emotions as it is the polar opposite of the North. It symbolizes our inner child, our core wounds and the rediscovery of child-like wonder.
West: The West is a place of sunset, the return of the light to the dark. It is the autumn of our humanness, the end of our growing. The West symbolizes a place of transition, the ‘”dark night of the soul,” and the “shadow” within us that requires introspection and confrontation.
North: The North is a cold place of night, the winter of our growing period. To be centered in our internal North requires skill and competence to survive which is why it’s associated with our “mental” abilities, logic and beliefs.
In order to further understand the places in which we need to grow, we will expand on each of the four directions by looking at the “middle ground” between each – the way of the “Tao” if you will:
Southeast: The Southeast is associated with our concept of “self” and how we came to be. It is symbolic of our gifts and talents, as well as the beliefs and mythologies we’ve inherited from our ancestors.
Southwest: The Southwest is our dream reality or how we’ve learned to perceive our world. It is composed of all of our learning and beliefs that influence our perception of life.
Northwest: The Northwest is symbolic of rules, laws and Karma To embrace the Northwest’s message is to come to terms with, and completely accept your present situation as a lesson you’re being taught by life.
Northeast: The Northeast is seen as a place of energy, spirit, and learning how to control and direct the energy in your life.