Lakota Medicine Wheel - Traditions and Directions - Four Paths


Medicine Stone Wheel:


36 Stones, 7 days in a Week,

12 Moons in a year, 12 Animal Totems,

4 Directions, East, South, West, and North

The Center is for You

Up is for Grandfather Creator,

Down is for Grandmother Earth.


The medicine wheel is used for reflection, growth, and learning,

and is a tool for enlightenment and assistance

in areas where we need it.


We "Walk the Medicine Wheel",

Reflecting on Each Aspect of the Wheel,

to Gain Deeper Understanding, of Ourselves, and Life.


a Medicine Wheel can best be described as a mirror within,

which everything about the human condition is reflected back to Us.


It requires courage to look into the mirror

and really see what is being reflected back about an individual's life.

It helps us with our creative "Vision",

to see exactly where we are in life

and which areas we need to work on

and develop in order to realize our full potential.


It is a tool to be used for the upliftment and betterment of ourselves,

healing and connecting to the Infinite Flow of Creator, and Creation.


At the Center stone, is  You, where You are 

Joined with All of the Four Directions,

and Up, to “The Great Mystery”, or Grandfather,

and Down, to Our Great Mother Earth.

Here, in You, in connection to All of Them,

all life recreates, in You, without beginning or end.


The seven stones surrounding it in the middle represent

the seven aspects of your human personality

Love, Hate, Compassion, Wisdom, Knowledge, Fear, and Peace

and also the Seven Days of the Week.


The Twelve Stones circling the center are the twelve moons

of the year, represented by the animal clans.

the spokes or "Spirit Paths" made up of three stones each,

represent the qualities and steps, that take us from daily life

into the sacred space, with Us and the Creator.


Each quadrant holds a different kind of energy

and represents a different season of the year,

a stage of our life, an area of our Being

(Physical, emotional, mental, and Spiritual)

and a different kind of healing.

Together they create a balanced whole

in a specific relationship to one another.


The teachings of the Medicine Wheel

are multi-faceted and many layered.

They instruct us about all the aspects of life,

ourselves, and the world around us.

They teach us about the cycles of life,

death, and rebirth and how they relate to Nature,

the seasons, and the Universe.

The four cardinal points represent the four paths

each person walks. The four paths are:

East: Seeking, Knowledge,  Far Sight

North: Wisdom, Patience, Moderation

West: Introspection, Reflection, Ancestors

South: Innocence of heart, New Beginnings, Hope.


the Medicine Wheel creates a vortex of healing energy

that comes out of the ground and spirals out

into the surrounding area, benefiting all living things.


This Medicine Wheel, is mirrored by a Wheel, in the Spirit World.

Heaven and Earth are joined together by a vortex tube of energy

the energy flows between the two Worlds,

of Spirit and Life.


To stand in The Wheel, is to be part of that Vortex.

The more we do ceremony, in the Wheel,

the stronger Our energy and connection to It, become,

because We become more attuned to It.


It Shines out, to illuminate darkness and to radiate healing

and understanding, into our community,

and to all the Earth, and to Ourselves.



The medicine wheel is a sacred symbol used by Plains tribes

and others to represent all knowledge of the universe.


The medicine wheel consists of a circle with horizontal

and vertical lines drawn through the circle's center.

Sometimes, an eagle feather is attached in the wheel's center.


Design Meaning

Circle - The circle represents the sacred outer boundary
of the Earth

often referred to as the Sun Dance Circle or the Sacred Hoop.

It represents the continuous pattern of on-going life and death.

Lines - The horizontal and vertical lines represent the sun

 and man’s sacred paths; 

the crossing of the two lines is the center of the Earth

where one stands when praying.


Feather - The eagle feather is a sign of Wakan Tanka’s -

the Great Spirit's - power over everything.

The Eagle is Grandfathers Messenger.


Color Explanation

The directions,  in the medicine wheel,

 are associated with a sacred color. 

Each direction has a messenger.


Color placement on the wheel varies

based on individual customs.


Color - Yellow

•Messenger -  Red Hawk
• the sun, brings light to all creation.

The East brings Wisdom and Truth.

• the sun travels east to west - in a clockwise manner -

all good things conform to the same pattern.

•The Morning Star, or Sun, is  the star of wisdom 

and new beginnings - It comes from the east.

•Elk  call the east home.


Color - Red

•Messenger - Crane

•Associated with warmth, happiness and generosity.
•Connected with life after death,

directs men as they walk toward the next phase

•Life begins in the south.

New Spirits to be born, come from the South.
•Nourishment of every kind comes from this direction.
•Home to the Birds, and Insects.


West:  Color - Black

•Messenger - Black Eagle

•Connected with the power of rain and pure


joy and growth follow the rain, releasing ignorance.

We reflect on Our Day, watching the Sun Set.

We remember Our Ancestors, and Our Past.

•West is home to the Thunderbird. 

Thunder and lightning follow Him.

 He stands against evil and ensures the respect of others.


Color - White

•Messenger - Bald Eagle

•North is home to winter,  and stores water, for Spring,

 It  Teaches Us to gather food, and shelter for the Winter,

and to care for Our Loved Ones. 

•Those who misbehave, will suffer 

because They did not prepare for Hard Times,

and the North teaches Them a hard lesson

They will not forget this lesson.

• the North is home to the White Buffalo

Calf Pipe Woman, and the buffalo.


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Replies to This Discussion

Wonderful description of the medicine wheel, I will eventually be changing my alter to reflect this representation.

Don't remember where I learned about a medicine wheel but have had one in my yard since we moved here in Florida in 94. I do recall teaching classes on the medicine wheel in our spiritualist church in Indiana though. Under the center stone there is placed a single terminated crystal about 4 inches long. Mine is pointing up for healing energy. Pointing the crystal down will bring "power" to the wheel and the user. I had a choice when building the wheel and I guess I wanted healing more than I wanted power? That's all I can remember for now but if something else comes I'll post it.

I knew a Lakota man when I worked at Home Depot a few years back. He was a co-worker. It got me interested in several things. One was the medicine wheel. I made one -- a 3 foot diameter medicine wheel in my front room. I would like to join this group. Doug


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