How to Make a Medicine Wheel

by Shelly McRae
The wheel is a sacred symbol in Native American art and culture.

The wheel is a sacred symbol in Native American art and culture.

Ceremonial circles have been used to enhance spiritual experiences for centuries. The use of the medicine wheel is common to Native American spiritual practices with each direction of the wheel representing an energy or force in nature or the spiritual realm. Stones are commonly used to make medicine wheels though you may create a medicine wheel using objects such as jewelry, ribbons, feathers, sea shells and bundled herbs. The objects are representative of aspects of yourself and the forces that guide you in life.

Select a location for your medicine wheel. Choose an area in which you feel safe and will be able to meditate once the wheel is complete. This location may be either inside or outside.

Gather the objects you wish to use for your wheel. You need four objects to represent each direction: north, south, east and west. Select a fifth object to place in the center of your circle. This represents you and your connection to the spirit world, the earth and your ancestors.

Find the center of your intended circle. Place a stick in the ground and push down, securing it. Use a compass to find true north and place one object in the path directly north of the stick. To the east, place another object, equidistant from the center as the object to the north. Do the same for the west and south directions.

Remove the stick and place the fifth object in the center. Conduct the ceremony of your choice to bless the medicine wheel. Meditate according to your belief system using the medicine wheel.

Apply colors to your medicine wheel, if desired. The colors may be used for the objects placed in each direction. The center object may be an object containing all the colors or one color that represents the concept on which you wish to meditate.

Use a red object for the east. This color represents dawn and new beginnings. Red objects may be placed in the south, for fire and passion.

Use a yellow object for the south to represent healing and growth. Place it in the east for change and new beginnings.

Place a black object to the west to represent reflection and mediation. Black placed to the west represents examination of the past and preparation for the winter of your life.

Represent ancestral wisdom and spiritual guidance with a white object placed to the north. You may also use a green object in the north to represent your responsibility to the Earth as your mother.

Items you will need

  • 5 personal objects
  • Stick
  • Compass

About the Author

Shelly McRae is a freelance writer residing in Phoenix, Ariz. Having earned an associate degree from Glendale Community College with a major in graphic design and technical writing, she turned to online writing. McRae has written articles for multiple websites, drawing on her experience in the home improvement industry and hydroponic gardening.

Photo Credits

  • native american bracelet image by Joy Fera from Fotolia.com