The Medicine Wheel is both a tool and a guide that was given to us by the Creator and used by Indian people for many things, including healing and wellness. In general terms, illness is the physical manifestation of spiritual, mental and/or emotional imbalance. It has been known for some time that stress and anxiety are linked to health. Our happiness and attitudes are an important part of healing when we do get sick. In the Great Wheel, everything is connected; all things are related. The approach to wellness is more holistic – one that looks at a larger picture for possible causes and solutions. Click the link below to read Cole Linville
The physical, spiritual, mental and emotional bodies are represented in the four quadrants of the equilateral cross found in the center of a circle. This cross and circle are the symbols for the Medicine Wheel. The circle and/or glyph is symbolic of many things, in fact, ALL things. The circle is perfection, balance, life, the Universe, infinite potential; the glyph is neither plus nor minus. All things are in and a part of this circle.
As a tool and a guide we can think of the Medicine Wheel like a map. Like a conventional map, there are reference points that serve as navigational landmarks or may be symbolic starting points that we know as the four cardinal directions – east, west, north and south. (There are actually six directions in the Wheel because there is also “above” and “below” sometimes referred to by Indian people as the “above world” and the “below world”, or Father Sky and Mother Earth.) Each of the four bodies corresponds with the four directions.
The east corresponds with the physical, the south with emotional, the west with the spiritual and the north with the mental. An easy way to remember the way the four bodies relate to the four directions is to think of the Medicine Wheel like a human body. The head or mind (mental) is in the North just as north is always “up” on a conventional map. The heart (emotional) is in the south just as the heart is lower in the human body. To remember the east (physical) and the west (spiritual), just remember that we depend on the sun for our literal physical existence. We need its light, its warmth and its energy to physically survive. Just as the sun rises in the east to provide for our physical needs and then turns into twilight as it slips into the west, so, too, can you think and be reminded of the spiritual connection to the west. You may have heard reference to the “twilight years” or maybe you have heard the term “the sun setting on your life”. Indians believe that when the spirit leaves the body that it goes into the west. The spirit returns to the spiritual realm.