The Native American medicine wheel is a sacred symbol used by indigenous Plains tribes to represent all knowledge of the universe.
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 indicates 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.
- Color: Yellow
- Messenger: Brown Eagle
- Associated with the sun, brings light to all creation.
- Because the sun travels east to west, in a clockwise manner, all good things conform to the same pattern.
- The Morning Star, the star of wisdom and new beginnings, comes from the east.
- Elk people 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.
- Nourishment of every kind comes from this direction.
- Home to the animal people.
- Color: Black
- Messenger: Black Eagle
- Connected with the power of rain and the purity of water;
joy and growth follow the rain, releasing the ignorance.
- West is home to the Thunder-being. His wings produce thunder and lightening flashes from his eyes. The bird-like
being stands against evil and ensures the respect of others.
- Color: White
- Messenger: Bald Eagle
- North is home to winter and is believed to promote good health and growth.
- Those who misbehave look to the north for the wisdom needed to walk a straight path again.
- Home to the Calf Pipe Woman and buffalo people.