The Medicine Wheel / Wheel of Life

~Artwork by Kale Fitzgerald

Every year the seasons change from Winter to Spring to Summer to Autumn to Winter and Spring again.

The Medicine Wheel or Wheel of Life maps these changes, and allows us to work with them, rather than live in ignorance or against the natural shifts of life.

When we live intelligently and come into-sync with nature’s rhythms and cycles, we can experience greater sanity and less resistance. We can find acceptance for changes inside our body and mind, in relation to what is happening outside in our environment.

We notice the energy and excitement build up from Spring towards Summer, as the days increase in length and we feel more sun on our skin. Then feeling the comfort and inner-connection that occurs with the longer, darker days as we move into Winter. We can recognise these patterns as they match our internal world, of dreams and desires, resting and action.

Since school, we’ve learnt to ignore these rhythms as we begin the year on the on-set of Autumn. We are expected to wake up early and pay attention, even as our mornings begin in darkness.
There is an epidemic of depression in our society, with pressures to directly achieve and ‘show up’ whatever the time of month or year. The universal feelings of loneliness, loss and insecurity are amplified with the confusion to why we feel the way we do, often without any direct ‘thing’ to attach the depression to.

The Medicine Wheel or Wheel of Life, is a blue-print found across cultures, around the world and has been used as a method of survival, connection and harmony, for those living directly in nature. We can come into relationship with all the shifts and changes in our life. We recognise we are all influenced by our environment, even if we live in cities. We are affected by the weather and natural forces of change.

Each version of the Wheel, was developed to suit the environment and community who used it.
We can work with it personally, in many ways. Starting with simple awareness, acknowledgement and understanding – we find our natural rhythm. We can then, begin incorporating ritual and ceremony, to work alongside the changes. We will begin to find the best way of forming our project, business and ideas, intelligently with the seasonal flow,
as we understand our own cycle of personal growth and learning.

Example of the Medicine Wheel
E – Spring
Symbology: Air – Youth – Fun – Freedom of Expression – New Ideas
Time to broaden perspective, visions and allow all this new expression of life to expand your sense of self.
S – Summer
Symbology: Fire – Teenage, Passion – Emotions – Sexuality
Working with this intense melting pot to keep adding layers of ideas.
W – Autumn
Symbology: Water – Maturity/ Motherhood, Harvest of Wisdom, Dreams
Standing in your truth with confidence and ability to face fears
Reflection of the flow of life, what to learn from the experiences and keep working with
harvest learning
N – Winter
Symbology: Earth – Elder/ Crone – Spirit – Hibernation, Wisdom, Visions, Connection to Self
Connection to truth, depth and magic, bringing intentions to light, ideas into fruition and manifestation of self-growth.

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Artwork by Valerie Dion
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