The Medicine Wheel is a metaphor for a variety of spiritual concepts and a representation of the interconnectedness of all life.
Like the stone circles across the UK, the origin of the Medicine Wheel is largely unknown. These ancient sites hold evidence of ritual activities and astrological knowledge, but details of how and why they were used remains a mystery.
The most well known contemporary use of the Medicine Wheel can be found in the traditions of the Native Americans. Sites were constructed by placing stones in specific patterns often following the cardinal directions. These in turn spoke of a variety of qualities relating to the cycles of life which were incorporated into a process of personal reflection and growth.
The use of the Medicine Wheel in the Celtic tradition also has a strong elemental feel. Using the cardinal points, known to the Celts as ‘Airts’, each point was used as a path of self-enquiry which, through personal interpretation offered guidance and healing on life’s journey. The wheel also related to the natural world through association with trees and deep symbolic connection with the elements of air, fire, water and earth.
Traditions evolved specific to particular geographical locations using the flora and fauna, landscape and the seasons in the evolution of their own unique expression. The Celtic Medicine Wheel also ties into seasonal celebrations such as Imbolc, Beltaine, Lammas and Samhain.