I first learned about the practice of making Medicine Wheels a few years ago, but only recently discovered that one can plant a garden in the Medicine Wheel style! In short, the design mimics traditional Medicine Wheels, with the “doorway” facing east, and a variety of plants for bloom from Spring through Autumn. The different colors represent the seasons as well.
Below is a good example of a Medicine Wheel garden (obviously adjust the plant choices to fit your Zone):
A more in-depth description of the process, and intention, associated with a true Medicine Wheel garden is available from Thunder Mountain Lenape:
The stone circle says “This place is sacred”
A place to remind all to live in good relationship with all life in this Universe. The Medicine Wheel represents the Circle of All Life. When one sits in the wheel or walks the path and evokes the Sacred, all life comes to sit in council. (Animal relatives, plant relations, stone people, and spirit relatives). The Wheel of Life – The Medicine Wheel, is a map for everything in the Universe, a blue print of the Web of Life. Within each of us too, the Medicine Wheel exists as our inner council.
Purposes of the Wheel
Ceremonial Center: Medicine Wheels are placed on areas where the energy of the earth is strongly felt. Join the connected energy of all souls who have ever walked in a Medicine Wheel or who will walk in the future. Many tribes celebrate Full Moon and New Moon ceremonies around the Wheel. Other celebrations or ceremonies include mid winter renewal, and Feast of the Thunderers. Astrological events are also celebrated.
Places to pray: Many who come to The Medicine Wheel offer prayers for world peace, the healing of Mother Earth, or for physical afflictions. Many walk a gratitude prayer and ask for a sense of renewal and balance.
Contemplation: Many come to contemplate their own life path and sense of destiny, their commitment to their goals, asking for clarity and vision.
To strengthen one’s connection with Nature: Many offer Blessings to the Stone People , connecting with Mother Earth, and Father Sky, bringing to their Being a heightened awareness and appreciation of the 4 elements: wind, water, earth, and fire.
To come to a higher degree of understanding of oneself and one’s relationship with all: Many walk around the Wheel directing their thoughts inward to their heart and their spirit, and outward to Mother Earth and Father Sky.
Walking The Wheel
- Purification before entering sacred space is done through smudging (burning sage, sweet grass, cedar, or tobacco) or using a rattle or drum.
- Centering: Breathe deeply and slowly – allowing thoughts to flow through. Become calm and peaceful. Merge with the balance of nature around you.
- Form an intention for your Medicine Wheel walk:
- Offering: a way to give thanks for life, for abundance – for all ones blessings. Given to the 6 directions, take a pinch of tobacco, cornmeal, a strand of hair, etc. – raise the offering to Father Sky, making a prayer of thanks to Creator.Many tribes believe following the movement of the Sun is the Trail of Life. Walk from East to South – South to West – West to North – and finish the Sacred Circle at the beginning of the east. Envision your own Trail of Life. One offers a prayer at each directional stone and then acknowledges Eye of The Creator, Father Sky and Mother Earth.
- Ending your Ceremony: Think about the ceremony and the energy generated. Ask for the rebirth, clarity, peace, calmness, etc to follow you into your daily life. Give thanks for this process that is already happening. Send this energy out from your body into the space around you…and then become aware of a more beautiful world around you.
For good photos from start to finish of a successful Medicine Wheel garden, check out Red Moon Musing’s website:
Amazing and beautiful! I’ve already ordered this book and will be plotting the perfect location in our yard to try this out next year. I was also thinking of featuring a meditative labyrinth somewhere – maybe there’s a way to combine the two?