The medicine wheel, or circle of life, is a symbol used by many
traditional cultures. To First Nations people it represents continuity,
equality, and interconnectedness of all things on earth. It reminds us
of Mother Earth, the trees, plants, animals (two and four legged), all
winged things, and all things that swim. The circle has no beginning or
end, and in a circle no one is ahead or behind, above or below. All are
visible and no closer to the centre then the other, it symbolizes unity
and in unity there is strength. The Ojibway interpretation of the medicine
wheel is this:
YELLOW is the colour of the East, which is the source of light.
From the East comes knowledge, guidance and direction. Sage, the medicine
which comes from the East, represents the powers of creation.
RED is the colour of the South, which is the site of
birth, growth and abundance. The seeds of life are carried to the South
so that life will be replenished. Tobacco, a sacred gift, is used for
Thanksgiving and speaking to the grandfathers past.
BLACK is the colour of the West. The journey of life
is from East to West. The western doorway is the entryway to the spirit
world. Cedar is the medicine from the West.
WHITE is the colour of the North from where power, healing,
protection and purification come from. Sweet grass is the gift of the
North. A braid of sweet grass represents mother earth’s hair.