We have begun a medicine wheel garden at our property. We decided to put in an herb garden and began to discuss how we were going to lay it out. One of our people was gifted with medicine wheel teaching and we talked about bringing those teaching to the garden. Historically, the Lenapé people did not to our knowledge ever use a medicine wheel. However, many people did and the teachings were gifted to share. We felt that creating this garden would honor the spirit of the gift that was given.
Our garden is going to incorporate native plants that are medicinal and/or culinary in use. We have placed 36 stones in the medicine wheel. We see this as a place of teaching and sharing information as well as a sacred space that may be used by all.
Over the course of the next year we plan to plant the herbs and to place other stones that carry their own energy. We see this as an opportunity to partner with other people who carry their own knowledge. Feel free to follow us over the year to see our progress. If you would like, make plans to attend our 2011 festival where we will have the medicine wheel garden open and programs regarding it throughout the day.
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.
CJ Wisdomkeeper, Thunder Mountain Lenapé Nation