Need to know how to make a medicine wheel? Making a medicine wheel is a practice from Native American spirituality and tradition. The design of a medicine wheel, sometimes also called a sacred hoop, can vary, but is generally made by positioning stones in a symbolic circle on the ground. The medicine wheel represented life, healing and interconnection. Many traditional medicine wheels were very large to provide space to gather and dance, but a smaller medicine wheel can still hold symbolism, power and beauty.
To make a medicine wheel, you will need:
- A compass
- A flat piece of land
- Stones or other markers
- Identify and mark a center. You may choose to build a medicine wheel around an existing tree or natural marker. A center can also be a fire pit or a similar place to gather. Some medicine wheels center simply on a stone.
- Use your compass to identify north. Directions have special meanings in the medicine wheel, so it is important to carefully identify each. East is represented by the color yellow, the rising sun, air and birth. South is red, fire and passion. West is black, symbolizing water and change. North is white and symbolizes age, wisdom and earth. Together, the four directions balance each other and can be seen as representations of the seasons of the year, the elements of nature and the stages of life.
- Mark the directions with stones. Each can be marked with a single stone, a cluster of stones, a statue or an altar. Use anything that you view as powerful; a medicine wheel is a very personal thing and everyone will be inspired by different markers. Different Native American tribes marked the directions with their symbolic colors, likenesses of animals that represented the different quadrants and totems to celebrate each.
- Bless the space. Traditionally, the space would be blessed through ceremony, celebration and a gathering of the community. This is where the medicine wheel gets its power and is the final step in constructing a sacred space.