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The Medicine Wheel

This is a two-part program designed to introduce students to aspects of Native American philosophy. Segment 1 is a discussion of basic elements of the Medicine Wheel, a simple stone structure symbolic of the Great Wheel of Life, and how it might be applied in the traditional life of Native peoples. Respect and understanding of Native concepts of creation and its interplay with life and nature are foremost. The Medicine Wheel gives language to archetypal images of the "Four Great Directions" of the "Circle of Life", or "Circle of Law". Within this circle are all forms of life: animal, plant, mineral, human; held in four elements of nature: earth, air, fire, and water. Understanding these forms and how they manifest in the Native view of the world gives language and understanding to the complexities of self, and our individual and community relation to the world. We will discuss and explore these relationships in a way that will hopefully give meaning to the students beyond the classroom. In Segment 2, we will take the students outdoors, weather permitting. If appropriate in your school setting, we will explore a natural area--a woods, meadow, or creekbed--for small stones that we might bring back to the school grounds, where we will construct a simple Medicine Wheel from the stones, incorporating ceremony, music, and song. In cases of inclement weather, we can set a raindate, or build the Wheel indoors in an open space. In these cases, and where outdoor spaces are not available to gather stones, we can request the students to select and bring a stone from their home prior to our studies. If this is not possible, the facilitator will bring stones.

  • Program Length: 1 1/2 - 2 hours, with an optional break between segments.
  • Program Capacity: Up to 40 students; or program can be arranged with up to 120 students in Segment 1 and additional Segment 2's, of up to 40 students.*
  • Program Cost: $---for one program; $--- for each additional program in the same setting. *Additional Segment 2's--  $--- each in the same setting. Program Recommendation: Grade 4 or older.   ---(Contact us for current costs)