Friday, December 26, 2014

Medicine Wheels and Labyrinths: Designs Upon the Earth

(Medicine Wheel in Adamsville Cemetery, Arizona)

In Arizona, you run into medicine wheels from time to time and especially at the vortexes in Sedona. They are beautiful, but they are also symbolic. Two things I've always dreamed of having in a garden are a labyrinth and a medicine wheel. Here's a chart to show you the quadrants of a medicine wheel:

Some who construct them, use rocks for the cross pieces in the color of the direction, like yellow rocks pointing to the eastern quadrant, et cetera.

These are a grounded and sacred place to interact with the spirit world. Some stand in the during the season facing the appropriate direction. It means something different to each culture and even to the new agers and wiccans who have borrowed the concept for their own process. Everyone has a different experience, but for most it is a way of staying focused, a kind of spiritual reset button.

Here is a wonderful site that explains how to construct your own.


(Labyrinth at Superstition Mountains Museum, AZ)

The sacred labyrinth may seem like just a ground maze, but it's much more than that. When a labyrinth is made correctly, one can slowly walk it, studying just the path in front of you, one foot in front of the other, contemplating the journey. When you get to the center the perspective is that you walked all these steps to only go a few dozen feet to the center. It wasn't about the distance, it was about the journey. It is one of my favorite things and I love it so much that I absolutely MUST have one in my yard some day to do it daily, hopefully at sunrise. 

Medicine wheels and labyrinth can be spiritually lifting and symbolic, meditative and curative. It is in the power of the actions and the belief. 

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