What is a Medicine Wheel?
A Medicine Wheel is a space, or place that is a portal. When sitting in the Medicine Wheel it can carry our prayers to the places we wish to send them. We can use this space as a connection to our guides, teachers, ancestors, allies, and Great Spirit. We can journey between the realms; the lower world, the middle world and the upper world with the Medicine World.
In the time before time, The Medicine Wheel was used astrologically to identify seasons, Solstices and Equinoxes. When different star systems appeared on the horizon and moved across the sky at certain times of the year, people could track the best times for planting, relocating, harvesting etc.
There are 36 ancestors (stone people) who make up the Cree Medicine Wheel. Each stone has a colour, a crystal, an animal, and a plant. The stone for Creator and the Four Cardinal Directions also have a sound.
The starting point in the Medicine Wheel is the center stone, which is Creator, this stone has no colour, no plant, or animal assigned to it, but it can be represented by the clear quartz crystal. The reason the center stone has no specific representation in the other categories is because Creator is in all things.
From the center stone, we move to the stone of the East. The stone of the East represents the dawning of the new day, sunrise, a place of new beginnings, and illumination. A place of birth, and a place of rebirth. They say the East is the place of Spirit, where the great Eagle flies with one wing in the spirit world, and one wing in the physical world. The Eagle is the animal representation of the East.
The element of the East is Fire, the plant representation is Tobacco, or Kinnick Kinnick. It is said that Tobacco is a master plant, and that the spirit of Tobacco stood 20 ft tall, in its original form. The qualities of Tobacco are used for offerings in the sacred pipe for ceremony, carrying prayers and used as a giveaway offering to Mother Earth, among other things. For this reason Tobacco is considered to be a sacred spirit plant.
The crystal of the East is Citrine, the sound of the East is ‘eeeeeeeeeeh’. The season of the East is Spring, a time for planting. Sacred Ceremony for this direction uses it’s element of Fire and the plant of Tobacco in the Pipe Ceremony. The Pipe is the sacred medicine tool of the East. The East represents our spiritual body.
There is much to cover in this in-depth study of the Medicine Wheel. I hope you have enjoyed this brief insight into the Cardinal Direction of the East.