Eye of the Medicine Man Symbol

by Corby

Eye of the Medicine Man Symbol

Eye of the Medicine Man Symbol

Avia, I recently got this tattoo, the eye of the medicine man symbol. It's a symbol for wisdom and awareness, on the inside of my left wrist. I got it because it represents my belief in many native American teachings, because they were and are such a wise and reverent people.

Anyway, after getting this tattoo, I showed it to a friend who is a religion major, and she said getting this symbol of a single eye on my left wrist actually carried a negative connotation.

She said that any symbol that shows one eye is a symbol of evil, and that I should have gotten it on my right arm instead. She also suggested I get a second eye tattooed next to the eye I have now, in order to give the image a more positive light.

I did take this into consideration, however, I wanted to look more into it first, because my friend focuses more on eastern religions, whereas I focus more on Native American beliefs.

So what I'm asking is, in Native American traditions and beliefs, does a single eye really represent evil, or can it still represent a positive energy? Also, is there anything wrong in having this tattoo on my left wrist as opposed to my right, as my freind said? Should I get a second eye tattoo, or can I just have the one and still have it represent a positive energy?

Avia's Response to "Eye of the Medicine Man Symbol"

Hi Corby, thanks for your submission.

Your question reminds me of a Q&A I published on my blog about the power of symbols several years ago. Check out the blog post, I think you'll find it enlightening. Here's the link (a new browser window will open): The Power of a Symbol: The Not-so-Evil Eye as an Example).

In a nutshell, we must be anchored in our own beliefs about our personal symbols.

Said another way, if your symbol sings to your soul, then it is right for you - regardless of what any one says.

Your symbol resonates with power primarily because of the reasons you selected it.

When you got this tattoo, you believed it represented a very specific set of attributes, yes? Cling to these attributes Corby. Do not waiver from your initial intent. Do not flounder in doubt.

That said, you really don't need a validation - from me, or your friend, or anybody.

However, I can tell you this symbol is not evil (left, right, by itself or otherwise).


The link you gave to this symbol on Symbols.com is painfully (and disappointingly) brief. This is regrettable, as the symbol deserves so much more than two sentences to convey its expansive implications.

A quick symbolic interpretation....

You can see the rhombus is concentric - with objects sharing the same center.

The outer rhombus is symbolic of a larger (cosmic, universal, worldly) network. For example: The "four corners" of the world, the four winds, the four initial tribes of humankind. The outer rhombus is the MACROcosm, and represents the four-sided structures of the large-scale universe/creation.

The inner rhombus is a reflective feature. Because we are talking about BROAD VISION (namely, the eye of the medicine man symbol), we are dealing with themes of metaphysical sight.

A medicine man sees with far greater vision that with just his physical eyes. So, the inner rhombus is symbolic of the interaction between man and his environment. The inner rhombus is the MICROcosm, the inner world.

The dot in the center is the eye, all seeing, all knowing, and observing the play between man, spirit and environment. It's the objective sight of the macrocosm, microcosm and how each is influenced by their interactions.

This is a lovely symbolic testiment to the devotion of the medicine man to see this world (and his/her role in it) with clarity and objectivity.

This eye of the medicine man symbol is a statement of spiritual vision - a kind of vision that recognizes the interconnectivity of all things.

Share this with your friend, and (no offense intended) encourage her to be a little more open-minded next time she feels compelled kibosh your or any one else's symbolic ideals.

Choosing personal symbols is highly personal, and I'm always striving to hammer this point home.

You chose this eye of the medicine man symbol for very specific reasons. Stick to those, and allow no one to sway you from your convictions.

Hope this helps.


Other pages of interest:

Symbolic Meaning of Eyes

Power of Symbols: What's an "Evil Eye?" (on my blog)

Tattoo Symbolism

Native American Symbolism

Creating Your Own Personal Symbols (on TokenRock.com)

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Miscellaneous Symbolism.

An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings

Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.

This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."

Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)

As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!


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