Exploring Life Phases and the Native American Medicine Wheel: One of my readers asked me for information and meaning connected to life phases and the Native American Medicine Wheel. Specifically, she wanted to know how the phases of human life were represented within the wheel. I have thoughts on this, for sure!
As you may know, there are numerous Native American tribes. Each tribe has unique identification to life phases, and most tribes have connections to seasons and directions (as in the cardinal directions). Many tribes also attribute animals to certain segments of life and quadrants of the Native American Medicine Wheel. Although some tribe symbols are similar, no symbols are universal amongst all tribes.
The best I can provide you with is the assignment of characteristics of human growth designated by the Navajo medicine wheel (shown above). These assignments are according to the directions of the wind, the creatures of Mother (Nature), and the colors of the spirit realm. I am very grateful to my dear friend Atsa Thomas for this profound information. Atsa (which means Eagle) has been very helpful in my development in Navajo symbolism and culture. He is intent upon preserving his Native wisdom and integral in formulating this article about Navajo life phases and the Native American medicine wheel.
Attributes the Native American Medicine Wheel and Life Phases
- Birth: East – Eagle – Yellow – Spring
- Child: South – Mouse – Red – Summer
- Adult: North – Buffalo – White – Autumn
- Death: West – Bear – Black – Winter
The symbolism of each quadrant within the wheel is mammoth and requires much devotion for the fullness of understanding. The more we investigate the Native American animal totem and the cardinal direction through Native wisdom, we can achieve massive enlightenment.
More Guidance About the Native American Medicine Wheel, Seasons of Life
As you contemplate the Native American medicine wheel, and the developmental stages I invite you to consider the following philosophical phrases in conjunction with the above-listed wheel designations:
- East: “The sun rises in the east as do our lives surrender to new life every dawning day in this direction. With supple eagle wings, we now slip off the inhibition and climb light’s highest rung to meet the birth of a new day.”
- South: “With the sway of south winds we flow from the blood of the Mother, small as mice and innocent yet with powerful potential in our tiny eyes.”
- North: “As high pines kiss north skies, we stand tall in our growth. We provide, we expand, we rule thunderously as the buffalo.”
- West: “Our newborn dew passes off from us like the sun setting west. We explore our domains and form conclusions about the way of things. Playfully we mount courage and find our way as the bear. “
I hope this information about the Native American medicine wheel and life phases proves useful on your journey to deeper understanding Native wisdom and how life cycles run parallel to the coordinates in Nature.
As always, thank you so much for reading.
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