Using the Medicine Wheel in Teachings
The circle, or wheel, is a common symbol in many cultures and represents several elements to the First Nations. The circle acknowledges the connectedness of everything in life, such as the four seasons, the four stages of life and the four winds, and it represents the continuous cycle and relationship of the seen and unseen, the physical and spiritual, birth and death, and the daily sunrise and sunset.
The circle is divided into four coloured quadrants. The colours can vary, but the symbolism remains similar amongst the first peoples. The wheel moves in a clockwise direction, with the teachings always beginning at the yellow, or eastern, quadrant. These colours relate to teachings of the directions, seasons, elements, animals, plants, heavenly bodies and the stages of life.
Question you can pose to students: Many things in the world are round. Can you name some? Possible answers: The moon, the sun, the sacred hoop, the connections of all things, etc.