The Medicine Wheel (Lakota Sioux)

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Symbols, such as the medicine wheel, are common among Sioux Indians, especially the Lakota Sioux. The Lakota Sioux believed each section of the medicine wheel had some spiritual significance. To them, the medicine wheel represents enlightenment, growth, strength and knowledge. Each color on the medicine wheel signifies a different season and lifestyle. Inside the circle is a cross shape. The cross symbolizes the four directions, and also the Four Lakota Virtues. The shape of the wheel represents the never ending circle of life and death. It means the Alpha and the Omega, Beginning and End, and to the Lakota Sioux, represents unity in the Great Spirit.

One of the four sacred colors found on the medicine wheel is red. It is located at the top left hand side of the four corners. Red symbolizes several things, including north; this (north) symbolizes the passing of the ancient and ancestors. “North brings cold harsh winds of the winter season” ( ). This cleansing wind causes the leaves to fall and buries the earth underneath a blanket of snow. Lakota Sioux believed “.. If someone had the ability to face these harsh winds, like the buffalo, they have learned patience and endurance” ( ). The element of the North is Air. Air is movement and”… freedom - the clearing of thoughts and the carrier that allows us to manifest our dreams” ( ). Air represents the mind. The color red and that section of the wheel also symbolize wisdom. They believed wisdom to be of one of the best qualities, and is usually met in or after death. Red also represents the last part of the lie cycle: afterlife

White is the second of the four sacred colors found on the medicine wheel of the Lakota Sioux. It is located at the bottom left corner on the medicine wheel. “White stands for youth and friendship” ( ). It represents the south. This direction is for warmth and growth since the sun is at its highest peak in the southern sky. “The sun’s rays are powerful in drawing life from the earth” (...
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