The Medicine Wheel

The Medicine Wheel

Not A New Age Concoction—Navigation Device of the Ancients

By Jim Miller

Originally printed in TRIBE Newsletter December 1994

   The moon rolled across the sky. It was our night light as it shone through the smoke hole. The 27 feet diameter earth lodge we sat in was to be my home for the week. I was in the hills of Nebraska, near Stockville. The sun set that evening. We were finishing up some braintan skins and pumping out fires with hand spindles and bow drills. It was the Autumn equinox. Les had built this lodge and two others like it with the help of his wife, Jan and their friends.

    We waked to the top of a nearby hill and we could see the horizon for 360 degrees. I could also see many basketball sized rocks. They were laid out in a circle about 70 feet in diameter. Many lines of stones radiated from the center in various directions.

    “This is our medicine wheel”, said Les, “Our ancestors used it to mark and keep track of the seasons and cycles of the moon.” (more…)

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