Cochrane Alberta Mural Mosaic

Doug McElligott


Medicine Wheel

Artist Comments: Hold the Medicine Wheel....for many Canadian Native people, the circle represents the cycle of life. On the circle, there is no beginning and no end.  This symbol of infinity and interconnectedness is seen in the sweat lodge, the bowl of the sacred pipe, the sacred hoop and the medicine wheel.  Some Native writers describe the medicine wheel as a microcosm of life, its circular pathway encompassing all aspects of the world within the four cardinal directions.  Each of these directions represents a stage of life, within which specific lessons are learned.  East is the place of birth and new beginnings; South, of youth, growth and idealism; West, of emotional growth, strength and self knowledge; North, of wisdom and life’s fulfillment.  Corresponding to these directions are the four seasons – spring in the East, summer in the South, autumn in the West and winter in the North – and the elements of fire, water, earth and air.  These elements are symbolized by the four clans – the Eagle (fire), the Frog (water), the Turtle (earth) and the Butterfly (air).  The four related colors, according to some cultures, are yellow, red, black and white, which also reflects the main races of the world.
Hold to the ways, values and wisdom of the Medicine Wheel !