The Wheel Of Life
- The Spiritual Wheel:
- In many religions and spiritual cultures, there exists the
concept of the spiritual circle. It has many different names:
the Circle of Life, the Medicine Wheel, the Wheel of the Eight
directions, the Powers of the Four Winds, the Earth Web or the
Wheel of the year. There are as many names for the
wheel as there are cultures that utilize one. But the basic purpose
and use of the wheel is similar throughout them all. Each belief
system assigns a certain section of the circle to certain elements,
characteristics and energies of life. As well as, the cardinal
- The Wheel I use has been passed through my family for generations.
It is a combination of Celtic (Irish and Scottish) and Cherokee
systems. How did these cultures combine belief systems? Possibly
because they are very similar in nature and belief. Before and
after the tragic 'Trail Of Tears' changed the boundaries and
energy of the mid-Atlantic mountain lands, the Celts of Tennessee,
North Carolina and southern Virginia lived in peace and balance
with their Cherokee neighbors, whose nation ranged from Virginia
to Florida at one time.
- A culmination of respect between the Celts and the Cherokee
created a type of sub-culture that merged spiritual belief and
concepts together. Take a quick look at their similarities
and you'll see what I mean. Thankfully these new 'traditional'
ways were and are still passed down to the generations that followed.
I'm grateful to be part of one of those generations, and often
feel as if I have been given a gift from the best of both worlds.
- The Purpose The Wheel:
- The Wheel represents the constant movement and change of
life. We are set upon the wheel at birth and continually move
forward learning lessons and testing ourselves for spiritual
development and enlightenment. The 'Wheel' itself is a sacred
tool with an almost inexhaustible set of meanings and applications
to aid in that learning and understanding.
- In the Celtic traditions, the wheel represents the 8 directions
and the 8 seasons of the year. These
8 seasons were celebrated in the 8 festivals of the year often
associated with Magik Holidays. They have become more commonly
known as the Witches Holidays or the Sabbats.
- The wheel also denotes the energies of life, and the bridge
between nature and spirit. Through learning how these natures
relate to the universe, you can learn about yourself, your place
on the wheel, the underlying purpose of a lesson, or even plan
out the best location for the furniture in your living room,
or plan the best location on the wheel to conduct a ritual or
- For spiritual uses, it's important to know where each essence
of nature resides so that you can match your spiritual intent
with the correct orientation of spiritual energy. Now that's
a fancy way of saying, you want to use the correct location for
the correct purpose, or "the right use of energy in the
right location". For instance, casting a wheel to help with
a healing ceremony would best be done with the focus on the northern
section of the wheel.
- But the wheel can also help you design your home,and plan
the how you want the flow of energy to reside within it's walls.
Think of it this way: If you want to get up in the morning and
have a nice warm cup of coffee as you watch the day break, you
wouldn't design your 'Morning Room' on the west side of your
house. The concept is basically the same when working with a
wheel and the forces of nature.
- Using The Wheel:
- You can use the wheel in your
daily life to help you make decisions, organize your furniture,
or even set goals and deadlines for personal or professional
development. It can be used to determine what aspect of self
you are being guided to work on, or you want to work with. The
key is determining the right use of energy.
- Some people think you can match symbology to purpose and
you'll be fine. Others believe it takes a life time of knowledge
and practice to learn the wisdom of the wheel. I would probably
fall into the latter category. But part of achieving wisdom is
practicing the knowledge you've gained. So you don't have to
be 102 years old to feel comfortable with using the wheel and
- You can use the wheel for a variety of things, from organizing
your furniture and analyzing a dream to planing a spiritual ritual.
Say for example you want to rearrange the furniture in your living
room. Divide the room into directional quadrants. Now think of
the purpose of your furniture. Start with the couch since it's
the biggest item, what do you use it for? In this room, will
it be used primarily for you and a guest to talk of the day,
share information and relate stories? If so, then you might place
the couch in the east where Communication resides. Or will it
be a place for relaxation, chilling out after a long days work?
If so, then you might place it in the West where grounding and
- Perhaps in your meditations you feel as if you're being drawn
eastward. This could be an indication that you're being guided
to work on your communication or divination skills. Or perhaps
there is something you need to learn about your self and your
meditation is trying to teach about that lesson.
- The Animal Wheel:
- The wheel represents the beginning and the end of life, along
with everything in between. The beginning is symbolized by the
placement of the birth totems upon the wheel. It can also give
insight to your natural gifts or spiritual path by looking for
the placement of your animal guide.
- If your born under the sign of the Deer (May 21 - June 20)
for instance, you will mirror many of the characteristics of
the Deer. Often graceful and at home in nature, surrounded by
beautiful things. Not necessarily materialistic "things",
but things of nature. Crystals, stones, plants, Deer people are
often wonderful gardeners. They also represent the qualities
of the Eastern section of the wheel. They hold talents in divination,
communication and they are often natural teachers. They're usually
at their peek during the Spring to early Summer. They have a
fascination with fire, from burning candles to sitting by a warm
fire during the cooler months, or even an out door bonfire where
they make great story tellers.
- You can learn more about the other Birth
Totems for the year here on the Magikal Woodlands. But the
best way to learn about your personal animal is to study it in
nature. One of the best books concerning animal medicine is "Animal
Speak" by Ted Andrews. I highly recommend this book for
those interested in learning more about how animals relate to
us, both as a guide, a totem and just in passing during our daily
- Just as you can learn about yourself based on your birth
totem, you can also learn about your spiritual self by examining
the placement of your animal guide
upon the wheel. Like the birth totem you will mirror many of
the characteristics of that animal in your life, especially though
- If your animal guide is the wolf for instance, you're probably
a very social being. Your loyal, often times to a fault, never
knowing exactly when to give up on a relationship (business,
friendship and love). But you'll also inhabit the characteristics
of the North as well. Spirituality, Learning and Healing are
all a major focus in your life.
- Again the best way to learn about your personal talents is
by finding your own animal guide. The link in the previous paragraph
will take you to a special meditation exercise designed specifically
for an individual to find their animal guide. It can be a truly
enlightening experience when entered with complete openness.
Give it a try and learn more about your own spiritual path.
- Additional Reading
- The Alchemy
- The Wheel
- The Elements
& Their Cardinal Directions
- Source: 1, s1,
- Created: 04.04.1999 Updated: 06.14.2008