Maria Barnowl Photography

Capturing the Nature of Our Planet

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Medicine Wheel: The Four Directions

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The medicine wheel is a symbol for the wheel of life, which is forever evolving and bringing new lessons and truths to the walking of the path. The medicine wheel is life, afterlife, rebirth and the honoring of each step along the way.

The Earthwalk is based on the understanding that each one of us must stand on every spoke, on the great wheel of life many times, and that every direction is to be honored. Until you have walked in others' moccasins, or stood on their spokes of the wheel, you will never truly know their hearts. The medicine wheel teaches us that all lessons are equal, as are all talents and abilities. Every living creature will one day see and experience each spoke of the wheel, and know those truths. It is a pathway to truth, peace and harmony.

The circle is never ending, life without end. In experiencing the Good Red Road, which runs North and South in the wheel, one learns the lessons of physical life, the lessons of being human.

new beginnings, new day,
sunshine, birth, illumination,
learning, creativity, divination,
intuition, strength of will,
communication and understanding
Dawn (rising sun)
Season: Spring
Life stage: Newborn
Color: Yellow
Plant: Tobacco
Animal: Eagle
Element: Air

purification, strength,
awakening the inner child,
overcoming obstacles,
playfulness, change,
protection, emotions,
trust, resurrection,
passion and purpose
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storytelling: remembering,
learning from & releasing the past

Noon (heat of midday)
Season: Summer
Life stage: Adolescent
Color: White
Plant: Sage
Animal: Coyote
Element: Fire

vision, dreams, imagination,
quests and journeys,
creative arts, goals,
higher compassion,
death and transformation,
inner spiritual renewal,
soul, self-awareness,
being tested & becoming self-sufficient

Evening (sunset)
Season: Autumn
Life stage: Adult
Color: Black
Plant: Cedar
Animal: Grizzly Bear
Element: Water

sacred wisdom & knowledge,
teaching, trust,
abundance, balance,
thankfulness, gentleness,
drawing forth inner treasures,
empathic intuition
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storytelling: bringing
the teachings & stories
back to the people

Night (stars)
Season: Winter
Life stage: Elder
Color: Red
Plant: Sweetgrass
Animal: White Buffalo
Element: Earth


Native American drum


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