"The medicine wheel is the nucleus of an atom; it is the universe, and it is everything in between. It offers a series of circles within circles which correspond to a day, a year, a life and so on. It is a philosophy, a way of thought and a learning tool. It is both a physical solid and pure energy...this naturally shaped structure can be used to explain and understand all the complexities of existence...We begin simply but add the layers slowly to build and develop our knowledge."
The Native American medicine or earth wheel is not so different from the basic circle cast by a witch. The circle represents the universe, the Goddess and God, the elements of nature, the sacred space between that which is seen and unseen. It is reflective of the phases of the moon and the orbital rotation of the planets; the days, weeks, months, years, and seasons. It is a microcosm of energy, a cone of power, and as stated above, it is a learning tool by which we learn about the Craft, our own personal power within that faith, and even ourselves as mere humans. The circle teaches us lessons within lessons as we channel our beliefs into something potent and tangible, and within its boundaries we continue to grow each time our circle is cast.
I find it endlessly amazing how many old religions, beliefs, and cultures shared the tools used to honor the divine and utilize that power. So much of the mainstream world no longer sees nor feels this infinite wisdom and instead prefers to mock or vilify those to whom the ancients call today. It's a powerful universe out there at our fingertips, and it all begins with a circle.
Photo and text courtesy of Grey Wolf, Earth Signs: How to Connect With the Natural Spirits of the Earth, The Ivy Press Limited, 1998.