Shortly after Sun Bear had his vision of the medicine wheel, we decided to build a physical representation of this vision. We were living on Vision Mountain, a place that had been sacred to the ancient ones who went there to seek vision. The Mountain was also sacred to us so it was the appropriate place to construct this first Wheel. We carefully considered all the land in our care to find the best location. We decided on a small hill with a flat surface that would accommodate the Wheel. It was between the longhouse where we lived and the Moon Rocks where we went to celebrate the phases of Grandmother Moon. Over time we gathered the thirty six stones necessary for the Wheel. We had a buffalo skull for the center but only placed it there when we were doing ceremony.
On the appointed day we gathered those who were living with or visiting the Bear Tribe and went to the butte. Each person placed one or more of the stones, coming up the small ravines to the top as Sun Bear had seen in his vision. It was a small clearing and a small Wheel. As the Tribe grew we could have used a larger one but we always managed to accommodate people. It was a simple Wheel surrounded by large and small pines and wildflowers. There is a sketch of it done by Nimimosha on page 192 of The Medicine Wheel (see above), and this is the picture I carry in my mind. I am sad to say I don’t know if the Wheel was kept up after the Tribe left the mountain. But it lives in my mind and heart and in those of the many people who learned about the Medicine Wheel around this sacred circle.
Since that time I have helped to build so many Wheels I have lost count. Some are large, permanent ones. Others were large ones placed temporarily for a Gathering. Then people would take home the stones they had honored around the wheel and hopefully use them to build their own Wheel¸ whether small or large, indoors or outdoors. I have seen Wheels made of drawings, paintings, small fetishes, tiny semi-precious stones, only crystals. I have a pottery one I created that graces my dining room table.
No matter the size, shape or material, I know that each wheel built with prayer, respect and intention helps to create a vortex of energy for healing our beloved earth mother, and all of our relations upon her
Now I would like to invite you to share with me and your digital brothers and sisters stories about the Medicine Wheels you have built, accompanied by pictures. I’d love to hear where some of the stones from the original Medicine Wheel Gatherings helped to create new Wheels. I would also like to hear about any other Wheels you have built using whatever materials seemed right to you.
To encourage you to send in your pictures and stories I along with my social media assistant, Steve Norris, and my dear friend, Star, who began the Friends of the Medicine Wheel teachings page, will pick out the top stories we receive in the next several months and post them on my social media pages. Please send a description between 200 and 1,000 words describing what inspired you to build your medicine Wheel, what materials you used, what kind of ceremony you performed, and how the medicine Wheel has affected your life. I’m not looking for the most beautiful medicine wheel, rather ones that have made an impact upon you, your friends and the earth.
Each submission must be accompanied by a photo of the actual wheel. You must also include the following sentence in your email, “I grant Marlise Wabun Wind permission to publish this account and photograph in any way she sees fit.” Please submit your accounts by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the photo and story as attachments. As an additional note, please write your story in English. While my time abroad has helped me to learn much about you, my personal understanding of many languages outside of English is minimal.
The top three winners of this contest will receive a personally autographed copy of one of my books, and a pottery piece I have created. If you have any questions about this contest, please don’t hesitate to contact me through that e-mail address. Don’t reply to the blog. I will also publish these three accounts and others that move me, Steve or Star either in my blog or on my social media pages.
I look forward to reading these personal accounts of how the Medicine Wheel vision has spread and to honor them by sharing them with all of you.