Yesterday 'Medicine Wheel' was delivered to its permanent home at Highland Primary Care Network...it will live in the board room which has already been dubbed 'the canoe room'. It feels like a perfect combination, comprehensive contemporary health care and the traditional teachings of the medicine wheel.
Alberta is known to have 66% of the world's medicine wheels (46) consisting of a circle of stones radiating from a central pile of rocks which constitutes a central meeting place for Plains tribes. Most of them are located in the southern region of our province. It teaches us about the four directions, four seasons, four sacred colours and four aspects of a person and is an outward expression of our inner dialogue with Creator God and Spirit. Though the colour meanings may differ between different ethnic groups, this is what I was taught:
1. East / spring / yellow (healthy mind) - representing harvest, sunshine and illumination
2. South / summer / red (strong inner spirit) - meaning battle, hunt and passion
3. West / fall / black or blue (inner peace) - for water, cold and reflection
4. North / winter / white (strong healthy body) - symbolizes warmth, peace and wisdom
I was intrigued how the colours of the Hudson's Bay Company blankets match that of the colours of the four directions and because it was such a huge part of my life in the north I wanted to incorporate a representation of it as well. I know I've mentioned it before but I really do love when my work is in public spaces. A real honour.
Oh...and that bag over my shoulder was made by a Guarani woman in South America when I was a little girl spending a winter with my relatives in Paraguay. I had the great privilege of watching her weave it for me beside her tipi and I have loved it since. And the scarf was handmade in Peru, one of my all-time favorite gifts from my husband.