We cannot all sit on the same side of the Fire. A Council Fire forms a circle, not a line or a square. When we move to the side, we still sit at the Fire with our Brothers and Sisters, but as we move away from one we move toward another. The Circle, like the Dream Hoop, brings us ever back to where we start. Any time words of respect and love are spoken, they will return as given. A harsh word runs forever in the Circle, eventually vanishing from the wear against itself.
The Medicine Wheel is the circle of life (sometimes referred to as the Sacred Hoop), starting with birth and continuing throughout our lives until death, when we have gone full circle.
The Medicine Wheel has Four Directions, each direction offering its own lessons, color and animal guide. There are two paths which cross the center, at which point for me is the heart. (For when you work from your heart, you can reach all directions). The path from East to West is the path of Spirits (the Blue Road), the path from North to South, is our physical walk (the Red Road). East - beginnings, purity, family, innocence, amazement of life. South - youth, passions of life, friendships, self-control. West - Adulthood, solitude, stillness going inside oneself, reflection. North - Place of the Ancient Ones who have gone over - place of wisdom. Above - Freedom of mind, body and spirit.
Below - Nurturing, Mother, Life.
THE CIRCLE OF LIFE
Luther Standing Bear - Oglala