The medicine wheel is a term used in shamanism to represent the cycles of healing we go through during our lives.
It’s a circle because it continues onward, restarting every time we reach the end, so that it never truly ends.
It traditionally has four points, represented by the four directions and by four animal archetypes. The number four represents stability and structure and is quite masculine—which is incredible in its own way.
But the lunar medicine wheel takes a more feminine approach.
You see, you could take the traditional medicine wheel and stick the moon cycle on top of it and find the four phases that our culture generally recognizes in the moon cycle and align each of them with the four directions—new moon: south, waxing moon: east, full moon: north, and waning moon: west, going back into new moon.
But it’s missing an important part: the dark moon.
As I’ve written about before, the dark moon was honored in ancient cultures, but has been shunned in modern-day culture because we are afraid of darkness and death.
But the dark moon is the ultra-feminine phase of the moon cycle, and its addition brings the moon cycle, and thus the lunar medicine wheel, to five phases.
In numerology, the number five represents change and transformation. What a perfect number for a healing and transformative medicine wheel.
So, we have the lunar medicine wheel — a healing modality that is a beautiful, divine, feminine iteration of a beautiful healing modality developed in ancient shamanic practices around the world.
Let’s first take a deep moment of silence to honor, respect, and give our greatest gratitude to those healers and shamans from the indigenous cultures who we now are learning so much from, and to those healers and witches from the Western world who lead the way before us.
The five phases of the lunar medicine wheel are:
The lunar medicine wheel moves from new moon to dark moon, but if you find that you prefer the energetic momentum of moving from full moon to full moon, that totally works as well.
The new moon is when we create, we set an intention, and we make a goal to pursue. We work on gaining clarity on what we are working toward. In the medicine wheel, what do we want to heal? What part of our life needs to change?