THE INDIAN WORLD WHEEL
Medicine Wheels are sacred places of various North American Indian peoples. They are patterns laid out of stones with a cairn in the centre, one or more outer circles and at least four cross-shaped spokes. It is said that between 70 and 150 of these stone circles still exist from the north-west of the USA to southern Canada. To this day, important gatherings and ceremonies of the Native Americans take place at these sites.
Opinions often differ widely about the age and purpose of the Medicine Wheels. In addition to wheels that can be proven to have been created only after contact with the Europeans, there are also some that, according to the indigenous people, have "always been there" and are dated to be up to 5,000 years old. In the case of the Bighorn Medicine Wheel, probably the best known of the medicine wheels, speculation on the internet ranges from 700 to several thousand years old.
Images courtesy of Google Earth™
There are theories that some of the Medicine Wheels, in addition to their function as a place of worship, are also said to have been Stone Age observatories used for observing the sky. In 1972, for example, an astronomer found that the lines and cairns of the Bighorn Medicine Wheel pointed in the direction of the solstices and the rising points of various fixed stars. I say: "It can be - but it doesn't have to be!". With a structure with so many lines, you can always find some that point to some prominent point in the sky.
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