The Medicine Wheel:
Stone Spirit Wheels are many but this one is special. And it is no mystery.
Where: Atop the Bighorn Mountains, WY
Meeting Place: Cody, WY
Activity level: Some walking
Duration: approx 6 hours
The sacred reality of the stone Spirit Wheel high above the Bighorn Basin on Medicine Mountain began with the wisdom of one man who carried a spirit wheel lance in 500 BC and led his people from the darkness to the light. Thirteen hundred and eighty six years later, the so-called Great Sioux War began in 1876 with a surprise attack on a predominantly Cheyenne village on the Powder River. Old Brave Wolf was blind, and his daughter, Elbow Woman, sat him upon a horse she then led from the village on a rein. The three made conspicuous targets, but though bullets whined and crackled around them, they walked away unscathed. Across his lap Old Brave Wolf had rested his spirit wheel lance, which became his eyes in that darkness and rendered the soldiers sightless. The spirit in the wheel was alive and long since had been called into the wheel. Amongst the Ancient and the Old Ones were those who knew this gift. A spirit, it seems, was called into the wheel of stone on Medicine Mountain and there it still lives and breathes, so still they come, not knowing why, from the four corners of the earth to touch something of that time long ago that still lives within them.
About Your Day
You day begins as you meet your guide in Cody, WY. and you travel to the Bighorn Mountains.
There will be plenty of time for picture stops of the magnificent Bighorn Basin as you ascend the mountainside.
Soak in the majesty and serenity of the Bighorn Mountains as you travel mountain roads based on old Indian hunting trails, and take opportunity to sit in solitude, meditating amid the beauty of Indian Country displayed for hundreds of miles before you.
Interpretation of the site will happen before you begin the 1.5 walk to the Medicine Wheel. The walk is not strenuous, but it can get cold up there, even in the summer and it is good to take a jacket and comfy walking shoes. Please take water. There are pit toilets at the base of the walk. There are also rangers who protect the site from vandals and disrespect. They are not tribal and cannot furnish you with information beyond the stock explanation...'Its a great mystery and sacred to many tribes'.
If there are tribal members up there, they will be given priority should they wish to do ceremony and other visitors will be asked to wait out of sight. If this happens, please do so with good cheer.
There is a protective fence around the Medicine Wheel; please do not ask to be allowed to go into the center - this privilege is reserved only for tribal members.