The Medicine Wheel: An Embodied Non-Linear Data Transformation Tool

The Medicine Wheel: An Embodied Non-Linear Data Transformation Tool


Medicine Wheels simultaneously represent time and space as well as the transcendence of the limits of time and space. So, like a seed comes from what came before and contains what will be, Medicine Wheels are living non-linear thought tools embodying all wisdom. 

Traditional depiction of four-fold Medicine Wheel. (Image: Courtesy © The Orange Snowman).

Traditional depiction of four-fold Medicine Wheel. (Image: Courtesy © The Orange Snowman ).

The limited and limitless are possible through the Medicine Wheel’s still and infinite center. A center present on all levels of existence and embodied within our DNA.  A center that enables communication and/or connection to the primordial consciousness present from before creation and that brings light from beyond time and space creating awareness of complimentary geometrical opposites (e.g., before and after). This awareness creates possibilities for the emergence of more holistic and innovative STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics) outcomes than those developed through the use of Western quantitative and qualitative thought models, alone.

Big Horn Medicine Wheel (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Big Horn Medicine Wheel ( CC BY-SA 2.0 )

Linear and Non-Linear Thought Models

Linear thought tools traditionally understand the whole by dissecting it into individual parts without first understanding how the parts work together. This dissection creates linear distances from the center or Unity, reducing the integrity and experience of the concept.  Though Western thought models identify individual system components, the integration of system components by non-linear thought models is what facilitates viewing data holistically.

As a non-linear thought tool, the Medicine Wheel’s purpose is to help humanity transcend linear constraints that separate data like rungs on a ladder and to facilitate weaving together an intricate understanding of data relationships. A weaving that links knowledge gaps and facilitates exploring and measuring the distance required to bridge the gaps.

Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark  (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark  ( CC BY-SA 3.0 )

The Medicine Wheel

Spiritual texts from the Upanishads to the Bible speak of God as light, and that human beings are created in his image.  Thus, humans created in God’s image are also light.  Many traditions also speak of 144,000 rays of divine light released at the separation of the Unity or Big Bang when God created the universe.  These rays, fractal symmetries and geometries, such as the Tree of Life, are said to be mirrors of the Unity, resulting from the shattering, cooling, and slowing of the energy released at creation.


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Dr Linda Tello is a licensed professional engineer and first-generation American with indigenous ancestry of the Pijaos from the Central Andes of Colombia. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering from Arizona State University, Ira Fulton Schools of Engineering, School of Sustainability and the Built Environment. Whole Earth Engineering

Top Image : Spiral Medicine Wheel Ojo Caliente, NM. (Image: Courtesy © Dr Linda Tello)

By Linda Tello

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