Astronomical Meaning of the Medicine Wheels

The importance of the medicine wheel alignments lies in their alignments; the solar connection is expected and seen. The stellar alignments are meaningful if the heliacal rise dates of the three bright stars are noted; functioning in this way, the Majorville, Moose Mountain, and Big Horn medicine wheels have a solar calendrical importance. The evidence of these three sites suggests that there was a continual tradition of the use of medicine wheel sites, although it has not been shown thus far if the astronomical usage is older than Moose Mountain or if lunar observations were indeed made from any of these sites.

All wheels that show characteristics that suggest astronomical intent also have cairns or alignments that are still unexplained archaeoastronomically. This weakens the case for accepting the astronomical purpose underlying these monuments. If anyone could offer probable astronomical explanations for any of these unexplained alignments, the case for accepting the interpretations of Eddy and others would be correspondingly strengthened.

This concludes our discussions of the stone monument building traditions in the Old and NewWorlds. We proceed now to the Mediterranean to discuss the roots of western astronomy.

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