The stages of life in Native American traditions are sometimes represented through the Medicine Wheel, a cross within a circle that indicates the Four Directions: East, South, West, and North. The symbolism that is usually described goes as follows: East – birth, childhood; South – youth, growing up; West – aging, mature adulthood; North – wisdom, death. However, the Wikipedia indicates that in the Hopi culture, North represents birth and infancy, East – adolescence; South – young adulthood; and West – elderhood. What is common to all versions, however, is the idea of the stages of life as a cycle, where, like the seasons, death gives rise to rebirth and a renewal of the life impulse.
- For more about the stages of life in different cultures, see Thomas Armstrong The Human Odyssey: Navigating the 12 Stages of Life (to order from Amazon, click here)