The NHCN Health Icon - What it means?

The Norway House Pharmacy Icon is a combination of two very powerful visual forms. The mortar and pestle have long symbolized 'western' medicines (pharmaceuticals) and health. In addition, for centuries here on this continent the Medicine Wheel has been for many, a symbol of life itself.

Within the Norway House Pharmacy Icon the mortar and pestle represents unity with the mortar (or bowl) illustrating acceptance / receiving and the pestle (or grinder) being a symbol of giving. The two together, the pestle resting within the mortar exemplifies the balance of health, acceptance, partnership and connection.

It is traditionally accepted that the Medicine Wheel is a symbol of life and specifically the Circle of Life. Each of the Four Directions (East, South, West, and North) are typically represented by a distinctive color, such as our use of black, red, yellow, and white. The color blue was used as the symbol for wisdom and confidence. In the case of the Norway House Pharmacy Icon, the colors and directions also meant to represent:

  • Stages of life: (birth) child, youth, adult and elder (death)
  • Aspects of life: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical
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