• Jeanette Micallef

Taking Direction


In many spiritual practices the notion of finding power and resource in the directions is common. East, North, West, South...what they represent can vary and yet, threads of similarity run throughout.


In my morning practice, immediately following meditation, I was taught to face the directions, giving gratitude and honoring different universal aspects as I do so. It occurred to me as I was doing this, that is may be advantageous to explore the meanings of the directions in depth, especially for one who is in a position of attempting to find her way.


I thought this might benefits others in a similar place.


east


The direction of East, in Native American tradition, South American Shamanic tradition, Wiccan tradition and Himalayan Yogic tradition represents the following:


Element: Air

Gender: Masculine

Colors: Yellow, White and Crimson

Time: Dawn

Season: Spring

Life Cycle: Birth, Infancy

Spirit/Totem Animal: Eagle, Rave, Spider

Signs of the Zodiac: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Crystals/Stones: Topaz, Amethyst, Alexandrite - Pumice and Rainbow-colored stones

Metals: Tin and copper

Herbs: Clove, Myrrh, Pansy, Primrose, Vervain, Dill, Lavender, Tobacco, Sweetgrass

Trees: Acacia, Almond, Aspen, Hazel, Linden, Maple, Pine

Magick: Divination, concentration, wind magick, prophecy, Karma work


East is the direction of the rising sun, inner wisdom, inner guidance, illumination, inspiration, clarity, revelation and in part, intuition -- the dawning of understanding or enlightenment. It represents the mind and intelligence, communication, telepathy, psychic powers, inspiration, imagination, ideas, knowledge, dreams and wishes. Air also rules visualization.



South American Shamanism

(from a prayer for opening Sacred Space)

To the winds of the East Great Eagle, Condor Come to us from the place of the rising Sun Keep us under your wing Show us the mountains we only dare to dream of Teach us to fly wing to wing with the Great Spirit

south


The direction of South, in Native American tradition, South American Shamanic tradition, Wiccan tradition and Himalayan Yogic tradition represents the following:


Element: Fire

Gender: Masculine

Colors: Red, Gold, Crimson, Orange, White

Time: Noon

Season: Summer

Life Cycle: Youth

Spirit/Totem Animal: Coyote, Mouse,

Signs of the Zodiac: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Crystals/Stones: Ruby, Fire Opal, Volcanic Lava, Agate

Metals: Gold, Brass

Herbs: Garlic, hibiscus, red peppers, cinnamon, coffee, beans, seeds, chili peppers

Trees: Alder, Ash, Cashew, Cedar, Chestnut, Fig, Juniper, Mahogany, Oak, Holly, Rowan, Walnut

Magick: Candle, healing, love spells, energy work


South represents abundance, purity, innocence, adaptability, playfulness, spontaniety, joy, creativity, gratefulness. It is the way of the warrior, especially patience and discernment, as well as the interconnectedness of all things, and movement away from ego and narcissism. Energy, inspiration, love, passion, leadership. It represents magick itself. Fire is the most physical and spiritual of the Elements. Fire is the energy associated with rapid growth. It is patient and leaves nothing untouched.


South American Shamanism

(from a prayer for opening Sacred Space)

To the winds of the South Great Serpent Wrap your coils of light around us Teach us to shed the past the way you shed your skin To walk softly on the Earth Teach us the Beauty Way


west


The direction of West, in Native American tradition, South American Shamanic tradition, Wiccan tradition and Himalayan Yogic tradition represents the following:


Element: Water

Gender: Feminine

Colors: Blue, Turquoise, Green, Grey, Indigo, Black

Time: Twilight/Dusk

Season: Autumn

Life Cycle: Adult/Elder

Spirit/Totem Animal: Bear, Water Snakes, Dolphin, Fish, Cat, Frog, Turtle, Swan, Crab

Signs of the Zodiac: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Crystals/Stones: Aquamarine, Amethyst, Blue Tourmaline, Pearl, Coral, Blue Topaz, Fluorite

Metals: Mercury, Silver, Copper

Herbs: Ferns, Lotus, Mosses, Bushes, Water Lilies, Gardenia

Trees: Cedar, Apple, Apricot, Birch, Cherry, Elder, Elm, Rose, Willow

Magick: Mirror divinations, magnet work, love magick, lucid dreaming, cleansing, protection spells


West represents surrender, letting go and the setting sun. It also represents emotions, absorption, subconscious, purification, eternal movement, wisdom, the soul, emotional aspects of love and femininity. It also brings the energy of slowing down and taking stock of things, going inward - preparing for times to come, going within spiritually, gaining strength from the knowledge earned. It can also represent death, the kind of death that functions as a pivot point, it allows for new beginnings. It engenders introspection, inner knowledge, shamanic journeys, deep psychic work, love, emotions, dream states, releasing, and attunement.


South American Shamanism

(from a prayer for opening Sacred Space)

To the winds of the West Mother Jaguar Protect our medicine space Teach us the way of peace, to live impeccably Show us the way beyond death

north


The direction of North, in Native American tradition, South American Shamanic tradition, Wiccan tradition and Himalayan Yogic tradition represents the following:


Element: Earth

Gender: Feminine

Colors: White, Black, Green, Yellow, Brown

Time: Midnight

Season: Winter

Life Cycle: Age, Rebirth

Spirit/Totem Animal: White Buffalo, Cow, Bull, Dog, Horse, Ant, Bear, Wolf

Signs of the Zodiac: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Crystals/Stones: Quartz Crystal, Emerald, Onyx, Jasper, Azurite, Amethyst - Salt

Metals: Iron, Lead

Herbs: Sweetgrass, Ivy, Grains, Oats, Rice, Patchouli, Lichens

Trees: Cypress, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Lilac

Magick: Gardening, magnet images, stone (jewel divination, work with crystals), knot, binding, money spells, grounding, finding treasures, runes


North represents the wisdom of the masters, cosmic intelligence, and transcendental wisdom. It directs us to the guidance of The Elders, The Ancestors, and The Crystal People. It reconnects us to our Earth Mother, natural spirit wisdom -- the energy of strength, abundance, stability, prosperity, wealth and femininity. It is about ritual, ceremony, practicality, patience and how to listen - as much about inner spiritual journeys as it is about the outward manifestation


South American Shamanism

(from a prayer for opening Sacred Space)

To the winds of the North Hummingbird, Grandmothers and Grandfathers Ancient Ones Come and warm your hands by our fires Whisper to us in the wind We honor you who have come before us And you who will come after us, our children’s children

Having only the littlest bit of experience in these four traditions, I can still see that the commonalities are noteworthy. It reinforces my personal belief that all faiths, are rooted in the same traditions, the same core values. It reminds me that each time I face the directions after meditation, and send out my energetic intentions, I am tapping into a much larger community -- a world community that at its most basic unites in the same space. It helps me to remember that I am a part of the cosmic oneness, and to appreciate that and honor it every moment.


Namaste.

Peace be with you.

Aho.

Blessed be.

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