Embodying the Energies of the Earth – The Four Directions
The Four Directions correlate with both the four aspects of being (body, mind, soul, and spirit) and the four elements of nature (earth, air, fire, and water). The teachings of the Four directions come from Druidism and Shamanism, among others. The idea originally stems from the concept of the Medicine Wheel, which was used as a metaphor for a variety of spiritual concepts. When it comes to figuring out how best to integrate the energies available from ancient traditions, as well as Mother Earth, we can also use our modern day archetypes to explore a more substantial spirituality based in nature.
The core teaching behind the Four Directions is that every single one of us is a healer, teacher, warrior, and visionary. It is important to understand these archetypes within us because most of our western society still tries to solve so many problems using only two levels of perception, the physical and the mental. Once we integrate all four aspects: the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical, we increase our understanding of the many aspects which make us human, as well as being connected to divinity.
After researching information pertaining to these four ways, I would encourage you to now decipher your own symbolism for each of the four directions. If you wish you can use the traditional Four Directions, or you can use the ones below. The main thing to remember is that every tradition, tribe, and teaching has its own symbol for each of these four aspects of being, therefore, it would be wise to choose animals/archetypes that resonate best with you.
The Four Directions – Archetypes, Animism, and Invocation
The North – The Butterfly/Teacher.
The archetype is that of the intellect or the mind. With the season of Spring and element of Air, the north direction is ruled by the idea of thought, teaching, and communication. The color is of blue and connects to the throat chakra. From the cold and lonely winter, the caterpillar emerges from its hibernation into Spring, transforming into a beautiful butterfly. The wisdom and truth of the mind emerge after life’s many lessons, including that of the ego. Just like any creature that can fly, invoking the spirit animal of the north is to invoke within oneself the ability to transform, learn and grow. The characteristics of the north direction are to overcome the fears of the mind, to finally soar high, and to be clear and open like a blissful blue sky.
To invoke the direction of the North, meditate on these archetypes which embody this direction and say, “Grant, Great Spirit, your understanding, and in understanding, knowledge”
The East – The Dolphin/Visionary.
From behind the veil and the depth of the element of water, emerge the emotions, all of our joy and all of our pain. The East is linked to 6th & 7th chakras. This is where the imagination and the ability to connect with oneness through deep introspection and intuition gained from emotional intelligence arises. The dolphin represents the magic of creativity and is the season of autumn representing the beauty and fruition in creating something. The East represents all of the sea creatures that swim in the infinite waters of creation; so much of the sea is unexplored and therefore mostly remains mysterious and behind the veil to us. The dolphin represents the mystical and metaphysical level of our beings.
To invoke the direction of the East, meditate on these archetypes which embody this direction and say, “Grant, Great Spirit, your intuition, and with intuition, wisdom”
The South – The Rabbit/Healer.
The spiritual part of ourselves takes on the element of fire. Our passions feed our love for the world and the beauty of summertime. All those who jump, crawl and hop against the very belly of mother earth embody a sense of love and balance within the journey of life. The rabbit represents the healing power of the heart chakra. The south is represented as the soul, its ability to heal and transmute through the powers of love. It also represents our soul’s deep passions and desires fueled by fire, or that of summertime.
To invoke the direction of the South, meditate on these archetypes which embody this direction and say, “Grant, Great Spirit, your healing, and in your healing, love”
The West – The Lion/Warrior.
This archetype represents the physical world and the element of earth. It is our ability to stay stable within our basic needs, including money, shelter, and food. The warrior is a Zen master as well as a confident king/queen. The West represents a time for withdrawal and hibernation since the season is winter. The withdrawal during this time helps us to find our strength and confidence from within. Through the integration of our physical selves, i.e. eating the correct foods and preserving sexual energy, since it utilizes the 1st and 2nd chakras, we establish a grounded connection within, as well as a clearer understanding of our place amongst the community.
To invoke the direction of the West, meditate on these archetypes which embody this direction and say, “Grant, Great Spirit, your protection, and through your protection, strength”
By practicing a deeper connection to these directions, individually or with all of with all four, you can access the deeper truths and teachings that are embodied deep within them. Once you’ve identified what you need more of you can begin to build or invoke your own sacred space. One way to do this is through stone circles, which has been practiced for many generations. You can use crystals, stones or whatever you wish, to determine the four corners of the Earth and begin to bless this sacred space with the intention of finding one’s own truth. Once you have decided which animal you would like to work with, you can simply face that direction and sit meditating on its qualities, praying and asking for guidance from this energy.
Throughout history, stone circles have been used for many years and for good reason. There is a sacred energy invoked, which provides us with spiritual assistance when we set about creating such a space. Stone circles were thought to have many functions but for today’s exercise, the intention is to use them for geomancy, which is to understand and work with energies of Earth.
Utilizing the sacred art of stone circles and understanding the methods employed by the four directions, we can begin to practice a new yet sacred way of spiritual healing. By respectfully and calmly entering this sacred space we open our minds to the prospect of receiving profound teachings and wonderful experiences. In keeping an open mind, it is possible to receive certain feelings and inspirations from this meditation. Eventually, we can understand that the four corners of a square, which are the limitations of Time and Space or the material world, are a part of the circle, which is not actually separate from the square but embodies it fully, representing the significance of non-separation and that of infinity where all things are connected.
Thanks for reading.