I want to get you excited about welcoming the change of season and wisdom of the gatekeepers of the north. My personal experience with spirit animals has been through shamanic journey, from their powerful presence as guardians of the gateways at the change of seasons. In the Northern Hemisphere, we’re drawing into a time of retreat and introspection, as the nights are long and weather turns colder. With winter, comes the instinct to curl up, stay warm, and rest. We’re preparing for the new by immersing in our dreams, and nurturing their earliest signs of growth. Our inner wisdom will guide us into the new year, and into spring. It’s time to bring out the big velvet blanket of integration, engaging in the necessary reflection and solitude to emerge in more wholeness. By tending the light within, we more fully illuminate the path without.
We’ve been swimming with water creatures since fall equinox, and for three months, the spirit animals of the west have been teaching us to honor the time of transformation and change, and our own natural flow. Water pulls us into the depths of our souls and emotions, reminding us we are creatures of the light and dark; of the heights and depths. Now, with the wheel turning, we are in the north. The guardians of the north, and winter gateway, are earthy creatures – those who stand stable and strong. After our time in the water, we welcome solid land. Spirit animals are healers and anchors, and those of the earth carry medicine of endurance, wisdom, commitment, patience, practicality, and sense of timing. This time of year offers the magical power of silence. When you are very quiet and listening, what do you hear?
Our ancestors and elders reside in the north, and they, along with the earth creatures, connect us with all our relations, and the knowledge of ages. As the wheel turns into winter, call on the guardians of earth and the keepers of the north. Call upon the great Buffalo Nation who teach us about abundance, the power to stand our ground, protection of resources, and grace. Buffalo is a symbol of the primary source of life, having provided for many people in the past by the gift of its entire body. Buffalo is strong, and capable of carrying great burdens. It will teach you to carry your own load with self-sufficiency and determination, while benefiting from, and contributing to, the safety of the herd. Buffalo was created with excellent insulation – thick skin and fur, and layers of fat. This impressive creature is built to withstand. When you work with buffalo medicine, you will learn to make use your natural resources, to eliminate waste, and stand strong on your own feet.
During the winter months, we’re especially susceptible to the feeling of gravity. Earthy energy naturally draws things down and in, which helps us slow down and recharge, but also leaves us feeling lethargic and heavy. Inertia and melancholy seem to move in for a long-term stay. Imagine the weight of bear and the powerful connection its paws make with the Earth. There’s a healthy balance between forward motion and stillness; between withdrawing and emerging. Midnight is the time of day for this season, and we can invite the essence of midnight to permeate us, revealing the star of hope in the dark. When you think of midnight, what images come to your mind? How do you imagine yourself at midnight? Are you a different creature in the night, in comparison to your daytime self? Do parts of you click on or off in the middle of the night? If you take the time to be present in this midnight consciousness, you’ll be amazed at the wealth of wisdom, awareness, and intuitive insight that arises.
The four-legged land creatures are coming forward for us. Look to buffalo, bear, wolf, badger, horse, elephant, armadillo, deer, and others to deepen your connection with the Earth. Allow the gatekeepers of the north help you receive wisdom, find comfort and renewal, and remember what truly anchors you. Breathe in the earthy scents of plants and trees, such as pine, cedar, fir, patchouli, myrrh, amber, and sandalwood. Visualize pure, all encompassing white light surrounding you and our planet. Choose the silence, and moments of retreat, to dream and envision, breathing life into your deepest desires. Listen to the wisdom of the elders, and receive the abundant blessings of the Earth.
Through this transition, and all others, may you be filled with gratitude, inspired to give back, and reminded of your blessings. Use this time of darkness, dreaming, developing, and healing to ready yourself for an auspicious new beginning. The path is open – just waiting for you to claim your place by putting a solid foot forward, firmly on the ground. Take the time you need, and then, like a bear after hibernation, well-rested, hungry, and motivated to get moving into the next cycle of life, step out of the cave.
So it is.
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