Animal Medicine Spotlight: Spirit Creatures of the East

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Animal Medicine Spotlight: Spirit Creatures of the East

The Wheel Turns

Spring is born under the beating wings of migrating birds, filling the sky on their quest for new life. Making epic journeys for renewed sources of food and nesting, millions of birds leave their southern winter homes, turning north for the emergence of spring every year. Spirit creatures of the east are at home in the air, bringing winds of change and new beginnings. East is the land of the rising sun, of birth, and rebirth. It reveals the great sun star of light that greets us each morning, without fail, without hesitation. The east energetically ushers in every new beginning, especially the bold and brazen start of spring. This year, in the Northern Hemisphere, we celebrate the Vernal Equinox on March 20. Only at spring and fall equinoxes are day and night equal, in perfect balance. After spring equinox, the dayforce will be dominant, as the light grows stronger until summer solstice, its point of supreme radiance. I invite you to join me online or in-person on March 20, for our live Ostara/Spring Equinox event in celebration of the new season.

The Cardinal Directions

For ages, people have honored the cardinal directions. The specific creatures associated with each direction can vary depending on the tradition, but the Wheel of Life, Wheel of the Year, or Medicine Wheel concept is shared by Native American, Mexican, Celtic, Nordic, and many other cultures. The Wheel truly has no beginning or ending, as life is always evolving. The Wheel reminds us of our connection and interdependence – our humble place on the earth. The cardinal directions hold space in time for us, marking each change of season. They are anchors for our experience, providing relatable totems, directions, and elements to help us on our journey of self-discovery.

Gatekeepers and Guardians of the Directions

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, winter is reaching its end. The days are slowly getting longer, and many of us eagerly await the return of nature’s abundant growth and warmth. With spring, the Wheel returns to the east, its place of birth, where the spark of life force takes shape in form. Air creatures of the east take us over spring’s threshold. Fire creatures of the south lead us into summer. The swimmers, water creatures of the west, guide us into fall. Earth spirits of the north initiate us into the realm of winter. And so the Wheel turns.

Spirit Creatures of the East – The Winged Ones

The gatekeepers of the east, the guardians of air, are the breath of life, reminding us to inhale and exhale, rising on our own wings of transcendence as we move into ever-new cycles of creation. Astrologically, the Wheel begins with Aries – cardinal, masculine, fire. The east brings the air that feeds fire. Without air, fire cannot survive. Nothing, not even bold, strong, warrior Aries exists on its own. The fresh outburst of life in the spring is dependent upon the breeze to carry it forward, especially in the cycle of pollination. This is the place where dreams take action in enlivened flowers, plants, insects, animals, birds, and human bodies. The guardians of air encompass all the winged ones, including dragon and faerie. They are associated with the mental realm, helping us see and perceive with clarity, to pierce through illusion.

Call upon Great Eagle Spirit for wisdom, vision and strength. Eagle teaches us to soar above the material world into the spiritual realms, and back to the earth for sustenance. Eagle goes between with patience and persistence, exemplifying our ability to bridge above and below. Summon Great Owl Spirit to move with stealthy silence, in the deep and dark quiet of the night. Ask Owl to open your eyes to see in the shadows, to pierce the veil of illusion. Owl holds access to ancient wisdom, and will teach you to receive the meaning and messages of dreams.

To make room for the new, invoke the master of purification, Great Vulture Spirit. Circle in on any negative, toxic energy within or around you, and consume it with love, fully transforming death into life. Next time you witness vultures in nature, take a moment to honor this amazing creature for maintaining the balance of bacteria and disease. You may discover new beauty in a creature often looked upon with disgust. Do you have the guts to clean up and digest your own messes, let alone everyone else’s? Step up to the task of spring cleaning in this new context and witness healthy, resilient growth in your life beyond your imagination.

Don’t forget the small, yet mighty creatures of the air. Great Hummingbird Spirit extracts the sweetness of life. The only bird able to fly backwards, hummingbird can zip back and forth in all directions, enjoying memories of the past, the heart of the moment, and promise of the future. As a symbol of joy and independence with magical shimmering colors, use this totem to hover at will, savoring happiness and love. Delight in the truth of beauty.

Baptism by Air – Your Springtime Initiation

Archangel Raphael, guardian of air, oversees the spring. As a symbol of the returning sun, he is the angel of brightness, beauty, healing and life. Call on Raphael and the spring angels of Aries, Taurus and Gemini. Look up the message and medicine of the first bird you see in the morning. Decorate your altar with feathers, flowers, plants, and symbols of spring and sky. Swords are the card suit of air – choose your favorite sword Tarot cards and display them prominently. Face east, with incense rising, and call to the Great Bird Nation and all beings of the sky. Feel your wings fully present, folded or open. While you have chosen to currently reside in your human body, your levity is eternal. May the gatekeepers of the east bless you with rebirth through enlightenment. May you re-awaken with the desire to grow, transform, and transcend. And may your life serve as a radiant example of the courageous spirit within, in but not bound to the body, free to move between worlds.

And So It Is.

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