The Wheel Turns
Summer is the season of Fire, infusing us with passion, vitality, and the drive to create and be active. I’m sharing Animal Medicine Spotlight: Spirit Creatures of the South in plenty of time to gather your tools, set intentions, and really feel into the meaning of this magical time. This year, in the Northern Hemisphere, we celebrated the Summer Solstice, the first day of Summer on June 21. At the Summer Solstice, the day force has reached its maximum strength and we experience the longest day of the year. This is the Sun’s domain and solar energy is warm, bright, radiating, and full of a sense of purpose – the Sun is literally the reason we are alive on this planet. The Sun reflects our energy and Life Force. Everything in our solar system revolves around it. It’s our center stage star. Do you feel the center of yourself rising to meet this energy? The light beckons the light and we are called to come out and play, perhaps more this time of year than any other.
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 nor 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, spring is almost over. The days are longer and warmer, and we anticipate summer vacations, days at the beach, and social occasions that linger long into the night. With summer, the Wheel returns to the south. 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. Air creatures of the east take us over spring’s threshold. And so the Wheel turns.
Spirit Creatures of the South – The embodiment of passion, energy, and creation
The gatekeepers of the south, the guardians of fire are less about form and all about spirit. Summer and the fire element are intimately linked with the spark of creativity, spirituality, and sexuality. Summer releases the power of light and birth – our capacity to be born again – the birth of a new expression of the Divine within us. This is a magical time! On Midsummer Night (the solstice), the faerie realm is opened and the integration of energies is readily available to us. It’s almost as if the spark of life in everything warms up and readies itself for new expansion, hope, and visibility.
Just as The Sun card in the Tarot represents the principle of co-creation, so does this time on The Wheel. Spirit creatures of the south inspire us to renew our minds and awaken to the opportunity to become channels of Light. They can impress us with a wild roar or trick us into a game of play – whatever it takes to awaken our souls to inspiration and passion. They represent the power of life itself and they show us the strength, courage, virility, and force of will that is ours to embody and use with conscious vision.
Call on Coyote, the trickster, to remind you to play, laugh, and not take things so seriously. We are all clever and stupid, and coyote reflects this back to us. What we perceive to be mistakes and accidents are often the doorway to new energy. When there is a moment you can see something about to spill, drop, or go haywire, and you let it happen anyway, you know your inner Coyote is at play. It’s not that you’re causing mischief, but you allow life to happen, and sometimes this is the very best Medicine.
Lion embodies a regal sense of authority and power and will teach you to step into leadership roles and confront challenges when needed. Lion is King of the Jungle and an infamous symbol of courage, pride, and magnificence. Lions bask in the sun and rest for up to twenty hours a day – they know how to generate and conserve energy so it is available when they need it. When they do use it, they go all out. And yes, male lions do hunt when prey is too large for the females or when they don’t have a pride. Lion spirit prepares you for spiritual growth; to magnify your power and use it in the world, in the glorious way you are personally wired to shine.
Not all spirit creatures of the south have such an external presence. Mouse is also known as a totem of the south and fire for its impressive self-sufficiency. Mouse is master of achieving big things by accomplishing little things, and mouse is able to thrive in most environments. If you have ever experienced a mouse “problem” you know what I mean. They can nearly take over your home, showing how, with enough energy and will, you can successfully make your dreams come true, no matter how small you think you are. Never underestimate what you can create for yourself and the world when you want it and are willing to go for it. Who says tiny mouse can’t be Queen of that house?
Shine, Shine, Shine!
Archangel Auriel governs summer, awakening inspiration within humanity and stirring our souls with the desire for joyful expression. Call on Auriel and the summer angels of Cancer, Leo, and Virgo. Cancer angels guard the Holy Water and manifest the new waters of life. Leo angels awaken us to the power of life within and its creative potential. Virgo angels know how to blend Divine Light with form and help us manifest opportunities for change through service and healing. When you feel into your own personal power; the Life Force energy that surges through you, is there an animal or creature that comes forward? Do not limit yourself to the traditional guardians of the south. This is the time to allow yourself to come online. Just as fruits are reaching their ripeness in nature, you are ready to express a fuller version of you.
Decorate your altar with candles and allow their flames to bring forth your spirit in ways that are seen. This is your time to shine! Choose a totem that represents the quality of your Life Force and display it on your altar as a photo, drawing, small statue, or other depiction. If you feel ready to see more of yourself, put a photo of you in the center and honor the creation you are and all that you create. Wands are the card suit of fire – choose your favorite wand Tarot cards and display them prominently. Face south, with spicy, warming incense rising and candles blazing and honor the Sun. Now feel your center; your heart, and know that you are more than enough. May the gatekeepers of the south bless you with renewed excitement for life, enduring passion and desire, and the courage to be and show who you are.
And So it is.
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