My personal experience with Spirit Animals has been through shamanic journey, and from their powerful presence as guardians of the gateways at the change of seasons. As the Wheel turns, seasonal transition can be difficult for many of us. In the Northern Hemisphere, we already feel the change beginning. Summer is the fire season, ruled by the fire keepers of the south. Autumn is the water season, ruled by the water keepers of the west. The transition from fire to water can feel depressing. We all know what it feels like to have our “fire put out,” and water can serve as a fairly quick extinguisher. Fire is naturally subject to levity, raising us up, exciting us. Water is subject to gravity, pulling us, and everything, down. Our initiation into autumn can be eased by the support of water creatures who know how to gracefully navigate this realm.
Summer and its element, fire, are vibrant with passion, creativity, and inspiration. This is the place of the noonday sun, and the sun force dominates with long, hot days. The air is scented with the ripeness of fruit, and crops reach their maximum growth. Harvest begins and we’re surrounded by plenty; we experience the bounty of the Earth, and of our labors. Traditionally, summer is a time for play and holiday. In places where winter and spring are harshly cold and dark, summer feels like the return of life itself. The spark of life is ignited! As with everything, change is inevitable. And soon the water will rush in, to refresh, cool, and deeply penetrate whatever has been scorched and dried. We can’t withstand the Sun’s intense flames forever.
The guardians of the autumn gateway are water creatures, the swimmers. Spirit animals are healers and anchors, and those of the water teach us to go beneath the surface, to take the dive, and to navigate between realms. Water and the west are associated with depth of emotion and soul, reflection, and introspection. This is the place of the setting sun; of endings turning into new beginnings. Autumn signifies a time of transformation and change. We can observe this change in climates where leaves change color and drop to the ground, and seasonal plants die and recede back into the earth. Water always finds its way – sometimes forcefully, often passively, but still with power, seeping into cracks, moving around rocks and obstacles, slowly eroding a path. Water teaches us to be more fluid, to honor the nature of our own flow.
If you’re afraid of water, autumn can be a stressful time. You may not have considered the connection between your fears and the directions, seasons, and elements. Energetic vibrations can trigger you personally. Each of us is wired with, or made-up of, a unique alchemy of energy. When we break this down using the elements, we say some of us are more fiery, airy, earthy, or watery. We naturally resonate with some energies, and experience disharmony with others. Energy can attract us and repel us at the same time. Great healing and empowerment come from engaging with and re-uniting the various energies that make up our beings. If water doesn’t feel comfortable for you, it has something to teach you – friction, fear, and anger are signs that something wants to be acknowledged. Healing is truly found in the wound – in our willingness to drop our defenses and love our perceived brokenness, thereby embodying a more complete wholeness.
As the Wheel turns to autumn, call on the guardians of water and the keepers of the west. Ask these creatures to accompany you on a new journey of introspection and transformation. Call on Salmon, whose powerful medicine teaches you how to return home, even when life seems to push you back. Salmon stands for the wisdom of the heart and inner knowing. Despite strong currents and physically destructive obstacles, the salmon always returns to the place of its creation. If you’re open, salmon will teach you to flow with your authentic feelings, just as salmon encounters every bend in the river. Use this medicine to help you embrace every life experience as a lesson and adventure. May you feel a sense of serenity, affirming you’re once again in contact with your intuitive and eternal wisdom.
The water can seem scary, dark, and deep, but it’s filled with life. Sometimes we forget we are creatures of the light and dark; of the heights and depths. Engage the water creatures; dolphin, whale, otter, seal – all the swimmers, and even the deep sea creatures like squid who bring the deepest water medicine. Play with the mermaids and mermen, the water sprites, and water dragons. Imagine the power of the sea, and practice riding the waves and currents of your own emotions. Give yourself permission to feel whatever you feel with less judgment and expectation.
The force of water is strong. It’s not something you can overcome with force. The water element is feminine energy. The feminine is receptive, magnetic, and inclusive. It has curves, it swirls, and it brings all things into itself. The feminine creates, bringing things into form. The masculine, on its own, is like a straight-shooting arrow of energy, going forward for infinity. The feminine harnesses this energy and gently moves it into a circular movement so it can manifest and sustain itself on the Earth.
Let the impending autumn, the water spirits of the west, the guardians of water, and the Divine Feminine draw you into your own center of power. Visualize blue in a myriad of shades, from brilliant turquoise to sparkling aquamarine, to the deepest midnight blue. Surround yourself with rocks, shells, glass, and other treasures of the sea. Gaze in the water at your reflection, seeing beyond the surface. Welcome this time of inner and outer transformation. May your heart overflow with love and compassion. May you be sensitive to the needs of yourself and others. And may you actively receive the support, wisdom, and guidance that is always yours.
And so it is.
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