It’s Springtime! The East direction and its meaning
I know I am a few days late as Spring was officially here over a week ago….But the change of seasons within the Native culture is important so I wanted to discuss it here. This is a short post as I have covered some of this in my post about the medicine wheel. But let us look at what Spring is, when seen from the East direction.
The Eastern Journey of Spring
Ah Spring! For some of you it means the melting of the snow, the flowers peeking out from the ground, the warmth of the sun getting stronger, the smell of blooming trees in the air. Or it means allergies for some others…lol! But over all, our relations in nature awaken, communicate with us, the birds are singing, the animals are out and about, the trees are green and lush, the sky is blue (generally…). Our cousins, brothers and sisters are alive! There is a fresh smell in the air (not always a good smell but a smell nonetheless).
The Medicine Wheel and yellow
If we think back about the concept of the Medicine wheel, which is divided in 4 quadrants, East, South, West and North, we know that the East direction is associated with Spring. As well as with the color yellow, the color of the sunlight and of spring. The East direction is also the direction of childhood, of new beginnings. It is where we begin our journey in the cycle of life, where we enter the physical world. It is the direction of the first light, of light of Mother Earth. I am sure you have heard the expression “spring cleaning”, which when one thinks about it, is a new beginning. We get rid of the old, of the excess baggage and start fresh. Spring time, in the East direction is a new beginning, of ourselves but also of nature all around us.
With new beginnings come changes in our lives. I personally see it as a more appropriate time for our “new year resolutions”. As it is a time of rebirth in a sense, where as a child we come from the spiritual world into the physical world. That’s one heck of a change! But it’s a more natural transition than it seems. Just like death is, as I see it not as death but rather a change of worlds. We leave the physical world to return to the spiritual world. But I digress…My point is use the East direction as a time of change, a time of improvement, a time to start new projects. Use the East direction to look at how you can find balance within your life, how you can overcome challenges. How you can connect with nature more, a nature which is waking up. Grow your own herbs, your vegetables, plant flowers to brighten your days. Smell the roses as they say! Embrace your new beginning!
I leave you with two quotes, which I love. The first one is from Chief Dan George, a Coast Salish chief from the Burrard Inlet in BC, Canada (where I am :)).
May the starts carry your sadness away, may the flowers fill your heart with beauty, may hope forever wipe away your tears and above all may silence make you strong.
The second one is from Ten Bears, a Yamparika Comanche chief.
My heart is filled with joy when I see you here, as the brook fills with water, when the snows melt in the spring, and I feel glad as the ponies are when the fresh grass starts in the beginning of the year.
Happy Spring everyone!