~ Directions and their meaning ~
This is the direction of the Element Earth and the Power of Body. Its
Nature forms are rocks, clay, sand, and soil. In human life, this is the
physical dimension and the sensing realm. In connecting with this direction,
pay attention to your physiological processes, to the sensations in your
body, to your biological needs, and to your physical health. Healing
modalities include good nutrition, hygiene, body language awareness and
change, relaxation, and rest.
This is the direction of the Element Air and the Power of Mind. Its Nature
forms are the winds, the atmosphere, and the breath. In human life, this is the
mental dimension and the thinking realm. In connecting with this direction,
pay attention to your thought processes, to your ability to reason, to your
attitudes, and to your mental health. Healing modalities include self-talk
analysis, affirmations, journal writing, cognitive restructuring, and education.
This is the direction of the Element Fire and the Power of Action. Its Nature
forms are flames, lightning, and electricity. In human life, this is the
behavioral dimension and the doing realm. In connecting with this direction,
pay attention to your repertoire of activities, to the amount of time you allot
to work and to play, to the quality of your alone time, to the nature of your
interactions with others, and to your behavioral health. Healing modalities
include play, exercise, time management, life restructuring, breaking
destructive or outmoded habits, career development, positive behavioral
change, and goal setting and achievement.
This is the direction of the Element Water and the Power of Emotions. Its
Nature forms are oceans, lakes, streams, rivers, wells, springs, dew,
precipitation, and fluids in the body. In human life, this is the emotional
dimension and the feeling realm. In connecting with this direction, pay
attention to your moods, to your feelings about yourself and about others,
to the levels of intimacy and trust in your relationships, and to your emotional
health. Healing modalities include guided imagery, active listening,
expressing feelings, sharing feelings, giving comfort and being comforted,
singing, dancing, drawing, and other forms of artistic expression.
This is the direction of Sky and Cosmos. Its Nature forms are the sun, moon,
planets, stars, meteors, galaxies, and deep space. In human life, this is the
realm of cosmic consciousness. In connecting with this direction, pay
attention to your being part of the community of life in the universe. As you
contemplate the heavens, use your imagination to reach out into mysteries
of outer space and other worlds. Experience yourself as an inhabitant of a
planet moving through space. Reflect on creation legends and on stories of
humans that have ventured forth into space from our planet.
This is the direction of Planet and Sacred Place. Its Nature forms are the
biosphere of Planet Earth and the community of life forms (such as creatures
and plants as well as other humans) in your own home environment. In human
life, this is the realm of planetary consciousness. In connecting with this
direction, pay attention to your being part of the tapestry of life in your local
area as well as being part of the greater community of life on the Planet. As
you contemplate this, use your imagination to feel connected with the web of
life that includes trees, herbs, creatures, microbes, and the Elements as well
as other humans. Experience yourself as a part of the biosphere, also known
as Planet spirit or Mother Earth.
This is the direction of Spirit. Its Nature form is the Divine Soul stuff that
links all life together. It is the synthesis of the Elements and the directions.
In human life, this is the spiritual realm and the dimension of the Divine in
its many forms. In connecting with this direction, pay attention to the core
of your being -- your inner Self. Honor the Divine as you know it --
Goddesses, Gods, Nature Spirits, Ancestors, Spiritual Guides, Love, Unity
in Diversity. Connect with balance, harmony, beauty, wholeness, integrity,
and bliss. Healing modalities include dream work, inner journeys, under-
standing inner guidance worship, ecstatic dance, drumming, chanting,
invocations, vision quests, and spiritual service.
There are three axes in this map: North-South, East-West, and Up-Down.
Each axis contains a balance. The North-South axis is a balance between the
reflective sensing and the active doing. The East-West axis is a balance
between thinking and feeling, or in other words, analysis and intuition. The
Up-Down axis is a balance between attunement to the home Planet and
attunement to the beyond. In the central Spirit point, the axes converge.
Together the axes form a Sacred Sphere around the Spirit point. In working
with this map of consciousness, it is important to note some distinctions. With
this map, a clear distinction is made between Earth as an Element and Earth
as the Planet. The Element Earth refers specifically to the rocks and soil that
comprise the land mass of the Planet, while the Planet itself embodies all the
Elements in its domain and therefore is on the central axis. This map also
makes a distinction between the Element Fire and the unifying Element Spirit.
While in some systems Fire and Spirit are one, in this map they are separate,
since Spirit is viewed as a synthesis of all Four Elements. The inclusion of
Sky/Cosmos, or Up, direction in this map underlies my preference for
referring to Contemporary Pagan philosophy as "Nature Spirituality" instead
of as "Earth Spirituality," "Gaean Religion," or "Green Spirituality." I view
the term Nature Spirituality as a broader term that reflects communion with
Nature not only on this Planet, but beyond it. The terms "Earth," "Gaean,"
and "Green" are specific to Divine communion with Nature on this Planet.
While descriptive of paths that where Mother Earth honoring is central,
Paganism also includes paths that are more Star focused. Nature Spirituality
is an appropriate umbrella terms for these diverse forms and provides more
flexibility for the Pagan future. As Pagans journey off this Planet into space
in the centuries to come, it will be interesting to note how ritual communion
with Nature in other realms develops and what non-Planet Earth based
Nature religions will emerge.