Many of us long for adventure, for travels that take us not only to unfamiliar locales but also to the deeper places of our spirits. We resonate with wanderlust as a metaphor for discovery, journeying forth without knowledge of our future destination, and sharing what we find. Almost every form of ancient wisdom views directions as sacred and associates them with the seasons of the calendar and the cycles of life. Directions have also been correlated with animals, spiritual qualities and phases of time.
We choose fellow travelers who are curious, playful, creative, appreciative, independent, respectful, honest and loving -folks who, like us, are also fallible, complicated, unpredictable, imperfect, and sometimes annoying. By expanding our purview beyond conventional wisdom: historical traditions/customs, familial associations, religious dogma, organizational rules or the status quo - we have increased the fullness of our life experiences eight-fold and created a tribe steeped in a rich tapestry of dignity, respect and love.
To find amicable people to share your life travels with, these approaches may help:
Set the intention for the kinds of energies you wish to attract.
Call your tribe by setting up an altar displaying sacred objects symbolizing qualities you admire/desire in your friends/circle.
Release any self-limiting beliefs and affiliations that could be tying you down.
Keep an eye out for anyone who loves doing what you love -in your community, on-line or wherever you travel (in body, mind, spirit).
Approach them: Waiting to be chosen isn’t more legitimate than doing your own choosing.
Present your most open, honest self and express clearly your desires, interests and needs.
Decide which folks you want to spend more time with, try them on for size and be okay if the fit isn’t right.
Remember, at best, about a third of the people you cross paths will “get” you – enjoy/delight in these and forget about the rest.
Galileo Galilei, Amelia Earhart, Leonard Cohen, Story Musgrave, Bill Nye, Diana Nyad, Nellie Bly, Sally Ride, Julia Butterfly Hill, Jane Goodall, Maya Angelou, Natasha Trethewey, Nikki Giovanni
In Chinese feng shui it is believed that each of us can find our most auspicious directions for achieving financial prosperity, restoring health, or finding love. Divination practices invoke directions to signify the past, present, future and no time. In modern cultures our travel choices also reflect an awareness of these distinctions, as we explore our heritage in the East, recreate in the South, seek bold adventures in the West or retreat in the North.
All cultures share the experience of the sun rising in the east.
The sun is universally regarded as a source of hope, as the arrival of daylight brings a welcome respite from the darkness and cold of night.
Many religions have conducted their ceremonies facing east; all solar gods and religions have expressed a great reverence for the eastern horizon. In various traditions, east is considered the direction of childhood, youth, and energy. Associated with spring and the beginning of new life, east also signifies the growth of new ideas and enterprises.
Facing east, give thanks for the new day and ask to be shown its possibilities.
Daylight is longest and brightest in the south. It is summer here. The winds are warm, the earth is fruitful; south is the direction that represents health and vitality.
South is where we pause, catch our breath and learn to let go of the fears and false values that have been blocking our free flow of energy.
A familiar totem of the South is coyote, who shatters illusions and playfully laughs at himself. South American shamanic traditions connect the south with shedding the old and the past so the present can come into being.
To dream of driving south means getting in touch with one’s feelings and intuition and coming to know ourselves more fully so the visions, hopes and plans of the east can be realized. (In the southern hemisphere this symbology is represented by the direction north.)
Even in the darkest days of winter it is possible to beckon the summer within. Face south and give thanks for earth’s fertility and bounty. Face south and ask for the strength to grow.
By observing the path of the sun from east to west we come to understand the concept of fullness and completion.
In some traditions west is the direction of the adult. We begin to know who we are in the south, and west deepens this knowing through dreams and visions of the future. In feng shui, rooster represents this direction, suggesting the extroversion, confidence and persistence necessary to move into the unknown.
West is a material, earth related direction. Native Americans correlate west with the mineral kingdom, believing that prevalent rock forms, gems and minerals hold knowledge of our past and future and help us connect the two.
Facing west at sunset, thank the sun for its daily gift of life force essential to our earthly endeavors. Ask how we may transform any part of us that is dying, worn out or no longer serving our life.
North represents the inner life - rest, renewal and reflection
upon the journey which began in the east. Traveling north takes us into the lands of white, the synthesis of all colors, representing the purity of our highest aspirations. (In the southern hemisphere this symbology is represented by the direction south).
In Native American traditions, north is the direction of wisdom, where we may receive guidance from an ancestor or an animal associated with winter, such as bear or buffalo.
North is also the spirit of wind, representing movement and the mind’s freedom to choose our own way. In Navajo life, ceremonies and rituals to heal and reclaim balance were prepared in the north.
If north appears in meditations or dreams you may be gathering faith to look beyond earthly dreams and desires to a deeper purpose.
Facing north, ask: What have I learned and what might I create anew?
Give thanks for the spiritual guidance and support that arises from the source of all Being.
By Edgar Allen Poe
A gallant knight,
In sunshine and in shadow, Had journeyed long,
Singing a song,
In search of Eldorado.
But he grew old-
This knight so bold-
And o'er his heart a shadow Fell as he found
No spot of ground
That looked like Eldorado.
And, as his strength
Failed him at length,
He met a pilgrim shadow-
"Shadow," said he,
"Where can it be-
This land of Eldorado?"
" Over the Mountains
Of the Moon,
Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, boldly ride,"
The shade replied-
"If you seek for Eldorado!"
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