In observing different Medicine Wheels, Pagan Wheels of the Year, and other such symbols, it's just amazing how many similarities there are.
In reference to our wheel, pictured to the right, one can see the four bars of colour. Yellow, Blue, Black and Red.
I call these these our blessings.
Air/Yellow represents the gift of warming air. This is the time of spring, sowing and planting, new life beginning, so one would be likely to easily attribute this season to Earth, however it is the warming air that brings about the warming of the soil and the return of visible life.
Water/Blue represents the gift of water. On our wheel it is the time of Summer, South, and so it is this cool refreshing blessing of water that sustains us and all living things during the Summer heat.
Earth/Black represents the gift of our Earth. Although it seems as though this time of year the earth is doing very little, it is in fact at this time, the Harvest Time of Autumn that the soil receives the seed of the fallen fruit. This is the blessing of life renewed.
Fire/Red represents the gift of Fire. Heat that keeps us living, heat that prepares our food. The Fire element in the North brings us the blessing of warmth during the winter months.
These Gifts or Blessings are the required element to provide the balance needed.
The abundance of Chesed in Summer is balanced across the bar with the Restraint of Gevurah's judgement in the winter.
Where we live, in South Western British Columbia, the First Nations people play a big role. When we moved out this way, it was only a matter of time before I began to feel a deep spiritual tug toward an earth centered awareness. Not in the same manner that I experienced while living outside of Vancouver, practicing the Craft regularly.
This feeling has been alot more subtle and has taken awhile before I realized exactly what it was. I am not First Nations. I am a Heinz 57 of many different ethnicities. However I was introduced through adoption to Judaism as a child, and now, as a resident in a land not really my own, I am once again being acquainted to a territory not of my actual birth right.
However, the richness of the traditions are all around me, and looking at Totem poles I often think of the Tree of Life.
Now, for the animals:
East, Air, Eagle. The Eagle is a beautiful creature. When we go for our daily walks and I see an Eagle soaring above, silent, graceful, I feel so thankful. Although I know The Divine is not 'in the sky', nontheless, this great bird seems to hover between the Mystical and the Mundane. Perfect balance of Tiferet.
South, Water, Salmon. The salmon and other fish are key to our area. Our First Nations people, are named after the river. Literally, People of the River - Sto:lo. Although Abundance might not be a true descriptive term for our fish these days, flowing rivers are very representive of Chesed. In the summer, one just needs to drive five or ten minutes before all the many fisherman come into view... casting and wading, spending the day at the river. The Fraser Valley is known for it's fishing and our beautiful waterways.
West,Earth,Bear. The bear is truly a creature of the Earth. Clawing up the soil to get to roots, grabbing fish from the rivers and streams, eating and foraging. The bear is also a symbol of balance, being capable of extreme violence when it comes to protecting her family, yet when not threatened, and in her natural state, she is a beautiful, carefree creature, ambling about.
North,Fire,Wolf The Wolf is a wonderful representative of Gevurah. This fiery energetic creature, at home in the cold winter. Howling at the midnight sun. A killer, yes, but only doing what he is created to do. Killing off the slower, or the weaker of a species. Power. Strength.
This only touches on some of the thoughts I was having this afternoon, but I thought I'd share them.