Long ago I lived in a house that was built in the late 19thcentury. My bedroom was octagon shaped and the main walls aligned perfectly with the four corners of the world – east, south, west and north. It was in this room that I developed my morning ceremony of “calling in the directions.”
Calling in the directions is an ancient and universal prayer practice. It helps people ground themselves in balance. This was what I did:
I’d light a candle and face east. Then I’d say a prayer, inviting specific beings (like eagle) and energies (like clarity) to help me throughout the day. It was a powerful way to set my intentions.
Recently, though, I started infusing my ceremony with images intended to help me take leaps with my lifework. One of the ways I’m doing this is by inviting in characters from my sleeping dreams, particularly eagle-man and snake. These characters come from initiation dreams I had a few years ago, dreams that specifically relate to my lifework.
This new inclusion has turned out to be a powerful addition to my morning practice. It’s helped me set my lifework intentions and get the help I need in making big leaps.
Today I’m sharing my process with you in case it can help you add depth to your lifework.
Please know, though, that there is no “right” or “only” way to do this. You may have different associations with each direction. That’s absolutely okay. Trust your experience and intuition.
To get started, orient yourself with the four directions:
Imagine what energies (like passion or creativity) you associate with each direction. (If nothing comes to mind, don’t worry. Most westerners aren’t used to thinking this way. This is partly why I’m sharing my associations.)
As I mentioned above, when I begin calling in the directions I start by facing east. I then say a prayer, asking for help as it pertains to the energies associated with that direction.
When I’m done I turn to the south, then to the west and finally to the north, saying a prayer at each turn.
This is how I experience the four corners:
East and Clear Vision
The eagle is also associated with east because he flies high in the sky and can see a vast landscape with great clarity.
If you need help envisioning your lifework, or getting clarity about a project, ask for help from the east.
South and Creativity, Healing and Fertility
I once had a dream about a snake who had a large egg on her head. Historically, snakes are associated with healing (think of the caduceus) and eggs are associated with fertility. When I call in the south and its properties, I invite this dream snake and egg to help me bring my gifts into the world.
If you need help creating, manifesting, or healing, ask for help from the south.
West and Death or Transformation
The west, on the other hand, is where we see the last light of day. This is why west is often equated with letting go and shedding old, outmoded ways of being. It is also associated with metaphoric and literal death.
In the Andes, the jaguar is associated with the west because she shows us the power of death and transformation. She passionately kills her prey, quickly and with relative ease.
If you need help letting go of something you might call in jaguar to guide your endeavors.
North and Going Inward
The north, in the northern hemisphere, is where it is darkest in winter. This direction can be associated with hibernating bears. This is the place of intentionally lying fallow, or of embracing self-care and rest. It’s the place to go on an inward journey of the soul.
If you need help navigating the dark places in life call on help from the north (or the south if you live in the southern hemisphere).
Calling in the directions is about intentionally connecting with the energies you want to embrace in your life. If you set aside some time each morning to ground your intention for the day, I bet you will start to notice some subtle and maybe even radical shifts in how you connect to your lifework.
If you already incorporate this practice into your morning routine share your thoughts and how it’s helped you grow somewhere great by clicking this link and leaving a comment: