We begin in the East,
Become in the South,
Believe in the West,
And when the winter comes, when we curl around our self like a wolf in its den, we face the North; be still, the Earth whispers.
I have spent so much of my recent life facing West, facing North…
Imagine my surprise when I round the bend and all is new once more.
The last time my spirit faced East I was 33. I call 33 The Jesus Year because so many women I know go through a rebirth around that time. I tell myself that someday I will compile those stories… we shall see.
For me, that Jesus Year was time out of time. I faced East. Everything was new. And I was unknown. I was a single woman who had sold everything she owned and planted herself in an isolated field in Ireland to see what she would become.
Now I am days away from 46. I have community, a husband, a business to run. There are students who teach me so much every day. In my own little tribe, I am one who leads.
I turn East and I find myself beginning again. Picking up threads I had dropped years ago, returning to student in the deepest way.
There is this repeating moment, which happens almost daily: I go online and answer questions in Sage School and make comments in Witch Camp, where I am perceived as “teacher,” as wisdom keeper. Then I toggle over to this other class (also an Earth Medicine class) where I am “student” and others are turned to for wisdom.
At first it felt like a subsonic boom, a cellular disruption, and definitely an ego snag.
But as I’ve moved deeper into the both-ness, here’s my sense of it:
The closer I get to center, the easier it is to hold space within for the teachings of all the directions.
We hold within us the Maiden, Warrior, Mother, and Wisdom Keeper, and in the course of a day, we might take a run through all of them. We head off to volunteer in the morning, the Warrior fighting for clean rivers or to keep animals safe, at noon we go far a long walk, facing East and seeing the world as new and unknown, at 2:15 we pull on the mother’s mantle to care for a sick friend, and by 6:30 have donned the crone’s cloak to hold space for others to do their learning.
It made me uncomfortable at first… facing East right out there in public where some of you might see. I wondered if I should have used a pseudonym and cloaked my naïveté, my fear, my longing…. But I wanted to feel the dawn on my skin.
I wanted to once again remember the sensation of creating the day… my life… anew.
I am turning 46. I am facing East, becoming new again. And joy is bubbling in my heart.