The Cardinal Winds: East, South, West, and North, were the principle markers on the sailor’s compass card, and later, the navigational magnetic Compass rose.

Beyond the metaphor, these energetic wind patterns are the foundation for ordering experience, and are useful for navigating change. These winds represent the mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual territories of your inner and outer landscape. Successfully navigating change requires a deeper understanding of your personal environment. Conscious engagement with the emanating energy of the cardinal winds will provide you with daily guidance.

This week's Winds of Spirit arrives from the West, the place of the Physical: body, cycles, death and other natural endings. Click To Tweet

The West signifies harvest celebrations, the end of cycles, destruction, and the physical body. In Percy Bysshe Shelley’s famous poem, Ode to the West Wind (above), he describes the cyclical process of death and decay required for birth and regeneration, “Drive my dead thoughts over the universe, Like wither’d leaves, to quicken a new birth.”[i]

When the West Wind Blows

A western wind possesses devious qualities, many of which are well hidden. Stepping over the finish line as you complete a project, relationship, or cherished goal can feel like crossing a suspension bridge in a harsh wind.  You must stay focused and centered on each step to reach the other side of the gorge.

The light of the fire will keep the harsh winds at bay. This is not yet the time for rest or sleep. It is imperative that you are wide awake, and in tune with your body.

Winds blowing from the western quadrant of your life’s map often serve as catalysts for the spiritual transition that the sixteenth-century mystic Saint John of the Cross termed the dark night of the soul. Busy lives do not allow for these types of experiences, wherein our sense of identity and stability is questioned. Keep in mind that dark nights of the soul often occur in midlife.

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[i]Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ode to the West Wind.”


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