Wheel of the Year - EAST

'Blodeuwedd; Flower Bride' by Amanda Reid

EAST - Spring

The second quarter of the Wheel starts at Imbolc and lasts for three moons until Beltane.  At Imbolc the light from the sun has begun to return, and the green shoots of the snowdrop bring signs of the coming of Spring.  This quarter is invoked in the East, where the sun rises, as Spring is the ‘rising sun’ of the year.  Nature is getting busy at this time of year.  The animals and birds gather food, make nests and start courtship displays.  The sap rises in the trees, and a major transformation begins to occur throughout Nature.

EAST - Fire

The elemental quality of the East is Fire, but blood is also represented here.  Invoke this direction for its powerful energetic qualities when you want to make something happen.  Fire is the element of the Will, we move our Will through the Solar Plexus.  When you visualise Fire in the East, see it as a fiery ball, as the Sun, which gives us warmth and light.  This is the ultimate image of Fire, for the Sun gives these vital qualities to all living things.

EAST - Bride

At this point in the Wheel of the Year there is a ‘marriage’ or bonding between Shaman/Chief/Druid and the Goddess as Bride, to enable the progression of the Land, the Year and the Tribe.  This is the same as the process of 'marrying or bonding' our will or desire (masculine energy/Shaman) with our inner reservior of power (feminine energy/Goddess as Bride) when we are manifesting anything.  Have a look in the 'Shamanic Practice' section under 'Secrets of Manifestation' for more information about this.  So, the process represented in the cycle as the joining of the Goddess and Shaman in the Spring, happens within us all using the masculine and feminine energies we all contain, whenever we make something happen (an act of transformation).

 

The Maiden transforms into the Bride at Imbolc, and She is con-joined with her consort at Beltane.  The Bride is Woman from first intercourse to pregnancy, when she is potent and she flowers.  The Bride is frequently represented by flowers, they are always present at weddings and represented at Beltane by the May flower.  Blodeuwedd's name means 'Flower Face'.  She is 'made' or summoned with flowers.  

In the cycle, when Maiden becomes Bride in the East, the Maiden's ‘Potential’ energy becomes the Bride's ‘Potent’ energy.  The Bride sits opposite the Wise Woman in the circle of the Year.  They are complimentary, as the Maiden and Mother are also opposite and compliment each other within the cycle.  Maiden and Mother are often represented as Teacher or Passive.  Whereas, Bride and Wise Woman are most often represented as Challenger.  This is their usual mode of operation.

 

The Bride is represented in the Four Branches by Branwen, Rhiannon, Cigfa and Blodeuwedd.  In the Fourth Branch, Gwydion and Math ‘make’ a wife for Lleu Llaw Gyffes.  In the First Branch, Pwyll was tested by the Goddess as Bride, but in the Fourth Branch the new tribes appear to ‘invoke’ or call the Goddess to do their will, just as the Neolithic farmers impose their will on the Land, rather than respect it in the way their fore-fathers did.  No wonder the Goddess is so challenging towards Lleu, she is not making it easy for him to prove he is worthy of her alliance.  She challenges him simultaneously in two of her aspects, as Arianrhod the Mother and Blodeuwedd the Bride.  The Goddess is challenging because when the ego is strong, this is the most effective and timely way we learn and evolve.  The Bride is equally at home in the Upper or Under-world.

EAST - Potency, transformation, power, metamorphosis, change

The energy found in the East quarter is the same as that found in the Spring during the turning of the year.  There is a magical transformation from the barren winter landscape, when seeds lie dormant under the blanket of soil and snow and trees are bare and waiting.

At this time, the sun is returning and the days are lengthening.  The sap begins to rise in the trees, the animals and birds are mating and giving birth.  There is a power in the Land.  The flowers begin to appear, starting with the snowdrop at Imbolc, then primrose and other flowers of Spring.  The energy is strong, potent and Goddess and Shaman together are seen to direct it into action and manifestation.

When working with the energy of this quarter, call on the energy when you are trying make something come to fruition and you want to imbue yourself or the world with the power to transform.    

EAST - Owl (female), Eagle (male), Fox, Adder

Animal archetypes in the East are those associated with Transformation and the Fire element.  From the Four Branches there is Eagle (male energy and associated with Lleu’s transformation) and Owl (female energy and associated with Blodeuwedd’s transformation as she is released from the service demanded of her by Gwydion and Math, and transforms back to the free spirit of Nature).  Eagle gives us the power to see clearly and over time, through to past and future.  He also enables us to soar nearer to the Sun and the Source.  Owl acts as a companion to us in our darkest hour and at night.  Owl helps us to uncover the unseen and reveal what is hidden.

 

Serpent (adder in Britain) is associated with Fire, and was sacred to the Druids.  Adder represents fertility, life and healing.  Shedding its skin is a symbol of renewal, and Adder was also attributed with powers of wisdom.  Adder moves noiselessly upon the face of the earth, teaching us to do the same, to move on the face of our Mother without causing any impact.  A serpent is frequently used to symbolise the primary force of life, as the caduceus, which is a symbol for DNA and duality and polarity of matter.   Depicted swallowing its tail as the ouroboros, the serpent teaches us of the eternal cycle and the ultimate quest of uniting our higher self (head) with our lower self (tail) and reminds us that Everything is One. 

 

Fox is associated with fiery energy in the East.  Forget the negative stereotypes you have heard about Fox, he is a wonderful and powerful ally, very intelligent and wise.  He is a trickster, able to outsmart your adversaries if he is on your side.  Fox has the skill of a tracker, he is a great problem-solver, adaptable and his cleverness is legendary.  He is very helpful and loves to work with people, despite all we have done to him!

 

Finally, Lynx, our now extinct Native wild cat, belongs in the East with the qualities of magic and transformation.  Lynx carries some of the qualities of Owl, helping us to uncover that which is hidden.  Lynx also helps us to increase our clair-audience and clair-sentience.  Lynx teaches us to sit in our own silnce and be with ourselves and to hear our inner heart and wisdom speaking to us.