Wheel of the Year - SOUTH

'Kiss' by Amanda Reid

SOUTH - Summer

The third quarter of the Wheel of the British Year encompasses Summer in the South.  It begins at Beltane and ends at Lughnasadh, which symbolises the birth of 'The Child'.

Summer is the season of abundance, when trees are green and meadows are full of flower.  It is in Summer that the harvests start.  The meadows are cut and crops are gathered.  The fruits of summer include strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.  Now The Mother is pregnant and The Land is lush.

SOUTH - Earth

The element of the South is ‘Earth’.   ‘Earth’ incorporates all that is physical, material, manifested.  Air in the form of thoughts and ideas plus Fire as the energy of the will, intentions and desires leads to the physical manifestation that is Earth. Two energies coming together make a third, as the Female principle and the Male principle make 'The Child'. 

The element of Earth speaks to us of the planet and of the landscape in which we live.  It includes the rocks, pebbles, soil, streams, rivers, coastlines, valleys, hilltops, woods, trees, plants, flowers, birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and insects, to name but some of the many elements of Earth.  This is Nature, and Nature is where we get our energy from, where we learn the knowledge and wisdom of the Spirit and Soul and of the Divine. 

SOUTH - Mother

No wonder the Goddess as Mother is found in the same quarter as the element Earth.  The Mother is the Divine Essence that lives in all things.  She gives to all beings the sustenance that is needed for life.  Her beauty lies in the Natural world.  She is the holy generator of the physical world, she is joined to the heart and soul of every living thing.  She bestows her gifts on the deserving and the undeserving alike, just as the sun does not choose on who to shine.  She is the template for all Life, which exists wtihin her.

The Goddess as ‘Mother’ includes Rhiannon, Arianrhod and Modron whose name means ‘Mother’.  Modron, like Rhiannon, loses her son shortly after his birth, and he re-appears as a young man, as does Pryderi.  Pryderi and Mabon represent The Child, and The Child represents the manifestation of the union between Goddess/Land and the Shaman.

The mystery of ‘The Child’ is a mystical wisdom.   It is understood when one considers that everything in the Universe is created when one element and another element make a connection and a third element is made.   ‘The Child’ can involve combining ‘desire’ and ‘action’ to create anything in the material, such as a project, a book, a business etc..  ‘The Child’ is the result of feminine and masculine energy working together to produce something new. 

SOUTH - Abundance, plenty, birth, realisation, receiving, success

The energies of the South are those of the Summer and of the Divine Mother, they are fecundity and abundance.  The Landscape is full of flowers and fruits during this time, and first harvests start in Summer.  The trees are at their most magnificent.  The Goddess as Mother is giving us everything we need for now and for the year ahead.  All our needs come from her.  In the magical cycle of the Year of the Land and the Goddess, as the Land fruits, so does the Goddess and the 'Son' is born.  The Son or Magical Child represents the next generation of the tribe and the ability for the Goddess and the Shaman together to keep on manifesting all that is needed for the 'tribe' of humanity to evolve.  This is the quarter where manifestation gets results, where prayers and requests can be brought to fruition.  This is a good place to work if a project is stuck and needs finishing off, or if you have done all the work, the planting and the nurturing, but are still waiting for outcomes.  Bear in mind, sometimes it is not possible, it may be against karma or just not the right time to get what you are looking for.   

SOUTH - Bear, Cow, Bee

Animal archetypes in the South include Bear, Wild Cow and Bee.

 

The Eurasian Brown Bear was resident in Britain until AD 500.  As such, its archetype is still connected to the Land in Britain.  It is always helpful to research the animal you invoke in your circle, so that you can visualise their appearance accurately and have an understanding of their lifestyle and behaviour.  Bear is a wonderful mother, very protective and generous.  Bear is good to invoke when you are dealing with healing.  Bear knows how to get the best out of the Seasons, and enjoys the abundance they provide.  Bear also brings power and strength to fight for the things you are nurturing, whether they are your dreams or your children.

 

Wild Cow still exist in Britain.  These days, there is only one herd left, at Chillingham in Northumberland.  These cattle are all white, except for red-brown ears, sounds like the hounds of the Lower-world in the First Branch!  They have the most amazing horns, and they date back a long, long way.  The herd has remained genetically intact, and they have continued to live wild, having nothing to do with people. The herd behave exactly as wild cattle have done for thousands of years.  Cow is a sacred animal in many cultures, possibly best known in India.  Cow is said to be another manifestation of the Goddess of Earth.  Cow is giving, through milk and blood, and associated with abundance, wealth and plenty.  Cow is thus connected to generosity.  Cow brings virtues such as gentleness coupled with Sovereignty and power.

 

Bee may seem to be an unusual choice for an animal ally. In Ancient Greece, Bee was associated with Demeter, The Great Mother Goddess, and was also a symbol of immortality.  The life-cycle of Bee is fascinating and well worth careful study.  Bee is focussed on being part of a collective, a good lesson for humans when learning that everything is connected.  Bee is very active, committed, diligent and tireless.  Bee produces honey, and as such, Bee is a symbol of the potency and fruits of Nature. Honey is strongly associated with healing and life-giving properties.  Bee's greatest contribution involves the pollination of flowers for fruits and vegetables.  It is estimated that 84% of crops and 80% of wild flowers rely on insect pollination, of which Bee is the main star.  Bee's role as pollinator equates with the role of Shaman.  Bee (The Shaman) interacts with the flower (Goddess/Land/Nature) to produce fruit/vegetables (The Child) by means of a process of transformation (Spring/Manifestation).  Bee, therefore, is all about giving to others.  Many cultures through time have valued and honoured Bee.