Let your Animal Guides take you Home
There are many reasons why we all should apprentice to the elements, for one, it means that we can interact directly with the archetypal mammals, birds, fish and fantastical creatures we find associated with each one in turn. This can have an enormous benefit to our Soul, which can receive messages and wisdom from the animal guides that chose to come and meet us in these realms. There are four elements commonly worked with: Earth, Water, Air and Fire, which is also the movement around the hours (dawn, midday, dusk and midnight), the seasons (spring, summer, autumn, winter) the directions north, east, south, west) and our lives (infancy, youth, adulthood, old age) and each element has its own characteristic and feelings, each invokes a different part of ourselves (and our cells) to awaken and each holds a different set of archetypal animals that are waiting to guide us.
The Hero’s Journey is mirrored in this movement around the elements too; like the Fool moving around the major Arcana Tarot, Frodo in the Lord of the Rings, Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, Gwyion Bach in his transformation into Taliesin, the Greatest Bard in Wales or Odysseus on his journey back to Ithaca.
- Earth takes us underground to rest and recuperate, bringing forward Bear to help us settle down and learn some patience, entwined in her arms.
- Water invokes our emotions and our flexibility and is represented by Salmon who darts around us, guiding us out to the wilds of the sea.
- Air gives us an overview of our life, sets our prayers out to the wind and is embodied by Hawk, who comes to soar with us in the open sky.
- Fire represents transformation, sets our bodies in alchemical motion as we break down to re-build ourselves into a passion life with the help of Dragon.
These visualisations can be done separately, one after the other or they can each be repeated for a period of time before you move onto the next. They have been designed to work in sequence as a cycle and when Fire has been completed, you may naturally move back to Earth and start the cycle again, so these four visualisations can be done continuously. The goal is to move around the circle going deeper and deeper with the animals as they guide you through your own imaginal landscape, until you reach an equilibrium between all of the elements and you move into Peace. The animals are waiting to help you back home to this place.
You may find that you have right now, an imbalance in certain elements in your life, for instance, you may lack fire (passion, creativity) or water (emotional depth, flexibility) or you may feel that air (visualisation, far-sightedness) or earth (routine, stamina) are the elements you need to bring back into balance in your life (your astrological chart may give you some insight into this). This series of visualisations will help you come back into alignment and equilibrium again.