This is a sample, Bohemian Mysticism provides a construct and leaves filling in the blanks to the practitioner. Fill them in with whatever symbolism or representations/associations/correspondences you wish. Giving the sample a generally pagan slant provides for an abundance of information to fill the blanks in with so it makes for the perfect example of how to apply your own resonant elements.
This sample demonstrates one of many ways one could “fill in the blanks.” It is meant only as an example. The divisions or correspondences in the pagan construct presented here are specific and in filling in those blanks one can gain insight into what is resonant to their spiritual journey. Whether it manifests with a more Pagan (as seen here), Buddhist, Christian or even Bahá’í slant, it’s wide open and it is entirely up to the practitioner, the choices are limitless.
Element: Wood with a Fiery aspect. I saw wood and fire as related since one needs wood to build a fire. I like the Fire aspect and how when there is nothing more than embers a new fire can be built from the old one. This rebirth is pertinent to the East and to spring which another aspect of this direction as well as early morning or dawn. The Fire aspect comes from the planet Jupiter which is represented in the zodiac by Sagittarius.
Color: Green- although not generally the color for this direction, I was going with the color as it is in Traditional Chinese Medicine, something that resonates for me personally, especially when I was “filling the blanks” at the time I wrote this.
Animal: Butterfly; Apart from being a creature of Spring the butterfly represents transformation. Ideas are born in the East from thoughts, they start out as cocoons then go through stages until they manifest as action. Butterfly also represents the soul and spiritual contact as well as being unafraid of change.
Flower: Bird of Paradise; associated with the Cosmic Egg, the return of light and new life (re-birth) A re-awakening from a journey to the Otherworlds.
Herb: Sage; widely used for purification it also represents wisdom, health and protection. For the purposes I was using it for at the time it also represented clear vision with which to see truth.
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Element: Fire with a fiery aspect. The planet is Mars which in the zodiac is represented by Aries which is a fire sign, so it’s fire on fire. The time of day fits in as well, high noon, when there are no shadows and since the season is Summer, the Fiery Fire theme stands.
Animal: Serpent; Represents god and goddess as well as Yin and Yang. It represents wisdom in balance as well as immortality, knowledge and prophecy.
Flower: Silver Bells; They represent the balance between life and death in a way similar to how the Serpent represents the balance between the male and the female, Sun and Moon, light and dark etc. Balance also fits into the Mother category as that is what mothers must do, balance the needs of the family with their own needs. Silver Bells also strengthen the ability to live with compromise.
Herb: Hyssop; this is an herb of consecration as well as purification and protection. Hyssop also cleanses the aura and is good for chakra meditation. In this context it was being used to cleanse and protect sacred space.
Tree: poplar; Poplar is a tree that falls into the timeframe of Beltane which is a holiday of Fire, it represents success in and endeavor or project.
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Element: Metal with an Air or Earth aspect given the preference of the practitioner and their intent. The planet for Metal and West is Venus, represented in the zodiac by Taurus/Earth and Libra/Air. For the purposes I was using at the time I applied Air and thus had a metal and air “thing” going. The season for West is Autumn and the time of day is Dusk.
Animal: Mountain Lion; The mountain Lion represents leadership. The ability to lead without expecting others to follow- yet they do without coercion. The Mountain Lion also represents truth and the strength to know what to do (or not do) with it.
Flower: Morning Glory; to represent contact with the subconscious.
Herb: Witches’ Bells; more commonly known as Foxglove it is associated with the Fae and with the Underworld. They represent protection when travelling in other dimensions. It was also one of the ingredients of “Flying Ointment” which was a combination of herbs used to induce visions and astral travel. Here it is to remember to acknowledge and explore Other worlds.
Tree: Linden or Lime Tree; This tree falls into the time frame of fall equinox and represents protection, immortality and good fortune.
Element: Water; (TCM) With either an Earth or an Air aspect. The planetary influence here is Mercury which can be represented either by Gemini/Air or Virgo/Earth. I had used Earth here due to its long association with the North. Winter is the associated season and Midnight the associated time.
Animal: Turtle; turtle represents security and defense against obstacles. It is about taking a pace that is slow enough to ensure completion as well as thought of consequence before action.
Flower: Apple Blossom; this flower has been associated with dreams and portals to other times and places.
Herb: Five Finger Grass; (aka- Cinquefoil) represents protection and purification and is associated with visions of a prophetic nature. This herb was also counted in among the ingredients of Flying Ointment and represents manifestation.
Tree: Fig; which appropriately fits into the time of Yule. Fig is indicative of independence and reminds us that many of the most challenging steps we take on our path, whether forward or backward, we take alone.
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Element: Earth with Earth; The planetary correspondence is Saturn represented by Capricorn/ Earth, thus Center, in this particular interpretation, is Just Earth. The season is Indian Summer and there is no time but rather timelessness, that feeling that time has stopped. It comes few and far between but you all know what I’m talking about.
Aspect: Quantum Self
Animal: Hawk; the messenger. Reminding us to be always on the alert and listen so we don’t miss the messages we are meant to hear as well as watch with sharp enough vision to see them no matter where or from whom they might come.
Flower: Passionflower; represents the emergence of the individual personality and is associated with strength and ability built on experience.
Herb: Wolfsbane; also called Monkshood or Aconite it is associated with Hecate and represents magical watchfulness as well as the power to endure, it also guards against negativity.
Tree: Cypress; It falls into the time frame of Lughnassadh and represents protection and can also be used as an herb of consecration.
The trees I used are based largely on folklore and were taught to me in the oral tradition. The woman who taught me was very wise and taught me about tree and plant folklore, among other things. There are different trees for different times of the year. The times of the year chosen to select the various trees were Greater Sabbats and Lesser Sabbats (Esbats) nearest to the time of year that aspect represents.
About the Herbs and Flowers…
The herbs and flowers chosen correspond to the planet for the given direction.
In another application, one where I was constructing a series of rituals and meditations pertinent to balanced health, I used my training in TCM and applied bodily associations using the Five Spirits of TCM as follows:
Bodily Associations and the Five Spirits:
In TCM each direction/element represents a different organ or bodily system as well as an emotion. Housed within these are what the Chinese call the Five Spirits, each a different aspect of the individual. The health specific rituals use these associations as a tool to focus on specific systems and spirits. The emotions are a good tool for keeping the organ systems in check. When you find yourself feeling the associated emotions in a way that is out of balance you can help by nourishing the corresponding organ system. Too much of a certain emotion might cause excess in the body, too little could cause deficiency or vice versa. These excesses or deficiencies might start in the spiritual realm but left unchecked can manifest in the physical, disrupting the flow of Qi and possibly causing dis-ease. In the ritual I even used corresponding pressure points along the meridians within the body of the ritual. Applied, it went like this:
Houses the Liver and Gall Bladder and opens to the eyes. As to the corresponding spirit, East is the seat of Hun. Hun is the ethereal aspect of the soul. When the body dies Hun returns to “Heaven” or the “Summerlands” Hun is housed in the Liver. The emotion that corresponds to this is anger, which raises Qi and can affect the spleen. Opposite for anger is forgiveness.
Houses the Heart and Small Intestines and opens to the tongue. Its representative function is growth as it pertains to astral or ethereal things that generally are trance or meditation induced; there is a visionary aspect at play here. South is the seat of Shen. Shen is the animating spirit of the body. To clarify, it could be said that a person with dull eyes, slow responses and general apathy has low Shen. Shen is housed in the Heart. The emotion is joy and out of balance can become over-excitement which slows Qi and can affect the lungs. A good goal here is to turn over excited joy into compassion.
Houses the Lungs and Large Intestines and opens to the nose. West is the seat of Po which is the physical aspect of the soul, when the body dies, Po dissolve with it. Po is housed in the lungs. The emotional correspondence is grief, which dissolves Qi and can affect the Liver. The opposite emotion to grief is acceptance. To those who would say it is “letting go” I would point out that to let go of a thing, one must first pick it up, that is acceptance.
Water is associated with the Kidneys, Urinary Bladder and Endocrine system. It’s representative function is that of storage (introspection) and opens to the ears. North is the seat of Zhi which is the source of will in the individual. Zhi is housed in the kidneys. The emotion is fright which scatters Qi and can affect the Heart, frights opposite is courage.
Houses the Spleen and Stomach and opens to the mouth. Center is the seat of Yi which is the thinking process. Yi is housed in the Spleen. The emotion is worry which knots Qi and can affect the Kidneys. Excessive worry and over-analyzing can damage the Spleen as well. The opposite emotion here is empathy.