The popular English nanny, Mary Poppins, arrived on Cherry Tree Lane on an east wind.
She was flung through the gate and landed with a thump at the front door. Her arrival shook the house, and joy was restored to the sorrowful family.
In literature, scripture, and mythology dating back to the tablets of Mesopotamia, the east wind brings change. A destructive force of nature often leaves in its wake an opportunity for new ideas and growth.
Sherlock Holmes warned Watson of the cold, bitter east wind that was brewing during World War II, and advised him that, “A cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.”
Has the east wind interrupted your life? Are you like Watson, “the fixed point” in a changing age, or are you accepting that nature provides helpful clues? When you turn your attention toward nature, navigating change becomes effortless no matter what wind is blowing.
Maneuvering the Earth’s windswept landscape has preoccupied humankind throughout history. Research for the book, Winds of Spirit led to the discovery of cross-cultural wind deities. Since time immemorial, cardinal winds have provided the structure for ordering reality: east represents mind and beliefs; south represents emotions and feelings; west represents physicality and endings; north represents community and spirituality.
Before religion divided us, people were wind believers. Wind is synonymous with the divine: Christianity speaks of the Holy Spirit; Hebrew refers to Ruach; and in Buddhism, nirvana is a “place of no wind.”
The winds of spirit are always available to help us navigate change. Hundreds of millions of years ago, long before human beings stirred, the wind participated in the formation of our Earth. Imagine how these powerful forces can help us navigate life today.
In Winds of Spirit, 32 wind deities are described in detail who continuously help navigate my life. Each week, I pull a “Weekly Wind” to receive information on the week ahead. Each wind expresses different attributes and attitudes, strengths, and messages which our ancestors understood, but we have since forgotten.
This week I pulled a Winds of Spirit card asking for guidance for the best place to focus our energy as we move into the new month. The goddess that I pulled was the Latvian Wind Mother, Vēja Māte. She is a Wind Mother who offers us nourishment.
Invoke the Wind Mother when you need comfort and divine intervention.
Up until the late 14th century, the Mother God religion flourished in the swampy forests east of the Baltic Sea. The triad of Dievs (goddesses) were comprised of Saule (Dual-Sun), Māra (Earth), and Laime (Fortune). The Sun Goddess was responsible for two suns—one that rose daily, and one in the netherworld.
Māra, the Great Earth Mother, had dominion over matter; she was the giver, preserver, and taker of life. The goddess Laime was Lady Luck and Fortune. One of the nutritive Dievs is Vēja Māte, the Mother Wind. Wind brings rain which nourishes the rye crops required to make bread. Agricultural celebrations marked significant events in time as the sun moved across the heavens. Rituals included the vasaras saulgrieži (Summer Solstice), ziemas festivals (Winter Solstice), lielā diena (Easter/Spring Equinox), and the several autumn harvest festivals (Fall Equinox). Ritual reminds us to respect what we already have.
Tips to Nourish Yourself when the Winds of Change are Blowing.
Connect to your Community.
No matter where you live, you can connect with other people. During this past mid-winter wind, I hosted an online ziemas festival. Members of an online group gathered to hold space for perfect strangers. The power in the Facebook group strengthened as members kept their lights shining from worldwide altars for 17 days.
Inside the cyber walls, a comfortable central hearth was created by kind, sharing individuals as they tended space for an online gathering of over 2,000 people. The wind taught the Fire Tenders in the group how to care for themselves and each other. They found a common thread in the heart flame shared by the nourishing Wind Mother. People felt genuinely connected through this community, and, energetically, through her breath.
Find the Similarities.
After the recent tumultuous weather and storms, it is important to find our familiar ground. It is essential to find a common sweet spot between yourself and your neighbors, no matter your differences or what wind may be blowing. During the fires, earthquakes, mudslides, and storms, people did not ask others what their affiliations were before lending a helping hand. Tempest winds will continue to blow, and, with arms linked together, we are a strong united force for change.
Stay Focused on the Present.
The occupants of the remote lands east of the Baltic Sea were not easily distracted by the affairs of the outside world. They paid homage to their earth traditions, which they kept alive in their underground wind caves for generations. This ancient wisdom has found its usefulness once again.
This does not mean you turn your back to the windy distractions; you can adjust your sails. Cut down your outside interface by 20 percent or more. Turn off the television, the internet, and lower your news intake. Begin to reconnect to your essential self through nature. As you align to your authentic magnetic north, the magical spot of presence and joy, you will naturally turn inward for truth and guidance. Reminder: it is wise to keep a few trusted advisors in your life for reassurance.
Turning into the Wind for Guidance—an Exercise.
Face each Cardinal Wind direction, and ask for guidance.
Ask Vēja Māte for help. Ground yourself upon her sister Mara, then face east toward her sister Saule (Dual-Sun), and ask her to show you what thoughts need nourishment. If allowed, the dievs can help you focus on what you need next. As you turn to face south, ask Veja Mate to teach you how to achieve emotional balance and stability whenever blustery winds are blowing.
As you move clockwise in a westerly direction, ask the sisters how to best nurture and sustain your harvest. As you complete the cycle for the year, you will be instinctively guided north, which is the true home of your “god self.” This is a very tender spot. In this place, you are of service to the community and your life. Every day you wake up to a new version of a better world that you are actively creating by your intentions and actions.
Veja Mate reminds us, “These shifting winds I speak of are the very same winds that are causing a brouhaha for people all over the world.” Now you get to choose what you stand for. If enough people stand up for what they hold dear in their hearts, we can elevate our world vision. If you know exactly what you stand for, you are exactly where you need to be. Keep all your senses tuned-in to the wind for wisdom and guidance.
Ancient Wisdom from Veja Mate as we head back toward the light of spring.
Optimism lies at the core of Latvian nature worship. The Wind Mother offers an endless supply of goodness which is available to those who pay homage to nature. Take “wind walks” often. With each walk, you will receive the guidance needed to move forward. This happens when you pay attention. Everything is possible when you take responsibility for your actions. As you walk, sing a song of gratitude to the Mother for her cherished gifts.
Are you prone to telling disruptive stories or songs? Do you gossip and not take self-action? Vēja Māte encourages you to refocus your attention on your abundant worth in nature. Ask, “How can I nourish myself by giving back?” Every day when you wake up, remember to express your gratitude by saying, “Thank you for this morning wind.”
If you take a right turn and luck continues to pass you by, Vēja Māte reminds you to forge ahead confidently, because fortune will eventually find you. Beware of envy, mistrust, and jealousy, as you will be swiftly led astray in a sand storm. These are opposite states of nurture, so steer clear of pettiness this year. You are needed elsewhere. Find what nourishes your soul and heart. As you do, you will become a radiant wind-spreader, sharing your noble intentions throughout the world.
The Wind Work® system is a powerful wayfinding tool that will transport you to your best self. You will have fun discovering how wonderful your life will feel by simply opening yourself up to the embrace of the healing winds. Wind is the constant in life from your first breath to your last. By focusing your awareness on these robust and formidable forces of nature, you will have the tools you need for reaching your goals and creating more harmony in the world.
Author: Renee Baribeau
Image: Max Pixel
Editor: Travis May
Copy Editor: Lieselle Davidson