Opening to the Wisdom of East, Air, and Springtime

April 2, 2022 9:27 pm Published by

The Spring Equinox shifts our seasonal wheel to the East, the home of the element of air, inspiration, and new beginnings. 

In this share, you’ll learn all of the delicious correspondences for this season, the significance of the season, how to deepen your connection with this season, and why you’ll want to. This is a continuation of a larger series of exploring the wheel by seasons. 

If any of it sounds foreign or new, I encourage you to go back to read or listen to the episode about the North here, where I dive a little deeper into sacred wheels and their uses across cultures. 

Listen to this episode on my podcast here.

Every seasonal shift is an invitation to see the natural world as a mirror to our own lives and a call to notice how you are reflected in the natural world because you are the natural world. No matter how separate you may sometimes feel, you are nature. You are earth. Each shift is a call to remember this truth and attune yourself to these natural rhythms. 

Do you ever feel like you want a roadmap for life? Living cyclically offers a map. A map that reminds you to allow for times of expansion and growth as well as times of rest and even death and destruction. The roadmap of living cyclically with the seasons may not always be fun and exciting, but that’s because life isn’t always fun and exciting. Life is fucking hard sometimes, and living cyclically normalizes that truth. 

The season of Springtime, governed by the cardinal direction East, begins at the Spring Equinox and spans Beltaine until we reach Midsummer or the Summer Solstice. There are so many juicy things unfolding in this season. It’s a season of action, play, and expansion! Let’s explore the wisdom of the East and what this season has to offer. 

Wisdom of the East

On the sacred wheel, we shift East as we shift to the Spring Equinox. This shift also brings the beginning of a new zodiac year with Aries season. An immense burst of energy happens as we move into this season, and it’s often easy to see in the natural world. It’s getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and plants are starting to wake up. The earth is fertile for new life, and so are you. 

As a collective, oh, how we need some East energy! As I prepared this episode, something that stood out to me was the word humility. Being in a space of humility is very much associated with the East. There is action here, but there is also an openness and willingness to be open and allow new wisdom to permeate your being. It’s a space that encourages us to be okay with not knowing. Humility seems to be something we’ve been missing deeply in our divided society. There’s so much time and energy claiming to be the correct person with the only correct answer. I don’t say this to point fingers; I certainly get caught up in it at times as well. This season reminds each of us that no one knows everything and to be open to new ideas. 

You know what I love more than anything is when someone says, “I don’t know.” What a breath of fresh air. This is the home of the East, the humility to continue to be open to continue to learn. We are each given this opportunity during this season to honor the not-knowingness, to sit in it, and to be open to what gifts of wisdom may want to come through.

Air Element Card from The Ritual Deck.

Just as the plants begin to form buds and burst forth with life, your inner world is fertile for new growth. On a personal level, this season encourages you to open yourself up to new paths and to begin taking action. Feelings of uncertainty are a natural part of taking steps towards building something new; the East reminds us of this, that part of beginning a new path requires a certain amount of trust.

You don’t wake up knowing everything that will transpire throughout your day; there are always certain unknown or out-of-control elements. The East invites you to honor this and embark on your day regardless. The tree doesn’t know that it won’t be struck down by lightning or some other unforeseen force as new buds and leaves grow, but it grows anyway. The tree does not sit wondering how I will grow these leaves, even amidst all the pain in the world. Rather it tends to its needs, supports life around itself, and continues to grow. We can apply this same thinking to new endeavors. Even when the path ahead is scary and unknown, you can move forward with what you do have and trust that you will know how to address situations as they arise. 

Here’s a snippet from a book by one of my mentor’s mentors called “Sacred Wheel of Our Ancestors” by Roberta Lee. I don’t think it’s in print anymore, and it’s more like a pamphlet than a book, but you may be able to do some digging to find a used copy. In the chapter about the East, she says.

“It is in the East that we can call out and beg to know our paths. For this is the first step of many on this journey. However, be aware that while you search for your path, you’re probably on it. If you cannot see it, it is likely that it is because you walk it. If you do see it, perhaps you are not there as yet. So take that step.

This is the place of surrender, of abandonment to the Great Mystery, of life itself. It is a commitment; certainly, a sense of risk accompanies us as we face the East. Dare to look into that sunrise, sense the warmth and healing of the sun as it begins its daily journey across our sky.”

Sacred Wheel of Our Ancestors by Roberta Lee

East Correspondences

There are so many beautiful ways to connect with the energy of the east. Springtime itself is something that so many look forward to, so it’s the ideal season to simply enjoy nature. If it doesn’t yet feel like spring where you are, or you’d like to get in touch with the energy of the East in a different season, here are some ways to honor this season through corresponding energies or energies that match each other. 

  • Moon Phase: Waxing crescent
  • Phase of life: Childhood / the Maiden
  • Themes: Play, joy, curiosity, fertility, growth, expansion
  • Color: Yellow
  • Element: Air
  • Time of Year: Springtime
  • Time of day: Dawn
  • Items and tools: Flowers, eggs, herbal smoke, feathers, fresh herbs, rabbits, and hares
  • Crystals: Kyanite, citrine, quartz
  • Tarot: Suit of swords
  • Ogham: Nuin/Ash and Huathe/Hawthorne
cardinal direction east and air element oracle cards
Air and East oracle cards from The Ritual Deck.

Rituals to Connect with East

1. Honoring your inner child with play

Opening ourselves up to new ideas and wisdom can be hard. As we grow older, we tend to get more and more set in our ways for most of us. On a physiological level, our brains are less able to learn new things. It takes more of a conscious effort to open yourself up to learn new things. One of the secrets to being able to do this is allowing yourself to be open and receptive, and play is a powerful way to get into this receptive state of being. 

We already know that young children learn through play. Why is that? Play forces us to be in the moment, which opens us to new ideas and ways of being. It allows us to temporarily let go of all of the things we feel we need to carry as an adult—the money, job, responsibilities, and so on. Play is an opportunity to distance ourselves from all of these storylines and be present in a different way. Play is unpredictable and therefore fosters experiences of new insights. It cracks us open in a way. 

I’m fortunate to have two 3-year-olds in my life, so I’m frequently given opportunities to engage in play. Even with my two little busybodies, I still have to remind myself to let go of all the weights and stories I’m carrying and just be with them. Like everything, play can take some practice too. 

The way you decide to engage with play, children or not, will be unique to you. I encourage you to take some quiet moments to reflect inward and ask yourself what would feel like a playful and freeing activity to engage in. It may be on your own, with your kids, or with a partner. Consider thinking about what your favorite playful activities were when you were young. There’s no wrong way to do this and no desired outcomes. Your only goal is to allow yourself to be in the energy of play, whatever that looks like for you. 

Here are some soft suggestions if you feel stuck. 

  • Draw, paint, or color with no desired outcome 
  • Cook or bake a new dish that excites you
  • Turn on some fun music and move your body
  • Make something with recycled materials
  • Learn a new song and sing it to a friend or some plants
  • Play a game solo, with family or friends
  • Explore a new area of your city 
  • Draw, paint, or color with no desired outcome 
  • Cook or bake a new dish that excites you
  • Turn on some fun music and move your body
  • Make something with recycled materials
  • Learn a new song and sing it to a friend or some plants
  • Play a game solo, with family or friends
  • Explore a new area of your city 

Another way to honor your inner child is to bring healing to your inner child. So many of us carry wounds related to trauma that happened to us as young children. There are several ways to approach inner child healing, one way is therapy, but there’s also a lot you can do on your own. Personally, I found a lot of healing through EMDR therapy, but I’ve also approached my inner child healing from a spiritual perspective as well by journeying to parts of my childhood that needed healing.

If this is an approach you’d like to try I held a group guided journey for this that’s now available in the shop. Of course, you can do this on your own as well, but if you’d like some support there’s a workbook and recording to help guide you through it. Click here to explore it

2. Connecting with the maiden of the Triple Goddess

We have the maiden, mother, and crone in our triplicity of Goddess archetypes. Each phase carries its own unique energies with both negative and positive attributes. The maiden aligns with the waxing crescent moon, steeped in exploratory and expansive energy. The maiden honors seek to expand, learn and grow in new ways. They do not shirk away from pleasure and rather lean into it. 

You do not need to be a particular age to lean into this energy; it can be called upon at any time in your life regardless of age and gender. This season is an opportunity to notice your relationship with the maiden and lean into it. How do you feel when in the presence of someone who feels safe and empowered in their sexuality and pleasure? Does it make you feel uncomfortable, angry, or do you celebrate them? The way you respond or feel when presented with the energy of the maiden can be a big indication of what your relationship is like with yourself in this area. 

Aphrodite card from The Goddess Oracle

There are many ways you can connect with the maiden energy. One way is to connect with maiden Goddesses. Every culture has maiden Goddesses, and I encourage you to explore Goddesses in line with your heritage. Here are some of my favorites that I often work with at this time. 

Eostre is a Germanic and Norse Goddess of the Springtime. The first written history of Eostre did not come about until a Christian monk named Bede wrote about her in 725 AD. This doesn’t mean she wasn’t around before this, but we don’t have any evidence that she was. Eostre embodies the energy of fertility and growth. She’s strongly associated with eggs and hares, both symbols of fertility. 

Freya and Frigg, a Norse Goddess (who some separate as two separate Goddesses) associated with pleasure, sexuality, and magic. Freya simply means lady, while Frigg comes from a root word for “beloved.” We can even see Freya’s connection with love and pleasure even today on our weekdays. Friday, the day of the week corresponding with love and romance, comes from the “day of Frigg.”

Aphrodite and Ishtar are also associated with love and pleasure, which can be powerful to connect with or learn about at this time. Aphrodite is a Greek Goddess who many believe was modeled from the Middle Eastern Goddess of love, sexuality, and battle. 

There are so many ways to connect with and honor different Goddesses at this time. Consider meditating or journeying to connect with them. You could set up an altar to honor and celebrate them or learn about them. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with which Goddess to connect with, I encourage you to go within and open yourself up to connecting with a maiden Goddess to see who and what comes through. We all have connections to different deities through our heritage, and sometimes the best way to connect is by honoring your inherent wisdom. 

If connecting with deities isn’t in your practice, consider meditating during the waxing moon phase, exploring your sexuality, or working with magical tools that invoke a sense of pleasure and fertility to connect with the energy of the maiden.

3. Connecting with the element of air

The element associated with this season is air, so honoring and connecting with this element is a potent way to feel into this season. Air is such a unique element. Unlike the other elements, we can’t see air. We can see its effects as it swirls about, but we cannot see air itself. This truth brings a unique energy to this element and how we connect with it. 

The air element is an active and outward-facing force that sets things in motion. It is also clearing but not the same healing way that water is. Rather, it brushes aside things so that we may be permeated more deeply. Air aims to mix and swirl about our perceived realities so we can see things from a new perspective. 

I think it’s important to note that as we shift into Springtime and East on the wheel, we simultaneously move into the fire sign of Aries. We all know what happens with fire gets some extra air; it grows, it gets bigger. I see it as another beautiful expression of the power of this season. 

When out of balance, air can push us towards overthinking, anxiety, and lack of focus. Air can be overwhelming. We can see this quite easily in the suit of swords in the tarot, which corresponds with the element of air. In many ways, the suit of swords is one of the more feared suits. There’s so much pain and mental anguish present on the cards. 

It’s as powerful as a sword when you learn to engage with air in a more controlled way. Wielding the force of air allows you to cut through perceived realities and see new pathways. Air is the gracious idea bringer, and your job is to discern what’s for you and what isn’t. Air gives you the voice to say what needs to be said with truth and compassion. Air, though invisible, has the power to knock over buildings or subtle enough to blow out a candle. 

A powerful exercise to cozy up with the element of air and the tarot is to spend some time with the queen and king of swords. Notice how they appear so sovereign in their ability to control their chosen tool. This tool goes for any of the elements. The Kings and Queens of the suits show us what each element looks and feels like in its most exalted form. 

Beyond the tarot, I love experiencing the element of the air outside. Notice how the air feels against your skin, what it stirs within you, and how it makes you feel. I start so many days looking outside and noticing how the trees are moving from the air. I use it as a form of divination, a little nudge to be more still or to get busy. I’ve received so many messages from my “tree friends” by way of how the air moves them. I love visualizing the air clearing away blocks and stuck energy so that I may see and know more clearly. 

With spring upon us, I hope you can find time to be outside amidst the air, to feel it blow through your hair and over your body. I hope you can allow it to push aside any stories you need a break from so you can see things from new and playful perspectives. I hope you can honor your inner child and the maiden within you, calling out for play and pleasure. 

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About Cassie

Cassie Uhl is the author of five books and two card decks, an artist, intuitive energy healer, and death doula. Her lineage and practices are rooted in pagan earth-based spiritual practices of Northern Europe. She approaches her work and clients with trauma-informed support through all phases of life. She currently resides on the land of the Myaamia people in so-called Indiana of the US.