As winter is still upon us here is the northern hemisphere, we are in a time of keeping warm, in the space within, contained for love, peace and clarity. The sun is rebellious, especially in snow it always wins. And then it stretches along the frozen waves, clears the pools and we match its heat. And we remember to tend to ourselves, from the inside.
When I think about what has transpired over the last year, I think of what is known as Crossed Conditions.
Spiritual practices focus on moving through life in an uncrossed state, i.e. freely like water. To cultivate this space and flow within us, we need peace of mind and emotional fulfillment. Anytime we are not in this balance, whether from within or without, we find ourselves in crossed conditions.
Crossed conditions are an unavoidable part of our human existence; they are the challenges that life presents to us along the way, and they are the reason why we grow. In the words of mythologist and theorist Joseph Campbell, “where we stumble and fall is where we’ll find gold.”
By learning to humble ourselves, flow with life as water, and stay in our tenderness and emotional connection, we can see crossed conditions as opportunities, and we can become wiser, stronger and more whole.
Crossed conditions can also be seen as initiatory. Any initiation process can be usually defined in three stages. The first stage is the separation; the awakening and the questioning, which ultimately separate us from a known narrative or a group dynamic. This demands a lot of bravery and strength, and then leads us into the woods, into the unknown, into the uncertain, where we need to find stability in the core of who we are; as part of our second stage we will face obstacles, tests and challenges, we will bump into objects and shadows, and ultimately, we will learn to sharpen our own senses and hold onto our truth, and we’ll persevere. And then comes the final stage – the union; we unite with the one or the thing we initiated; we unite with the freedom of the letting go of the parts of us that didn’t serve us anymore, and with the birth of the parts of us previously unknown.
Sometimes crossing can be self-made; for example, we cross ourselves up when we self-sabotage by engaging or perpetuating behaviours and acts that harm us or limit us, such as staying in unhealthy friendships or relationships. Other times, crossed conditions are external, and other times, it is a combination of both.
The oldest understanding of Crossed Conditions is that these are times when we are dried up, dried out and devitalized. As all else in life – the remedy is to experience its opposite. So we need water. We need to call upon the things that sustain us, that nourish us, that nurture us, that protect us, that keep us tender and heart-centered. These will be different for all of us, but a question to ask ourselves would be: What has gone un-watered for too long? How can I restore it? You can read my article on Tenderness which talks about this topic in great detail.
The chaos of this world has been swinging around for a long time now, as has the uncertainty of our future as humanity. Have you been feeling depleted, exhausted, numb? Times have changed and it is not just other energies that we absorb, but we are also exposed to more electromagnetic frequencies and waves, especially when we spend so much of our day with our phones and the internet. Mixed with the volatile nature of humans and the current instability of our world, all this can make for quite the toxic potion. There are many signs to indicate energy depletion and the need for spiritual protection.
Spiritual cleansing, purification and protection are as essential to our wellbeing as drinking water and tending to self-care and our basic health needs. It is part of our holistic wellbeing to make sure that we dedicate enough time to all of our bodies of consciousness: the physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual.
In my article The Art of Spiritual Protection I discussed in great detail the nature of protection, the symptoms of psychic attacks, and the various ways what to do in each case, as well as how we can enhance our energy, nurture our wellbeing and protect our auras. Today’s article is much shorter and since the directions of the medicine wheel are connected to each of our bodies, I thought that we can approach this topic from the wheel’s perspective. If you are not familiar with it, you can read about the foundations of the medicine wheel in my article Wisdom of The Medicine Wheel.
As a sidenote: When it comes to which direction corresponds to each body, season or area of life, there are different views. The essence is the same. My knowledge of the medicine wheel comes from my Shaman teacher Dakota, and so this is what I will share forward.There is no right or wrong but just a different perspective, or pathway, based on which direction the Shaman has started their life or work. What matters most is the understanding of the essence rather than the “textbook definition”. You should apply the wheel and its directions in the way it feels true for you. You may come across someone who says “the west is about the emotional body” but for me it is in the south. What matters is that it makes sense for you and feels true for you based on your knowledge and life experience. In general, I also want you to question knowledge and text, and find what’s true for you. Once we start understanding what our beliefs are and why, we start to come into our own inner wisdom, truth and empowerment; we learn to be our own wisdom guides along the uncertain and dark pathways that we come across sometimes in this life.
Signs of Energy Depletion Using The Medicine Wheel
East Direction – Mental Body
- mental fatigue and exhaustion, without cause
- confusion and brain fog
- lack of purpose
- lack of motivation
- low self-esteem
- feelings of unworthiness
- verbal outbursts
- sudden negative thoughts
South Direction – Emotional Body
- feeling drained around others
- feelings of sadness, sorrow or hopelessness, without cause
- emotionally numb, detached or isolated
- feeling disconnected and wanting to isolate from friendships and relationships
- feeling the emotions of others and unable to control it or set boundaries
- easily and suddenly overwhelmed
West Direction – Physical Body
- disburbance in sleep pattern: either sleeping way more than your usual or insomnia
- loss of interest in daily activities and lethargy
- unhealthy eating
- illness or allergies, with cold-like symptoms
- anger outbursts
- dry skin without cause and loss of elasticity
North Direction – Spiritual Body
- disconnected from your spiritual practices
- lack of faith
- depression, hopelessness and isolation
- waking up in the middle of the night feeling someone is in the room
- unusual and frequent nightmares such as being tortured, tormented or raped
- illness or allergies, with cold-like symptoms
- sensing a cold spot in the room or on parts of your skin
- a burning sensation on upper back just below your neck
- noticing a presence as if someone is watching you
- heaviness or fearfulness in certain rooms
- feeling someone touching you when you are all alone
This list is not exhaustive; it is only a simple guidance to indicate that you could be under a psychic attack, or you have accumulated too much energy from others, or your boundaries have been crossed.
1. Presence + Grounding
Before we dive into the spiritual tools from each direction, we need to know why we feel drained. As we saw in the signs listed above, many of them can be attributed to something internal that we could be going through rather than an external psychic attack. And so, the first thing when it comes to spiritual and psychic protection is learning what’s ours and what isn’t. We do this through self-awareness.
We need to be present within ourselves, so that we can honestly reflect on what’s going on; on our emotions, thought patterns and current environment. As human beings, we often live in the past and our memories, whether conscious or not, play a big part of our current state of being, thoughts and emotions. Other times, we live too much in the future, and start to excessively worry or wrap ourselves around the “what-ifs”.
These non-present ways of being make us more susceptible to psychic attacks because we lower our energetic boundaries and our immune systems begins to weaken also.
However, when we are present, we are more aware and conscious of our environment, within and without, and we can better discern what might be going on. In this clear and honest way, we will also be able to make better choices as to which tools might help us to feel cleansed and well again. Otherwise, we might be mistaking the source of the attack and the depletion will continue. For example, if it is indeed a psychic attack coming from another person, but we are thinking it is something connected to our physical health, we will begin to treat the symptoms with medicine. This might help us temporarily but afterwards, the attack will continue; we will continue to fight a battle we are not even aware of.
Aside from self-awareness, we also need to ground ourselves. When our energy is highly sensitive and light, it may flow a bit higher than our physical body. Especially when we feel into everyone else’s energetic field, it can be really difficult for us to stay into our own body. When the energy becomes overwhelming, regardless of why as this is relevant for all of us humans, we must ground ourselves. When we are grounded, we become unshakable, strongly rooted into the core of who we are. There are many ways how to do this, but here are some of the ancient grounding techniques, used across cultures and throughout many generations:
- place your hands on your head or on your crown chakra
- focus on and connect to the five senses: touch, smell and eat something that you love and/or do something pleasurable for your senses, whatever it may be, to feel more embodied
- take a shower, which is what yogis call “water washing” and say it must be done daily before bedtime to cleanse all energetic dirt from our aura
- take a salt bath
- go for a walk, which is what yogis call “air washing”
- walk and/or dance barefoot, and rub hands in dirt or soil
- listen to drumming
- body scanning: touch your feet or even paint them with bright red polish
- start humming, especially with a lower voice tone, from your belly
- healing your root chakra, your sense of security and safety
- wear a talisman such as a necklace, bracelet, small object in your pocket – something that is near and dear to your heart; that you associate with a loving memory to remind you of a safe, pure space
- carry a stone that has been charged for grounding such as a black tourmaline, red jasper, black obsidian or shungite
- imagine yourself with roots coming from your feet, around your body and then anchoring you into the earth
By just focusing on presence and grounding, you will ensure that you are spiritually protected and your life overall will be more enjoyable.
Remember that when it comes to spiritual protection, the main ingredients are: be aware and alert, know your intention and fill your heart with love. A heart filled with love is the strongest protection against all psychic attacks. Send love to your nemeses; it is hard to do but necessary to give them gratitude for their teachings and not hold anger and resentment in your heart.
2. East Direction Energy
Wind blows the dust from the air, diffuses pollution, just as it clears our mental body.
The east direction deals with the mental body and anything that has to do with communication, the throat chakra, thoughts, attitudes, judgments, inspiration, self-esteem, self-worth, confidence and motivation.
The best tools for this direction are prayer, chanting, humming, solfeggio frequencies, and high vibrational music. Your can do these alone or in combination with breath work and breathing exercises. Other ways to balance the mental body include kundalini yoga, moderate cardio and talking therapies. Since our thought patterns begin in childhood and our emotional bodies, working with healing the emotions is extremely beneficial, as well as thought programming.
Remember that we open doors through thoughts, wounds, feelings, music, movies, tastes and scents. And suddenly we find ourselves in a room of a particular memory. Memories are one of our most powerful batteries to life itself. When we are sad, thinking back to something positive and joyful, gives us hope. And when we think of something sad – we suddenly feel sad again, our body posture contracts, and no matter what was happening in our present, we are back in the memory state. Be discerning of your stock of memories, so that you know which specific doors to open to recharge your batteries.
3. South Direction Energy
Water softens dried earth and soothes the scorched land, just as it heals and cleanses the emotional body.
The south direction deals with the emotional body and this is where we will feel the energy attack the most. In fact, without healing the emotional body, the physical body cannot be healed. The south is also where we harness our intuition, creativity and vibrancy, as well as our relationships to other people and our self.
Like we already know, a heart filled with love, and tenderness, are the greatest protectors against all harm. In the old days, “the evil eye” was actually a condition that caused a dryness of skin. In times of hardship, whether from within or without, we start to harden our skins, both physically and metaphorically. The remedy is – water and self-love. The essence of self-love is actually self-acceptance. This means that we accept ourselves throughout all states of being, feeling, thinking and regardless of where we are in life. It is about tending to ourselves in a compassionate, kind, and forgiving way. This makes us more resilient in life and strengthens our immune system which in turn strengthens our energetic protection. For example, knowing how to set boundaries with people makes it harder for them to cross them and take advantage of our energy. Prolonged stress and negative emotions weaken our immune system and we must be mindful of the people in our lives, and our envirnoments, and wherever we can – to cut or limit exposure to those who are toxic to us in any shape or form.
4. West Direction Energy
The west direction deals with the physical body and our physical space. Like I mentioned – prolonged stress weakens our immune system and makes us more susceptible to illness, as well as energetic attacks. You can read my article on Emotions and Organs, for various tips on how to take care of our physical body.
To keep us healthy, we must have a healthy diet, drink lots of water, go out in nature, stretch and moisturize the body, get good sleep each night, and cleanse our digestive system. Salt baths and showers are a great way to cleanse our bodies also. In the same way, we must also cleanse our house to clear the energy. Do the laundry, the vaccum, sleep on clean bedsheet, have fresh plants and flowers, and open the windows for fresh air to circulate. Allow in-house energy to flow and move freely. And move furniture around especially if the person who is energetically attacking you has been in your house before, or has seen pictures of your space. You can also sprinkle salt at the front door and in the corners of the bedroom – there are various rituals on these topics, which I discuss in detail in The Art of Spiritual Protection.
In this direction, you can also work with stones, herbs and boundary setting.
Protection stones include black tourmaline, black obsidian, red jasper, shungite and even a gentler stone such as selenite.
Herbs and plants used for protection, which you can use in teas, aromatheraphy, healing potions or spiritual baths, are: Rosemary, Lemon, Lemongrass, Frankincense, Myrrh, Juniper Berry, Oregano, Peppermint, Rue, Rose, Sage, Mugwort, Mullein, Basil, and Blackberry.
Teas that strengthen the immune system and also fight inflammation are: Ginger, Strawberry, Turmeric, Lemongrass, Chamomile, Green and Pepermint.
Setting boundaries is probably one of the hardest thing we learn to do – yet it is the most important and is a part of self-love. You can start small by saying “no” when you don’t want to do something, or saying statements such as: “I don’t feel comfortable with this.” “I’d love to talk but now I am currently busy – may I call you back?” “I want to share with you what happened today – I’m not looking for advice, just support and a listening ear.” If your boundaries have been breached, you can choose to: communicate a new firmer boundary to clear up any confusion, reduce exposure to the person or environment, or completely eliminate contact.
5. North Direction Energy
The north direction represents our spiritual body and our connection to higher power, and our higher self. It provides us with a sense of security and stability within ourselves; rooted at the core of who we truly are on a soul level. If something is not flowing in this direction, all else will seem off in our life as if we are walking uphill during a rainfall.
Working in this direction, we need to strengthen our connection to spirit, higher self, our faith and the core of wo we truly are within. In times of instability and fear, we need to cement this connection and continue to trust it, sustain it and nurture it. This direction is about listening to our true self and developing our true inner connection and guidance system. Any time you feel you shouldn’t do something or that it’s not safe, regardless of social pressures or what others say – don’t do it. Any time you feel guilt, shame, blame and fear arising in you, without reason – these are your warning signals that you are on the wrong path. These four feelings are not coming from your soul and are not your inner voice. The north is about our deeper knowing.
Psychic attacks often manifest as extreme fears such as sensations of someone in the room, nightmares, freezing feelings, etc.
The remedy to fear are trust and love.
When fears come, it is important to stay in a space of love, safety and connection. Connection is not just physical – it is energetic, too.
Build a space of love, safety and connection and hold that space as much as you can. Protect it like a sacred heart.
Choose love every day. Choose love and acceptance and then love and then acceptance and then love again and again and surrender. And keep doing that, blindfolded if you must, until you find yourself out of the woods.
Ways to strengthen your connection to God and spirit are meditation and prayer, and you can strengthen the connection to your inner self and oneness through many spiritual tools and spiritual practices.
Spiritual baths are one of the most powerful tools against psychic attacks and I discuss them in depth in my article The Art of Sacred Bathing.
6. Finding Peace and Staying Tender
Spiritual protection is an expansive topic and these are only few ways to approaching it. We are all different and have unique paths in life. I believe that choosing our own tools and practices is how we actually become more empowered because we understand our own selves better – and choose based on our own needs. No one can tell you what’s right and what isn’t – only you can, and it is your own feelings and intuition that are your inner guidance and navigation compass in this life. Find peace within and without in your sacred space – and protect it. All of these spiritual tools and practices are ways for us to essentially connect deeper to our within, and nurture our wellbeing and soul; they are ways to bless ourselves.
To bless something means to protect it. So we bless ourselves – with kindness, compassion, attention, words, tenderness, bathing, cleansing, salt, beauty, emotions and water. In these moments of self-care and nurturing, we gather ourselves back to our mind, body, emotions and soul; we re-connect to our heart and our wholeness, and stay in our tenderness and strength. The breaker of all harm is a heart filled with love. And for that, we must remain in our tenderness, within. This is because when the body is attacked it becomes dry, and even in the old days the “evil eye” was known to cause a state of dryness. Like I shared in my article on Tenderness this is why it is precisely in our moments of vulnerability and exposure to negative energy that we need to stay in our tenderness; and we do this by keeping ourselves nourished, nurtured, and watered by softness and compassion. As much as we need to wear our armours of protection, we must also know when and for whom to take them off. Our tenderness, empathy and generosity are not meant to be shared with everyone because they are treasured gifts. And yet for those who are in our hearts – adorn them with your openness, sensitivity and affection. Build a bridge to love, and build a fortress around it with trust, respect, and faith. Honour it. Protect it. You’re safe there. Sink into that.
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Cover Art by Susan Seddon Boulet.