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This Thanksgiving, Call in the Directions

Heal

Over the past 25 years, the Mankind Project and New Warrior Training Adventure have created safe “containers” for more than 43,000 men to work on self-examination and to connect with each other in new ways (see Mankindproject.org). The small groups of men typically open with a modern version of an ancient blessing, then go around the circle, with each man, in turn, “calling in the energies” of one of the seven directions. The specific words don’t matter, and men often edit as they choose. What matters is the intention to let go of distractions, to let down defenses, to be present for one another, and to make the space sacred.

Blessings of the Seven Directions

Welcome the energy of the East, the direction of the Lover. Welcome the energy of new beginnings, of connection with beauty and the richness of the world. The color of the East is yellow, the color of the rising sun at the beginning of the day. The fear of the East is the fear of pain. The desire of the East is the desire for pleasure, and the emotions are love and hatred. The animal of the East is the song sparrow, calling us to a new day. We welcome the energies and spirit of the East.

Welcome the energy of the South, the direction of the Warrior. Welcome the energy of service, of action in the world in service to the realm. The color of the South is red, the color of blood and of passion, the color of the heat of the noonday sun. The fear of the South is the fear of losing control. The desire of the South is the desire for power, and the emotions are pride and anger. The animal of the South is the dog, the symbol of loyalty. We welcome the energies and spirit of the South.

Welcome the energy of the West, the direction of the Magician. Welcome the energy of introspection, going within to find the gifts of healing. The color of the West is black, like the darkness of our shadows. The desire of the West is the desire for order and virtue. The fear of the West is the fear of abandonment, and the emotions are happiness and shame. The animal of the West is the bear that goes into the cave to hibernate, to seek within the darkness the gift of renewal. We welcome the energies and spirit of the West.

Welcome the energy of the North, the direction of the King. Welcome the energy of wisdom and blessing. The color of the North is white, the color of the hair of the elders. The desire is the desire for freedom and release, and the fear is the fear of death. The emotions of the North are joy and sadness. The animal of the North is the Owl. We welcome the energies and spirit of the North.

Welcome the energy of the Sky Above, the Masculine Principle. Welcome the energy and spirit of inspiration. The color of the Above is blue, and the animal is the eagle. Welcome the gifts of wind and sunshine, the creative energies, the desire of Truth, and the emotion of compassion. We welcome the energies and spirit of Father Sky.

Welcome the energy of the Earth Below, the Feminine Principle. Welcome the energy and spirit of generosity. The color of the Below is green, and the animal is the deer. Welcome the gifts of nurture and support, the sustaining energies, the desire for abundant beauty, and the emotion of gratitude. We welcome the energies and spirit of Mother Earth.

Welcome the energy of Within, the principle of Wholeness. Welcome the energy and spirit of the mysterious. The color of this energy is gold. Welcome the gifts of balance, oneness, and the connection with all things, for all things are one and all things are related. The animal within is the human being, the desire is for serenity, and the emotion is humility. We welcome the energies and spirit of Within.

Welcome the spirits of our grandfathers and grandmothers. Welcome our ancestors, those who have gone before us, and on whose shoulders we stand. Welcome the spirits of the children yet to come, who will stand upon our shoulders. Invite into this circle the spirit and energy of those who guide, protect, and bless us to be fully who we are.


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