The Long Snows Moon whose guardian is Elk is the last moon on the Medicine Wheel and which places special significance on the importance of the Guardian Spirit. North on the wheel is the place of the four-leggeds, and for me, it is also the Place where the Crystal People dwell. The four-leggeds are the runners, the double receivers. I view them as one foot in each quarter of the wheel, as well as two legs in the Spirit World and two legs in the Human World, that is my interpretation of a double receiver.
The Elk has told me that he is one of the most sacred four-leggeds. He is regarded in some cultures as the Guardian of the Thunder Beings. The Thunder Beings are usually associated with the evening (darkness, the unknown), and although for some they can be very terrifying, they test our strength and endurance. They help us to realize how really very small and insignificant we are compared to the great powers of The Universe. Thunder Beings are the Lightening which strikes the horns of the Elk, he helps it to flow through and transform the energy. He is the greatest receiver of energy; the energy magician, changing and moving the appearance, feel and effect of energy. Elk is the Keeper of Thunder and Lightening.
If we take the human body and place it on the Medicine Wheel then the brain, the head is in North. The Brain is the physical form that lies within the protection of the skull. It keeps us alive. The mind, however, is invisible. It is free to travel not yet explored by any physical being. It is part of the Soul, that which we use to express the Will and convey our thoughts. The mind, along with the Soul, is our connection to Great Spirit. Great Spirit is the collective consciousness that encompasses all living beings, a part of our own minds.
North also represents the Future it is affected by what happened in the past and what is happening here in the present. Your future is in your own hands. You can determine what your future holds for you by learning from the past and acting in the present. Take the lessons from the West and the South to the North to guide yourself toward the future you wish to have.
The season of North is winter. Though the external world is asleep at this time, deep within the Earth there is much action. This is the time of renewal. This is the time when the seeds are preparing for the rapid growth that will come with Spring, “roots are the flowers that bloom in the darkness”. Animals rest, storing up energy for the time when they too will renew their species.
North to me represents many things spiritually, your task earlier in the year was to find out what Element and what Spirit was associated with North. Many traditions also place the Buffalo in the North, which makes sense as the Buffalo is a four-legged, and one of the most revered four-leggeds as well. The Energy of the Buffalo is different from that of the Elk. The Siberian Peoples regard Elk as one of the draught animals for their people. The Siberian Shamans regard their drum as the Elk, taking them to run and move across the Plains and Steppes of Siberia.
The elk teaches us perseverance and stamina to help us heel the deep wounds to our inner child. The elk penetrates to our core, where we hold all of the deepest values of our parents and teachers. The elk helps us let go of our healing tears and helps us grieve losses and go deep within ourselves.
As we move closer to the height of the Wheel, and the Beginning again of the Wheel, it is time that we learnt how to receive and transmit the Energy of North, the Energy of the North Wind, the Energy of the Crystal People, the Energy of the Thunder Beings… and the list could go on. North is a land of many Spirits and many Hidden Places.
Listen to the distinctive sounds of elk here:
Facts about elk in the wild:
Other resources you may enjoy:
- For more on the Medicine Wheel.
- Free shamanic music and drumming.
- Or if you’re new to journey work and wish to develop your own relationship with spirit, get started with journey work here.
- Our Meditations home page.
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Also published on Medium.