An 8 Directions Journal Activity: I practiced the following Eight Direction Journal Activity at a Rediscovery camp located on the cusp of Banff National Park (http://rediscovery.org/):
Set-up direction flags at each of the eight directions. A person (or group of persons) circulate the space and visit each direction while feeling and reflecting upon the essence of each direction. Each participant sits in every direction and reflects on how they sense the energetic feeling of each direction. Each individual writes whatever comes to mind in an autonomic/ automatic writing exercise. Participants may express through writing a word, a sentence, poetry, a song, describe a feeling...whatever comes to mind.
After each participant visits each direction to write their reflections in situ of each direction in their journal, participants will then reunite in a knowledge sharing circle to share their journal entries if they wish.
When I participated in this activity, it was uncanny how the energetic frequencies of the 8 directions were revealed through reoccurring themes written by the participants in their reflective journals.
The following is adapted from Chapter 9 in Jon Young's Book- Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature, 2nd Edition.
The directions provide a framework organizing our understanding and experience, and with creativity and practice, there is no end to the ways we can apply this natural cycle to enhance our connections. ( http://8shields.org/)
Jon Young found a network of wilderness schools that have inspired thousands of people of all ages around the world to explore the outdoors, based on the 8 Shields mentoring model in his book, Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature. Jon was awarded the 2016 Champion of Environmental Education Award for his work.
East: Welcoming, Excitement, and Inspiration - We feel welcome and full of fresh possibilities.
Southeast: Orientation and Motivation - We are moved by the inspiration of the East, jump-starting into action
South: Focus and Perspiration - We focus and work to get things done
Southwest: Embodiment, Relaxation and Internalization - We rest from the focus of the South, reflect and internalize what we have learned
West: Gathering, Harvest and Celebration - We gather together in community to share our bounty
Northwest: Reflection and Release - We look back on what has been, and release what we need to let go of in preparation for what is to come
North: Distillation and Integration - We refine and hold the wisdom achieved through the culmination of our experiences and the filtering process in the Northwest
Northeast: Invisible connection between End and the Beginning - We connect with the mysterious source of creativity as we transition from one cycle to the next