[Note: If you have not read yet the pages about the Circle and Directions, please consider doing that now, before you read this page. Those pages should ideally be read in this order: Circle, East, South.]
In much of North America, storms come from the west. Thunderheads tower blindingly white into skies blue as sapphire, until their bases spread into wide sheets of slate gray and black. Lightning flickers restlessly in the stillness. Then come rain and hail, strong winds, and sometimes tornadoes. The violence of thunderstorms may damage and terrify, but the rain they bring fills the rivers and makes the land bloom.
You can see why West is a place of double-edged power beyond imagining. It is a direction associated with awe and paradox — one that reminds us that our lives depend utterly on things immeasurably larger than ourselves and far beyond our control. Whenever you reach the phase of a project or task that requires coming to terms with conflicting information or ideas, or gain the kinds of powerful understandings that come from such a struggle, you are in the West. The bases of the thunderheads so strongly associated with this direction are its color: black.
Continue within the West, to Spiritual Ways of Knowing and Learning.
Go to the next direction, North.
You may use the table below to explore the directions, their associated ways of knowing and learning, and an example of each type of learning as applied to understanding tornadoes.