Empowering the keystone of my Carnelian Medicine Wheel with the energies of the West, on the mountain path overlooking the Valley of the Kings. 


In the Shamanic Wheel of the Year, the West Gate is the season of Autumn/Fall, and the time of evening or dusk. This is the time of year when many ancient communities celebrated the end of the summer and counted the harvest. It's the end of the light half of the year and the beginning of the dark half, when the bright light of summer gives way to the dark of winter. At this point the boundary between the different realms is most permeable, allowing spirits or ghosts to pass through into the Material or Middle World. In many countries, ancestors and the dead in general are honoured at this time. Conversely, Autumn/Fall is also symbolically a favourable time for humans to cross into the Lower World or Underworld. In the human psyche, the Lower World is the subconscious, so this is the perfect time to go deep within and face our personal shadows and demons.

In the ancient Egyptian tradition, the Western horizon was the entrance to the Duat, (Underworld or Otherworld). This is where the sun god Ra would enter the Underworld each day at sunset and spend the night battling the serpent Apep, to rise triumphant and renewed each morning as Khepera the scarab beetle, god of "coming into existence". The dead were known as "the Westerners", and were always buried on the west bank of the Nile. 

The Duat is the realm of Osiris and inhabited by many gods and supernatural entities. The landscape is similar to the world of the living, with fields and rivers, islands and mounds. The dead had to navigate their way through a system of canals and gateways, and avoid demons using magical passwords, in order to reach the afterlife. This is a symbolic reflection of the journey we make into the subconscious shadowy depths of our psyche.

Our guide through this Underworld is Anubis. In Alkhemi®Therapy, Anubis is the deity associated with the Sacral centre, where much of the subconscious is located energetically. The element of both the West and the Sacral centre is water, the element of emotions. It follows that this is an excellent time of year to address Sacral centre issues, which include mastering emotions and embracing the shadow. Work with the corresponding shapes, crystals and oils, and pay attention to the Moon which symbolises the Unconscious Mind.

Looking around us, Nature shows us the archetypal qualities of this time of year: Withdrawal, as the warmth of summer is replaced by the cool and damp of Autumn. The nights are drawing in as the energy of the Sun gradually weakens and shadows grow longer. Introspection, as we sit around the fire with our thoughts on dark evenings, peering into our own personal shadows. Release, as trees and plants let go of the flowers and leaves of summer, and animals shed their summer coats to make way for winter fur.

Take time now to align yourself with the natural energies of Autumn/Fall. Call on Anubis to "open the way" and be your guide. Spend some time alone, take a walk in a natural environment, go inward to your place of stillness. Contemplate on what is out of balance in your life. Be totally honest with yourself. What do you need more of, and what do you need less? What do you no longer have use for? What patterns and behaviours are not serving you? Who or what is draining your energy unnecessarily? What are you willing to release? Remember Robbie Robertson's words in "Golden Feather": "When you find what's worth keeping, with the breath of kindness blow the rest away."

The energy of the West Gate is the energy of maturity and wisdom. We no longer need advice and guidance from outside ourselves. We face the long dark night of Winter with acceptance and courage, knowing that death is necessary for rebirth to be possible. Just like the sun god Ra, we too can face our demons, release that which is no longer serving us, and emerge anew. This is a time of magic and transformation! Travel with courage, trust your intuition, embrace your shadow, count your blessings and claim your power!


Many thanks to those whose wise words and teachings contributed to this work: Rosemary Clark, Jeremy Naydler, Robbie Robertson, and my friends in High and Low places.





Alkhemi®Therapy is a system of self-development and well-being created by Jacqui Taliesin El Masry over two decades using intuitive inquiry, shamanic journeying and academic research.

Images and concepts created for and relating to Alkhemi®, Alkhemi® Therapy, The SACRED STONES of Alkhemi® Therapy, Alkhemi® Yoga Fusion, Alkhemi® Anointing Oils, Alkhemi® Tarot and Alkhemi® Travel have always been and will remain the intellectual property of Jacqui Taliesin El Masry.