The Medicine Wheel and Power Animals

Effective magical practices all involve a construct of the cosmos, often a circle divided into quadrants, that fits every aspect of existence in to one of the quadrants.  Typically, the quadrants are divided in to the compass directions of east, south, west and north.  The four elements air, fire, water and earth are ascribed respectively. Parts of the day: dawn, noon, dusk and night; seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter; governing concepts: life, light, love and law; responsible archangels if relevant: Raphael, Michael, Gabriel and Ariel, all are ascribed as their attributes are interpreted to fit in to the scheme. Symbols or instruments used for meditation or actual practice are ascribed to each quadrant of energy, for example: sword, rod, cup and shield.  In short, through contemplation, every aspect of the universe is ascribed an appropriate place within the circle according to its attributes.  The Medicine Wheel is the Native American abstraction of the universe.
In order to effectuate magic, that is, to reach other levels of consciousness, the circle must be made a sacred place, protected from exterior influences and man must operate from within its boundaries, working safely with the energies.
For a complete understanding of our earthly existence, it is believed that a person must stand on each spoke of the Medicine Wheel. Animal spirits, specifically suited to your walk or journey around the wheel, are present to guide you through each of the four compass directions, as well as the Above animal guarding your portal to the spirit world, your Below animal keeping you grounded to this earth while walking the Good Red Road, and your Inner Shield animal, representing your totality, is in the center of the spiraled wheel.
Your power animal in the East, the entrance point to the Medicine Wheel, is there to guide you through the spiritual challenges you need for illumination. Your power animal in the South is there to guard your childlike nature so that you are able to see through life's disappointments, not yield to temptations of grandiosity and still maintain your wonder and trust. Your power animal in the West is there to guide you back to your inner truth and keep you on your path.  Your power animal in the North imparts wisdom and reminds you of your spiritual nature.