Elements and directions


Working with Elements and Directions

The base of Earth based magick is using the four directions and elements to focus ceremony and to provide a deeper understanding of the cycles that both the Earth and ourselves weave within. Creating sacred circles and working within the rhythm of this movement can bring great strength to any magick. Focus on the purpose and meanings of each direction/element. The more you understand them and personalise them to your life, the stronger your circle will be. Take time to understand them before you begin.

East - Air
North - Fire
West - Water
South - Earth

In the northern hemisphere the traditional way the circle is performed is clockwise

East - Air
South - Fire
West - Water
North - Earth

Just as the Earth is different in the southern hemisphere and the water flows differently so too does the magick. In the southern hemisphere the associations of north and south have been reversed and circle is anti-clockwise, in order to operate in this hemisphere and maintain the circle structure and flow of the directions in their traditional order. In the southern hemisphere the Sun-cast shadows turn anticlockwise through the day (sun dials have the hours in reverse). Hurricanes and tropical storms spin clockwise in the southern hemisphere (as opposed to counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere) due to the Coriolis effect. Magick should therefore correspond to the way that nature moves.

Some traditions of magick however change this again and conduct their circle based on geographic locations (e.g. water at the east due to the eastern sea). In the southern hemisphere many of us have spent time being adaptable and learning to read the rhythms of nature in the language and style she speaks to us. Therefore several ways of creating sacred space have been envisioned. It is important to understand there are several ways of focusing upon the directions and bringing the energies they represent into your life. There is no right or wrong. However, it is more important that you are actually connecting with the directions and the elements than following a script. So if you feel you need to alter the direction to have a stronger connection by all means make this change.

East - Air
The East direction is yellow and represents protection, focus, clarity, sharp precision, the mind, new beginnings, the Dawn and the power of the Sun.
Traditionally an athame or sword is the magick tool used at this element
How to bless the space with Air: Sage and Sandalwood (strong for clearing/ purification). Using smudge sticks or dried sage for smoking and clearing the space. Place incense and burn essential oils. Place images of the sun. This is great element to come when focusing on perception or a need to gain clarity.

North - Fire
The North direction is red and represents sexuality, passion, birth, transformation, change, intensity, faerie realm and the imagination. It is the raw aspect of ourselves, our creative force and our ability to shed our skins.
Traditionally a wand is the magick tool used with this element.
Symbols, red candle, red ribbon and object that represents fertility/ life. This element is a good come to when working with your creativity, working through sexual issues or wanting great transformation and change.

West - Water
The west direction is blue and represents the heart at its core, emotions, intuition, spirituality, dreaming and the subconscious.
Traditionally a chalice is the magick tool used with this element
Symbols are water bowls, chalices, shells and symbols of the heart and spirituality. This element is good to come to when working on issues of the heart, or wanting to expand your intuition and perception.

South - Earth
The south direction is deep greens and browns of the Earth and represents knowledge, strength, wisdom of the Elders, Law and personal grounding.
Traditionally salt and the pentacle are tools used with this element
Symbols include stones, crystals, salt and earth and symbols of the Elders, Gods and Goddesses. This element is good to come to when needing grounding in your path and seeking the Earths quiet yet solid wisdom.

- Jodie

Image copyright © 2008 Wytchy Ways. Used with permission.