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The Four Directions: Correspondences for Ritual and Magic

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The Four Directions: Correspondences for Ritual and Magic Empty The Four Directions: Correspondences for Ritual and Magic

Post  TipsyCad147 on Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:58 am

The Four Directions: Correspondences for Ritual and Magic

The Four Quarters in Circle Casting

It’s a common practice to call upon the energies of the four quarters in circle casting for ritual. Many of the modern aspects associated with each direction have been filtered through ceremonial magic. Other traditions borrow from native cultures and add a shamanic component with animal spirits as guardians of each quarter. The term Guardians of the Watchtowers is sometimes used to call the quarters and believed to be derived from the Enochian (Angelic) system of magic developed by John Dee in the 16th century.

Correspondence Systems
Various traditions and cultures have different correspondences for each direction that are to be used as a complete system. A person working with a group will undoubtedly be trained in that group’s style. But options aren’t limited for solitaries. Encyclopedic books of correspondences are helpful tools.
You can however develop your own system of correspondences that you relate strongly with as well as studying the systems of those who came before you. The purpose is to use these components in ritual to focus your mind on the working at hand.

What is presented here is a framework to build from based on systems that have worked for others over the centuries. Below are common correspondences related to each direction to help you connect with the energy you are calling on.

East - Direction of New Life
Season: Spring.
Element: Air.
Colors: Pastels, Yellow.
Tarot: Swords.

Other correspondences: Archangel Raphael, animals that herald in the spring such as the robin, waxing moon, creativity, inspiration, clarity of vision, youth. The eagle is a common totem for the east. Some traditions have the altar facing in this direction because it is the place of new beginnings and vision.

South - Direction of Passion
Season: Summer.
Element: Fire.
Colors: Reds and oranges.
Tarot: Wands.

Other correspondences: Archangel Michael, sun gods and love goddesses, fierce, fiery animals such as the lion, passion, sensuality, regeneration, the full moon, adults in their prime.
West - Direction of Intuition
Season: Autumn.
Element: Water.
Colors: Blues and purples.
Tarot: Cups.

Other correspondences: Archangel Gabriel, dark gods and goddesses, the otter or other watery creatures, dreams, intuition, emotions, the waning moon.
North - Direction of Mystery
Season: Winter.
Element: Earth.
Colors: Browns and black.
Tarot: Pentacles.

Other correspondences: Archangel Uriel, the bear, the ancestors and spirits, the dark moon, the divine mystery, stability, darkness, crones. Some traditions have their altar facing this direction because of its association with spirituality, and the occult.
Learn to Associate with Each Direction

Spend some meditation time with each direction getting to know what aspects are important to you in your area of the world. What plant life flourishes in the different seasons where you are? What animals seem more prevalent and what are their actions? What scents do you associate with each direction? For instance, I would place earthy musk scents in the north and flowery scents like lilac and lavender in the east.

You don't have to be in a rural environment to notice these things as the directions are based on spiritual concepts. Mythological creatures may come to your mind as guardians of each direction or to bring in energies you need to work with.

You may want to spend a period of time over days, weeks, or longer meditating on each direction before moving on to the next. However, in the process of casting a circle or in the middle of ritual, you very likely will be prompted by the spirit of the direction that needs your utmost attention.
Trust your intuition and write down or sketch everything that comes to you in these meditations even if it seems unimportant. This can prove invaluable to your personal practice and provide information in developing your own system of correspondences to use for years to come.


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