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Four Quarters, The
known as the four cardinal points of the
magic circle which represent each of the elements,
ritual tools, and attributes.
North: To ancient pagans north was the source of great power. As
the heavens, it was believed, swung around the North Star so the ancient
people aligned their temples and pyramids to this star. North, the cardinal
point never touched by the sun, is associated with darkness, mystery and
There is belief that because of the pagan's reverence for the north that
the Devil of Christianity became associated with the north. Cemeteries were
seldom on the north side of a church, if such space was used for burial
at all it was for unbaptized children, criminals, reprobates, and suicides.
Many old churches throughout Europe and the British Isles had a north door,
often called "the Devil's door," which was near the baptismal
font. Frequently after a baptism this door was opened to let the exorcised
demons out. Most of these doors have long since been bricked shut.
The north is associated with the element of earth, the new phase of the
moon, the Pentacle,
secrecy and darkness, the colors of gold or black, and spiritual enlightenment
as keeping with the traditions of modern witchcraft and Masonry.
East: The east has the qualities of enlightenment, illumination,
mysticism and the eternal. It corresponds to the element of air, the athame
or sword, the colors of red or white. Northeast is the symbolic dividing
line between the path of darkness (north) and the path of light (east).
In Masonry, the east represents mankind's highest and most spiritual consciousness.
South: The south's attributes are the sun, the element of fire, the
colors of blue or white, and the magic wand. It is said to be the quarter
of the will, the direction and channeling of the energies of nature and
the psychic. South-running water has long been reputed to have magical powers
as it has long been used by wise women and witches in preparing medicine
and anti-witchcraft spells. In Masonry, the south is the midway meeting
point between the spiritual intuition of the east and the rationality of
the west. The south represents the zenith of intellectuality; as the sun
reaches its zenith in the southern sky.
West: The west is the quarter of the element water, creativity, emotions,
fertility, and courage to face one's deepest feelings. The chalice, symbol
of feminine creative power and fecundity, is associated with this quarter
as are the colors of red or gray. In Masonry, it represents reason, common
sense, and material-mindedness. A.G.H.