Otherwise 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 the unknown.
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.