Pagan Sacred Directions

The directions are essential to pagan rituals.
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The cardinal directions, north, south, east and west correlate to elements, colors and aspects of healing. While there are traditional representations of the directions, each person should think about what the direction means to them in relation to their place in the world. For instance, if a pagan practitioner lives where water is to their east, then east may represent water to them.

1 North

In pagan traditions, the direction north is associated with the element earth. It is represented by rocks, clay, soil, salt, and sand. It is common to set the direction north in a pagan circle with one of these. Other connections to north are the color green, strength in the physical body, and the pagan symbol of the pentagram. When casting a circle, a pagan might set a bowl of salt to north.

2 South

The direction south is associated with the element of Fire in Pagan traditions. Physical fire, as well as lightning, electricity, and candles represent the southern direction in Pagan rituals. Other connections with south include the color red and the pagan wand or staff. The direction south is invoked for reasons of passion and inner fire. When casting a circle, a pagan might set a lit candle to south.

3 East

The direction east is commonly associated with the element air in pagan traditions. East is represented by feathers, chimes, or incense during pagan rituals and rites. East is also connected to the color yellow and the pagan athame or dagger. East is invoked for matters of intellect and the human mind. When casting a circle, a pagan might light incense in the eastern quarter.

4 West

The element most often associated with the direction of west is water. Pagan traditions use shells and water as symbols to represent west. Pagan traditions also represent west with the color blue and the tool of a chalice or cup. West is invoked for matters of intuition and emotion. When casting a circle, the western quarter is often adorned with a chalice of water.

5 Center

In Pagan traditions, the center represents the element of spirit. The color white is associated with center. The center is presented during rites and rituals by goddess representations. Another representation of the center is the color white. The center is invoked for reasons of connection to the divine, dream work, and the inner self. When casting a circle, the center may be adorned with a goddess symbol.

Shaunta Alburger has been a professional writer for 15 years. She's worked on staff at both major Las Vegas newspapers, as well as a rural Nevada weekly. Her first novel was published in 2014.