View Poll Results: Is your Air element in

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  • East

    18 64.29%
  • North

    7 25.00%
  • West

    0 0%
  • South

    3 10.71%
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Thread: Four elements and cardinal directions

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    I feel like a dunderhead for not mentioning the fifth element - spirit - myself. But in my defense I've been very sick with a cold virus, very fuzzy headed. I agree that spirit connects everything, making the other four elements interrelated. But I'm not at a place where I can make them all interchangeable. I need to know that earth lies in the north, that air blows from the east, that fire comes from the south, and that water moves in the west.

    Which brings to mind a chant I love...

    Earth turns, air blows, fire burns, water flows.
    If you make a customer happy, he'll tell 3 other people.
    If he's not happy, he'll tell 20 others.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    British Columbia, Canada
    I consider myself to be representative of the 5th element.
    For me also, fire is in the south, water, west, air is now north and earth east.
    As i mentioned, when I place it in conjunction with the wheel of the year, it makes no sense to me to have Earth in the North where it is the time of the Lord of Misrule, when the earth has stopped growing and is turning to sleep now. To me, North is where the North Wind comes from... and when in conjunction with the wheel (such as I posted on page one), seems that earth does best in the East... after all, the sun rises over Land in the east and sets into the ocean in the west. Back and forth.
    North-Male, East-Female, South-Male, West-Female... and as we go round the circle, hitting each of these directions, male,female,male,female.... we build up energy as a generator.
    Earth in East is new beginnings, Goddess is awakening at Imbolc and the earth warms until Beltaine/Litha in the south, which is a God time of year...
    It all boils down to what makes sense for each of us.
    My 'truth' doesnt need to be anyone elses, only my own.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts and contributions, it all gives me much to muse upon.

    I really like Moonrise's map of the correspondences. I must admit, the part that particularly clicks for me both with Mike Nichols and with Moonrise's statements are that it matters to me to have male to male and female to female across the poles. I guess there is always going to be some discrepancy whatever system we work with and it just matters to find out which are the most important and unadaptable for each of us and which we can afford to be flexible about.

    That was fascinating about the re allocation of elements in the pentagram ritual to 'invoke the Energies of The Aeon Of Horus'. I hadn't come across that but my understanding of Thelemic writing's is too poor to really grasp what is being done in that ritual. I've mainly been coming across the LRBP because of the interest in Qabala that was particularly nourished by Ellen Cannon Reed's Witches Tarot. ...Which brings up a whole different dilemma because she has Swords correlating with Fire while I have them in line with the Waite tarot system with swords being Air. I'm afraid I've worked with Tarot to the Waite system far too long for me to be able to adjust that one so I'll just have to admire the Witches Tarot from afar I think.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    northeastern pennsylvania

    i found more comfort in placing the elements in this formation

    east Air
    west Earth
    south Fire
    north water

    this was ininspirtation to the flow of life. Air youth, Fire adult, Earth elder and Water the womb or the embryo.

    Aleister Crowley's formation is interesting. the elements are in proper oppositions to gain maximum power before releasing it to its directed cause.


    Today's Mighty Oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground -Anon.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    The Southeast
    For the long, convoluted response:

    It depends.

    If I'm working something dependent on GD symbolism, I use the traditional E-Air, S-Fire, W-Water, N- Earth. Also, my wife prefers those, so she uses them.

    I find that for Thelemic work, Crowley's E-Earth, S-Fire, W-Water, N-Air works better. I like that better, so I use that most of the time.

    I don't like using elemental quarters in religious contexts, as I've got my doubts as to whether they have a place in non-magickal practices. Also, as they're ceremonial/QBL ideas, and I'm working with non-QBL deities when I'm doing my religious practice, I don't insult them by trying to enforce a foreign concept.

    However, the ultimate point is that you're supposed to - at some point - control the elements. If you want Water in the south, Air in the west, Fire in the East, and Earth in the North, and you make it work, go for it. Or, for that matter, if want to call upon the firey part of water by evoking fire in the quarter you associate with water, and then call upon the watery part of fire by evoking water in the fire quarter, go for it. You're the Magus, and in control of your World. Do what thou wilt.

    If I wanted your opinion, I'd read it in your entrails.

    My astral realmz; let me show you them.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    I'm not big on using the directions but for me it's usually North = Air, East = Fire, South = Earth and West = Water.

    Air in the North feels much better to me, although it did take me a lot of thought to come to the above correspondence.
    Everything is right for me, which is right for you, O Universe.
    Nothing for me is too early or too late, which comes in due time for you.
    Everything is fruit to me which your seasons bring, O Nature.
    From you are all things, in you are all things, to you all things return.

    Marcus Aurelius

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    My associations:

    North: Air (the cold north wind)
    East: Fire (sunrise)
    South: Water (the direction of the sea)
    West: Earth (the continent)

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    British Columbia, Canada
    Digging this old one up because I had not found any similar threads while searching online. My ideas have changed since my last post and in the past while I now use: (Like LadyVi!)
    East Air - The first breath of life , Childhood, Sunrise, Spring
    South Fire- Growing Strength, Adulthood, Noon, Summer
    West Earth- Returning to the earth, Elder, Dusk, Autumn
    North Water-Womb, Awaiting Rebirth, Midnight, Winter
    Based on the Cycle of Life and Death

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    WV, USA
    I was uncomfortable using the more traditional elemental assignments. I changed mine to more suit the area I live in.

    Air -North: The weather moves in our area from the North. North Wind, etc.
    Fire - East: Sun rises in the East, the Appalachians are to our East and are filled with coal. I consider coal to be representative of Fire, not Earth.
    Earth - South: South of me is an Adena burial mound. The mountains also run East and South of here.
    Water- West: The Ohio River is on the West side of my home. It's the main water body in the area.

    To me the above makes for sense for me. I would advise anyone not comfortable with placement to move them around. The elementals are more important in my book than the directions anyway.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    I was very interested to see, when I clicked on the second page of this thread, that a few of you began to talk about West as being Earth - as I came to that exact conclusion myself while reading the first page!

    I started a thread a few months back on the whys of even connecting the quarters with the elements. Currently, I call quarters as a ritual opening but without associating them with elements at all. I don't have four elements - I acknowledge the three states of matter common on earth and in life as solid/earth, liquid/water, gas/air, and then associate fire or plasma (i.e. the sun) with energy.

    But having read through this thread, I'm starting to feel an emotional pull towards associating element-type things to the quarters again. For a long time (about ten years!) I used the "traditional" associations, but now I'm thinking something like this:

    East: rain/sea
    South: sun
    West: earth
    North: wind

    Where I live, on the east coast of Ireland, most of the wind comes from the east - but of course, like Moonrise, the stronger and more bitter winds come from the north. I actually am starting to see east more as water - but in the form of rain (most of our rain comes from the east) and sea. Water for east/spring/imbolg makes sense for me because of the association of water with life, particularly with the origin of life, and with the womb, and of course the rain necessary for plants to grow in spring and summer.

    And West as earth for me has just struck me as very right, for the same reasons as people have mentioned here - the association of returning to the earth, returning to the womb. Which is, of course, perfect for Samhain, and I do very much associate the wheel of the year with the four quarters. I used to think of west of water because we have such a huge body of water west of Ireland, and because west for me means our house in Kerry in the mountains by the sea and my experiences on the aran islands. But when I think about it, I can just as easily, and perhaps more easily associate those two formative places with earth.

    Interesting topic, anyway, I'm glad I found this thread!

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