Uncover hidden spiritual meanings

The quarters are elements of nature which are forces that the witches and pagans honor.

They are referred to by many names with the most common ones being watchtowers, corners, elementals or elements. The titles have different meanings and they do represent different forms of energy.

Before any major ritual, the four quarters are invoked; at times they are called as personal guardians while other times they are called in abstract forms. The quarters represent the four elements and four directions. So when the four quarters are invoked, it symbolizes the connection to everything.

Directions and Elements

The prevailing wind directions are where the properties of the quarters were derived from, each direction representing a quarter. When the quarter is being addressed, the practitioner is supposed to face the direction, in turn, evoking or invoking the element that corresponds to it. There are different ways in which the quarters are ordered with one system ordering the elements which are opposing each other. Water in the west;  fire in the east;  earth in the north; and air in the south.

The Welsh tradition places the quarters as follows: earth in the East, Air in the north. If one is acting as a solitary, they are advised to pick the order which they are comfortable with; for those who are working in a coven, it is necessary to stick to what the coven advocates in order to avoid creating confusion.

The direction and positions vary from tradition to tradition and are normally adjusted based on local geography meaning, if one leaves next to a water body, they are going to call upon it even if it is not to the west

The Air in the East

It represents ideas and conceptions, thought, beginnings, aid in communication, new things, writing stories, sending messages. With air, one is working with the wisdom that comes from the experience and study, the divine breath of spirit, the ability to move through time and space. Air’s movement can communicate several things to humankind like letting know if the warming season will be late or on time.

The Earth in the North

It represents wisdom, abundance, integration, protection, understanding, and room to grow. The earth is the archetype of the divine feminine of the universe; it is referred to as the Grate Mother, Mother Nature, and other great names. The earth represents the inexhaustible spirit of creation which is associated with Abundance. When during the invocation or evocation the earth is called, one is not only calling upon the expansive of the planet, but also its support and strength.

The living essence of the planet is invited due to the fact that, the earth is the one which gives all living things the minerals and space to grow.

The Fire in the South

It represents physical manifestation, power, action, transformation, creating and doing, protection, and strength. When a practitioner works with fire, they envisage the eternal flame of the spirit which is everlasting. Fire is hard to control and it is a sizzle of eruption of passion and creativity, and that is the reason why the practitioner has to be careful when working with live fire. Change is in the offing which is enlightening and potent which can represent knowledge and truth. Fire easily destroys the earth, the grate.

Water in the West

It represents a  reaction, emotions, transformation, and birth.

Grate mother is symbolized by water and that is why, when invoking, the practitioner seeks the source of all things and the foundation of life. Water is used to purify and cleanse thus representing the unending cascade of spiritual energy. When one crosses a river, it means they want to pass from the world of illusion to the highest spiritual state which is similar to walking over a bridge.

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By Florance Saul
Oct 2, 2012