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The Elements


Guest greenman-ISG
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i was doing a little bit of homework on circle casting, when i stumbled upon something that confused me. :rolleyes:

when circle casting i have read of setting out the corners in the circle, with one way being to mark out the four elements. one reference i read may have said earth, air, fire and water, the other might say earth, fire, air and water, and i am sure there are others that i cant remember that were in another order.

 

so, what i am trying to find out, is there a 'correct' order, and if you are a practitioner of this kind of work, what order do you place them in? :lol:

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I don't do ritual much, but on the odd occasion when I do I go with what makes sense to me:

 

Air to North as it's above

Earth to south as it's below

Water to West as that's the direction of the Atlantic

Fire to East as the sun rises there

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I'd go with whatever feels *right* to you. I doubt it matters other than for that really as with anything else.

 

Personally (although I've never used it with a specific purpose in mind) I think of it as:

 

Earth; North - because I feel most strongly connected to both of these

Air; East - new day, new breath type thing

Fire; South - being in the Northern Hemisphere things get hotter if I head that way

Water; North West - might be WNW, but no idea. I don't feel very happy if it's at the perfect 270* for some reason. Not too sure why, not in a "this was left over" thing as it doesn't feel right in any other direction..

 

And then on top of that I'm always pretty conscious of the idea that

Life; under my feet (so preferably me not standing 20storeys up in the air)/ the centre of the compass.

 

So as in my "inner compass" thing is lying flat out on the Earth sort of parallel. In contrast to Free's which would appear to be perpindicular re. the above/ below thing.

 

I also went through a phase of one point of being aware of what the mixes equalled in terms of how nature shows her/itself (I'm not personally happy with either of those... I wish there was a thingy in English for "being of unspecific gender") with them. e.g. water and earth being a mudslide, fire and earth being magma. Doesn't mean very much to me now, other than being a backing thing/ where I've come from in my journey thingy.

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I don't cast circles much at mo but when I do:

 

 

NOrth - earth - place of darkness

East - air - new dawn

South - fire - cos south is warm!!

West - water - atlantic!!

 

This is how I was trained in OBOD and it just works for me. I use things I associate with each element mentally as I cast - the bear for NOrth, Hawk east, Stag south, salmon west. Again OBOD in origin

 

I also place the Ancestors at NW - represents Samhain

 

But this is fluid!! Do what's right for you!!

 

Ed

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Some information on the elements in the Western tradition - The Western Four Element System

 

I tend to use the usual Druidic system which takes a north european point of view:

 

North - Earth (cold & moist)

East - Air (cold & dry)

South - Fire (hot & dry)

West - Water (hot & moist)

 

But I have on occasions used the classical system using a mediterranean point of view:

 

North - Water (cold & moist)

East - Air (hot & moist)

South - Fire (hot & dry)

West - Earth (cold & dry)

 

depending on the system I am using and my requirements within the ritual. In the end you have to work out your own system, symbolism can be almost universal but if it does not fit in with your own views then the power of the symbol is lost.

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I struggled with this some years ago, also with the association of colours with directions. Then I discovered that it depends on the tradition, and some traditions are incompatible with each other. If you look at North American Indians for example, they all have their own distinct picture that they work with.

 

So I'd say, make up your own so that it has significance for you.

 

Unless you are joining a group, in which case, join one before you start, because it's highly confusing to have one way in your head and then be directed to see it differently within the group.

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I use the north east south west, earth air fire water because that's how I first saw it written down, so it's stuck. Like always calling my primary school teachers Sir, even now! Nothing very romantic about it I'm afraid.

 

Like Julai said though, I have a problem with my colour associations. Earth - green (fair enough), Air - blue (colour of the sky...where air is...), south -fire (a nice hot colour) water - blu....oh wait, I've done blue, well, yellow I guess as that's what most resources say...nah that doesn't make sense....erm..... :o_bounce3:

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Like Julai said though, I have a problem with my colour associations. Earth - green (fair enough), Air - blue (colour of the sky...where air is...), south -fire (a nice hot colour) water - blu....oh wait, I've done blue, well, yellow I guess as that's what most resources say...nah that doesn't make sense....erm.....  :o_bounce3:

323854[/snapback]

Yellow water always makes me think they mean urine... :lol:

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Like Julai said though, I have a problem with my colour associations. Earth - green (fair enough), Air - blue (colour of the sky...where air is...), south -fire (a nice hot colour) water - blu....oh wait, I've done blue, well, yellow I guess as that's what most resources say...nah that doesn't make sense....erm.....  :o_bounce3:

323854[/snapback]

Yellow water always makes me think they mean urine... :lol:

323873[/snapback]

 

 

Yes, that would be because I wrote that totally wrong. I meant air in the last bit as people usually say that's yellow and water should have been the original blue! Sorry, my bad! was in a hurry!

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But yellow makes for a nice gradual spectrum ranging from blue in the west, through turquoise, green, olive, yellow, orange, red, purple and back to blue. It is kind of neat but you have to strain it a bit to make air yellow.

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But yellow makes for a nice gradual spectrum ranging from blue in the west, through turquoise, green, olive, yellow, orange, red, purple and back to blue. It is kind of neat but you have to strain it a bit to make air yellow.

323885[/snapback]

 

 

I see what you mean, but that to me is too much of a strain. Blue is the only colour I can put to it with any comfort, so I guess half of my circle will have to be blue! :o_bounce3:

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Like Julai said though, I have a problem with my colour associations. Earth - green (fair enough), Air - blue (colour of the sky...where air is...), south -fire (a nice hot colour) water - blu....oh wait, I've done blue, well, yellow I guess as that's what most resources say...nah that doesn't make sense....erm.....  :)

323854[/snapback]

Yellow water always makes me think they mean urine... :)

323873[/snapback]

 

 

Yes, that would be because I wrote that totally wrong. I meant air in the last bit as people usually say that's yellow and water should have been the original blue! Sorry, my bad! was in a hurry!

323883[/snapback]

I've heard people say yellow for water, even if you didn't mean to :)

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Some information on the elements in the Western tradition - The Western Four Element System

 

I tend to use the usual Druidic system which takes a north european point of view:

 

North - Earth (cold & moist)

East - Air (cold & dry)

South - Fire (hot & dry)

West - Water (hot & moist)

 

But I have on occasions used the classical system using a mediterranean point of view:

 

North - Water (cold & moist)

East - Air (hot & moist)

South - Fire (hot & dry)

West - Earth (cold & dry)

 

depending on the system I am using and my requirements within the ritual. In the end you have to work out your own system, symbolism can be almost universal but if it does not fit in with your own views then the power of the symbol is lost.

323779[/snapback]

good to see everyones views on this and what works for them. i quite like the following way, dont know why just do :o_roflmao:

 

North - Earth (cold & moist)

East - Air (cold & dry)

South - Fire (hot & dry)

West - Water (hot & moist)

 

i was reading a bit about the celtic path, and this is one of the layouts the site had for the celtic elementals:

 

calas - the earth - midnight

fluidity - the water - sunrise

noon - the air - breath

uvel - the fire - sunset

 

and in the centre:

 

nwyrve - divine spirit - the soul

 

heres a link to the site if anyone wants to have a better nose

 

http://www.paganspath.com/magik/celtic/5elements.htm

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I'm another one that goes for the seemingly regular view of:

 

North - Earth

East - Air

South - Fire

West - Water

 

Also the colours that I've always felt go with that are:

 

North - Earth - Brown/Black

East - Air - Green/Yellow

South - Fire - Red/Orange/Yellow

West - Water - Blue/Turquoise

 

I even had to have my altar facing north, as it felt wrong facing any other way (was a pig to get it facing that way to... caused a lot of furniture re-arranging! :o_roflmao:)

 

These just feel right for me (no idea why)... I'm glad to see others writing their choices, though, never read about the med's way of doing things, before... and yours makes a lot of sense, too, Free.

 

Thanks :o_kiss:

Edited by araminta
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