The Seven Directions

Whether your power spot is indoors or outside, it's important to determine the four cardinal points of your area. A fundamental reason for being aware of north, south, east, and west is that these compass points anchor you in the natural world and orient your position relative to the sun, moon, stars, planets, and Earth.

In magic, the four compass directions are more than mere geographical designations. They possess special meanings and associations. The four directions are depicted in Hindu mandalas, Native American medicine wheels, Celtic stone circles, and many other outer expressions of mystical and magical belief. Some magicians choose to cast a circle around the sacred space where they perform spells and rituals. You'll learn more about this in Chapter 10, but in a nutshell a circle is cast to protect the people involved in the spell, safeguard the magic they're doing, and prevent outside energies or entities from interfering with the work. When casting a circle, a magician begins at the easternmost point and symbolically draws a protective circle around a designated area, moving in a clockwise direction from east to south to west to north and finally coming back to the east.

Some schools of thought teach that guardians or archangels stand as sentries at the thresholds of these four directions. The archangel Raphael is often associated with the east; Michael is said to preside over the south; Gabriel guards the west; and Uriel resides in the north. You can petition these guardians and ask them to lend their assistance to your magical rituals and rites. Each of these guardians and directions also corresponds to one of the four elements: air, fire, water, and earth respectively. Connecting with them and drawing upon their powers can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your magical work.

In addition to the four compass points, there are three other directions you'll need to consider. The first of these, Above, refers to the heavenly realm and all entities and forces residing on that plane: God, Goddess, angels, spirit guides, ancestors, and so on. The second, Below, corresponds to the heart of Mother Earth, the foundation of physical existence. Within means your own inner dimension, the Self. It's important to align yourself with all seven of these directions and to balance their energies when you're doing magic. They are all sources of power, and they all influence outcomes.

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