Honoring the directions of the Sacred Circle is a widespread spiritual practice in ancient and contemporary Nature wisdom traditions. For many practitioners, honoring the directions is an essential component of all rituals. It is a way to create and to connect with sacred space. It also is a way of communing with Nature. Furthermore, it can be a way of mapping consciousness and viewing life.The Sacred Circle with its directions is called by some, the "Magic Circle," and by others, the "Medicine Wheel." Some traditions emphasize the four compass directions of the Circle. Others work with the four compass points plus a central point representing unity.Some also include two additionaldirections in the center, up and down, to create a Sacred Sphere as well as the Sacred Circle.
Qualities, images, colors, and other symbolic associations with the directions vary from path to path, but the idea of Sacred Circle as a place of balancing, healing, and wholeness extends across traditions.
I work with
seven directions in my personal spiritual practice, in doing healing
and counseling, and in guiding group rituals at Circle Sanctuary and
elsewhere. The seven directions are an integral part of my Pagan
worldview and provide a framework for understanding and for action. My
correspondences of the compass directions and central point with the
five Elements of Nature have developed from my work with Wiccan
spirituality and contemporary psychology over the past twenty years. My
use of the up and down directions emerged from my studiesof
multicultural Shamanism and my practice of spiritual environmentalism.
While the map of
consiousness with its seven directions and Sacred Sphere form works
well for me and for others, it is important to note that it is but one
of many maps within Paganism today. Traditions vary not only in the
number of directions honored, but the correspondences associated with
each direction and the order in which the directions are worked with in
ritual. It is important that practitioners chart their own maps
according to their own traditions, preferences, and experiences. The
map I use and present here has evolved over time and continues to
evolve. Feel free to adapt it for your own needs.
This map provides a
framework for attunement with Nature in Her many forms. The Elements
are at the compass points and other sacred lifeforms are on thecentral
contains a number of magical alphabets and symbols that you may find useful.
Many people use magical alphabets when engraving talismans. Many of these are
available as True Type Fonts at
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