Compass Symbolism

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  • Topic: Cardinal direction, Chinese zodiac, Feng shui
  • Pages : 2 (451 words )
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  • Published : October 6, 2012
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Symbolism of the Compass – Meaning of the Four Directions
Written by avenefica on January 2nd, 2008


One of my readers asked me about the deeper meaning of the four directions (north, south, east, west). Specifically, she was given a powerful mandala, and wanted to know in which direction would be most auspicious to hang the mandala in his home. My response follows… Dear Coordinated Coordinates:

Excellent observation.
We can honor and enhance the attributes of something (such as your mandala gift) by placing it in an area that is aligned with appropriate energy. Different cultures have assigned different meanings of cardinal directions. Here are a few brief samples of directional energies and what they represent to various cultures: In Chinese Feng Shui, each direction correlates to the Chinese zodiac animals : •North = Rat: Adaptability, charm, creativity, sociability, wit. •East = Rabbit: Trust, sincerity, love, compassion.

South = Horse: Physical strength, health, adventure, loyalty. •West = Rooster: Confidence, business, energy, persistence. In ancient Celtic symbolism and tradition, the cardinal directions were acknowledged in several ceremonies and festivals. Handfasting ceremonies and other earth-based belief systems (pagan) still honor the directions today. Here is a brief outline of these directional representations: •East = air, communication, new beginnings, new growth

South = fire, energy, passion, creativity
West = water, emotion, psyche, movement
North = earth, home, security, fertility
In certain divinatory practices the directions represent time phases: •North = Infinite Possibility (no-time)
South = Present – Now
West = Past
East = Future
Native Americans have their own meanings of cardinal directions. The Lakota, for example hold to the following guideline: •North = wisdom/thought
East = salvation/spirit
South = beginnings/purity
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