There are a number of Divisions for each direction in this example. These might also be referred to as associations, aspects or correspondences. There are a few reasons for all these divisions, the main one being that this example is influenced by so many different things. Another reason is that for each division the practitioner must research, meditate/pray or whatever to find what resonates with them and with their intent so it’s always in flux should you choose for it to be. There is always more research to do, more to learn. It’s a fantastic tool to encourage doing that research and learning more about oneself in the process. For each direction- there are five in the example- we have the following divisions:
- The Element; this would be Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Metal, Wood or whatever correspondence the practitioner ends up resonating with. This division includes:
- a. Planet
- b. Zodiacal correspondence
2. Aspect; this refers to the aspect of the God/dess such as Maiden, Mother, Woman, Crone or Youth, Father, Man and Sage depending. It’s a matter of choice. For the Center position this sample uses what is called the Quantum Self. As the Center this aspect is meant to reflect not a phase or face of the God/dess but the practitioner in a state where they are connected to the Universe or “Powers That Be.” (PTB) More on the Quantum Self later.
3. Season; the time of year that corresponds to a specific direction. Sabbats also enter in to these time-lines, more on that later as well.
4. Color; this would be the color you associate with each direction. If you are going with the more traditional method you might go with Earth=Green, Air=Yellow, Fire=Red and Water=Blue. Some would use Purple for center, others white, this will end up being personal preference, not to mention, is changeable depending upon the framework of intended use.
5. Animal; this will be an animal you feel guides you and gives you strength, challenges you or even acts as a trickster to keep you in line. Some might refer to this animal as a “Totem Animal.”
6. Herb; as mentioned, herbs can be an important aspect in practice, at least as much as the practitioner decides they should or shouldn’t be. I find a relationship with herbs useful in more than just my magical practice but also in sustaining my health in a natural way. Along with an herb, to round this out to three (a favorite number) the following are also included here:
- a. A Flower– ex: Bach remedies and emotions or basic flower magic.
- b. A Tree– ex: This is largely just based on folk lore I have learned along the way.
Each of these divisions is chosen by the practitioner, it would be highly improbable for two practitioners to have the exact same ones. To tailor fit your practice to your personality much work would have to go into this choosing. If you just pick these all willy-nilly without really knowing what they represent and whether or not they resonate with you, your practice may end up being largely ineffectual. Let me put it this way, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. The stronger you will be, the wiser you will be and the more powerful you will be.
One thing I feel compelled to point out is that although this theology seems Goddess oriented, it isn’t meant to alienate men. I am not a spiritual feminist who is under the impression that 2,000 years of patriarchy can be fixed by 2,000 years of matriarchy. Rather, I think the best way to look at these things, anything really, is in balance. ________________________________________________________________________________
I’ll begin with the directions. Generally there are five associations in Paganism just as there are five points in a pentagram, they are; Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit, sometimes called Center. Spirit and Center are often synonymous with one another and often they are not, again, you decide. Often references include, along with the four elements, three aspects of the Goddess= Maiden, Mother and Crone. An Astrologer from a Wiccan group in Eugene Oregon, Norma Joyce, a founding member of a group called W.I.C.C.A. or Women In Conscious Creative Action, added a fourth aspect for the Goddess, Woman. This fourth aspect makes a lot of sense for women or for men. I think it’s more commonly called a mid-life crisis out in the real world.
The point is that a woman is Maiden first, then becomes Mother, even if not to her own children, experience and an instinct to nurture cannot be denied, it could be nurturing siblings. A woman does not however, make the jump immediately from Mother to Crone, just as a man doesn’t go from Father to Sage at the drop of a hat. There is a time in between; a time spent re-discovering one’s own power, their own personality. Often reconnecting with their youth aspect, feeling that freedom, no longer having to nurture as much the children or relationships that are now grown and taking care of themselves, free again to explore one’s own path. The main difference is as just “woman” or simply “man”, said freedom is tempered with time and experience, with age and wisdom. No matter how knowledgeable a Youth is most haven’t yet had the experience to apply that knowledge with wisdom.
“Wisdom and knowledge can best be understood together. Knowledge is learning, the power of the mind to understand and describe the universe. Wisdom is knowing how to apply knowledge; and how not to apply it. Knowledge is knowing what to say, wisdom is knowing whether or not to say it. Knowledge gives answers, wisdom asks questions. Knowledge can be taught, wisdom grows from experience.”
Each element has a corresponding planet, although the elements I am using in many of these examples are based on TCM, Traditional Chinese Medicine, the correspondences in general Paganism may also be used depending upon the needs of the practitioner. Each planetary correspondence is represented by one or two zodiacal associations along with their directional correspondences. As an explanation, let’s look at the North. The elemental association for North that I use is Water (TCM) though some might use Earth. Its planetary correspondence is Mercury; this links it to Gemini or Virgo, Air or Earth respectively. For this foundational representation Earth (with Virgo) can be used due to its long association with the North. Add the main element used in this sample, which is Water and what you have is the Watery aspect of Earth. This way of looking at it makes it more versatile, gives the practitioner more to work with. In the above example one could also use the Watery aspect of Air if it seems more appropriate to the original intent.
Most people who know even simple Pagan basics are aware of the three aspects of the Goddess; Mother, Maiden and Crone. I have touched on the Woman aspect and also hopefully made it clear that this theology is not meant to alienate men. The one aspect I haven’t touched on yet is the one I call the Quantum Self. The concepts of Maiden, Father, Woman, Sage etc. are easy enough to grasp but I thought about the elements and this brought me to “Spirit” or “Center” if you prefer. Of course if you acknowledge both Spirit and Center separately you might modify it a little, or you may prefer neither and want to stick with four elements.
For the Quantum Self I tapped into my love of science and quantum theory. Quantum Physics has a lot of branches, all of them fascinating but the simple and basic truth to quantum theory is that it is an attempt to explain the universe down to the tiniest bit. Sure, it may be more geared toward energy, atoms and atomic particles, but that is essentially just a microcosm of the Universe itself. Attempting to explain the universe is something people have been trying to do since there have been people and using quantum theory to do so is much like using witchcraft to do so. Again, what Timothy Leary said comes to mind,
“Ritual is to the internal sciences what experiment is to the external sciences.”
Attempting to understand this dimension of energetic, frequencies, wavelengths and various invisible or hidden (occult) things is aided by the use of some sort of religious or spiritual philosophy as a tool; this is where the Quantum Self comes in. In three aspect and four aspect philosophies if the center is used it is generally used to “call in” the “energy” or your Goddess and/or God. Since deity isn’t the main focus in the sample, we’ll say that to “call in” the Divine is to suggest that the divine is something outside of oneself, something “out there” and the idea within the sample is that it is within us all the time.
The energy of these Gods and Goddesses is what is without, or outside of ourselves. What they represent and have come to mean to us is what’s “out there.” In this sample it isn’t what you connect to but where you connect to. The Quantum Self is an aspect of the individual on an atomic and sub-atomic level, the part of us that is energy and can tap into the infinite possibility that is the Universe. It comes from within, not without, it has no personality, it falls more into the category of pantheism. The Quantum Self is indeed all natural laws, manifestations, forces, etc. of the self-existing Universe. When in that space, when we are energy or some manifestation of it or when we are able to play a part in its direction we are doing it as the Quantum Self and that is where we are when we connect to the Divine that is “out there.”
PLANETARY AND HERBAL ASSOCIATIONS
The herbs chosen correspond to the planet for each direction as that direction has been defined by TCM.
In the East the planetary association is Jupiter. Herbs of Jupiter or Jovian herbs evoke the understanding that comes from recognizing the link between the microcosm, the practitioner, and the macrocosm that is the universe. Jovian herbs also enable the individual to recognize the value of giving, not only to others but also to self without expectation of reward.
In the South, the planetary association is Mars. Herbs of Mars activate motivation and action; they are movement and survival instinct. They can create a balance between the real and the ethereal planes and bring us closer to our own divinity. Herbs of Mars are also associated with manifestation, more than likely because that is the logical end result of motivation and action.
Venus is in the West. Herbs of Venus are said to create a sense of self comfort. This relates to the woman aspect that would tend to be with this direction. The aspect of woman has already been touched on so I won’t prattle on about it again. I will point out again though that many of the changes that women go through men go through too. The West is associated with transformation and this direction and it’s association are all about that change, the change back into ones true self.
When Norma Joyce added the aspect Woman she put an age category with each direction and it is helpful to take it into account. The ages that correspond to each element can be as follows; for Maiden/Youth the biological age group, and these are all general, is 14 to 27 years. For the Mother/ Father it is 28 to 41, for Man/Woman it is 42 to 55 and finally, for Crone/ Sage it is 56 to death. These are relatively subjective as some people start families earlier and some later than others but I felt compelled to include these time frames for a better understanding of this aspect. We age, we may have had a child, our hormones are changing us and our bodies are different. Being comfortable with the self is important and herbs of Venus assist with that as they are associated with judgment of beauty. Herbs of Venus are also associated with enhancement of psychic intuitiveness and creativity.
In the North the planetary association is Mercury. Herbs of Mercury or Mercurial herbs affect the decision making process and are associated with logic and reason. Mercurial herbs also keep the mind alert and running efficiently.
In the Center is the planet Saturn. Herbs of Saturn deal with structure, organization that results in being grounded. These herbs balance Karma and initiate the sort of self-discipline that results in motivation and focused intent which is the backbone of any magical working or ritual.
As to which herbs to use along with which flowers and trees to place in these positions, that is ultimately up to the practitioner, hence the need for research. I found information from many resources. From Scott Cunningham and Paul Beyerl to the little old lady that lives down the street, resonant information can be found anywhere.
The aspects not covered here are also meant to be chosen by the individual, the above just needed a little more clarity than the others. For example, choosing animal guides or totems to fit your practice can really only be chosen by you. Under the heading “Divisions Applied” in the menu you can see the final version of the sample so that you can see how it all looks when it has been applied to completion.
Another Take on it…
These examples are simply here to offer some options and do not necessarily reflect my personal incorporation of them…
The sources for these correspondences include Scott Cunningham, Silver Ravenwolf, Amber Wolfe, Yasmine Galenorn, etc. And that “etc” undoubtedly includes credit to dozens (at least) of unnamed sources. This list is included here as a means to offer ideas for inspiration as you find ways to fill in the blanks on your own, they are suggestions, ideas… nothing more.
The element of air is associated with mental processes and the mind. It is creative and intuitive and is the beginning where ideas that will one day come to fruition begin. It is also associated with higher consciousness and wisdom, divination, and purification.
Direction – East
Astrological Signs – Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Rules: Mind, mental and psychic work, intuition, knowledge, abstract thought, wind, breath, clouds, inspiration, hearing, herbal knowledge, plant growth, purification, freedom, revealing truth, finding lost things, instruction, telepathy, memory, learning the secrets of the dead, Zen meditation, new beginnings, illuminations
Types of Magic – Divination, concentration, prophecy, visualization, wind magic, karma
Colors – White, yellow, light blue, lavender, gray
Season – spring
Magical Tools – Athame, sword, censer, incense
Time – Dawn
Energy – Projective
Gemstones – Aventurine, topaz, mica, flourite, crystals, amethyst, yellow or blue stones
Metals – Tin, copper
Plants – Acacia, anise, aspen, benzoin, clover, dill, frankincense, lavender, lemongrass, myrrh, pine, primrose, vervain, violet, yarrow
Animals – Birds, insects, spiders
Goddesses – Aradia, Arianrhod, Athena, Nuit, Urania
Gods -Mercury, Hermes, Shu, Thoth
The element of fire is associated with change and passion. It is both physical and spiritual, being related to sexuality and to divinity. Fire magic is quickly manifested and filled with primal energy.
Direction – South
Astrological Signs – Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Rules – Energy, sexuality, passions, love, authority, transformation, purification, candle flames, sun, blood, healing, destruction, will, creativity, flame, heat, bonfires, hearth fires, protection, courage, strength, physical exercise, self-knowledge, loyalty, vision, illumination, power
Types of Magic – Candle, storm, time
Colors – Red, gold, crimson, orange, white
Season – summer
Magical Tools – Wand, candles, dagger, burned herbs or requests on paper
Time – Noon
Energy – Projective, masculine
Gemstones – Red jasper, bloodstone, garnet, lava, quartz crystals, ruby, carnelian, tigers eye, rhodochrosite, agates
Metals – Gold, brass
Plants– Allspice, basil, cacti, Chile peppers, cinnamon, garlic, heliotrope, hibiscus, juniper, lime, mustard, nettle, onion, orange, red peppers, red poppies, thistle, almond tree.
Animals – Lions, lizards, salamander, snakes, praying mantis, ladybug, bee, scorpion, shark, phoenix, coyote, fox
Goddesses – Brigit, Freya, Hestia, Pele, Vesta
Gods – Vulcan, Ra, Agni, Hepaetstus, Horus
The element of water is associated with transformation, the subconscious mind and emotions. As the primal substance of life, it is symbolized by the womb and has been related to fertility.
Direction – West
Astrological Signs – Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Rules – Emotions, feelings, love, courage, the unconscious mind, intuition, the womb, marriage, friendship, happiness, dreams, sleep, healing, menstruation, fertility, cleansing, purification, vision quests, self-healing, sorrow, reflection, psychic ability, oceans, rivers, lakes, rain, springs and wells
Types of Magic – Magic involving the sea, snow or ice, mirror, magnet, rain, cleansing and purification
Colors – Blue, blue-green, green, gray, indigo, aquamarine, white
Season – Autumn
Magical Tools – Chalice, cauldron, mirrors
Time – Twilight, dusk
Energy – Receptive, feminine
Gemstones – Aquamarine, amethyst, blue tourmaline, pearl, coral, blue topaz, blue flourite, lapis lazuli, sodalite
Metals – Mercury, silver, copper
Plants – Aloe, apple, catnip, chamomile, ferns, gardenia, lemon, lettuce, lilac, lily of the valley, lotus, mosses, orris, passion flower, rose, seaweeds, thyme, valerian, water lilies, all water plants, willow tree
Animals – All fish, shellfish and sea mammals, serpents, sea birds, cat, frog, turtle, swan, bear
Goddesses – Aphrodite, Isis, Marianne, Mari, Tiamat, Yemaya, Ran, Kupala
Gods – Dylan, Ea, Manannan, Osiris, Neptune, Poseidon, Varuna
Earth is the element that is most stable and dependable. It represents abundance, prosperity, and wealth, and is creative but in a practical, physical and introspective manner.
Direction – North
Astrological Signs – Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Rules – The body, growth, money, creativity, birth, death, material gain, fertility, birth, healing, rocks, trees, animals, manifestation, aterialization, crystals, silence, metal, empathy, grounding, employment, stability, success, runes, strength, practical wisdom, mystery
Types of Magic – Gardening, grounding, magnet, image, stone, tree, knot, binding
Colors – Black, brown, green, gold, white
Season – Winter
Magical Tools – Pentacle, salt, images, stones, cord magic
Time – Midnight, night
Energy – Receptive, feminine
Gemstones – Rock crystal, emeralds, peridot, onyx, jasper, azurite, amethyst, royal azure, tourmaline, tourmalated quartz, rutilated quartz
Metals – Iron, lead
Plants – Cedar, cypress, comfrey, honeysuckle, ivy, grains, magnolia, patchouli, primrose, sage, vetivert, nuts, oak
Animals – Cow or bull, bison, stag, dog, horse, gopher, ant, bears, wolf
Goddesses – Ceres, Cerridwyn, Demeter, Gaia, Persephone, Epona, Kore, Mah, Prithivi, Rhea, Rhiannon
Gods – Adonis, Athos, Arawn, Cernunnos, Dionysus, Herne, Marduk, Pan, Tammuz, Thor