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Author Topic: North, South, East, West, and...?  (Read 1635 times)

Altair

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North, South, East, West, and...?
« on: February 05, 2017, 02:13:34 am »
In most Western esoteric traditions, there are correspondences that relate the cardinal points with the elements and the aspects of a human being:

east / air / mind
south / fire / will
west / water /emotion
north / earth / body
center / ether / spirit

...but it occurred to me recently, while trying to imagine how a bird thinks, that it might be worth experimenting with a new conception, one that's less limited to 2 dimensions (all 5 of those points fit on a plane) and expands the directions to 3D (the way a bird must think, not being limited to a flat, earthbound perspective). So if we keep the existing structure, are there meaningful correspondences to be made if we add:

up / ? / ?
down / ? / ?

What could such "new" directions tell us about ourselves and our world? Or is it better to think of the center not as a point, but as an axis that breaks the 2D barrier and extends both up and down already?
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Dynes Hysbys

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Re: North, South, East, West, and...?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2017, 05:22:03 am »
Quote from: Altair;202337
In most Western esoteric traditions, there are correspondences that relate the cardinal points with the elements and the aspects of a human being:

east / air / mind
south / fire / will
west / water /emotion
north / earth / body
center / ether / spirit

...but it occurred to me recently, while trying to imagine how a bird thinks, that it might be worth experimenting with a new conception, one that's less limited to 2 dimensions (all 5 of those points fit on a plane) and expands the directions to 3D (the way a bird must think, not being limited to a flat, earthbound perspective). So if we keep the existing structure, are there meaningful correspondences to be made if we add:

up / ? / ?
down / ? / ?

What could such "new" directions tell us about ourselves and our world? Or is it better to think of the center not as a point, but as an axis that breaks the 2D barrier and extends both up and down already?


My trad already does something this  - although our elemental correspondences are different from the ones you quoted.

We use the earth tree as the axis and it links "heaven" through this plane to "hell". The Up and Down also has other associations for us

Night Owl

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Re: North, South, East, West, and...?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2017, 07:07:34 am »
Quote from: Dynes Hysbys;202339
My trad already does something this  - although our elemental correspondences are different from the ones you quoted.

We use the earth tree as the axis and it links "heaven" through this plane to "hell". The Up and Down also has other associations for us

 
In ADF's cosmology, there is a 'world-tree' that reaches from the depths to the heights of the world. Cardinal directions aren't invoked in the standard ritual structure, so my interpretation of this has always been that vertical, rather than horizontal directions are more important in this particular ritual structure, but with land/sky or sea/land/sky being referenced instead of down/up or hell/here/heaven.

I think that this quotation sums it up pretty well:

By Fire and by Water, between the Earth and Sky,
We stand like the World Tree, rooted deep, crowned high.

-Portal Song, ADF Samhain Ritual

If any active ADF members see issue with this and want to correct this, please do: I'm going off my own memory and fact checking with the ADF website.
:D:

Faemon

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Re: North, South, East, West, and...?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2017, 01:50:50 pm »
Quote from: Altair;202337
it might be worth experimenting with a new conception, one that's less limited to 2 dimensions (all 5 of those points fit on a plane) and expands the directions to 3D (the way a bird must think, not being limited to a flat, earthbound perspective). So if we keep the existing structure, are there meaningful correspondences to be made if we add:

up / ? / ?
down / ? / ?

What could such "new" directions tell us about ourselves and our world? Or is it better to think of the center not as a point, but as an axis that breaks the 2D barrier and extends both up and down already?

 
The little I've caught of alchemy mentioned these concepts of levity and gravity. But is there a reason to keep the existing structure, for whatever you're asking? Some contemplations on the compass rose lately (main symbol of the Otherfaith) got me thinking that the correspondences are linked to purposeful movement, so there may be meaningful differences within the concept of North between the North star, the North pole, and the North wind...?
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Re: North, South, East, West, and...?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2017, 04:31:56 pm »
Quote from: Altair;202337
In most Western esoteric traditions, there are correspondences that relate the cardinal points with the elements and the aspects of a human being:

east / air / mind
south / fire / will
west / water /emotion
north / earth / body
center / ether / spirit

...but it occurred to me recently, while trying to imagine how a bird thinks, that it might be worth experimenting with a new conception, one that's less limited to 2 dimensions (all 5 of those points fit on a plane) and expands the directions to 3D (the way a bird must think, not being limited to a flat, earthbound perspective). So if we keep the existing structure, are there meaningful correspondences to be made if we add:

up / ? / ?
down / ? / ?

What could such "new" directions tell us about ourselves and our world? Or is it better to think of the center not as a point, but as an axis that breaks the 2D barrier and extends both up and down already?

I have read that some Native American groups recognise 'up' and 'down' as cardinal directions, though I cannot remember which ones. Maybe Apache, or perhaps Lakota. Not sure.

Although I'm not sure how much this fact would help you, as Native American Societies across both North America and Mesoamerica associated directions with colours, not body parts. Nor did they recognise the classic elements.

In Mesoamerican beliefs, different gods were associated with different directions. Not sure about other regions.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 04:33:01 pm by Yei »

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Re: North, South, East, West, and...?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2017, 10:14:10 pm »
Quote from: Altair;202337
In most Western esoteric traditions, there are correspondences that relate the cardinal points with the elements and the aspects of a human being:

east / air / mind
south / fire / will
west / water /emotion
north / earth / body
center / ether / spirit

...but it occurred to me recently, while trying to imagine how a bird thinks, that it might be worth experimenting with a new conception, one that's less limited to 2 dimensions (all 5 of those points fit on a plane) and expands the directions to 3D (the way a bird must think, not being limited to a flat, earthbound perspective). So if we keep the existing structure, are there meaningful correspondences to be made if we add:

up / ? / ?
down / ? / ?

What could such "new" directions tell us about ourselves and our world? Or is it better to think of the center not as a point, but as an axis that breaks the 2D barrier and extends both up and down already?

 
I've used up and down in my heka circle casting, adding it as a third axis along with North-South, and East-West. It's loosely a Heavens/Underworld axis. It just makes the circle feel more complete.

And yeah, I do cast North, South, East, West, Up, Down, rather than in a traditional circle straight around. It seems more accurate to Kemetic thought and how they would have worked a circle like that. I still go anti-clockwise, both when casting and closing, because that's the way the sun goes down here, and to go against the path of the sun, in an Egyptian ritual, just seems, well. Not a terribly good idea. You don't want to stop the sun boat. That, and I can't bring myself to do it. It just feels wrong to go clockwise to close, like I'm swimming against the current, and going against the way the world works.

But then I don't really use classical elements, either. My cardinal direction stuff is mostly Kemetic-based, and I've never been overly interested in using elemental workings in my magic anyway. I don't use them in my circle-casting, and I only obliquely reference them in my N-S-E-W concepts (I'm on the west coast, so water is in the west, because that's where the ocean is, etc). N-S-E-W is enough for me. I don't really need the elements on top of that.
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Altair

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Re: North, South, East, West, and...?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 10:06:36 pm »
Quote from: Faemon;202346
The little I've caught of alchemy mentioned these concepts of levity and gravity.


I certainly like the terminology; "levity" and "gravity" are a nice way to put it.

I appreciate all of you folks who have given me the benefit of the different approaches of different traditions. Food for thought!
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Altair

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Re: North, South, East, West, and...?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 10:10:02 pm »
Quote from: Faemon;202346
But is there a reason to keep the existing structure, for whatever you're asking?

Because I've found it works really well for me. Maybe because I'm steeped in Western culture, North-South-East-West-Center resonates and maps neatly with the way my own thinking aligns. But I like to stay open to new possibilities, so I'm curious if it's possible to build on that framework and add something that would be meaningful.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 10:11:05 pm by Altair »
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Jack

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Re: North, South, East, West, and...?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2017, 02:49:28 am »
Quote from: Altair;202337
What could such "new" directions tell us about ourselves and our world? Or is it better to think of the center not as a point, but as an axis that breaks the 2D barrier and extends both up and down already?

 
So this isn't much use to other people but when I was at university, there were five different groups of dormitories - four named for the side of campus they were on, and one named for an early University president. A few of us actually tried calling 'quarters' with these five 'directions' a couple of times. XD
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Hummingbird

Re: North, South, East, West, and...?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2017, 08:23:08 am »
Many forms of traditional witchcraft (Think Cochrane) do recognize up-down, using a tool called a stang to represent the axis mundi/ world tree.

Quote from: Yei;202347
I have read that some Native American groups recognise 'up' and 'down' as cardinal directions, though I cannot remember which ones. Maybe Apache, or perhaps Lakota. Not sure.

Although I'm not sure how much this fact would help you, as Native American Societies across both North America and Mesoamerica associated directions with colours, not body parts. Nor did they recognise the classic elements.

In Mesoamerican beliefs, different gods were associated with different directions. Not sure about other regions.

My tribe's (Cherokee) ceremonial round looks like this

[Image Removed because it (or more likely the web site it is stored on) is setting off anti-virus program warnings for some users. --- RSS]

Up: Yellow
Center: Green
Down: Brown

East: Red - Victory
South: White - Innocence
West: Black - Sorrow
North: Blue - Defeat

They do correlate to the four asgina (souls)
Red - Liver/Spittle Soul ---- crudely put, vital/spiritual body
Whie - Bone Soul   ----- crudely put, the physical body
Black - Soul of memories, thoughts --- crudely put, the mental body.
Blue - Circulatory Soul ---- crudely put, the emotional body

It is true, the four elelents of fire, air, water and earth are a western categorical system.
Our colors are based on pathworking and so more closely related to the alchemical system of ones process.
Red - rubedo
White - albedo
Black - Nigredo
Blue - Caredo.

However If you attribute the elements like so:
Red - Fire
White - Earth
Black - Air
Blue - Water
They correspond perfectly, and what you have is the astrological sequence of elements which is great as the old round ties into our old planetary counts/calenders and ceremonies of the pole star.  

This means the airts would be:
Black - Air
Red - Fire
Blue - Water
White -- Earth

Mythic figures are attributed to colors and this changes based on what you are doing.
These characters are aligned as being of a certain type of character attributed to the color.
The four beings are the Red, the White, the Black and the Blue.
They have dual forms as the Red Man, Red Woman etc.
For example, the Thunderer is associted with the Red Man.
Some, such as the Hummingbird Warrior can have more than one associated color depending on the formula. He may be blue or green.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 06:31:33 am by RandallS »

Yei

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Re: North, South, East, West, and...?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2017, 06:08:23 pm »
Quote from: Hummingbird;202425
Many forms of traditional witchcraft (Think Cochrane) do recognize up-down, using a tool called a stang to represent the axis mundi/ world tree.


 
My tribe's (Cherokee) ceremonial round looks like this
[Image Removed because it (or more likely the web site it is stored on) is setting off anti-virus program warnings for some users. --- RSS]

Up: Yellow
Center: Green
Down: Brown

East: Red - Victory
South: White - Innocence
West: Black - Sorrow
North: Blue - Defeat

They do correlate to the four asgina (souls)
Red - Liver/Spittle Soul ---- crudely put, vital/spiritual body
Whie - Bone Soul   ----- crudely put, the physical body
Black - Soul of memories, thoughts --- crudely put, the mental body.
Blue - Circulatory Soul ---- crudely put, the emotional body

It is true, the four elelents of fire, air, water and earth are a western categorical system.
Our colors are based on pathworking and so more closely related to the alchemical system of ones process.
Red - rubedo
White - albedo
Black - Nigredo
Blue - Caredo.

However If you attribute the elements like so:
Red - Fire
White - Earth
Black - Air
Blue - Water
They correspond perfectly, and what you have is the astrological sequence of elements which is great as the old round ties into our old planetary counts/calenders and ceremonies of the pole star.  

This means the airts would be:
Black - Air
Red - Fire
Blue - Water
White -- Earth

Mythic figures are attributed to colors and this changes based on what you are doing.
These characters are aligned as being of a certain type of character attributed to the color.
The four beings are the Red, the White, the Black and the Blue.
They have dual forms as the Red Man, Red Woman etc.
For example, the Thunderer is associted with the Red Man.
Some, such as the Hummingbird Warrior can have more than one associated color depending on the formula. He may be blue or green.

I'm always amazed at how similar some concepts are between different groups that live in the Americas, despite the distance, in both time and space, between them.

In Nahua culture, each direction was associated with a god, a colour, and a set of five day signs.
North was Tezcatlipoca and its colour was black.
East was either Tonatiuh or Xipe Totec (I've heard both) and red.
South was for Huitzilopochtli (at least among the Mexica. For other groups I'm not sure) and blue.
West was Quetzalcoatl and white.
The centre was also a 'direction', though it was handled a little differently from the others. I don't remember the colour of the god (perhaps green?). There were also the 13 heavens stretching above the earth, and 9 levels of the underworld below, though I don't think that they are part of the direction system (more conceptual, I think).

Here is a link that explains it in some detail:
http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/ask-us/what-was-the-symbolism-of-the-four-directions
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 06:33:35 am by RandallS »

Hummingbird

Re: North, South, East, West, and...?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2017, 07:15:32 pm »
Quote from: Yei

I'm always amazed at how similar some concepts are between different groups that live in the Americas, despite the distance, in both time and space, between them.

In Nahua culture, each direction was associated with a god, a colour, and a set of five day signs.
North was Tezcatlipoca and its colour was black.
East was either Tonatiuh or Xipe Totec (I've heard both) and red.
South was for Huitzilopochtli (at least among the Mexica. For other groups I'm not sure) and blue.
West was Quetzalcoatl and white.
The centre was also a 'direction', though it was handled a little differently from the others. I don't remember the colour of the god (perhaps green?). There were also the 13 heavens stretching above the earth, and 9 levels of the underworld below, though I don't think that they are part of the direction system (more conceptual, I think).

Here is a link that explains it in some detail:
http://www.mexicolore.co.uk/aztecs/a...our-directions


That is because we share a common ancestor/kin with the Nahua through the Mississippi Moundbuilder Complex/Culture. The sequence of Black in the North, White in the West, Blue in the South and Red in the East is one of our formulas as well - tied to the red bundle count.

As for the colors -
Red - The Thunder / Ayvdaqualosgv - Xipe Totec
White - Galoneda - Quetzalcoatl
Black - Gogasgvdaseti - Texcatlipocha
Blue - Danuwaanalihiwalelu / Hummingbird Warrior - Huitzilopochtli

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Re: North, South, East, West, and...?
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2017, 01:40:59 pm »
Quote from: Altair;202337
What could such "new" directions tell us about ourselves and our world? Or is it better to think of the center not as a point, but as an axis that breaks the 2D barrier and extends both up and down already?

 
Personally, I deal with a sevenfold directionality; the cardinal points, above, below, and centre.

I do not know how to talk about it usefully, because I have like five different ways of looking at it and they're either not very coherent or I am not complete in my training therewith.
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Altair

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Re: North, South, East, West, and...?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2017, 06:58:10 pm »
Quote from: Hummingbird;202456
That is because we share a common ancestor/kin with the Nahua through the Mississippi Moundbuilder Complex/Culture. The sequence of Black in the North, White in the West, Blue in the South and Red in the East is one of our formulas as well - tied to the red bundle count.

As for the colors -
Red - The Thunder / Ayvdaqualosgv - Xipe Totec
White - Galoneda - Quetzalcoatl
Black - Gogasgvdaseti - Texcatlipocha
Blue - Danuwaanalihiwalelu / Hummingbird Warrior - Huitzilopochtli


Thanks, both Hummingbird and Yei, for sharing these. Whether or not it helps me with my exploration of up/down, I love seeing how various cultures tackle this.
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

Altair

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Re: North, South, East, West, and...?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2017, 08:33:38 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;202475
Personally, I deal with a sevenfold directionality; the cardinal points, above, below, and centre.

I do not know how to talk about it usefully, because I have like five different ways of looking at it and they're either not very coherent or I am not complete in my training therewith.

Aaargh! This might be exactly the insight I'm looking for! Are you sure you can't give some outline of your thinking?

Walking home today, I gave it more consideration. If the directions/elements are about situating yourself in the universe--getting a better grasp of where and how you fit in the world--then I can think of a lot of potential correspondences for above/below, the vertical axis:

--Most obviously, tying into "as above, so below", it could be the axis of scale: macrocosm (galaxies, etc.) above, microcosm (atoms, quarks) below
--The classical elements are all used up, but what about light for above and dark for below?
--And what about time? Future/descendants for above, past/ancestors for below

Obviously I'm throwing things out there; who knows what might actually prove useful as a next-step enhancement to the Western 5-direction system.

Maybe something like this:

East / air / thought / yellow
South / fire / will / red
West / water / emotion / blue
North / earth / body / green
Center / ether / spirit / gray, silver
Above / light / destiny, prophecy / white
Below / dark / memory, history / black
« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 08:35:37 pm by Altair »
The first song sets the wheel in motion / The second is a song of love / The third song tells of Her devotion / The fourth cries joy from the sky above
The fifth song binds our fate to silence / and bids us live each moment well / The sixth unleashes rage and violence / The seventh song has truth to tell
The last song echoes through the ages / to ask its question all night long / And close the circle on these pages / These, the metamythos songs

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Last post May 14, 2017, 06:52:58 pm
by CaptainJaneway

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