Make Your Home Magical with the Four Elements
I often talk about the home as the sanctuary in which we can disappear from the mundane world and reconnect with what’s really important. Your sacred space, however large or small it is, even if it’s just a room or an altar, needs to be balanced in order for you to achieve the most from it. It should be geared up to attract abundance and dispel negativity, encourage and motivate you and allow you to rest. The best way to do this is to use the magical power of the four elements.
In witchcraft, North, East, South and West are associated with the four elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The attributes ruled by each quarter differ depending on culture and location; In fact, the Chinese recognise five elements including wood and metal, and think of the wheel of the year as having five stages. For the purposes of this article, however, I will focus on the associations usually acknowledged in the Northern Hemisphere.
The number four represents the passing of time, the seasons turning, and balance. In numerology, it denotes structure and stability – perfect for our purposes!
The four directions can also be split into two: male and female, yin and yang, dark and light. Typically, the North and West relate to the Goddess, or female, or yin aspect of life. The South and East relate to the male, or God, or yang.
Reorganise your home according to the four quarters using this guide:
This direction governs Earth, death, change, foundation, structure, form, midnight, and Winter. It is ruled by the Goddess.
Winter is the Earth’s time to rest. During this time we reflect, take stock, and plan ahead. The North facing parts of your space are ideal for rest, contemplating change, and anything relating to the foundations of your life; after all, the earthly element provides the building blocks of life. Eating at a dining table situated in the North of your home, for example, would help you connect with the foods that nourish you. Represent Earth on your altar with a bowl of sea salt or a vase of fresh flowers. The colour black also represents the energies of the North, as do greens and browns.
This direction governs Fire, action, will, passion, destruction, purification, evolution, life force, power, desire, growth, noon, and Summer. It is ruled by the God.
Fire is a creative, as well as purifying force. It is also the element in charge of physical pursuits, from beautifying oneself with clothes and make-up, to dance and other exercise. Lots of activity should take place in the South, so keep your yoga matt there, or your art supplies. Candles and candle magic represent Fire on your altar, as does an athame or ritual knife. Red, yellow and gold represent the energies of the South.
This direction governs Air, life, logic, intellect, new beginnings, change, sound, sunrise, and Spring. Ruled by the God.
The sun rises in the East, and dawn is a time of new beginnings. Associated with the element of Air, East is the best direction to dedicate to intellectual pursuits, learning and communication. I wouldn’t recommend having your writing desk or study anywhere else! Evoke Air on your altar using incense, a wand, or feathers. White, pale yellow and blue represent the energies of the East.
This direction governs Water, fertility, love, magic, healing, cleansing, emotions, twilight, and Autumn. It is ruled by the Goddess.
At twilight, the air takes on a transient feel. Shadows gather at the edges of our vision, and the veil between worlds thins. This is a time of emotions and the subconscious. Thus, it is suited to matters of divination, relationships, family, and the home. The West is ideal for your bed, especially if your magical practice requires you to pay particular attention to your dreams. Represent Water on your altar using a cauldron, chalice, goblet, a bowl of water or seashells. Indigo, dark blue and muted tones enhance the energies of the East.
These are just a few examples of how to organise your home with magical intent, but I hope they are enough to spark your imagination. A reshuffle can work wonders for the flow of energy in your personal space. Make your home magical, and you can replenish your energies whenever you need it, no matter what awaits you outside your own four walls.