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D is for Directional Orientations (North, South, East, West)–A to Z Blog Challenge

compassD is for Directional Orientations (North, South, East, West)

Symbols in Stories from Around the World

Coming and going from any which direction differs from coming and going to a specific direction such as North, South, East, and West.  Your fortune and the personalities you encounter depend on it.  Though, combine all those directions together and you have entered the cosmos that encompasses all that is around us.

Many times the directions or the winds blowing from those directions are personified and become intriguing characters with folklore.  The most forceful and intimidating of the winds has always been the North Wind, known to bring about miserable or wintry weather.  The four elements—earth, fire, water, and air—relate to the four cardinal points of the compass.  A square by itself or a square within a square can also represent those four cardinal points.  Each line of the square takes on a direction while declaring that we exist in a world that balances opposites.

The Egyptian pyramids were built upon an East/West axis with the entrance facing the Pole Star.  The pyramids acted as a world axis or were being the center of the universe.  Muslims face Mecca when they pray and use a special compass called a qiblah to determine which way to position themselves.  Squares and compasses emerge as main symbols within freemasonry and the use of compass points in imagery.

Here are some examples of what the cardinal directions mean for different cultures—


Japanese Buddhists:


Lakota (Native American):

Navajo Medicine Wheel (Native American):  based on wind directions, creatures of the Mother, and colors of the races within the spirit realm

Nigerian Yoruba:                                                                     

Directions in Relation to Time:

Some stories that use the cardinal directions or at least personified wind forms:

What stories do you know that involves the cardinal directions?  What stories involve personified directions or winds?  Please comment below and share with others of this post.

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