We have a deep connection to nature and it helps us establish and maintain balance, health, and wellness.
It is the belief that human beings are tied to all things in nature and assigned virtues to the four cardinal directions; East, South, West and North.
Each direction is associated with an element of the natural world, and represents some part of our human nature as well. These symbolize the four stages of life and offer lessons and gifts that support the development of a balanced life.
What do the 4 directions represent?
Here are meanings of the Four directions:
East, the direction of the sunrise, is related to air, breath and inspiration. It represents the birth of new things, the spring, the fire of life, and is associated with matters of the soul. The freshening wind brings warm rain and sunshine. This is often represented by the color yellow.
South represents youth, sweetness, and the water element. The warming south winds bring new growth, gentle rain, healing sunshine. It is most often associated with our emotions and the season of summer. This is often represented by the color red.
West, the direction of the sunset, represents adulthood, reaping the harvest of hard work, the earth and stones, and entering the dark “cave” of hibernation and creativity. It is associated with our physical body and the season of autumn. This is often represented by the color black.
North is related to earth, balance and wisdom because it is the direction of the ancestors and the wisdom of our elders. The realm of the great return to spirit. You can get inner healing and insight from those who have walked before us. It is associated with our mind and the season of winter. It is often represented by the color white.
I’ve shared a Lakota prayer to the four directions below, also celtic four directions prayer and blessings.
Great Spirit of Light, come to me out of the East (red) with the power of the rising sun. Let there be light in my words, let there be light on my path that I walk. Let me remember always that you give the gift of a new day. And never let me be burdened with sorrow by not starting over again.
Great Spirit of Love, come to me with the power of the North (white). Make me courageous when the cold wind falls upon me. Give me strength and endurance for everything that is harsh, everything that hurts, everything that makes me squint. Let me move through life ready to take what comes from the north.
Great Life-Giving Spirit, I face the West (black), the direction of sundown. Let me remember every day that the moment will come when my sun will go down. Never let me forget that I must fade into you. Give me a beautiful color, give me a great sky for setting, so that when it is my time to meet you, I can come with glory.
Great Spirit of Creation, send me the warm and soothing winds from the South (yellow). Comfort me and caress me when I am tired and cold. Unfold me like the gentle breezes that unfold the leaves on the trees. As you give to all the earth your warm, moving wind, give to me, so that I may grow close to you in warmth. Man did not create the web of life, he is but a strand in it. Whatever man does to the web, he does to himself.
By Chief Seattle, Leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish Native American tribes.
The Lakota Prayer to the Four Directions
Creator, it is I. Thank you for today’s sunrise, for the breath and life within me, and for all of your creations. Creator, hear my prayer, and honor my prayer.
As the day begins with the rising sun, I ask, spirit keeper of the east, Brother Eagle, be with me. Fly high as you carry my prayers to the creator. May I have eyes as sharp as yours, so I am able to see truth and hope on the path I have chosen. Guide my step and give me courage to walk the circle of my life with honesty and dignity.
Spirit keeper of the south, Wolf, be with me. Help me to remember to love and feel compassion for all mankind. Help me to walk my path with joy and love for myself, for others, for the four legged, the winged ones, the plants and all creation upon Mother Earth. Show me it is right for me to make decisions with my heart, even if at times, my heart becomes hurt. Help me to grow and nurture my self worth in all ways.
Spirit keeper of the west, Brown Bear, be with me. Bring healing to the people I love and to myself. Bring into balance the physical, mental and spiritual, so I am able to know my place on this earth, in life and in death. Heal my body, heal my mind and bring light, joy and awareness to my spirit.
Spirit keeper of the north, White Buffalo, be with me. As each day passes, help me to surrender, with grace, the things of my youth. Help me to listen to the quiet, and find serenity and comfort in the silences as they become longer. Give me wisdom so I am able to make wise choices in all things which are put in front of me, and when time for my change of worlds has come, let me go peacefully, without regrets, for the things I neglected to do as I walked along my path.
Mother Earth, thank you for your beauty, and for all you have given me. Remind me never to take from you more than I need, and remind me to always give back more than I take.
Celtic Blessing to the Four Directions
Great Spirit of Light, come to me out of the East with the power of the rising sun. Let there be light in my words, Let there be light on the path I walk. Let me remember always to be thankful that You give the gift of a new day. Let the color of fresh rising in my life be glory to you.
Great Spirit of Love, come to me with the power of the North. I come to you and ask for the strength and the power to bear what is cold and harsh in life. Make me courageous when the cold winds of life fall upon me. Give me strength and endurance for everything that is harsh, everything that hurts, everything that makes me squint. Do not let the winter blow me away. Let me move through life ready to take what comes from the North.
Great Life-Giving Spirit, I face the West, where the sun goes down each day to come up the next. Let me remember everyday that the moment will come when my sun will go down. You are the powerful cycle, which pulls me to transformation. Never let me forget that I must fade into you. I ask for the blessings of the sunset. Keep me open to life’s changes. Give me a beautiful color, give me a great sky for setting, so that when it is my time to meet you, I can come with glory.
Great Spirit of Creation, send me the warm, gentle and refreshing winds from the South. Comfort me and caress me when I am tired and cold. Unfold me like the gentle breezes that unfold the leaves on the trees. And as You give to all the earth your warm moving wind, give to me, so that I may grow close to you in warmth.
Shamanic Prayer to The Four Directions
Great Spirits of the East, realm of air and dawn, we call upon your breath of life to inspire new beginnings. As the sun rises in your direction, bring us clarity, vision, and the courage to embark on new journeys. Guide our thoughts like the eagle that soars high, seeing the truth in all things. We welcome your fresh winds to clear our minds and spirits.
Sacred Guardians of the South, domain of fire and midday, we summon your flames of transformation. Like the phoenix rising from ashes, grant us the strength to change and grow. Warm our hearts with your blazing sun, fostering love and passion in our lives. Teach us to walk in balance, igniting our creativity and will with your eternal spark.
Ancient Keepers of the West, waters and twilight, we invoke your flowing essence. As the sun sets in your embrace, guide us into the depths of our souls, where true wisdom resides. Bless us with your purifying rains, washing away fears and obstacles that hinder our path. Let your rivers carry us towards healing and renewal, embracing the mysteries of life.
Elders of the North, earth and night, we call to your grounding force. In the stillness of your darkness, nurture our roots with your fertile soil. Stand with us like the ancient trees, steadfast and resilient, teaching us endurance and patience. Bestow upon us your gifts of stability, abundance, and the peace of a quiet, snow-covered land.
With gratitude, we thank the spirits of the East, South, West, and North for their blessings. May the harmony of the four directions guide us, protect us, and illuminate our path. Let the circle be open, yet unbroken, as we carry these blessings in our hearts. Aho.
Prayers to the four directions are a profound way to connect with the elements of nature, honor the cardinal points, and invoke spiritual guidance and protection. These prayers can vary widely across different cultures. Remember, the most powerful prayers are those spoken from the heart, so feel free to adapt and personalize your invocation to resonate with your spirit and tradition.