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Welsh Faerie Quarters


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starWELSH FAERIE QUARTERS

(Part of the below description is adapted from text by Mike Nichols, another Welsh Witch)

In Wales, Air corresponds with the North instead of Earth.  Several Native American tribes (who we believe have a Celtic ancestry) also place Air in the North.  We believe other traditions which place air in the east, are adopting a Mid-eastern philosophy which is foreign to the Celtic Way.  But then again, what do we know.

To understand how each element corresponds with a direction, you must first visualize the Land of Wales.  The Ocean or Water is the West.  Britain and Europe (Earth) lie to the East. South of Wales are the hotter countries and the Equator (Fire).  And finally North of Wales is the frigid arctic region with its cold winds (Math) which corresponds to Winter.  One of the ancient legends call the British Isles, "Hyperboria", which means "behind the North Wind".  In the Welsh Tradition, it is Math who is the god of North Wales, and is also associated with the Wind.

In the Welsh Tradition the four seasons correspond with the four directions: Spring with the East, Summer with the South, Autumn with the West and Winter with the North. The solstices and equinoxes are also aligned with the four directions: Air is associated with Winter. The Earth is associated with Spring and new life.  Fire corresponds to Summer.  And West corresponds to Autumn and the sea.

Welsh Witches also associate the directions with a twenty-four hour day.   Sunrise is associated with the East, noon is associated with the South, sunset is associated with the West and midnight is associated with the North.

The four elements also have gender correspondences.   Air and Fire are male, while Earth and Water are female.  As you travel around the circle you will experience a Male/Female cycle of energy which alternates like electricity.  If you go to England and walk down the the Kennet Avenue of Avebury, you will see tall, phallic stones alternate with short, diamond-shaped female stones.   The old people used this male female correspondence in their rituals, as they walked Male/Female down the avenue.

Emulating the old ways, we alternate between male and female or positive and negative as we raise the power. This puts fire which is male in the south, air which is male in the north.  Female water is in the west and female earth is in the east.  Using this method, Welsh Witches perform circle dances to "raise the cone of power".  Holding hands we dance male - female, around the circle, all the time going faster and faster, and then  releasing the power as we collapse.

In Welsh Witchcraft, there are four principal altar tools. They correspond to the four Tarot suits and four of the ancient treasures of Wales. The Pentacle is a plate with a pentacle carved on it, representing Earth which is in the East. The Cup symbolizes water, which is in the west. These two elements form a female horizontal plane.

The penis shaped Wand, represents Air which is laying along the north edge of the Altar. The Athame is placed along the South edge of the Altar. Their placement forms a vertical North/South line and which forms a Celtic Cross as they intersect in the center of the altar.

If one really looks at the above correspondences they will discover that there is a balance of polarity.  To us North is positive, East is negative, South is positive, West is negative.  This is not describing good or bad characteristics, this is describing: giving/receiving, up/down, right/left, front/back, summer/winter, hot/cold, etc.

Males do not inherently have positive emotional or ethical characteristics, females do not inherently have  negative emotional or ethical characteristics.  But they do represent polarity, the same way a battery may have a positve and negative pole.  Remember it is one battery, but two [poles.   We are one humanity, but two sexes. 

Take two magnets.  Place the North end of the magnet against the north end of another magnet.  What happens?  They repel each other.  Now take one of those magnets and turn it around so that the South end of one is very near the North end of the other.  What happens?  They snap together of course!  In electromagnetism, opposite poles attract.

This is what happens with psycho-sexual energy, which permeates the universe.  The energy of opposite genders attract.  This is also why we recommend that males work with females.  Not because of sexual activity, but because opposites attract psychically as well as physically.

"We are not getting into homosexuality vs heterosexuality.  I happen to be lesbian, but I find that working with my partner magickally, is not as effective as working with a male.  Many gay people will dispute this statement, but I fear that is because they do not want to think that some things are better done with the sexual polarity of opposite genders."............ Maya Stevens

Which brings us back to the Welsh Faerie Quarters.    Male priests call the North and South quarters.  Female priestesses call the East and West Quarters.

I hope this short article has helped you understand the quarters.  If you have any questions, see your proctor.

Rhuddlwm Gawr

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