The Four Quarters Of The Circle

Every magical circle is divided into four quarters that are in ceremonial magick called the Watchtowers. The higher essences who protect the quarters are invoked as the Guardians, who control and direct the elemental powers. Sometimes they are called Kings, sometimes Devas, or they may be pictured as the four main archangels, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel.

How you perceive your guardians in the ritual circle is up to you. As with all magick, there are disagreements about which archangel represents each element. This is because angels are found in a number of different traditions and religions and so may serve different functions under similar names.

Previously, I have associated Raphael with the North and Uriel with the East, seeing Raphael in his aspect as a healer and protector, and Uriel as the fiery dawn in the East. However, recently I have started to use a more traditional association of Raphael as the messenger in the East and Uriel as sentinel of the North and I have found that this works better. Do read about angels and experiment to see what suits you. I have listed source material on pages 201-2 and you can find more information on the Internet. Use the elemental candle colour to represent the angel you want. You can also use angels in the four quarters to invoke protection in less formal magick by lighting candles in the four quarters when you feel afraid or alone.

I have also seen Michael listed as archangel of the dawn and East, but I think he is better placed as archangel of the Sun in the South. If you feel uncertain, simply refer to each guardian as Archangel of the North', etc., then the celestial being can reveal itself in the form that is right for you.

The angelic colours I have given vary slightly from the elemental ones and if you are carrying out a personal angelic ritual of protection or meditating on the archangels, you can use the archangel colours for your candles.

Some practitioners do not greet the Guardians of the Watchtowers at all, but instead light each elemental candle in turn, visualising golden energies pouring from each direction into the circle.

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