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The 4 Cardinal Directions And The Compass Rose

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How to Use the 4 Cardinal Directions in Building a House?

No one wants direct sunlight in their bedroom during the afternoon, but everyone wishes to have a bright kitchen to grow some herbs and fresh ingredients. To make the most out of the orientation of your house, it is important to keep in mind the 4 cardinal directions.

In most cultures, these form a fundamental part of their cosmology and worldview. The terms “cardinal” and “primary” indicate that these directions form the basis of other directional systems.

For example, in navigation, cardinal directions are often used to orient a map relative to the true north; in meteorology, primary winds blowing from high-pressure areas at the earth’s surface affect weather patterns around the globe. sixteen point compass rose

If you’re unsure of the compass direction and want to get started quickly, we recommend beginning with the four cornerstones: North (N), East (E), South (S) and West (W).

Overview: 4 Cardinal Directions

Some modern systems use additional primary directions, such as northeast and southwest, which are found by bisecting the angle between the traditional cardinal directions. Cardinal DirectionsHowever, these extra directions are not universally recognized and many cultures continue to use only the four cardinal directions. 

The four cardinal directions are often used to symbolize various aspects of life or natural phenomena.

For example, North is sometimes associated with cold or winter, while South is associated with warmth or summer. East may represent new beginnings or sunrise, while West may symbolize sunset or endings. East cardinal direction

In traditional Chinese medicine, the four cardinal directions are also linked to the four seasons and the five elements: North is linked to winter and water, East to spring and wood, South to summer and fire, and West to autumn and metal.

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The four cardinal directions can also be used to describe personal relationships. In some cultures, North is seen as a direction of strength and stability, while South is associated with change and new beginnings.

East may be seen as a place of growth or expansion, while West is associated with stillness or contraction. south cardinal direction

The four cardinal directions are often used in magical or religious rituals to invoke specific energies or beings. For example, the North may be invoked for protection or grounding, while East may be called on for inspiration or new ideas. South could be summoned for passion or sexuality, and West might be evoked for healing or introspection.

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In Native American traditions, the four cardinal directions are often represented by animals: North by an buffalo, East by a eagle, South by a wolf, and West by a bear. These animals are also associated with the four elements: Eagle with air, deer with fire, bear with earth, and buffalo with water.  north cardinal direction

The four cardinal directions can also be used in divination or as a tool for self-reflection. For example, you might ask yourself which direction represents your current state of mind or emotional outlook. Or you could reflect on which direction you need to turn to in order to achieve a specific goal.

West Cardinal Direction

The four cardinal directions are found in many civilizations and religions throughout the world. You may utilize them to better your own life and journey through the globe by understanding the symbolism and meaning connected with each direction.

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The importance of Cardinal Directions

East, west, north, and south are the 4 cardinal directions and there are four corners called the sub directions where the two cardinal directions meet. In total, there are 8 directions to keep in mind, while designing a house according to Vastu Shastra.

  • East (Poorva)
  • West (Paschima )
  • North (Uttara)
  • South (Dakshina)
  • North-East (Eshanya)
  • North-West (Vaayavya)
  • South-East (Nairuthya)
  • South-West (Aagneya)

The four cardinal directions are important because they are defined with respect to the Sun, and according to the Vastu the four sub directions are equally important because they combine the force of two cardinal directions.

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cardinal direction meaningIn simpler words, we can say that the cardinal directions are important because:

  • Right positioning of every room according to the cardinal direction brings a positive influence.
  • The right deposition helps the residents to be exposed to useful rays of sunlight even inside the house.

Also read: 6 Ways How Vastu Shastra Can Change The Way You Live

The Ideal Layout of a house

In Vastu Shastra, each direction is dedicated to a different room depending on its functions. The plan is described with help of Vastu Purush that assigns symbolic Gods to every cardinal direction and helps us to build a room with certain inherent qualities of the symbolic God.

The 4 Cardinal Directions

Vastu Shastra is the oldest architecture system known to men; it includes logic and reasoning to define the guidelines for the location of every room. Here is a layout of an ideal home positioned as per Vastu and as per importance of cardinal directions.

  1. East: Pick this direction for planning the main doors, windows, and bathrooms in your house, as the east is the direction ruled by the Sun. It is advised to have lots of opening in the east direction to destroy the bacteria that multiplied during the night.
  1. North-East: Known as the direction of supreme, this is the ideal location to have open space, water source or pooja room in the house. This direction will have constant sunlight, so it is a good place to meditate. 
  1. South: According to Vastu, it is the direction of Yama and it is advised to locate your children’s bedroom, store rooms and office in this direction. The direction offers high heat intensity which is good to keep the store rooms moisture proof, and the sun will be in the direction until noon which is helpful for offices and children’s room. 
  1. South-East: It is the direction of the God of fire, hence, it is best to locate your kitchen. The sun rays coming to your kitchen area will be good to keep the kitchen counter free of germs and as mentioned earlier it is good to grow herbs when there is ample sunlight during the morning. 
  1. West: The direction is governed by water God, and it is best to locate the study room, bathroom and toilets in this direction. The logic is to use the most heated direction for less used rooms like toilets or study. 
  1. South-West: Known as the direction of Pitru it is useful to have master bedroom, wardrobes, and libraries. It is useful to have wardrobes on the south-west walls to absorb the heat coming from the west. 
  1. North: Ideal direction for the living room and open spaces, this direction is ruled by God of wealth and it denotes stability. 
  1. North-West: This is the ideal direction for planning dining rooms, garages, and toilets. Here the sun is not visible after the evening so it is a good direction to sit, eat and relax.

Though, the orientation of houses is based on the positioning of the neighboring buildings; however, planning your site according to the Vastu factors for cardinal directions will give you a perfectly designed house.

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When are cardinal directions to be capitalized?

Sometimes it’s tricky to know when you should capitalize words like “north,” “south,” “east,” and “west” because they’re used so often in everyday speech. cardinal direction animals

When a cardinal direction is used as a proper name, it should generally be capitalized. In this situation, the directions represent distinct areas. If you state that your home is on the North Coast, for example, then the direction would be capitalized.

For example, if you want to tell someone you’re visiting Australia’s south coast, the director should not be hyphenated since we’re just talking about a general location.

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Although this is only partly true, there are several other regulations that influence the capitalization of directions. Capitalizing the derivatives of these words when ‘ern’ is added is essential and more difficult than capitalizing directions with basic elements.

How do you teach someone the different directions?

It’s critical to properly convey instructions to anyone. Geography-related early education includes spatial awareness. Movement and space are two key components of spatial awareness.four cardinal direction ritual

Two of the most important aspects of navigation are movement and space. This concept entails being aware of one’s surroundings: for example, is the girl standing next to the house or in front of it?

Being able to tell which way is north, east, west, and south is an incredibly important skill for both navigation and describing the location of objects. It can be tough to teach about cardinal directions, but it’s much simpler if you use mnemonics as a memory aid.

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This mnemonic technique, which is especially useful for learning geography, involves memorizing words, ideas, or letters. When creating a mnemonic device, it is important to use silly and simple words that are easy to remember. The first letter of each word in the phrase represents a different cardinal direction.

When a freely swinging compass needle aligns itself with the earth’s magnetic field, which is equivalent to North, it becomes magnetized. Various civilizations have assigned various hues to each direction throughout history.

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Why are the cardinal directions important?

Directions are vital because they help us comprehend an object’s positioning related to our location. Although general directions can lack detail, specific geographical directions do not.

As the cardinal points have a precise definition, cartographers typically trace out a standard map with north (N) at the top and east (E) on the right. A widespread misunderstanding is that north always has be on top but that isn’t necessarily true. Some cartographers prefer south-up maps.importance of cardinal direction

You can also see stars by using these directions – for example, if you stand on the North Pole and look up at the sky, you’ll spot a star above your head. It’s called Polaris because of its position near the North Pole but also goes by other names like North Star or Polestar.

The North Star is one of the oldest celestial navigational tools and can be easily spotted in the night sky. Although it is not very bright, it has been used by travelers for centuries to guide them on their journey.  Interestingly, the North Star is unique because it never sets or changes position like other stars around it.

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The compass has been a significant tool for travelers throughout the world’s history. Understanding the compass may be difficult at first, but it will help you to locate your bearings to anyplace on the planet simply by utilizing your new knowledge.

When it comes to the south pole, most often, it is used to designate the lower section of a map. Explorers, tourists, and wanderers used to travel across territory using only the sun’s position before there was a way to read the poles in geography.


As per the vastu for home, directions help us understand an object’s positioning related to our location, and a compass is a significant tool for travelers. The south pole is used to designate the lower section of a map, and the North Star is one of the oldest celestial navigational tools.

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  1. Thank you for explaining cardinal directions in such a simple way. Your blog is extremely valuable to people who are looking for such information. I crossed check this knowledge with my Vastu consultant and it is 100% accurate. Thanks for sharing this information with us.

  2. Thank you for creating such a well-detail blog on all the cardinal directions, and how I can build my home in accordance to the ideal Vastu Shastra principles. It is great that I can read this blog anytime, again and again.


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