Calling on the Four Directions

Steward_Dialog_Day1 (38)

Originally uploaded by theworldcafe.
Anne Dosher, World Cafe Elder begins the first session of the Global Stewardship Dialogs by following the Native American tradition of calling in the four directions. View more photos of day 1


7 Responses to Calling on the Four Directions

  1. What were the four directions?

  2. riabaeck says:

    Actually, it were not 4 directions, but she called in the 11 directions. The directions are related to the traditional Native American way of looking to the world: the Medicine Wheel. Also in the Celtic tradition you find this tradition of ‘working’ with the directions. Anne started with calling in the South, then South-West, then West and so on, along the Wheel: that makes 8. The other 3 were -if I remember well – the Earth, the Spirit and the Center. I’m not trained in this tradition, but for me it is a way of honoring all the energies, all the qualities that are in the world all around us. And it is a way of creating a sacred space, of setting a tone for our whole gathering.

    If you want to know more, please ask!

  3. bethkanter says:


    Thanks for the explanation! (And, so it isn’t too confusing, I’m also “Cambodia4kids) – I wasn’t paying attention to which identity was I logged into when I commented …

    It reminds of some of the budhist traditions for starting cermonies.

  4. Marcela Urteaga says:


    Thank your for your posts. I´d like to know more about the Calling on the Four directions (or 11). Is it possible that someone transcripts the invocation? I really love it.

    Thanks again!

  5. Ria Baeck says:

    I sent a message to Anne if she has a transcription, a document or a website… When I receive her answer; I will post it here!

  6. Carl Rosenberg says:

    I am seeing some interest in using the four directions in this work. I come to this from the Mankind Project, a mens organization that uses an invocation of directions to set intention and sacred space. For anglo’s (like myself) that do not already have a personal connection to the directions, we borrow from others. The directions I use have value because of the significance I have been able to make within myself to these directions. There are seven I use, borrowed from some native american traditions. East is the place of beginnings, a archetype of the lover, the place of the rising sun, an element associated with the east is water. South is the place of action, the archetype of the warrior, the place where the sun is at midday, at it’s most hot, the element is fire. West is the place of closing of the day, the beginnig of night and darkenss, the archetype is the magician, the element is earth and it is the place of going within, shapeshifiting and magic. North is the place of endings, preparing for death, and the subsequent rebirth, the archetype is the elder, king or queen, the element is air. The fifth direction is above and is the place of father sky and the connection to male energies. The sixth direction is below, the place of mother earth, the connection to female energies. The seventh direction is the place within each of us, that place of darkeness, silence and wonder.

    The use of directions is to invoke something special from the rest of the day, a way to leave behind the trevails of the day, a way to make space for something special and magical. It accepts that there are energies larger than the individual and connects us to them. It creates a sacredness in the connections that are made in the times between the invocation and the closing blessing.

    Good luck

  7. tom mandel says:

    I learned a little about the four winds from Sage Dream. She has since passed away. I have her story at

    I spoke to a member of the Potawatomi, “People of the three fires” who explained that the four directions can mean whatever one wants them to mean.

    tom mandel

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