Calling the Elemental Quarters is a step in circle casting that is often glossed over in beginner books, where the entire process of circle casting is usually covered in one chapter. The Quarters are the foundation of your circle, and the Quarter Calls are one of the more versatile portions of the entire process. This article will focus on: Air.
Consider the Elements to be the foundation of your circle because these energies are the first ones you invite in. Begin in the East, with Air, and cast your circle sun-wise or clockwise. Air is commonly associated with the East, but it doesn't necessarily have to be.
The reason to place Air in the East is that the associations with the element. East is the dawn. It is birdsong, and the playful morning breezes. East is beginnings, pale yellow, and springtime. Air is embodied in all these things. What else is the Element of Air?
Air is often associated with intellect and wisdom. Maybe it is because concepts are like Air: nebulous, mutable, changing. When we speak, we communicate through the power of Air. Air is the breath of Life, it is the ocean we swim in. Air is both powerful and playful, contrasting between the gale force of a hurricane and a soft breeze.
When you call Air energy into your circle, call the Guardians of Air. You may have also heard people refer to the Guardians of the Watchtowers of Air or East. These Guardians are the embodiment of the Elemental energy. Take a minute to think about Air. What do you associate with the element? What form do you think a Guardian of Air might take? A bird? A cloud? A flying insect?
Maybe you envision an Eagle. Air is a very large Eagle, proud and fierce that can soar far on his enormous wings. Not only that, but it also represents the American ideas of the Eagle as a symbol for liberty and justice, both Air qualities. Don't feel like you have to stay constrained within the traditional associations for the Elements.
Perhaps you live just west of a mountain range, so when you think of East you think of Earth. North may correspond better to Air, for you. Or South. Even if you do decide to use the traditional correspondences, take some time to really think about why you associate the Element with the direction.
If you decide to change the correspondences, don't just make arbitrary changes. After you have decided in which direction you will place Air, make a list of all the correspondences you have with both the direction and the Element. You'll probably notice some themes running through your list. Once you've done that, take time to meditate on the qualities you've discovered, and ask to meet the Elemental Guardians. They might look quite different to each person.
When you cast the circle again, and call the Element of Air, visualize your Guardian being present at the circle. Tap into the energy available there. Feel the breeze on your face. Calling Quarters isn't just saying some poetic verse and lighting a candle. Calling Quarters is meant to bring the energies of the universe to your sacred space. Your circle and your magic, will be stronger for it.