Cardinal direction

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A compass rose showing the four cardinal directions, the four intercardinal directions, and eight more divisions.

The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the four main compass directions: north, south, east, and west, commonly denoted by their initials N, S, E, and W respectively. Relative to north, the directions east, south, and west are at 90 degree intervals in the clockwise direction. The ordinal directions (also called the intercardinal directions) are northeast (NE), southeast (SE), southwest (SW), and northwest (NW).


  • Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!


  • Wabunong—the East—is the direction of knowledge. We send gratitude to the East for the chance to learn every day, to start anew.


  • The South, zhawanong, the land of birth and growth. From the South comes the green that covers the world in spring, carried on the warm winds.

See also


Encyclopedic article on Cardinal direction on Wikipedia