Yew trees stand watch at this north door of St Edward's Church, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire. This door may have inspired the Door of Moria in The Fellowship of the Ring.Churches were frequently built over ancient sacred Pagan sites. The Christian altar was placed on the East side of the church, or sometimes the West side of the church so the congregation would face East. However, a Pagan altar was sometimes included and was placed by the north door.

The north door was also referred to as the "Devil's Door" and was implied to be where the devil was let out to keep the congregation pure. This shaky reasoning may be a simple smokescreen. At the time these doors were in use, all Pagans were thought to be devils or agents thereof. The most likely purpose of these doors was to integrate local Pagans to the church which was already built on top of their sacred site, with hopes to convert them over time.

Churches in as late as the 11th century had a Pagan altar. These north doors of most Norman churches were walled over from the 1300's onward as Witches were less tolerated.

Many magickal circles are cast with a 'door' placed in the North-East for entering or exiting. Some are created with an altar facing North or East. Look into the attributes of the cardinal points and elements to determine the placement of yours. Above all else, however, do what really feels right to you no matter what direction you face your altar.

We like to vary the direction our altar faces depending on the work being done or the Sabbat being celebrated. A nice technique for larger circles is a round altar in the center of the circle. In this way, each covener can utilize the altar equally, sort of the 'roundtable' effect.

Like most, this north door has Pagan symbols such as the 12th century tympanum carved with a wingless griffin and a lion facing at the top. All Saints Church, Covington, Cambridgeshire, England

This 12th century North door is at St Mary & St Edward Church - Barrow Gurney, Somerset, England

Pin It
About the Author
Friday
Author: FridayWebsite: http://PaganPath.comEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Author & Academy Instructor
Friday is devoted to writing books and articles on a variety of Pagan subjects, and is the instructor of the online PaganPath Academy. She has studied and practiced the Craft since 1987, and worked as a professional tarot reader and vice president of a national psychic network for several decades. Currently, she is now a practicing herbalist and ordained minister. As a Master Gardener with a deep interest in permaculture, she is developing the PaganPath Sanctuary with her partner. This long term community project is an edible landscape demonstration, orchard and educational facility for future generations.

Log in to comment

Today's Sky

Scorpio
Sun in Scorpio
21 degrees
Gemini
Moon in Gemini
0 degrees
Waning Gibbous Moon
Waning Gibbous Moon
16 days old
Powered by Saxum

Recent Forum Posts

  • No posts to display.

2020 Practical Witch Almanac smallThe PaganPath Almanac is now The Practical Witch's Almanac.  Now in print as a weekly planner, correspondence reference, and every edition comes with free downloads of wall calendars and calendar app imports.  Order directly from the publisher (2019 edition) or (2020 edition) or grab your own signed copy from the PaganPath Shop or PracticalWitch.com

Discover More on Your Path

Two membership choices to bring you more great stuff!

  • Enroll in Academy
  • February Special: Membership includes this year's edition of the Practical Witch's Almanac and free gifts!
  • $49 / A Year & a day
  • All Free Member Bonuses plus 10% off Shop orders
  • Full Access to ALL Courses in Witchcraft, Wicca, Paganism, Tarot, Herbs & more.
  • Exclusive Books & Downloads
  • Reverts to Free Membership after 366 days
  • Enroll Now
  • Free Membership
  • FREE
  • Post Messages on the Forum
  • Unlimited Private Messages
  • Free Downloads & Almanacs
  • Extra Articles & Features
  • Never Expires
  • Join Free