When the Lakota people pray or do anything sacred, they see the world as having four directions. From these four directions come the four winds. Each direction has a special meaning and color associated with it.
East, the direction of the sunrise, represents the birth of new things, the spring, the fire of life, and is associated with matters of the soul. This is often represented by the color yellow.
South represents youth, sweetness, and the water element (most rivers tend to run south). It is most often associated with our emotions and the season of summer. This is often represented by the color red.
West, the direction of the sunset, represents adulthood, reaping the harvest of hard work, the earth and stones, and entering the dark “cave” of hibernation and creativity. It is associated with our physical body and the season of autumn. This is often represented by the color black.
North is the direction of the ancestors and the wisdom of our elders (both alive and deceased). The realm of the great return to spirit. We look to the north for inner healing and insight from those who have walked before us. It is associated with our mind and the season of winter. North is often represented by the color white.