THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE NUMBER FOUR
The number four is sacred to many Native Americans. There are four sacred mountains, four directions, four colors, four worlds, four sacred plants, and four times of day.
Time and space are defined by the four cardinal light phenomena: Dawn (white, east); Midday (blue, south); Evening Twilight (yellow, west), and Night (black, north).
The four cardinal light phenomena are results of the sun’s apparent daily motion. These phenomena are a composite of the four directions, the four times of day, and the four sacred colors linked with them.
A Navajo thinks of the east, Dawn, and the white color of the sky at the beginning of the day. This is the thinking direction.
At midday, the association is with the south which is usually “horizon blue” or “blue haze” in reference to the band of relatively darker blue that lies on the horizon at midday. This is the planning direction.
Darkness is associated with the north and with the blackness of the night sky. This is the direction of change.