Have you heard of witches calling the corners (or quarters as some say) and wondered what it meant? It's a term that's often used but not really understood even by some witches. What's even more confusing is there are many magical traditions that use a calling of the corners in one form or another.
Usually calling the corners is done after a witch or group of witches has cast a protective circle and entered into it. The protective circle of course provides protection against forces that would harm the witches, kind of like a shark cage provides protection for divers. Calling the corners provides even more protection since the corners are kind of like guardian angels, only they're not angels.
The four powers witches call upon are called elementals. Usually they represent earth, wind, fire and water but sometimes one of the elements is different depending on the tradition. The person calling the corners literally calls out these guardians by saying something like "hail, guardian of the watchtower to the east, powers of air and intuition" and then continue with a variety of phraseology to complete the calling of the corner.
Each elemental is attached to one of the four cardinal points: east, north, west and south. Which elemental is attached to which cardinal point is a topic of great debate among witches since different traditions do things differently. Often the orientation of the elementals had to do with local geographical features as they relate to the original geography of the tradition's origin.
There's great debate about what the elementals even are. Some witches say they are spirits while others claim they are faeries of different types. Many European traditions associate a gnome with earth, a nymph with water, a sylph with wind and a salamander with fire.
Watch this scene from The Craft where they call the corners, which gives you a very Hollywoodized depiction of the practice: