West is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass.
It is the opposite direction from east.
4 Symbolic meanings
5 Fantasy Fiction
7 External links
The word "west" is a Germanic word passed into some Romance languages
(ouest in French, oest in Catalan, ovest in Italian, oeste in Spanish
and Portuguese). It stems from the Indo-European root *wes reduced
from *wes-pero 'evening, night' which is related to Old Greek hesperos
and Latin vesper 'evening; west'.
To go west using a compass for navigation, one needs to set a bearing
or azimuth of 270°.
West is the direction opposite that of the Earth's rotation on its
axis, and is therefore the general direction towards which the Sun
appears to constantly progress and eventually set.
Moving continuously west is following a circle of latitude.
The phrase "the West" is often spoken in reference to the Western
world, which includes the
European Union (also the EFTA countries),
the Americas, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and (in part) South
The concept of the Western part of the earth has its roots in the
Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire and the Western Christianity. During the Cold War
"the West" was often used to refer to the
NATO camp as opposed to the
Warsaw Pact and non-aligned nations. The expression survives, with an
increasingly ambiguous meaning.
In Chinese Buddhism, the
West represents movement toward the Buddha or
enlightenment (see Journey to the West). The ancient Aztecs believed
West was the realm of the great goddess of water, mist, and
maize. In Ancient Egypt, the
West was considered to be the portal to
the netherworld, and is the cardinal direction regarded in connection
with death, though not always with a negative connotation. Ancient
Egyptians also believed that the
Amunet was a personification
of the West. The Celts believed that beyond the western sea off the
edges of all maps lay the Otherworld, or Afterlife.
In Judaism, west is seen to be toward the
Shekinah (presence) of God,
as in Jewish history the
Tabernacle and subsequent Jerusalem Temple
faced east, with God's Presence in the
Holy of Holies
Holy of Holies up the steps to
the west. According to the Bible, the
Israelites crossed the Jordan
River westward into the Promised Land. In Islam, while in India,
people pray facing towards the west as in respect to India,
in the West-ward direction.
American literature (e.g., in The Great Gatsby) moving
sometimes symbolized gaining freedom, perhaps as an association with
the settling of the
Old West (see also Manifest Destiny).
Tolkien used it symbolically, with the dying Thorin calling Bilbo
Baggins "child of the kindly West" in The Hobbit. This is much more
definite in The Lord of the Rings, where the east served
his enemies associate themselves with the West.
In Saberhagen’s Empire of the
East series, the rival powers are West
and East, including both humans and supernatural beings. All demons
are part of the East.
This is not universal. In Tolkien's earlier work, the north had been
the direction of evil. C S Lewis in
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has
the east as the sacred direction, leading to Aslan's country
^ "west Origin and meaning of west by Online Etymology Dictionary".
www.etymonline.com. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
^ Campbell, Joseph. The Mythic Image. Princeton University Press,
The dictionary definition of west at Wiktionary
Cardinal and ordinal directions
The eight principal winds