In short, the very basic turning of the Earth as it glides a course around the Sun is the foundation for how we experience life on Earth. Human beings have taken this knowledge seriously since histories of our traditions began to leave their traces in our distant past... and it still holds true today. Sacred circles and hallowed ground have been marked by these cardinal directions, and/or with their cross-quarters, for a reason. No matter the symbols, elements, or experiences, one can always create sacred space by marking the directions - North, Northeast, East, Southeast, South, Southwest, West, Northwest, and back to North. And the key to the entire wheel is the hub, its sacred and profane Center.
For example, in Northern Europe, the South holds the warmth of the Sun's Fire and the North holds the cold mountains of the Earth. In much of North America, however, the East brings the warmth of the Sun and the mountain ranges spanning the Western horizons hold the solidarity of the Earth. Still again, on the Asian continent where the balance of yin & yang duality is paramount, Water is in the Northern rains and Fire is in the Southern Sun.
The purpose of a Sacred Circle, or creating sacred space, is to feel secure (safe & protected) and empowered (purposeful & connected) when engaging an activity. Activities range from spiritual & esoteric, like magical ritual, religious rites, healings, meditations, and prayers, to more culturally traditional and almost secular, like honoring Ancestors or using Feng Shui to draw healthful & prosperous energy into a space. Therefore, no matter the Elements, or colors, or seasons, or directional associations that feed your experience - the Spirit is you, in the Center.