The basic elements of Nature are FIRE, EARTH AIR, WATER. These elements are addressed in some manner in all Earth based Spiritual practices. The four elements are recognized and addressed in magickal and divination systems such as Astrology and Tarot. The Chinese recognize 5 elements, by adding the properties of Metal to the mix. In the holistic healing arts the element of Ether is included. Elemental energies and forces are not to be confused with DIRECTIONAL energies and forces, even though they often work in tandem and are employed together in magickal practices. In Ceremonial Magick the element of AEther is added as Spirit to the mix, and the powers of the Elements are assigned directional energies and associations with Elemental beings, Guardians or Angelic beings/forces. On this page you will find a series of articles addressing the Elements from different Earth-based and Magickal traditions and practices.
THE FIVE ELEMENTS OF MAGICK
Within many spiritual and magickal traditions, the elements - Earth, Air, Water and Fire - play a foundational role. Understanding how energies express them and what correspondences are associated with these energies helps us to focus and release the energy 'flavors' with intention during meditation and ritual.
EARTH is the element of secrecy, deep wisdom, possessions, creation, perseverance, birth and death. It is considered passive and receptive. The direction and quarter of the Circle which corresponds with Earth is the North, the place of endings. Earth corresponds to the bone structure of the human body. The season is Winter and the concept within magick which corresponds to Earth is Secrecy. Hidden beneath the Earth are many treasures – jewels, minerals, oil – which must be sought out with forethought and labor. So it is with the magickal secrets that the element Earth hides; only through dedication and patience can these secrets be brought to light, yet they must always be protected and guarded.
The tool of the Earth is the Pentacle which is used both for drawing in and for projecting energy. The Pentacle is also used for defense as a shield and the image can be used as a magnet to draw manifestation of a goal. The magickal Cords are also of Earth and are used to bind energy.
The Sabbat which corresponds to Earth is Beltane, the festival of growth and fertility. Beltane falls in the fixed earth sign of Taurus, which is the sign associated with sensuality, acquisition, resources and practicality.
The archangel of Earth is Uriel (pronounced Urh-ree-el), also called the Lord of Awe, who presides over protection and strength. This angel is visualized in robes of olive and russet, bearing a Pentacle.
Gnomes are attributed to Earth and are seen in very small human form – your basic elf. Their king is Gheb (also known as Geb or Gob, as in goblin). Earth elementals are the most mischievous and love a good practical joke. They prefer the forest, the crags, the heaths and the caverns in which to live, although with the human population cutting down on gnomes’ habitats, the more sociable enjoy being around sensitive and sympathetic human beings and will share living quarters. Gnomes love jewels, gold, interesting rocks, moss and living plants of all kinds. Their favorite scents are resins and woodland smells such as patchouli and vetivert.
AIR is the element of the intellect and communication. It is considered an Activating element. The direction and quarter of the Circle that corresponds to Air is the East, where the day begins. Air is the springtime, beginnings and,
in the foundational concepts of magick, it is Faith. Faith (confidence) in magick comes from knowledge (intellect) and from understanding the processes of ritual and applying them with sure result.
The tool of Air is the Wand, which is used to direct and channel energy in magick. In its application for healing where it is used to absorb the energy of the universe and channel that energy into the subject of the healing, it corresponds to the caduceus of Mercury, a god of Air – you will notice that this same symbol is used by physicians today,
The Sabbat which corresponds to Air is Candlemas (also known as Oimelc or Imbolc). This Sabbat falls in the fixed air sign of Aquarius, the astrological sign noted for intellectualization, eccentricity, originality and genius.
The archangel of Air is Raphael, the archangel of healing, teaching and travel. He is visualized on a mountaintop, in robes of yellow and purple (the colors
associated with the element Air) which blow gently in the wind. In magick, angels represent invisible forces, powers ascending and descending between the Source of all things and the world. An Archangel, then, is the angelic entity in its highest and most pure force.
Sylphs are the elementals attributed to Air and are similar to human in form, although they are transparent and have lovely, delicate wings. They travel on the wind and you can hear them talking and laughing as they drift in and out of the trees. Paralda is the name of their king. As you might imagine, they are very articulate and logical. Sylphs prefer the mountaintops where the air is the thinnest. They are related to the nervous system in the human body.
Their favorite scents are the mints and light flowery essences such as tulip. They love the sound of bells and windchimes.
Is the element of Will and Passion and, like Air, is considered an Activating
element. The direction and quarter of the Circle that corresponds to Fire is the
South, which we associate with heat. The season is, of course, summer – the time of growth and culmination of that growth. In the conceptual foundations of
magick Fire is the Magickal Will. The force of the magickal will enables the
magickian to carry through with goals, plans and dreams. Will serves as the
impetus for the magickal energy which is sent forth to act on the physical plane
to manifest the desire. Fire is the application of the ideas of Air into physical reality as we perceive it.
The tool of Fire is the Athame, the ritual dagger, which is used to inscribe the
magickal sigils in the air during ritual; to describe the circumference of the
magickal Circle; to banish phantasms and defend against them and to heal via the act of removing holes in the aura through cauterization on the astral
The Sabbat which corresponds to Fire is Lammas; the Sabbat dedicated to Lugh the Sun God. Lammas falls in the fixed fire sign of Leo, which is characterized by
dignity authority, creativity and flamboyance.
The Archangel of Fire is Michael (pronounced Mee-kee-al), the Archangel of
authority, victory, initiative and splendor. Michael is visualized in robes of
scarlet and green, bearing before him a flaming sword.
Salamanders are attributed to the element of Fire. They are not considered a part of the physical flame as such, but the essence which enables the flame to burn. Naturally, they are most active in the summer months and geographically prefer the hotter regions. When they live in cold places, salamanders reside in the hearth. They are full of passion and enthusiasm and for this reason are
sometimes considered dangerous as their unpredictability can be disconcerting.
However, they are actually very generous and warmhearted, if treated with the
respect due them. Salamanders relate to the heart in the human body as well as
the circulatory system. Their king is called Djinn. Salamanders love the smell
of burning wood and spicy odors such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Candles, lanterns and mirrors are attractive to them.
WATER is the element of love, intuition, emotion, fertility, compassion, understanding and imagination. It is considered a passive and receptive element. The direction and quarter of the Circle that corresponds to Water is the West. The season is Autumn and in the conceptual foundations of magick, Water is imagination. Imagination begins in our dreams, the language of our subconscious minds and without it our rituals would be dry and emotionless. Imagination allows us to see what might be and is therefore creativity, fertility and change.
The tool of Water is the Chalice which is used to contain the water of purification and exorcism. It can hold the ritual wine and be used for seeing past, present and future in the practice of scrying. The chalice represents wisdom, transformation and receptivity. In the legends of ancient times, the Grail of Immortality was sought by the valiant for its life-giving and regenerative powers as well as for the knowledge it brings. The ritual Cauldron is also of the element of Water and the stories that surround it (as the cauldron of Dagda, the cauldron of Cerridwen and the cauldron of Baba Yaga) reaffirm the theme of wisdom, life, transformation and regeneration.
The Sabbat which corresponds to Water is Samhain/Hallowmas, the festival of death, change and regeneration. Samhain falls in the fixed water sign of Scorpio, known for occult ability, psychic power, death and regeneration.
The Archangel of water is Gabriel, known as the Prince of Change and Alteration. This angle can be seen on the Judgment card of the Tarot, blowing the horn of fertility and authority. Gabriel is visualized in robes of clear blue and
orange, holding a chalice from which torrents of water spill.
Undines are the elements of Water. They are extremely graceful and seductive. Undines are similar to humans in form and majority of them are female. They will impart psychic knowledge and ability. If you work with them in this area, be sure to give them extravagant and appealing gifts in return, for they have feelings that can be easily bruised. They correspond to the human digestive system and Necksa is their King. Undines live in the oceans, the rivers, springs, creeks and raindrops. Their most beloved scents are cool ones - camphor, cucumber and citrus fruits such as lime. They delight in beautiful shells, silver
jewelry, boxes for their treasures and flutes.
is the Fifth Element within magick. It is the ether, the divine miasma that gives life force to earth, air, fire and water. Spirit imparts the spark that enlivens each element and allows it to be expressed throughout the universe. It balances the energies of each element while giving each its own 'intelligence' of how and where to act within our world. When a Circle is cast and each of the four elements is called upon to impart their energies within a working, Spirit is called forth to fill the space and rise into the world bringing manifestation.