The Wiccan Elements
Earth, Air, Fire and Water - Now that you have taken some time to truly discover nature on a more one on one level let's learn the Elements one by one.
Remember that all of the elements can be very helpful or very dangerous. Rain is lovely and cleansing, but floods are devastating. Lighting is beautiful and filled with energy, but a forest fire is not so lovely. A mountain is very beautiful covered in snow, but a mudslide is not so lovely. A gentle breeze on a spring day is so amazing, but a tornado is deadly and just as amazing.
Remember to respect EACH element, understand each element to your best ability- by learning all you can about each one, and never toy with the elements. However what you do want to do is to try to attune yourself to and with the elements around you, become part of the magick and energies as they become part of you - you will discover a part of yourself you may have never known existed before. Scott Cunningham wrote in his book entitled 'Earth Power' - "Attuning and working with these energies in magic not only lends you the power to affect dramatic changes in your life, it also allows you to sense your own place in the larger scheme of Nature." And Scott Cunningham is one of the most amazing pagans I believe to have lived in my own lifetime. He gifted the pagan world with very much before he passed from this plane.
Let's start with the element of Earth.
Earth element belongs to the Zodiac signs of: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
The earth is what we live upon, with out it, where would we be? We build our homes on the earth from things we take and create from the earth, brick is made form clay, dirt, and sands taken from the earth and fired in a kiln, trees cut down and planed are part of our homes. We plant our seeds in the earth, grow food to sustain our bodies and our animals as well. Every thing we do is on the earth. We eat, sleep, live and breathe on the earth, because of the earth, and with the earth.
Today pagans and non-pagans alike consider the earth feminine. The earth is often refereed to as 'Mother Earth'. This is most likely due to the fact that so much life comes from the earth, almost as if the earth gives birth to the seeds planted with in it. However in ancient times there were many pagan religions that believed the earth was Masculine, most likely due to the fact that the earth is very solid, sturdy among other reasons we may never know.
For the sake of this lesson, and belief is that the earth is both feminine and masculine, but more so feminine, and because the majority of the pagan community considers the earth as feminine we shall refer to the element of earth as feminine.
The basic things you need to know about the element of Earth are simple if you think of them as being part of the whole. You will find the Earth element is usually associated with the cardinal direction of North. When you think of the earth you can easily associate North and Earth as being the quarter of strength, stability, courage, slow change, and sometimes coldness. The Earth element is also good for grounding when you seem flighty or shaken or even a little out of control of things.
The element of Earth is sometimes depicted as a triangle facing point down, with a line horizontally through the middle. It is located on the pentacle at the bottom left point and the Earth element is usually associated with the color Green, or Brown or any earth tone colors.
Basic associations of the Earth Element:
Magickal Tool: Pentacle
Point in Life: Advanced Age
Astrological Signs: Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.
Natural Symbols: Salt, clay dish of fresh soil, rocks, sheaves of wheat, acorns.
Types of Magick Ruled: Gardening, magnet, image, stone, tree, knot, and binding.
Basic Nature: Fertile, moist, nurturing; stabilizing; grounding.
Type of Energy: Receptive
Color: Green or Brown
Places: Caves, canyons, chasms, forests, groves, valleys, fields, farms, gardens, greenhouse, parks, plant nurseries, farmers markets, kitchens, baby nurseries, basements, mines and holes.
Rituals: Money, prosperity, fertility, stability, grounding, and employment.
Ritual Forms: making images in soil or sand, burying, or planting.
Herbs: Earth-smelling plants such as patchouli and vetivert; mosses and lichens; nuts; dry and stiff plants; heavy, low growing plants; deep rooted plants, like trees even; generally roots.
Stones: Heavy or opaque, as in coal; green like found in emeralds and Peridot.
Metals: Iron, lead.
Musical Instrument: Drums, All percussion.
Creatures: Horse, Dog, earthworm, gopher, ant, cow and burrowing animals and bugs.
Now that you know the basic associations of the Earth Element you can incorporate this element into your rituals, prayers, and many levels of Magick! Remember each element deserves great respect. You do NOT summon an element or an elemental in basic magick you invite this element into your ritual and circles. Always respect each element and the power found within them. The element of earth is most often a caring and gentle but strong and firm element, however do not let the element deceive you either, for earthquakes, mud slides, and even erosion can be deadly. There are always two sides to a coin.
The next element of study is Air.
Air Element belongs to the Zodiac signs of: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.
Next we have the element of Air, it is just as important as the element of Earth, for with out either we would not be able to exists. Air is such a large part of our lives, and is probably the least thought of element in our day to day lives. You see the earth we live and breath on each day when you go to work or school, you can physically see the trees, the flowers and the surface you walk and drive upon, but you most often do not see the Air. Air is invisible. Even polluted air tends to be invisible to the eye. For when you live in an area the pollution and how it makes the air appear is still invisible because you become used to the way things look.
The element of Air is most often associated with the cardinal direction of East and most often associated with the color Yellow. It is located on the pentacle at the top left point. You will find that this is the quarter change-ability, of intelligence, and other matters of the mind. The element of air is good for improving memory, finding and creating solutions to problems. The element of Air is sometimes depicted as a triangle facing point up with a line horizontally through the middle.
Basic associations of the Air Element:
Magickal Tool: Wand
Point in Life: Infancy
Astrological Signs: Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.
Natural Symbols: A feather, incense smoke, fragrant flowers
Types of Magick Ruled: Divination, concentration, visualization and wind magick.
Basic Nature: Flying, moving, intelligent, suspending fresh, fluttery. Sound is manifested from this element.
Type of Energy: Projective
Color: Yellow-the yellow of the sun, the sky at dawn
Places: Wind-swept plains, mountain-tops, cloudy skies, airports, towers, schools, libraries, places of learning, offices, travel agencies, psychiatrists office.
Rituals: Instruction, study, freedom, knowledge, recovering lost items and travel.
Ritual Forms: Visualization and positive aspects of thinking, blowing breath, fanning light object to make them float on the wind or tossing objects into the air. Suspending tools in high places.
Herbs: Fragrant such as flowers with light airy scents or pungent, as in culinary herbs such as dill; airy, finely veined, or windswept; generally leaves.
Stones: Light stones, such as pumice; transparent stones such as mica.
Metals: Tin, copper.
Musical Instrument: Flute, all wind instruments.
Creatures: Most birds and winged insects, spider.
Sense: Hearing, smell
Now that you know the basic associations of the Air Element you can incorporate this element into your rituals, prayers, and many levels of Magick! Always remember that each element deserves great respect. You do NOT summon an element or an elemental in basic magick you invite this element into your ritual and circles. Always respect each element and the power found within them. The element of Air is most often a soft, enveloping and gentle but steady and unpredictable. However, do not let the element deceive you either, for tornadoes, sandstorms, and strong winds in general can be very damaging and deadly. There are always two sides to a coin.
Moving on to the element of Fire.
Fire element belongs to the Zodiac signs of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.
Fire, just the mere mention of this element can conjure up many thoughts. This is most often an element that is NOT taken for granted because we so very often see the devastating power in this element. Forest fires and house fires are things we see almost daily on the news. Fire is not as detrimental to our survival as is the earth and the air but fire is still very important in this day and age for we cook with it and we heat with it. It has become an essential element in our basic human comfort.
Fire is most often associated with the cardinal direction of South. Fire is usually associated with the color red and is located on the pentacle at the bottom right point. The element of Fire is sometimes depicted as a triangle facing point up. Found in the quarter that is associated with passion, love, sex, energy, and light. To some it may also represent freedom, joy, hate, independence, and purity. Fire is excellent for cleansing yourself of unwanted emotions. It is also good for bringing out your innate joy in life, and passion for living.
Basic associations of the Fire Element:
Magickal Tool: Knife
Point in Life: Youth
Astrological Signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.
Natural Symbols: Flame, lava, and a heated object.
Types of Magick Ruled: Candle, storm, time and star.
Basic Nature: Destructive,purifying, cleansing, energetic, sexual, and forceful. Heat is a physical manifestation of this element.
Type of Energy: Projective
Places: Fireplaces, deserts, Hot Springs, volcanoes, ovens, bedrooms, weight rooms, locker rooms, saunas, and athletic fields.
Rituals: Protection, courage, sex, energy, strength, authority, and banishing negativity.
Ritual Forms: Burning or smoldering; heating.
Herbs: Chili peppers and bougainvillea, Stinging, thorny or hot; as thistles, desert dwelling, as cacti; stimulating, as coffee beans; generally seeds
Stones: Red or fiery, as in jasper; volcanic, as in lava; clear, as in quartz crystal.
Metals: gold, brass.
Musical Instrument: Guitar, all stringed instruments.
Creatures: Bees and Wasp, scorpion, ladybug Snake, cricket, lizard, praying mantis and sometimes shark.
And finally the element of Water
Water element belongs to the zodiac sings of Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces.
Water is just as important to us as is the earth we walk on, the air we breathe and the fire we warm ourselves with for we need it for our basic survival. Water covers are large portion of our earth not to mention our own human bodies are made up of much fluid, that is susceptible to the same forces of nature as basic water is. Water is in the air we breath, it is in the plants we grow and eat and even in the animals that daily give their lives for us to eat. Water is all around us not only in the rain and rivers and lakes and oceans.The element of water is most often associated with the cardinal direction of West. Water is usually associated with the color blue. . It is located on the pentacle at the top right point. The element of Water is sometimes depicted as a triangle facing point down. Often associated with emotion, intuition, and 'oneness'. Wonderful to use if you wish to look deeper into you're own personal psyche and self to discover the ebbs and flows of your mind.
Basic associations of the element of Water:
Magickal Tool: Cup, the cauldron.
Point in Life: Maturity
Astrological Signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces,
Natural Symbols: Shells, cup of water.
Types of Magick Ruled: Sea, ice, snow, fog, mirror, magnet.
Creatures: Cat, frog, turtle, dolphin, whale, otter, seal, dugong; most fish and shellfish.
Basic Nature: Flowing, purifying, healing, soothing and loving.
Type of Energy: Receptive
Places: Lakes, springs, streams, rivers, beaches, oceans, wells, swimming pools, bathtubs, showers, bedrooms-for sleep, health spas, steam rooms, fountains,
Rituals: Purification, love, psychic awareness, dreams, sleep, marriage, friendships.
Ritual Forms: Dilution, placing into water, washing away, bathing.
Herbs: Ones that contain lots of moisture or are aquatic, such as water lilies and seaweed; fleshy as in succulents and lettuce. Rose and gardenia; generally flowers.
Stones: Blue stones such as in blue tourmaline, transparent or translucent, as in amethyst and aquamarine
Metals: Mercury, silver, copper.
Musical Instrument: Cymbal, bell; all resonant metals.
Now that you know the basic associations of the Water Element you can incorporate this element into your rituals, prayers, and many levels of Magick! Remember that each element deserves great respect. You do NOT summon an element or an elemental in basic magick you invite this element into your ritual and circles. Always respect each element and the power found within them. The element of water is most often a caring and gentle one that nourishes life, however do not let the element deceive you either, for floods, tidal waves-sunami and torrential down pours can be deadly. There are always two sides to a coin!
There is often a fifth element mentioned, that of Akasha or Spirit. This is something that is different for each individual. You will have to personally discover all the associations that go with this fifth element that apply specifically to you, as an individual.
The elements, each and everyone of them are very magical due to the hidden and seen energies in each. As mentioned earlier, an Elemental is simply each element that is personified. Personified means giving human qualities, like love and hate, and kindness. If you believe that every thing on this planet has a soul, a spirit, an energy such as rocks, trees, animals, and humans, then it would be conceivable to believe that each element Also has a spirit? Thus becoming an Elemental, you can summon an Elemental, but it is kinder to ask them to help or aid in your ritual or mission. However don't get me wrong there will come a time, if you practice any thing more the basic magick that you will summon. BUT you need to reach that level. So use your head, and your heart when dealing with the elements.
References: Earth Power by Scott Cunningham, Snow Cats Cave, Author She Wolf Silver Shadows