The elements are an essential part to Paganism and magick itself. Working with the elements can bring about different effects and results to your spells and meditations, but elemental magick can also be a little tricky if you don’t know what you’re doing.
In this article, we’re going to give you a very high level of understanding of what elemental magick is, and some tips on how you can use it in your practice.
The Four Elements
In our practice, the four elements each provide a different type of energy and power. Since the beginning of early magickal traditions, practitioners have attempted to harness the powers of each of the elements. However, harnessing isn’t really what we want to achieve when working elemental magick. Instead, we want to be at peace with the elements, allowing them to flow through us, and give even more power to our workings.
So, what are the elements and their uses? Let’s get to it!
Air is all around us, it’s necessary for life, and is usually the easiest element to start working with because we’re so accustomed to it. Not to say that air is constantly friendly! We’ve all seen (or experienced) hurricanes, tornadoes, or large gusts, but air can also be a gentle breeze or a light wind.
Air is constantly changing and always fluid. It is the manifestation of intelligence, freshness, new beginnings, etc. To connect with this element, find a place where you can breathe deeply. Focus on the freshness of the air and the feeling you get from that deep breath.
Properties of Air
- Direction: East (the place the sun rises).
- Energy: Projective.
- Colors: Yellow (think about the sun, the sky at sunrise).
- Rituals to perform using air: Travel, study, freedom, recovering lost items.
- Ritual Forms: Throwing objects into the air, fanning objects, positive thinking.
- Season: Spring, the time of new beginnings and fresh starts!
- Magical Tools: Wand.
- Symbols: Feather, incense smoke, flowers.
Earth is the world around us, the ground, mountains, trees, dirt, grass, everything! The Earth grounds us, brings upon stability, and offers prosperity. “Mother” Earth is the place where all life comes from, and working with this element is important during rituals of business, fertility, stability, and knowledge.
Any workings that require stable ground, firmness, and energy should call upon the element of the Earth. It’s associated with darkness and quietness.
Properties of Earth
- Direction: North.
- Energy: Receptive
- Colors: Green.
- Rituals to perform using air: Money, fertility, grounding, employment.
- Ritual Forms: Planting, building in the sand, burying items.
- Season: Winter.
- Magical Tools: Pentacle.
- Symbols: Soil, wheat, leaves, plants, salt.
Water is another element that we can’t live without. Coming straight from the earth, water provides beginnings and endings. It can begin life (think seeds turning into plants) and end it, but no life can sustain without hydration.
Water cleanses, heals, and can also provide a way for us magical folk to peer into the psychic realm. Water is also known as the love element. It ebbs and flows, can pour over us, support us as we swim, and even power businesses.
Water is emotional and purifying, and should be used in rituals of healing, cleansing, happiness, reflection, and psychic ability.
Properties of Water
- Direction: West.
- Energy: Receptive
- Colors: Blue.
- Rituals to perform using air: Purifying, love, dreams, sleep, relationships.
- Ritual Forms: Place objects in water (including yourself!), take a bath, swim, or use water to dilute any other substance.
- Season: Autumn.
- Magical Tools: Cup or cauldron.
- Symbols: Shells, a cup of water, seaweed.
Fire is destructive, and creative. It provides heat, light, motion, and is constantly moving and active. We use fire to keep our homes warm, cook our food, and keep the darkness away. Fire transforms matter into smoke and ash, and thus, should be used in rituals of transformation.
You can feel the element of fire by standing in the sun, listening to a campfire crackle and pop, and watch the flames of a candle flicker with each breeze.
Controlling the destructive aspect of fire is important when working with this element. If you lose control over the destructive aspect, you can bring about negative results to your rituals.
Fire promotes change, passion, creativity, power, and sensuality.
Properties of Fire
- Direction: South.
- Energy: Projective.
- Colors: Red.
- Rituals to perform using air: Sex, courage, authority, remove negativity, strength.
- Ritual Forms: Burning or smudging.
- Season: Summer.
- Magical Tools: Athame.
- Symbols: Flame, lava, or any heated object.
With these ideas in mind, start out working with the elements slowly. Start by feeling the earth under your feet, or the way water flows over you in the shower. Once you feel comfortable enough, start introducing the elements into your rituals.
Kelly has been a practicing witch for over 10 years, and loves educating newbies to the craft! She tends to be drawn to tarot cards, scrying, and candle magick. This interest in Paganism and magick started at a young age – Kelly’s mom always says that she’s channeled Wednesday Addams, even as little girl! Kelly is a proud Ravenclaw, fangirl, believe of superheroes and fairytales, and obsesses easily. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for more.