The 4 Elements and Magick
The Ancient Greeks believed that all and everything from the clouds in the sky to the animals that roam the plains to the buildings in the cities were all made from 4 main elements those of earth, air, fire and water, this theory being attributed to the Greek philosopher Empedocles and his cosomogenic theory. Today we know there is many more elements, 118 approx, however some would argue, myself included, that none of these would exist without the 4 elements to begin with.
In magick the elements play a huge role as most paths in magick use the elements in some way shape or form, this is because each element produces a different and unique form of energy which is used by practitioners and manipulated to the will and desire of the caster, often becoming more states of conciousness than physical elements. The connections with nature and the world mean that Paganism and the religion of Wicca have a lot of interaction with the elements and therefore many different rituals, spells and workings.
So with that being said a question is often asked by practitioners…. Do you need the elements to practice Magick? The simple answer is no you don’t but a lot of magick you perform might inadvertently use them anyway, this might be come clearer later. The use of elements directly might also improve, make easier or give you new ways to perform the outcome you eventually want.
So what are the 4 Elements…
Earth is the very foundation of life and the world, it is security, abundance and prosperous. It is the very place where life springs forth and once that life has been made it sustains it and nurtures it and of course mothers it.
North is the direction associated with earth
Green is the colour associated with earth
Winter is the time of year associated with earth
The pentacle is the tool associated with earth
Soil, leaves and salt are items to use in ritual with the earth
Air is an elemental we interact with all the time it surrounds us and everything in existence. Its fluid and constantly changes just as the magick and energies surrounding within it do. It is one of the easier elements to work with and so this is why we start with this one.
East is the direction associated with air
Yellow is the colour associated with air
Spring is the time of year associated with air
The ritual wand is the tool associated with air
Feathers, flowers and incense should be used in rituals with air
Fire is an integral part of living, even though we lived without for years, it is a representation of the sun and provides us with heat and light. It gives us the means of cooking nourishment for our bodies.
South is the direction associated with fire
Red, gold, crimson and white are colours associated with fire
Summer is the season associated with fire
The wand or the athame is the associated tool with fire
Flames, heated objects and candles are objects used in fire rituals
Water is thought to be the most sustaining of the elements and one we cannot live without, it gives us both the means to cleanse, sustain and travel.
West is the direction associated with Water
Blue are colours associated with Water
Autumn is the season associated with Water
The Cup and Cauldron is the associated tool with Water
Shells, Seaweed and Cups are all good ritual objects for Water
Now that we know the elements I am going to show you a few practices I have picked up over the last few years which incorporate the elements either directly or in directly.
First we will start with Evocation of the elements a ritual I often pair with casting a circle
Earth magick involves gem and stone magick and any form of plant or herb magick, but it is also routine magick meaning a ritual you do as a discipline and frequently. Here are a couple of examples.
A good way of using the element of air is by doing Scrying and Visualisation so here are two examples of rituals you can use to work with this element.
The magick practices associated with fire are candle magick and sun magick, here are a couple of rituals you can use when developing the fire element.
Finally rituals that include water of any kind are good ones to practice to become in tune with the water element below are some examples of what you could do
Creating Moon/Sun Water
Quite simply to do this place water in a bowl or jar and place either directly outside or on a clear windowsill where the moon or sun light can hit it, for solar water put it out at dawn and bring in at sundown and for moon water place out when dark and bring in just before dawn. Place this water in a bowl and put on your altar. At this point if you wish cast a circle or other protection spell, although it is fine to continue without.
You could also use the information above to create your own spells and rituals and practices remember it is your journey and practice so do it your way.
One final thing I will talk about is that for me I find over use or excessive use can sometimes upset the balance of the elements within you and although this does happen naturally, I find it happens more when you use the elements. A Sickness is caused by mental strains and stresses of a daily life, along with the involvement of environmental influence such as pollution. This is called an elemental imbalance. To negate and correct the imbalance you can perform the following ritual, and all that is needed is a heavily creative imagination and willpower.
With all this in mind adapting the elements into your practice may be beneficial to you and how you perform your magick and at the very least you may find some interesting and great rituals to perform yourself.
#elements #magick #ritual