The elements are air, fire,water, and earth. Spirit is usually considered the fifth element. The elements are an important part of most pagan beliefs systems. The four elements are usually represented in the four quarters of the magic circle with the fifth element, spirit, ruling the center.
A familiar symbol of the elements can be seen in the pentacle.
Each point of the pentacle represents an element with the top point representing the element of spirit.
Most people use the pentacle with the top point facing upwards, symbolizing the element of spirit as ruling over the others. This is why to some people, an inverted pentagram represents chaos. However, not everyone shares this point of view. Some covens do use an inverted pentagram to represent a second or third degree witch. The Eastern Star, a group of women associated with the Masons, also use an inverted pentagram as their symbol. In addition, some Satanists use the inverted pentagram .
As all living things are believed to have spirit, plant, animal and human, the elements are believed to have spirits that rule over them. These spirits are called elementals. In addition to being called upon as the guardians of the circle by some, they can also be called upon to ask for aid in spells and rituals. Offerings are sometimes made to persuade them to help.
Elementals vary slightly depending on the path or magical system and this is not intended to be a complete resource, this is just what I have learned and how I see them.
The Elementals for each element are as follows:
Air: The sylphs. They are seen as tiny winged creatures
Fire: Firedrakes and Salamanders. Salamanders are lizard type creatures. Firedrakes are dragon like. Some Firedrakes sometimes make themselves visible to humans as dragon shaped flames in a fire.
Water: Nymphs and mer-creatures. Nymphs are similar to water faeries. Mer-creatures are more fish like.
Earth: Gnomes, dwarves and the “little people”. Most tend to live underground.
I’ve found visualization very useful when working with elemental magic. In my opinion, it is one of the easiest visualizations to accomplish. If you are in need of water energy for cleansing, visualize a cleansing rain. Don’t just think of how rain looks, try to imagine how it “feels” after a well needed rain has passed. If you are in need of earth energy for prosperity, you might visualize a healthy plant growing to it’s fullest, or
A forest in spring. If you need to rid yourself of negativity and you feel fire energy is needed, visualize a very active fire, perhaps a fire burning garbage or the negativity itself (use whatever symbolizes negativity to you.) Naturally, you would want the fire to be under control. And the same with water, you wouldn’t visualize a hurricane or tidal wave.
As with anything, the elements should always be balanced in your rituals. Too much of anything can be just as bad as not enough. Too much fire can bring about the negative effects of fire. Jealousy, anger, etc. It could also make as spell work too fast, too harshly or burn out quickly. Too much air might make a spell to fleeting . Too much water energy might cause depression and too much earth energy might cause the energy to be too slow, or stagnant.
Most things in ritual, as well as in life, correspond to an element. These correspondences may be useful in determining how to represent each element in ritual. They can also be useful in gaining a better understanding of the nature of each element and what it represents.
Elemental Ruler: Paralda
Time of day: Dawn
Symbols: Feather, Incense, Wand, Oils
Some things associated with the element of Air: Memory, Thoughts, New beginnings, Finding Lost items, truth, justice, logic, intellect
Some Herbs Associated with the element of Air: clover, lavender mistletoe, meadowsweet,
Type of energy: Masculine
Wind: East wind
Zodiac signs ruled by Air: Libra, Gemini, Aquarius
Power of magus: Nocere, To Know
Elemental Ruler: Dijin
Time of Day: Noon
Symbols: Candle, Sword, Athame, Incense Burner
Some Things associated with the element of fire: Energy, Passion, Taking Action as opposed to just thinking about it, Protection especially where active is needed as opposed to passive.
Some Herbs Associated with the element of Fire: Cinnamon, Pepper, Ginger, Garlic, Basil, Cedar, Rosemary, Dragon's blood
Type of energy: Masculine
Wind: South Wind
Zodiac Signs ruled By Fire: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Power of Magus: Audere, To Dare
Elementals: Nymphs, Undines
Elemental ruler: Niksa
Time of day: Dusk
Symbols: Chalice, Goblet, Cauldron, Mirror
Some things associated with water: Emotions, friendship, dreams, intution, psychic abilities.
Some Herbs associated with The element of water: Jasmine, Gardenia, Rose, yarrow, Irish Moss, sandalwood
Type Of energy: feminine
Wind: West wind
Zodiac symbols ruled by water: Scorpio, Cancer, Pisces
Power Of Magus: Velle, To will
Elemental Ruler: Ghob
Time Of day: Midnight
Symbols: Salt, Stones, Herbs, Cords
Some things associated with the element of earth: Protection, Prosperity, Stability, Securtity, Carreer, home and family life.
Some Herbs associated with the element of Earth: Fern, Vervain, Primrose, Mugwort,
Type Of Energy: Feminine
Wind: North wind
Zodiac Symbols ruled by Earth: Virgo, Taurus Capricorn
Power Of magus: Tacere, to be silent