|Working with the Elements
We exist in a world that consists of different types of energies that ply their laws on the workings of the world. As man
became aware of their power, he began to sort them and name them as he tried to link, through ritual, to the greater world
beyond what he could perceive with his senses. While the ancients acknowledged their power, the medieval scholar Paracelsus
was one of the first to name them, the Elementals, and categorize them according Aristotle's four elements. He wrote that
they were, “beings occupying a space between men and spirits, resembling men and women in their organization and form and
resembling spirits in the rapidity of their locomotion."
Today the Elements are referred to as everything from the basic structures of energies that make up the world, the nature
spirits of the field and forest, cosmic energies radiating from the World's soul. Some equate them with souls that lived in the
area and work the land long before our lifetimes. Other still say they are spirits of faery folk who lost their way and forgot
their names. In magick we think of the Elementals as an archetypal expression of the element in the purest form each with
unique properties and influences based on the Classical Greek elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit. (In the East they
include Metal), and together, they correspond to all living matter.
These elementals are sentient beings, each with its own unique and specific energy, and each is very much alive. They are not
to be commanded, but invited and if is suits them, they just might show up to stand guard or lend their energy to your
working. The elemental(s) you are drawn to reflects your own psychic nature for each of us has a unique brand of magick and
as you begin working with the elements you will feel drawn to work with one more than the others. As you begin to practice,
you may find something will work for you, while others will not. This is why there are so many different ways of doing things.
What is intuitive for someone creating magick at a hearth, may not work for someone who only works spells in their bathtub.
Remember, none are more right or correct than another, only better suited. Trust your intuition and you will come into your
power and you may discover a few allies along the way.
The element of Earth is represented by the North, the tarot suit pentacles, the pentagram, salt, gems and stones, minerals
and ores, sand, dirt and loam, and the earth itself. Its colors are brown and green. Earth is the element of the body and is
associated with the material world and our survival, our need of shelter, food and family. Earth energy is nurturing, balanced,
and grounding. It represents the home, the center, the very heart of life. Although Earth traits are common sense and
practicality, it also the appreciation of Earthly pleasures. It is the realm of abundance, prosperity and wealth. Earth is a
nurturing feminine element personified by the Earth Mother, the Goddess, earth elementals and gnomes. It governs stone and
knot magic and is an essential energy in spells and rituals for prosperity, business, fertility wisdom, strength, growth,
prosperity, balance and stability. Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn relate to this grounded energy.
The element of Air is represented by the East, the tarot suit swords, the athame, the wind, the breath, creatures that fly,
feathers, smoke, incense, sound, song, whistles, bells, sunrise, morning, waking, clarity, and the intellect. Its colors are
beige, yellow or blue. It is personified by sylphs, the air elementals. Air is the element of the mind. It is intellect, inspiration
and imagination. It is the energy of ideas, knowledge, dreams and wishes. Air governs the magick of the four winds. Air is the
element of new life and new possibilities and is essential in spells regarding travel, instruction, finding lost items, some types
of divination, freedom and wish magick. Air is a quick masculine element that aids in the burst of creative creation. It is
exciting and can be impetuous. Use it to fuel and inspire beginnings. Gemini, Libra and Aquarius relate to this life giving
The element of Fire is the element of energy in its purest form. It is an energy of transformation represented by the South,
tarot suit wands, the ritual staff or wand, wood, candles, flames, Mars, dance, passion, courage, fame, winning, war, public
speaking, and conquest. Its color is red. It is personified by salamanders, the fire elementals. Fire is the element of change,
will and passion. It is all about transformation. It is the realm of sexuality, not only the sacred fire of sex, but also the spark
of divinity which shines in all living things. The element of Fire relates to all forms of magic ans magic is the process of
change. It is a hot, mutable Masculine energy, and is the most physical and spiritual of all the elements. Aries, Leo and
Sagittarius are fire signs.
The element of Water is represented by the West, the tarot suit cups, the chalice, the inner life, the moon, intuition,
emotion, creativity, relationships, and of the creatures of the waters. Its colors are blue, aqua and green. Water is personified
by undines, the water elementals. Water is the element of emotion, the inner life, the highself and the subconscious. It is
both love and sorrow and associated with purification, intuition, mysteries of the self, compassion and family. Water is a
feminine element relating to tradition, community, and fantasy. It grants knowing, psychic ability and intuition. Water governs
spells and rituals involving mirrors, friendship, marriage, happiness, fertility, healing, pleasure, and psychic abilities.
And lastly at the center of the circle is Spirit represented by a white or purple candle, symbolized by a circle or an infinity sign.
Spirit is the energy that runs through all things, the source of all our power. We invite these energy to protect and to and
empower our magickal workings. Most notably, when we cast the circle.
|"They are beings occupying a space between men and
spirits, resembling men and women in their organization and
form and resembling spirits in the rapidity of their
locomotion." - Paracelsus
|These elementals are sentient beings or beings with consciousness. They are not to be commanded, but invited and if is suits
them, they may lend their energy to your working. To call the elements: Turn to the direction you have agreed to invite first.
Some call upon North first, others the East. Follow your intuition. Use candle magic by carving symbols into representative
candles: green or brown for Earth, yellow for Air, red for Fire, and blue for Water. Anoint each with oil to fix intention. Light
each candle as you bow to the direction and invoke the element.
The are many ways to invoke the Elements. As your practice evolves, you will discover a way that feels natural or intuitive to
you. The practice of magick is highly personal. Each path is individualized. You will find that tailoring a ritual to your specific
needs will may it more effective.
To invoke the Elements, turn to the East and invite the element of Air. You may bow, hold out a feather and swish it in the
air, waft smoke or incense or a sage wand. You might whistle. You might ring a bell. You might try song or even whistling.
There are old stories of witches whistling up the wind, while sailors never whistle on board for fear of calling a storm.
Invite the element of Fire by turning to the South and clapping sharply. You may dance. You may want to whoop loudly. Do
what you feel is right. This is a very personal thing and Fire is pure energy, like attracts like.
Invite the element of Water by turning to the west and holding out a chalice. You may use the sound of waves or even pour
out some drips of water.
Invite the element of Earth by turning to the North and placing your hands upon the ground. You might try resting your
forehead on the Earth in child's pose. If you are feeling the buzz of energy, you might want to drum on the ground with your
hands or stamp with your feet. This is great to connect with this element.
Lastly invite Spirit. To some this is Goddess energy, the Spark of Creation, the Source of all our power. To others it is the
Spirit of the Land, The Spirits of the Place, or even the Fair Folk. Now the circle is cast , the energies invited, and the space is
ready for the working.
Below are some well known phrases to use:
"Beings of Earth. Guardians of the North. Soils of Foundations, Come. Be welcome in this sacred space. I ask that you stand
firm to guard and protect and lend your energy to the work being done here by conveying my wishes to every grain of sand and
every piece of loam that is our world.
Beings of the Air, Guardians of the East, Breath of Transformation. Come. Be welcome in this sacred space. I ask that you
stand firm to guard and protect and lend your energy to the work being done here by conveying my wishes on every wind as it
reaches across the earth.
Beings of Fire, Guardians of the South, Spark of Creation that banishes darkness. Come. Be welcome in this sacred space. I
ask that you stand firm to guard and protect and lend your energy to the work being done here by conveying my wishes to the
sun moon and stars and every beam of light as it embraces the earth.
Beings of Water. Guardians of the West. Rain of Inspiration. Come. Be welcome in this sacred space. I ask that you stand firm
to guard and protect and lend your energy to the work being done here by conveying my wishes to dew drops and waves as
they wash across the world.
Great Goddess. The Power that binds all the elements. The source of all power. Come be welcome in this sacred space. I ask
that you stand firm to guard and protect and guide and fill all the energy created here. May it be for the good of all…"
"I call upon Air, element of thought and force of the wind. Come balance my spell by bring your wisdom to the work being done
in this circle.
I call upon Fire, element of passion and light. Come balance my spell by bring your power to the work being done in this circle.
I call upon Water, element of intuition, emotion and of the rain. Come balance my spell by bring your love to the work being
done in this circle.
I call upon Earth, element of home and fertile soil. Come balance my spell by bring your strength to the work being done in
or a quick invocation:
I call upon earth to be present for this spell. Welcome, lend your energy to this circle..."
By the earth that is her body
By the air that is her breath
By the fire of her spirit
By the waters of her womb
As above, so below,
The circle is made whole.
East I call to you,
High above the trees
Gliding on a soft breeze
Eagle come to me.
South I call to you,
Burning within me
Running through the jungle
Panther come to me.
West I call to you,
Deep within the sea
Dancing with the waves
Dolphin come to me.
North I call to you,
Underneath my feet
Howling at the full moon
Wolf come to me.
Center I call you,
Everywhere I see
Joining in the circle
Snake come to me.
By forest tree and mountain dark,
By bone and flesh and star of north,
By our bodies, by our life,
Spirits Green I call ye forth!
From the outer darkness, I conjure earth.
By rushing wind and gentle breeze,
By rising sun where things begin,
By our thoughts and by our minds,
Spirits Yellow now come in!
From the whirlwind, I conjure air.
By warmth of fire and dancing flame,
By white-hot star and Cauldron bright,
By passion, will, and quickened blood,
The Spirits Red, I call this night!
From the eternal flames, I conjure fire.
By the rain and by the flood,
By the tide and by the moon,
By our laughter and our tears,
I summon forth the Spirits Blue,
From the watery abyss, I conjure water.
All four stars in this place be,
Combined to call the Fifth to me,
By the four made one I call ye forth,
By spirits' song I call ye in.
Face the East,
Hail, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East
Powers of Air, I invoke you and call you.
Rising sun of hope, come!
By the air that is Her breath, send forth Your light!
Be with me now!
Face the South,
Hail, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the South
Powers of Fire, I invoke you and call you.
Flaming ones, Spark of life, come!
By the fire that is Her spirit, send forth Your flame
Be with me now!
Face the West,
Hail, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the West
Powers of Water, I invoke you and call you.
Whelming waves, water of life, come!
By the waters of the Living Womb, send forth Your flow
Be with me now!
Face the North,
Hail, Guardians of the Watchtowers of the North
Powers of Earth, Cornerstone of all power I invoke and call you.
Fertile field, towering mountain come!
By the earth that is Her body, send forth Your strength
Be with me now!
(Complete the circle)
NOTE: When you have finished your circle work you must release all the energy including the energies you invoked. Don't
forget to send them back to where they came from. You don't want a random element lolling about.
An easy way to do this is to simply thank the element for lending it strength to your circle and direct it to return from which it
"Guardians of the Earth, Powers of the North, Thank you for lending your energy to the work being done, hail and farewell". Put
out the candle that represented the northern element and move on to the next.
Cardinal signs are energetic, dynamic and proactive.
Fixed signs are persistence, perseverant, stable.
Mutable signs are flexible, changeable, adaptable, suggestible.
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|Working with the Elements