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The Elements

Earth is the element of form, binding, and manifestation. From an occult perspective the element of Earth is the lowest in vibratory rate of the four elements. Most modern Witchcraft/Wiccan Traditions consider Earth to be a feminine▓ element.

Creatures known as Gnomes, a dwarf-like race, symbolize the active magickal principle of the elemental Earth. In a metaphysical sense, the color of Earth is yellow, symbolizing its vitality, activated by the sun, and it is associated with the Northern quarter. Some Wiccan Traditions associate Earth with other directional quarters and other colors. As a magickal agent the element of Earth is symbolized by the ritual tool known as a pentacle. In astrology the zodiac signs Capricorn, Virgo, and Taurus are associated with the element of Earth.


Air is commonly associated with mental activity and is considered masculine╣ in nature.

In modern Wicca/Witchcraft the magickal agent of the element of Air is symbolized by a ritual tool. Some traditions assign the wand to Air because it was once a branch moving in the wind. Other traditions assign the element of Air to the ritual blade because of the sound a blade can make when slicing the air.

Creatures known as Sylphs, a fairy-like race, symbolize the active magickal principle of elemental air. In a metaphysical sense, the color of Air is blue and it is associated with the Eastern quarter. Some Wiccan Traditions associate Air with other directional quarters and other colors. In astrology, the zodiac signs Aquarius, Libra, and Gemini are associated with the element of Air.

In old occult lore it was believed that spirits and ghosts had the power to wrap themselves inside the wind, giving them the ability to become invisible. From this lore, we find other associations such as the presence of a ghost indicated by areas of cold air.Howling winds were believed to carry spirits of the night. Because of the association of air, sudden gusts of wind were attributed to spirits and poltergeists.


Fire is sometimes known as the living element. It is perhaps the most ancient symbol of divinity. Fire is a living principle of duality, providing light and heat to aid humankind, while at the same time being a force of death and destruction. The eternal flame is a common theme in ancient Mystery Cults and typically represents the eternal presence of Divinity. Among the ancient Greeks, Hestia symbolized the divine living flame, as did Vesta among the Romans.

The ancients believed that fire could lie hidden in a piece of wood. By rubbing two pieces together the fire could often be coaxed from the wood. Once fire was produced the ancients often transported the flame on the end of a giant fennel stick, a custom that later associated fennel with the forces of light. The connection of fire as the living spirit latent in wood drew worshippers to establish and maintain sanctuaries for their deities within the forests, long after the creation of towns and cities. According to ancient legend, statues of deities were encased in a bundle of branches and transported to a new location when another sacred grove was to be established. In this manner the "fire" of the deities' spirit was conveyed from grove to grove.

In modern Wicca, Fire is one of the four creative elements. It is traditionally linked to the color red, although this does differ among the various traditions. As a magickal agent the element of fire is symbolized by a ritual tool. Some traditions assign elemental Fire to the ritual blade because the blade was forged in Fire. Other traditions assign it to the wand because of the use of wood as a torch. In astrology the zodiac sign Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are associated with Fire.


Water is an element associated with the west quarter. It is a symbol of regeneration, renovation, and dissolution. In occultism beings known as Undines are creatures of this element. Traditionally, the element of Water is associated with the color green - in many modern Wiccan/Witchcraft Traditions the color is blue.

In modern Wicca, Water is symbolized by the ritual tool known as the chalice. The chalice contains either water or wine that is used for ritual or magickal purposes. In astrology the zodiac signs Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio are associated with the element of Water.


Akasha meaning pure spirit, is the fifth element.It is the subtle spiritual essence that pervades all space. It is not ether itself, but is an ether-like substance of a spiritual rather than material nature. Essentially, Akasha is to ether what spirit is to physical matter. In ancient writings, such as the Puranas, Akasha is said to operate through sound or vibration. Thus it is identified with the element of Air, and in a spiritual sense with the "breath of god" concept in ancient Hebraic texts. Where we read in the book of Genesis that the "spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters," we can see Akasha in action through motion. In occultism, Akasha is considered to be an indispensable element of each magickal act.

To move energy in a ritual, spell, or work of magick is to evoke Akasha. Akasha is an element of the kundalini force as well, lying latent at the base of all magickal operations. The power of Akasha, as it relates to kundalini, is an "occult electricity." This energy rises with our emotions and desires, and is the basis for fertility of mind, body, and spirit. It is the energy of motivation, passion, and determination.

On a larger scale, Akasha is one of the Tattvic Tides│ of occult philosophy, an energy form that is most active at sunrise. As one of the Tattvic Tides, Akasha emanates the power of spirit to harmonize the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. The ancient myths of Western civiliztion tell of a time when the chaos was brought into harmony by the intervention of spirit. This is the symbolism of the pentagram, the four elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water controlled by spirit. In ancient Roman mythology the four elemental winds were the gods Borus, Eurus, Notus, and Zephyrus. Above them was a higher god, Aeoulus, who kept watch over them.




╣ In an occult sense, "masculine" refers to the characterisitics of specific types of energy rather than to gender.

▓ In an occult sense, "feminine" refers to the characteristics of specific types of energy rather than to gender.

│ Tattvic Tides are energy fluctuations within the magnetic field of earth.



Information on this page taken from
"Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft" by Raven Grimassi.

Graphics by Lynxspirit.


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