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Air, Fire, Water and Earth, Elements of Nature within Witchcraft


Photo of the 4 Elements and a Magician
The 4 Elemental Symbols

Introduction


If you've walked around Witchcraft and Magickal you don't have to go far to see the 4 Elements of Air, Fire, Water and Earth tightly woven into the fabric of Magickal operations and Witchcraft. Drawn from Alchemy, the 4 Elements hold special Spiritual significance and represent the foundation for many Magickal Traditions, including Witchcraft, and equally to Divinatory systems like the Tarot.


This is just a short introductory posts, and I will go into greater depth on each Element individually.


AIR

Photo of the Element of Air and a Magician
Elemental Symbol for Air

The Element of Air, located in the East, connected to the Mind, Creativity, New Ideas, Thought, Speech, the Colour Yellow, Spring, Dawn and the New Moon. Its tools are the Wand (Some say Athame), Sword, Bell (or Sound Instrument) and Censor. In the Tarot it represented by suit of Swords, which is relates to the Mind, Thoughts and Communication.


At the start of our Magickal Workings the Element of Air is already present, here we begin at the level of thought. What is it that we desire to give birth to in our lives? What tools, practice, herbs or crystals will we use? The weaving of our Intentions for our Spell starts and concludes with the Element of Air, from thought to speech.


For me the Tool most Associated with Air is the Censor, a Blade or Wand is for the direction of Energy and I connect this to Fire. The act of setting something on Fire to release the Air within, is the act of releasing the Intention contained within it. If you followed my previous post about preparing herbs, you will have blessed and charmed your Herbs, the process of placing your Intentions intentionally into your herbs or incense. Equally the Bell is another Primary Tool of Air, used to "call in" Spirits, Intentions, Sacred Winds and more.


In the Tarot, the suit of Swords is governed by the Element of Air, and represents the Intellect, the conscious aspects of the mind. Swords are a mirror to the quality of beliefs, attitudes and thoughts. For example the 4 of Swords with its depiction of a Knight lying on a tomb suggests that n ow is a time of rest and recuperation, perhaps even a time to meditate. This is often due to reaching a milestone, to recharge your batteries before you undertake the next Milestone.


FIRE


Photo of the Element of Fire and a Magician
Elemental Symbol for Fire

The Element of Fire, located in the South, connected to Transformation, Transmutation, Will, Passion, the Spirit, the colour Red, Summer, Noon, Full Moon and Sun. Its Tools are the Athame (Some say Wand) and Candle. In the Tarot the Wands are the suit associated with the Element of Fire, Primal Energy, Spiritual Energy, Strength and Transformation.


If Air represents our Intentions of our Magick, then Fire is both the Fuel and the Method through which our Intention is transformed into the outcome. Equally it is the Passion for that which we desire, without Passion there is no Magick, Nature, Gods or the Universe will not respond to a lack of Passion, if you do not desire for change there is no fuel to weave you Magick into the Great Web of Life. Fire is also the Will or Will Power in our Workings, however I intend to go into depth on this is a future post.


The Athame is used to Direct Energy, either to draw Sacred Symbols into the Air, or create Magick circles. The Candle is used to Light our Incense, Herbs and provide the fuel to Transform. For those who follow a more Kitchen Based Witchcraft, there are a variety of uses for Fire, from boiling Water for Simmer pots and making potions, to the use of Brews and burning Incense.


In the Tarot the suit of Wands are governed by the Element of Fire, and represent the Action level, we can use it in our Creative pursuits, it can be expansion, bringing the Seeds of new life to fruition or it can be wild and unpredictable being destructive. Again it is the Passion, the Spark of life. In the Wild Wood Tarot the Wands are renamed as "Bows", and the Ace of Bows, with its image of the Drill Bow, here we see that the Tool to give life is also the tool that can bring about its end. It is labelled "The Spark of Life, the kindling of the Flame, the beginning of the creative process. But be mindful of how big the flames become for they can easily engulf you if left unattended.


Water


Photo of the Element of Water and a Magician
Elemental Symbol for Water

The Element of Water, located in the West, connected to Intuition, Emotions, Psychic Energy, The Dead the colour Blue, Autumn, Setting Sun, Waning Moon. Its Tools are the Cauldron, Water Pourer and Chalice. In the Tarot the Cups are the suit associated with the Element of Water, Psychic Energy, Emotions, the Heart, Love and Intuition.


Water is both a vessel for holding Memory in Magick, by either Boiling Herbs, creating Crystal Elixirs, or speaking or Intentions into the Water. It is also the feeling level of Magick, what do you feel in relation to the Spell you have just released? If you are of an Anxious Mind, with racing thoughts, you may bring the Emotion (Energy in Motion) of desperation to your Working, which may create the opposite effect. The lusting for our Spell to Work can be counteracted by the feeling of Happiness and Gratitude that our Spell has worked!


Whether you use a Cauldron or a Cooking Pot on your Stove, the Traditional Image of the Witch Brewing a Potion can not be ignored at the level of the Element of Water. Simmer Pots and using the left over Water to create washes and liquid Smudge are some of my favourite ways to work Magick in my Kitchen. For me the it is the Cauldron that represents the Womb, not the Chalice, and the Waters are the Sacred Waters of life, what better representation of Magick could there be? From the dark Void springs forth new life!


In the Tarot the suit of Cups are governed by the Element of Water, and represent the Emotional Level, the Intuition, feelings, relationships, friendships and connections with others. Water always fills a space and in the Tarot Cups and Water represent fluidity and our ability to get into the "Flow". There is an aspect of Healing to both Water as an Element and the suit of Cups, as well as cleansing and purification.


Earth


Photo of the Element of Earth and a Magician
Elemental Symbol for Earth

The Element of Earth, located in the North, connected to Fertility, Grounding, Physical Energy, Protection, the colour Green, Winter, Night Time, Dark Moon. Its Tools are the Bowl and Pentacle. In the Tarot the Pentacles or Discs are the suit associated with the Element of Earth, the material realm wealth, prosperity, abundance and success.


Here we see our Maigckal Intentions come to fruition, the Fertile Womb of Life has given Birth to our Desires. However this is not before we have taken appropriate action in the Physical World, there has to be action in all things of course. The Element of Earth also represents the Physical components of our Working, the Herbs, Stones, Metals, Crystals, and even the objects we craft, like Spell Bottles, Charms or Sigils.


The Ritual Bowl or Plate are useful tools in our Magickal Workings, Bowls can be used to Bless, Charm or Charge Herbs and Crystals, as well as being a Magickal Construct to focus our Wil and Intentions, for example the creation of Money Bowls. We can use a Ritual Plate ( I have a brass Plate) to create Herbal or Crystal grids combined with Candle Magick. And of course one can't not mention the Pentacle, the symbol of the Elements. Whilst many Practitioners view the top point as Spirit, for me, I feel it is all the other Elements combined to bring that which is in the Unmanifested Reality into the Physical Reality.


In the Tarot the suit of Discs or Pentacles are governed by the Element of Earth, and represents the physical and external level of Consciousness. This includes the financial, material, business/employment, and Health. Here we see the work we have put in to manifest our desires, but also the inner work, we have come to a place of self realisation and perhaps self acculturalisation. We see that our work has brough about success in all things.


Conclusion

There is so much material that can be covered on the Elements, and whilst its completely possible to practice Witchcraft without delving into the them. There is no doubt that they can enhance our Magickal Workings and bring us into deeper states of Healing, Self Reflection and Power.


I will continue to explore the Elements in greater detail in Future Posts, but for now please feel free to check out our Ceremonial range of Products which have several items dedicated to the Elements. https://www.thecunninggrove.co.uk/category/ceremonial-magick

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