Last Updated on July 9, 2022 by Wishbonix
The universe is a mystery, and no degree of practical scientific reasoning can define its horizon. The origin of magic lies in the womb of the universe. It is the power of this unexplained vastness that witches, practitioners, and spell-casters invoke.
Similarly, the possibilities and perspective of magic will also remain a challenge to all.
But, there are some aspects of magic related to the cosmos that can be explained and put into regular practice by the chosen ones. Among them are the five elements of magic. The five elements include Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and ether (or spirit) that unites the rest of the elements.
The five points of the ‘pentagram,’ the most famous symbol used in witchcraft, denote the five elements of magic. These elements have certain qualities and are associated with a particular direction.
The Elements of Magic
The four elements of magic are crucial to understanding the various spells and the entire esoteric culture surrounding magic. Since most magic comes from some sort of paganism, it is no wonder these elements weigh heavily in magic due to their naturalistic powers.
Let’s have a closer look at the elements:
Air is the element of the East, and it’s where the sun rises. Therefore, it governs the eastern quarter of the circle. It is the place of new beginnings and is associated with mental processes, intelligence, and thinking. Air’s color is usually yellow, and its music is from bells and flutes. This spiritual element is related to life through the soul and the breath. Without Air, there is no life. Any type of spell work that deals with the power of the mind, soul-seeking, communication, troubles, negative thoughts, or wisdom will have Air associated with the ceremony.
The element denotes activity, warmth, and moisture. It is associated with the first breath of life and speech. It also signifies clear perception and intelligence. Furthermore, it is usually identified with the eastern direction.
Correspondences of the Element Air
- Attract the Element of Air with: Incense, oil
- Direction: East
- Gender: Masculine
- Season: Spring
- Colors: Yellow, white
- Time of day: dawn, the rising sun
- Magical Tools: Athame, Dagger, Sword, Bell, Flute, Quill
- Chakra: Heart
- Tarot: Suit of Sword
- Planet: Mercury
- Zodiac Signs: Aquarius, Gemini, Libra
- Gemstone: Citrine, beryl,
- Plants: valerian, bergamot, verbena, clover, lavender
- Scents: jasmine, lavender, sandalwood
- Creatures: sylphs, angels, spirits, fairies
- Power animals: bees, insects, butterflies, birds
- Symbols: wind, clouds, sky, plants, trees, herbs, flowers
- Topics: imagination, ideas, learning, new beginnings, knowledge
- Magical workings: visualization, defensive magic, desires, divination, purification, ending addictive behavior, intuition, finding what was lost, dreams, and change.
- Positive: creativity, joy, concentration, independence
- Negative: Dishonesty, gossip, shallowness, unemotional, arrogance
Fire is associated with the heat of the day, action, anger, and passion. Lizards, heat, scorpions, salamanders, spices, sex, and the noon-day sun are all associated with Fire. Fire’s colors are red and orange, and its music is from brass instruments. As Earth and Water are feminine elements of magic, Fire is the masculine counterpart. Fire has the ability to create and destroy, cure and harm. Spells that have to do with becoming a stronger person, walking away from relationships, and ending what were once strong ties or connections will usually have some sort of fire element of magic used in the ceremony.
Fire denotes warmth, dryness, and an explosion of energy. It is considered to be the source and the destroyer of life. It also possesses the power to purify (like how gold is purified by passing it through Fire). Its corresponding direction is south.
Correspondences of the Fire Element
- Attract the Element of Fire with Incense, candles, lamps, and Fire
- Direction: south
- Gender: Female
- Season: summer
- Colors: red, orange
- Time of day: noon
- Magic tools: wand, sword, censer, candles.
- Chakra: Solar Plexus
- Tarot: Suit of Wands
- Planets: Sun, Mars
- Zodiac signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
- Gemstones: ruby, carnelian, fire opal, garnet
- Plants: nettle, pepper, juniper, St. John’s wort
- Scents: cinnamon, clove
- Creatures: Salamander, Dragon
- Power animals: lion, lizards, fire salamander
- Symbols: sun, lightning, rainbows, volcanoes
- Topics: courage, desire, purification, energy
- Magical workings: Confidence, Love, Purification, Sexuality, Agility, Being Active.
- Positive: leadership, strength, passion, intuition, loyalty, power.
- Negative: jealousy, stubbornness, hubris, anger, aggression.
Water is associated with the coolness that follows the noon-day sun. It is the rushing rivers, streams, and oceans. Water is an emotional element. Tears of sadness or joy are Water, and our bodies consist mainly of water. Water is associated with thunderstorms, waterfowl, and fish. Water’s colors are shades of blue and green, and its music is from the violin or piano. Water is the source that sustains all life, making it a crucial element in magic. Water usually deals with spells that involve healing, purifying, and cleansing since Water can wash away all evil that the body and mind suffer from.
Water is cool, moist, creative, and transformative. It represents the subconscious, receptivity, and rebirth. Many traditions associate this element with the western direction.
Correspondences of the Element Water
- Attract the Element of Water with Water, bowls of Water, or washes
- Direction: West
- Gender: Female
- Season: Autumn
- Colors: blue, green, turquoise
- Time of day: evening twilight
- Magical tools: bowl, chalice, cauldron, mirror, goblet.
- Chakra: Sacral
- Tarot: Chalices
- Planets: Venus, Moon
- Zodiac signs: Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio
- Gemstones: pearls, moonstone, aquamarine, sapphire
- Plants: jasmine, chamomile, narcissus, hibiscus
- Scents: rose, chamomile
- Creatures: mermaids, nymphs, undines, mermaids
- Power animals: fish, frogs, toads, dolphins
- Places: ponds, lakes, seas, rivers, streams
- Symbols: Wells, lakes, oceans, springs, rain, mist, fog, snow, rivers
- Topics: love, feelings, sadness, emotions, unconscious
- Magical workings: Love, Friendship, Letting Go, Forgiveness, Thoughts, Moon Magic, Fertility, Family.
- Positive: awareness, friendship, purity, harmony.
- Negative: instability, depression, sluggishness.
Earth symbolizes the rest of the time of darkness. It is the place of growth, abundance, death, and returning to the Earth. Earth is associated with most creatures that walked the Earth, including stones, seeds, trees, and plants. Earth’s colors are shades of black, green, and brown, and its music can be found in the drum. The Earth element of magic is used frequently in love spells and fertility spells since the Earth is inextricably linked to femininity. Other characteristics of the Earth include solidarity, stability, strength, and endurance. Any type of spell associated with these characteristics will typically deal with Earth elements of magic.
Earth denotes fertility and stability, dryness and coolness being its other qualities. The Earth is believed to be born out of the interaction between Air, Fire, and Water. Its corresponding direction is North.
Correspondences of the Element Earth
- Attract the Element of Earth with Salts and Powders
- Direction: North
- Gender: Female
- Season: Winter
- Colors: brown, mud, camouflage
- Time of day: Night
- Magical tools: Pentagram, bowl, coins, stones, trees, salt, images.
- Chakra: roots
- Tarot: Suit of Coins
- Planets: Earth, Saturn
- Zodiac signs: Capricorn, Taurus, Virgo
- Gemstones: Rock crystal, Tourmaline, Cat’s Eye
- Plants: Ivy, roots, oak
- Scents: pine, patchoulie
- Creatures: Dwarves, Goblins, Gnomes
- Power animals: bears, marmots, ibexes, mice
- Places: forests, caves
- Symbols: mountains, stones, earth, rocks, field and mines
- Topics: growth, prosperity
- Magical workings: Earth Magic, Healing, Materialism, Money, Fertility, Pregnancy, Fortitude, Education, Planting, Success, Death, Nature, Rebooting, Grounding.
- Positive: education, responsibility, self-confidence.
- Negative: obsession with cleanliness, materialism, slowness, rigid thinking, not being open, intolerance.
This element is seen as the source of life force. Spirit is complicated to explain and almost impossible to show. It is not a place – it is above, below, within, and without. It is considered the hub of the wheel and the top of the pentacle. There are no real colors associated with spirit.
Ether is the supernatural or the divine spirit that binds the other four elements together. It is not associated with any particular direction, and its quality cannot be defined in words. It is said that once a person begins to understand the four elemental forces of nature, he will come closer to understanding this fifth and the most essential divine element.
So you see, the elements of magic and their use in rituals and spells are not that difficult to understand.
The Elements in different Religions and Traditions
Whatever magical path you follow, devotion and concentration are key terms to implement for the best results.
Mention of these five elements of magic has been made in different religions and beliefs around the world as well. According to Hindu philosophy, all creations of the universe are made up of these five elements. Japanese philosophy also stresses the dominance of either of these in a person’s behavior or character. As far as the practitioners of the Wiccan traditions are concerned, these elements help them gain insight into the rhythm of nature and identify this with the rhythm of their own lives.
The Directions of Magic
The direction associated with the elements varies according to the tradition of magic and witchcraft; the qualities remain the same. Varieties of elemental exercises are performed by covens or solitary practitioners, which are more straightforward for beginners and more complex with experience.
The four directions can be represented in different ways. To the North, a bowl of Earth or salt is placed. To the East, a censor with smoldering incense is placed. A candle is put to the South, and a bowl of Water is placed to the West. These four objects may be placed on the Altar instead of around the circle. When the circle has been cast, the ritual can begin.
A bowl of salt can represent North. It is the element Earth that represents stability, nourishment, and fertility.
East can be represented by incense. It is the element of Air, and it represents communication, divination, movement, and spirituality.
South can be represented with a candle. It is the element of Fire, and it represents change, passion, strength, success, and health.
A cup of Water can represent West. It is the element of Water, and it represents emotion, love, healing, beauty, and the emotional spirit.