Elements and Directions of Magic

Witches honor the elements Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit and their associated directions North, East, South, West, and Center in the sacred circles where rituals are held and spells are executed.

The Sacred Circle is a symbol of self and divinity defining the ritual area and creates the proper atmosphere for the ritual bringing the participants closer to the Goddess and God.  The circle is usually nine feet in diameter. The circle defines the ritual area, holding in the personal power and shutting out distracting energy, creating the proper environment for the rites. The Elements of Nature – Earth, Air, Fire, and Water are the four building blocks of the universe. Whenever possible Wiccans will meet outdoors because rituals conducted outside are much more effective than those done indoors surrounded by non natural items. When the Circle is completed, it is a sphere of energy encompassing the entire work area.  Candles are place on the circumference orientated to the four cardinal corners.

The Elements of Magic

The four elements of magic is crucial to understanding the various spells and entire esoteric culture surrounding magic.  These main elements include earth, water, fire and air.  Since most magic comes from some sort of paganism, it is no wonder that these elements weigh in heavily in magic due to their naturalistic powers.  These elements  are what makes the world go round and are the reason which all matter exists.  Sometimes in Wicca there is a fifth element which is the spirit.

Let’s have a closer look at the elements of magic:


Element of AirAir

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 it 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 in the ceremony.

Correspondences of the Element Air

  • Attract the Element of Air with: Incense, oil
  • Colors: Red, yellow
  • Direction: East
  • Symbols: Wind, clouds, sky, plants, trees, herbs, flowers
  • Tools: Wand, incense, visualization


Element of FireFire

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.

Correspondences of the Element Fire

  • Attract the Element of Fire with: Incense, candles, lamps, and fire
  • Colors: White, red
  • Direction: South
  • Symbols: Sun, lightening, rainbows, volcanoes
  • Tools: Candle, lamp, athame (dagger), censer, burning herbs, requests written on paper


Element of WaterWater

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 mostly if water.  Water is associated with thunderstorms, water fowl, 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 an extremely important element in magic.  Water usually deals with spells that has to do with healing, purifying and cleansing since water can wash away all evil that the body and mind suffer from.

Correspondences of the Element Water

  • Attract the Element of Water with: Water, bowls of water, or washes
  • Colors: Blue, gray
  • Direction: West
  • Symbols: Wells, lakes, oceans, springs, rain, mist, fog, snow, rivers
  • Tools: Cauldron, mirror, goblet


Element of EarthEarth

Earth symbolizes rest or 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 as well as stones, seeds, trees, and plants.  Waters 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 that is associated with these characteristics will normally deal with Earth elements of magic.

Correspondences of the Element Earth

  • Attract the Element of Earth with: Salts and Powders
  • Colors: Black, Green
  • Direction: North
  • Symbols: Mountains, stones, soil, rocks, fields, and mines
  • Tools: Stones, pentagram, trees, salt, images



Spirit is very difficult 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.

So you see the elements of magic and their use in rituals and spells is not that difficult to understand.

The Directions of Magic

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.  To the South a candle is placed and to the West a bowl of water is placed.  These four objects may be placed on the Alter instead of around the Circle.  When the circle has been formed the ritual can begin.


North can be represented by a bowl of salt.  It is the element Earth that represents stability, nourishment, and fertility.


East can be represented by incense.  It is the element Air and it represents communication, divination, movement, and spirituality.


South can be represented with a candle.  It is the element Fire and it represents change, passions, strength, success, and health.


West can be represented by a cup of water.  It is the element Water and it represents emotion, love, healing, beauty, and the emotional spirit.


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