The Elements

Introducing the Elements

The five elements make up everything. They are not merely earth, air, fire, water and spirit — but they are concepts, energy states, states of being, philosophical concepts. It is important to realize how fundamental the elements are to our existence.

Working with the elements enables us to balance ourselves and remain centered, and promotes growth through realization of imbalances in ourselves (be they qualities, emotions, habits, etc.) and the means to change the qualities, through working with them and transmuting them.

The aim of any Witch regardless of tradition would include mastering the four elements and bringing them into balance. This can take a lifetime to achieve, but is a goal worth perusing. The elements make up everything and as such is part of the foundations of practical magick.

Elemental Meditation Exercise

Focus on your body and meditate on how each element is present within it.

You may become aware of how air is present as the oxygen in your lungs and bloodstream, fire as the nerve impulses and digestive process, water as the blood and bulk of the tissues, earth as the bones, teeth, hair, etc.

Note how many of each of the positive and negative qualities of the element apply to you. You will then have a way to check which elements are more or less active in yourself, and be able to concentrate on the weaker elements, and on changing the negative traits of an element in yourself into positive traits of the same element.

When you have your list of negative qualities, ask yourself why you have those qualities. This requires a lot of honest self-exploration, and working through past events in your life which may have been left unresolved.

Whilst you are doing self-exploratory work, remember to meditate on the positive qualities of the element you are working with, and as energy is released from releasing blockages, focus it into meditating on the positive qualities of the element.

When doing this work, bear in mind that emotions such as anger and sadness are natural, and often necessary, states, which can produce positive growth as well through their experiences.

Meditate on each element in turn, facing the direction of the element.

Start by considering the element in yourself as you have already done, and then visualize whatever feels right for you (e.g. rivers, rain, waterfalls, the sea, etc. for water) and see how it makes you feel.

If you can, go and be near the elements, e.g. by the sea, or a river for water, or out in a storm. Consider the presence and action of the elements in our lives around us all the time, and add this to your notes.

For example, consider when you have a bath, you bathe in water, which cleans you, then you use a towel (earth) to dry, you may use a dryer on your hair (air, powered by electricity, fire), etc.

When you use this method of perception you will appreciate the elements and their qualities much more, and develop your relationship with them, and see how you can use them to balance yourself.

Air: To Know

Direction: East
Tools: Dagger/Athame, Censer, Flute
Time: Dawn
Season: Spring
Colors: Yellow and White
Sense: Smell
Concepts: Intellect, Knowledge, Clarity, Discrimination, Mind, Speed, Sound, Intuition
Qualities (+): Inspiration, Wisdom, Hope, Logic, Joy, Analysis, Discernment, Decisiveness
Qualities (-): Anxiety, Fear, Impulsiveness, Paranoia, Dispersion, Prejudice, Insecurity

Fire: To Will

Direction: South
Tools: Wand, Rattle, Sistrum
Time: Noon
Season: Summer
Colors: Red and Orange
Sense: Sight
Concepts: Energy, Freedom, Success, Drive, Transmutation, Light, Power, Vision
Qualities (+): Courage, Motivation, Drive, Enthusiasm, Passion, Will, Creativity
Qualities (-): Fickleness, Vengefulness, Violence, Possessiveness, Fear, Hatred, Violent, Cruelty, Physical, Anger, Egotism

Water: To Dare

Direction: West
Tool: Chalice
Time: Dusk
Season: Autumn
Color: Blue
Sense: Taste
Concepts: Emotions, Dreams, Intuition, Death/Rebirth, Taste, Primal Chaos, Underworld, Unconscious, Blood, Womb
Qualities (+): Compassion, Sympathy, Empathy, Nurture, Sexuality, Trust, Serenity, Tranquility, Depth
Qualities (-): Sadness, Jealousy, Hatred, Insipid, Treachery, Sorrow, Deceit, Spite, Venom

Earth: To Keep Silent

Direction: North
Tools: Pentacle, Drum
Time: Midnight
Season: Winter
Colors: Green and Brown
Sense: Touch
Concepts: Body, Strength, Stillness, Endurance, Mystery, Power, Healing, Skill, Touch
Qualities (+): Strength, Steadfastness, Stability, Sensuality, Humility, Selflessness, Patience, Responsibility, Persistence, Realization, Tolerance
Qualities (-): Laziness, Stubbornness, Greed, Attention Seeking, Inertia, Domineering, Depression, Melancholy

Spirit: To Go

Direction: Center (Within/Without)
Tools: Cauldron and Sword
Time: Between the Worlds
Season: The Turning Wheel
Colors: Purple, Black, White
Sense: Hearing
Concepts: Will, Harmony, Evolution, Life Force, Transcendence, Sixth Sense, Transformation Continue to Spirit

Spirit is represented by the top point of the upwards pointing pentagram and is said to be present when the four elements are in balance.

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