All About Working with Elements in Magick
The four elements are not only fundamental in the creation and balanced sustenance of the planet, but also in a magick and ritual. Each element is associated with particular directions, energies, and properties that practitioners need to understand while building and implementing ritual and ceremony. How the elements are integrated into your ritual might depend on the type of witchcraft, spirituality, or magick you identity with in your praxis, as well as the intention of the ritual itself. However the elements begin to work themselves into your lives, it is important to know the basics so you can build more effective rituals and ceremonies, drawing on the powers of our spiritual/natural elements for guidance.
Direction: East (or North in some practices)
Properties: Masculine, logical, communicative, straightforward, intellectual, movement, travel
Deities associated with Air: Oya, the Morrigan, Athena, and Hermes
Tools & Symbols: Swords, Athame, feathers
Colors: White and silver
Zodiac Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Air can be brought into ritual when you are seeking knowledge, factual truth, or the strength to communicate clearly. It can also be used when you are hoping to integrate movement or travel into your life. Air is the ultimate, no B.S. element. It is sharp, quick, and transparent. It is not going to sugarcoat anything for you—if you are calling upon Air (or the deities associated with it) be prepared for the expectations that will come with it. You will be asked to act, to use your voice (your throat chakra), and to derive your power from the head more than the heart.
Air asks you: what is it that you want? What is it that you know? What are the strategies you can execute to obtain these intentions or goals? What do you really want to say?
Some ways you can integrate Air into your ritual are: breathe work, dance, suspension of particular tools, hiking tall peaks or hills, or shapeshifting meditations (particularly with birds).
Direction: North (or East in some practices)
Properties: Feminine, receptive, fertility, stability, grounding, nurturing
Deities associated with Earth: The Earth Mother, Hathor, The Green Man, The Hunter, Jord and Nerthus
Tools & Symbols: Pentacle, salt, dirt, stones or crystals (stones and crystals can also be associated with other elements)
Colors: Green, yellow, brown, and black
Zodiac Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Earth is an element of grounding, home, and the root chakra. It can brought into ritual when you are seeking comfort, stability, abundance, or wealth. Earth energy is Mother Energy; she is simultaneously nurturing and fierce. She is a steadfast element, asking you to dig into yourself, to grip into your roots, to see how you grow.
Earth asks: how are you tending to your garden? What do you need to incorporate into your daily life or practice to feel strong in your own skin? When do you feel most nourished? The most at home? What have you endured? How have you endured it?
Some ways you can integrate Earth into your ritual is: cooking and/or eating, planting, herbalism magick, and performing ritual outside (preferably with bare feet, or siting on the ground).
Properties: Masculine, sexuality, creativity, ambition, action, protection
Deities associated with Fire: Brigid, Athena, Hephaestus, Shango, Hestia, Loki
Tools & Symbols: Candles, wands
Colors: Red, gold, crimson, and orange
Zodiac Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Fire is the element of action, sexuality, creativity, and the sacral chakra. It is a fierce, passionate element, one that loves emotionally, and protects its community like a lion. It is often brought into ritual when you are seeking the drive to move outward or act externally, to harness the burning in your belly and take a risk on yourself. It can also be included in ritual if you are needing to reimagine or recreate aspects of yourself, your practice, or anything that requires creativity. Lastly, it is often associated with sexuality, and can be integrated into ritual if you are hoping to spice up your sex life, partnership, or relationship to the body.
Fire asks you: when do you see yourself most as artist, or as a sexual being? When do you feel most confident to take a risk on yourself? When were times that you felt ambitious, driven, and unstoppable? How can you recreate this feeling or environment so you can feel that way again?
Fire can be brought into ritual by: lighting candles, bonfires, burning incense, sitting in saunas, or masturbating.
Properties: Feminine, emotional, psychic intuition, dreams, lunar, receptive
Deities associated with Water: Yemaya, Poseidon, Mariamne, Oshun, Llyr, Tiamat, Aegir, Ran, and the Nine Sisters.
Tools & Symbols: Cups, cauldrons, chalices
Colors: Blue, green, and indigo
Zodiac Signs: Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio
Water is an element of spirituality, intuition, and the third eye chakra. It is deeply feminine, associated with the fluidity of the womb, the ocean, and therefore, the Moon. Water is often brought into ritual to help understand and strengthen our connection to the subconscious. Just as water is deep, so are our memories, traumas, and experiences—not just from this life, but from lives past. Working with water asks you to dive into the shadows of the self, the mind, and the emotions, and to trust your intuition as you swim through your findings. It can also be used when creating ritual around partnership, love (not to be confused with lust, which is more fire), friendship, and dreams.
It is important to note that working solely with water, the subconscious, and the “lunar” side of the self can get a little…intense. Be sure you are in touch with your community, and yourself, especially if you are working through trauma.
Water asks you: what are the experiences, powers, and emotions you carry from this life, and lives past? How can you harness your magick and intuition to strengthen your power as a psychic being/witch? What are your dreams and emotions really telling you? How do you really feel about your relationships, and how are they serving you as a psychic being?
You can incorporate water into your rituals by: drinking water, swimming, taking a bath, listening to the rain (if it isn’t raining, maybe play water sounds during ritual).
Remember that working with the elements is to also work with specific properties of the self; we are part of nature and nature is part of us. The elements (and therefore ourselves) are very powerful, and when used with respect, balance, and community, can help heighten the intentions and magick of our rituals and ceremonies.