ganesha buddha

THE CLASSICAL ELEMENTS IN WICCA

Elements—they are the building blocks of the entire universe. No, I’m not talking about the scientific elements, such as is found on the periodic chart. Sure, they are the building blocks for the physical universe. But I’m referring to the spiritual or classical Elements—they are the metaphysical building blocks.

Mention of Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Aether (Spirit) are something Wiccans will come across time and again. Regardless of how big or small a role the Elements play in your personal spiritual path, they’re something you should learn to understand.

BIG “E”AND LITTLE “e”

Sometimes I write ‘Element’, and sometimes ‘elements’. Sometimes I capitalize Air (Earth, Fire, etc.), and sometimes I don’t. There’s actually a reason for it.

Remember the Periodic Table of the Elements from chemistry class? There are 118 known elements and all matter breaks down to these most basic components. When speaking of scientific elements, I use the little “e”.

In ancient Greece, the concept of the Elements (the classical/spiritual ones) was born. They did not have the technology to see atoms and molecules, so they thought everything was made up of some combination of Air, Earth, Fire, Water and Aether.

Fast forward a couple dozen centuries– now we know that air, earth, fire, water and aether are compounds– a mixture of smaller elements on the periodic table. For example, water is a compound of hydrogen and oxygen.

This is the reason for the distinction. The Elements (capital E) refer to the spiritual/classical Elements of our religion—those forces that we honor. The elements (lowercase e) refers to the actual scientific elements on the periodic table.

THERE’S MORE TO ELEMENTS THAN COMPOUNDS

We all know the Elements are Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Aether. Sometimes people confuse this with earth, air, fire, water and ether. Note my use of capitalization here, because it’s very significant.

The Elements—Air, Earth, Fire, and Water—are not the same thing as wind, dirt, flames, and H20. These compounds are meaningful representations of the Elements of course, but the compounds themselves are not Elements. The Elements (capital ‘E’) are so much more than the compounds for which they are named.

THE ELEMENTAL CONNECTION

The Elements represent all things, and connect all things. Look at the diagram above; you can see the vertical axis contains the masculine Elements (Air and Fire). The horizontal Axis contains the feminine Elements (Water and Earth). The circle is where the Elements meet, as if at a crossroads. The circle surrounds and connects the four Elements, just as Aether (Spirit) is the unifying and balancing factor that runs through everything in the universe—the soul, the divine, it’s what gives life and meaning to all things.Notice how they are equivalent in length and well balanced. When you go around the circle, you get the polarity alternating the masculine and feminine Elements, the projective and receptive, the positive and negative: Kind of like an electric charge (energy!).You might even envision it as a compass, with each Element at one of the cardinal directions. You can even set up the primary altar tools as in some traditions in that same format: the athame is a symbol of Air, the pentacle a symbol of Earth, the wand a symbol of Fire, and the cup a symbol of Water.

CORRESPONDENCES—JUST THE START

Notice in the diagram above in the innermost circle we have our compass and our male/female axis. Beyond that we have correspondences to the directions, time of day, time of the year/season, the sabbats—even the life cycle itself. You get a taste right there at how the Elements correspond to everything; and everything corresponds to one or more of the Elements.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, really, as Elements also correspond to zodiac signs, tarot cards, runes, herbs, gemstones, deities, personality traits, occupations, body functions, activities, etc….the cycles and connections are endless.

IN RELATION TO THE PENTAGRAM

Each pentagram point represents an element. This is why the pentacle is the ultimate symbol of balance—each equal point, all intertwined with each other—balance is a key tenet in Wicca. Wiccans usually wear a pentacle point-up. We move from the point at top (Aether) the intangible, to the semi-intangible realm (Fire and Air) to the tangible realm (Water and Earth). I say usually because some Wiccan trads also occasionally use the pentagram point down. When the pentagram is point up, it stands for Spirit (Aether) ascending over matter. When it’s point down, it represents Spirit descending into matter. As you can see, the Elements are a rich, diverse, and complex system of symbols and energies that effect our world, our minds, and our spiritual practices. Take advantage of their potential by learning to work in harmony with them.

THE ELEMENTS IN DEPTH

Please keep in mind that correspondences can vary from tradition to tradition, from person to person. Though there are more similarities than differences, never take any list of Elemental correspondences as written law. 

THE ELEMENT OF AIR:

(Figure above shows alchemical symbol for Air)

  • Gender: Masculine
  • Charge: Positive
  • Energy: Active
  • Qualities: abstract; ethereal
  • Aspects: analytical thought; rational mind; travel; communication

AIR ATTRIBUTES:

  • Positivewitty, intelligent, communicative, inquisitive, inventive, literary, social, idealist, clarity of thought, rational, technical, scientific, logical
  • Negativealoof, cold, dispassionate, eccentric, scattered, unfocused, ambivalent, indecisive, deceptive, untrustworthy.

AIR ALIGNED WITH:

  • Day of the Week: Wednesday
  • Direction: North
  • Locations: Mountain tops, sky, clouds
  • Sabbats: Samhain, Yule
  • Time of day: Night
  • Time of Life: Death through Rebirth
  • Time of the year: Winter
  • Wind: Boreas
  • Witch’s Pyramid: To Know

AIR RULING OVER:

  • Body parts: brains, nervous system, lungs
  • Bodily functions: breathing, thinking, speaking, singing, coughing, whistling, belching, flatulating
  • Colors: yellow, white, sky blue, midnight blue, shades of gray
  • Incense: sandalwood, storax, mastic
  • Instruments: woodwinds, bagpipes
  • Careers: accounting, acting, advertising, executive, astronaut, computer programmer or technician, con artist, gambling, judge, lawyer, mathematician, public speaker, sales, most kinds of sciences, singing, teaching, writing.
  • Sense: Smell

AIR CORRESPONDING TO: 

  • Herbs: Acacia, almond, anise, benzoin, bergamot, bistort, bittersweet, borage, bromeliad, broom, caraway, chicory, citron, clover, dandelion, elecampane, endive, eyebright, fenugreek, goat’s rue, hazel, hops, houseleek, lavender, lily, linden, mace, male fern, maple, marjoram, mastic, meadowsweet, mint, mistletoe, palm, papyrus, parsley, pine, pistachio, rice, sage, saffron, slippery elm, wormwood
  • Metals: mercury, aluminum
  • Minerals & Gems: agates, aventurine, amethyst, jasper, mica, pumice
  • Runes: ANSUZ, RAIDO, EIWAZ, ALGIZ, TIR, MANNAZ
  • Tarot: Suit of swords, knights, The Fool, The Magician, The Lovers, The Hermit, Hanged Man, Justice, The Star
  • Wiccan tools: knives (athame, bolline)/swords, censer, incense
  • Zodiac: Gemini: (mutable); Libra (cardinal); Aquarius (fixed)

AIR ASSOCIATED WITH: 

  • Animals: birds, flying insects, spiders, bats, foxes, primates
  • Elemental Beings: Sylphs, fairies, djinn
  • Gods: Allah, Amergin, Anu, Apollo, Ascepius, Baal, Buddha, Ganesha, Hermes, Jupiter, Mercury, Odin, Thoth, Tyr, Uranus, YHWH, Zeus
  • Goddesses: Arachne, Arianrhod, Athena, Ishtar, Juno, Ma’at, Minerva, Mnemosyne, Morrigan, Muses, Mt, Neith, Nike, Nuit, Sarasvati
  • Mythical Creatures: Gryphons, Harpies, Hippogrifs, Pegasus, Sphinx

INVOKING AND BANISHING AIR


THE ELEMENT OF EARTH

(Figure above shows alchemical symbol for Earth) 

  • Gender: female
  • Charge: negative (-)
  • Energy: passive
  • Qualities: physical matter; solid; heavy; cold
  • Aspects: tangible world; fertility; growth; productivity

EARTH ATTRIBUTES:

  • Positive: ambitious, dependable, diligent, earthy, industrious, practical, pragmatic, reliable, responsible, stable, steady, thorough
  • Negative: critical, dull, inhibited, materialistic, obstinate, possessive, slow, stubborn, unforgiving

EARTH ALIGNED WITH:

  • Day of the Week: Thursday, Saturday
  • Direction: East
  • Locations: caverns, plains, canyons, the underworld
  • Sabbats: Imbolc, Ostara
  • Time of day: Morning
  • Time of Life: Youth
  • Time of the year: Spring
  • Wind: Euros
  • Witch’s Pyramid: To Will

EARTH RULING OVER:

  • Body parts: physical self, bones
  • Bodily functions: eating, defecation
  • Colors: green, brown, black, earth tones
  • Incense: patchouli, musk
  • Instruments: drums, percussion
  • Occupations: armed forces, banking and finances, carpentry, construction, child care, cooking and food service, clerical and administrative work, dancing, gardening, house keeping/home making, hunting, janitors, jewelers, mechanics, stone masons, wood workers.
  • Sense: touch

EARTH CORRESPONDING TO:

  • Herbs: alfalfa, barley, corn, cotton, cypress, fern, fumitory, honeysuckle, magnolia, mugwort, oats, peas, oleander, patchouli, potato primrose, quince, rhubarb, rye, sagebrush, sorrel, tulip, vervain, vetivert, wheat
  • Metals: lead
  • Minerals & gems: green agates, moss agates, alum, green calcite, coal, emerald, jasper, jet, salt, malachite, olivine, peridot, black tourmaline, green tourmaline, turquoise
  • Runes: URUZ, GIFU, BEORK, ING, OTHAL, JERA
  • Tarot: Suit of Pentacles (coins), Paiges, Empress, Heirophant, Wheel of Fortune, The Devil, The World
  • Wiccan tools: Pentacle, consecrated salt
  • Zodiac: Taurus (fixed); Virgo (mutable); Capricorn (cardinal)

EARTH ASSOCIATED WITH:

  • Animals: most mammals (few exceptions: big cats and horses/Fire; primates and foxes/Air; aquatic mammals/Water); most insects without wings (exception: fire ants/fire); earthworms.
  • Elemental Beings: Gnomes, elves, leprechauns
  • Gods: Adonis, Anubis, Cernunnos, Dagda, Dionysus, Green Man, Hades, Herne, Janus, Osiris, Pan, Pluto
  • Goddesses: Anu, Cerridewen, Ceres, Demeter, Gaia, Fauna, Frigga,Hecate, Nepthys, Ostara, Persephone, Prithivi, Rhea
  • Mythical Creatures: big foot, chupacabra, giants, jackalope, unicorn, werewolves, wraiths

THE ELEMENT OF FIRE

(Figure above shows alchemical symbol for Fire)

  • Gender: Masculine
  • Charge: Positive
  • Energy: Active
  • Qualities: energetic; transformative; purifying
  • Aspects: passion; will; courage

FIRE ATTRIBUTES:

  • Positive: action-oriented, courageous, eager, enthusiastic, exciting, impulsive, independent, optimistic, quick, spontaneous, tenacious, vivacious
  • Negative: angry, abrupt, consuming, domineering, egocentric, excessive, hot-tempered, impatient, overbearing, overwhelming

FIRE ALIGNED WITH:

  • Day of the Week: Sunday, Tuesday
  • Direction: South
  • Locations: deserts, volcanoes
  • Sabbats: Beltane, Litha
  • Time of day: Midday (true noon)
  • Time of Life: young adulthood
  • Time of the year: Summer
  • Wind: Notus
  • Witch’s Pyramid: To Dare

FIRE RULING OVER:

  • Body parts: genitals, heart, intestines, liver, stomach
  • Bodily functions: digestion, sex, metabolism, regurgitation, smoking
  • Colors: red, orange, gold
  • Incense: cinnamon, dragon’s blood
  • Instruments: brass instruments
  • Occupations: alchemists, assassins, athletes, electricians, firefighters, fire dancers, lion tamers, martial artists, nuclear physicists, pyro technicians, smiths, warriors, welders

FIRE CORRESPONDING TO:

  • Herbs: allspice, basil, bloodroot, cactus, carnation, bay, capsicum, cinnamon, clove, cinquefoil, copal, coriander, cumin, curry, dill, dragon’s blood, fennel, flax, frankincense, galangal, ginger, ginseng, High John the Conqueror, holly, hyssop, juniper, lime, marigold, nutmeg, orange, pennyroyal, pomegranate, rosemary, saffron, sunflower, St. John’s wort, tobacco, Venus flytrap
  • Metals: gold, brass, steel, iron
  • Minerals: red agates, amber, apache tear, asbestos, bloodstone, carnelian, citrine, quartz, obsidian, onyx, sand, rhodochrosite, tiger‘s eye, tourmaline, zircon
  • Runes: Fehu, Thurisaz, Kenaz, Nied, Sigel, Dagaz
  • Tarot: Suit of Wands; all kings; the Emperor; Strength; Temperance; the Tower; the Sun; Judgement
  • Wiccan tools: wand; staff; candles; any fires
  • Zodiac: Aries(cardinal); Leo (fixed); Sagittarius (mutable)

FIRE ASSOCIATED WITH:

  • Animals: lions, felines, fireflies, glow worms, horses, rams, lizards, fire ants
  • Elemental Beings: salamanders
  • Gods: Annu, Ares, Balor, Baldor, Belanos, Frey, Hephaestus, Horus, Loki, Lucifer, Lugh, Marduk, Mars, Ra, Set, Shiva, Sol, Thor, Vulcan
  • Goddesses: Amerterasu, Amat, Atlanta, Bast, Brigit, Eris, Freya, Hestia, Kali, Lilith, Nemisis, Pele, Selket, Shatki, Sunna, Vesta
  • Mythical Creatures: chimeras, dragons, phoenix

INVOKING AND BANISHING FIRE

THE ELEMENT OF WATER


(Figure above shows alchemical symbol for Water)

  • Gender: Feminine
  • Charge: Negative (-)
  • Energy: Passive
  • Qualities: receptive, fluid, creative
  • Aspects: formless, deep, cleansing

WATER ATTRIBUTES:

  • Positive: beautiful, compassionate, creative, deep, flexible, intuitive, mysterious, resourceful, receptive, sensitive, sensual, understanding
  • Negative: ambivalent, complex, deceptive, emotional, moody, over-sensitive, passive-aggressive, selfish, vain, wishy-washy

WATER ALIGNED WITH: 

  • Day of the Week: Monday, Friday
  • Direction: West
  • Locations: any body of water, seashore/beaches
  • Sabbats: Lughnasadh, Mabon
  • Time of day: Twilight/Sunset
  • Time of Life: maturity
  • Time of the year: Autumn
  • Wind: Zepher
  • Witch’s Pyramid: To be silent

WATER RULING OVER:

  • Body parts: bodily fluids—blood, saliva, semen, urine, etc.; the womb
  • Bodily functions: drinking, lactating, menstruating, perspiring, secretion, urination
  • Colors: blue, silver, aquamarine
  • Incense: cypress, lotus, myrrh
  • Instruments: string instruments
  • Occupations: bartender, brewer, cosmetologist, pet, dishwasher, diver, dowser, fishing, hematologists, ice skaters, laundry workers, life guards, marine biologists, naval careers, oceanographers, painters, psychics, sailors, swimmers, surfers
  • Sense: Taste

WATER CORRESPONDING TO: 

  • Herbs: African violet, apple, avocado, belladonna, blackberry, boneset, cabbage, cardamom, catnip, chamomile, chickweed, dittany of Crete, daisy, cucumber, daffodil, gardina, heather, hibiscus, jasmine, myrrh, poppy, rose, sandalwood, thyme, valerian, vanilla, willow, yarrow
  • Metals: silver
  • Minerals: blue lace agate, aquamarine, azurite, beryl, coral, geodes, jade, lapis lazuli, moonstone, pearl, sapphire, sodolite, tourmaline
  • Runes: Wunjo, Ehwaz, Hagall, Isa, Phedro, Lagaz
  • Tarot: Suit of Cups; all Queens; High Priestess; Death; The Moon; The Chariot
  • Wiccan tools: cup; cauldron; bowls
  • Zodiac: Cancer (cardinal); Scorpio (fixed); Picses (mutable)

WATER ASSOCIATED WITH: 

  • Animals: fish, scorpions, serpents, waterfowl, water mammals, creatures who dwell/live in water
  • Elemental Beings: Undines
  • Gods: Aegir, Charon, Cthulhu, Nun, Dagon, Eros, Hurican, Lyr, Neptune, Nereus, Oceanus, Poseidon, Triton
  • Goddesses: Amphitrite, Aphrodite, Astarte, Heket, Isis, Kwan Yin, Lady of the Lake, Mary, Melusine, Psyche, Styx, Tefnut, Thetis, Venus
  • Mythical Creatures: hippocampus, kraken, leviathan, merfolk, nerids, selkies, sirens, waterhorse, any sea monsters

INVOKING AND BANISHING WATER

FINDING YOUR ELEMENT IN WICCA

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  • Otp: *becomes canon*
  • Me: I'D LIKE TO THANK GOD, I'D LIKE TO THANK JESUS, ALLAH, YAHWEH, WAHEGURU, SHIVA, BUDDHA, LAXMI, GANESHA, THE UNIVERSE, THE FORCES OF EVIL AND GOOD, THE COSMOS
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Trimurti of Hinduism: Brahma the creator, Vishnu the maintainer or preserver and Shiva the destroyer or transformer. Accompanied by their female consorts respectively: Saraswati - goddess of knowledge, music, arts and nature, Lakshmi - goddess of wealth, prosperity, fortune, and the embodiment of beauty, Parvati - The divine mother. Also, 8th and 9th avatars of Vishnu: Krishna and Buddha. At last, Ganesha - remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom, and Hanuman - God of physical and mental strength, protector of people from demons, evil spirits and negative energies, the boundary guardian.