I’ve written a lot about the seven classical planets and celestial/cosmic witchcraft. I think it’s time to bring things a bit more down to earth, though!
This is a new two-part series! It will focus on the natural elements as understood by the Western Magical Tradition.
In today’s article, I’ll be explaining a bit about the history of these concepts and how I see them. I hope you find this interesting and informative!
Thinking About the Elements
Elements are one of the first concepts I learned when beginning a journey into witchcraft.
But! How do we view the elements as concepts? Lets consider how they relate to us and the whole universe. Here’s my views!
Some believe the elements are simply words for natural phenomena. In other words, Fire is fire - the burning of a campfire or candle, or another flame. Water would always be something like a stream, the ocean or other liquid. I don’t see it this way. They’re far more complex than that!
The four elements stem the observations of ancient philosophers. These thinkers guessed that these substances were the building blocks of physical reality. Of course, they were wrong! In reality, atoms comprise matter. Matter and energy, then, make up the physical universe.
We could associate four classical elements with the four states of matter. These are solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. They’d correspond to earth, water, air, and fire in turn. This is a very simplified view, though!
These concepts were fundamental to the ancients. A wealth of lore has developed around them. They have grown into complex metaphors for aspects of the human condition. The physical manifestations of the elements have become potent symbols.
They represent various mental and emotional phenomena. Symbols are important in witchcraft. The way I see it, all tools of the Craft are symbols used to connect with larger forces that work within the universe.
The elements themselves, and their attributions, are in fact, somewhat arbitrary. This means that each of us will have a different idea of what each element represents!
There’s nothing wrong with this, though. The point is to use them as symbols. What they symbolize to you is your own business!
Qualifying the Elements
In the Western Magical Tradition, there are four core (classical) elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.
Some traditions do posit a fifth element called the quintessence, also known as Spirit or Aether. This fifth element stands apart from the other four, as it doesn’t behave in the same way.
I’ll be focusing on these four, not on the quintessence. Spirit as an element is a very large topic best suited for its own series of articles.
Alchemical thinkers have placed these four into categories. . They’re quite useful for understanding the system.
Each element is either “hot” or “cold,” as well as either “dry,” or “wet.”
This doesn’t describe the physical qualities of the phenomena in question. Rather, these terms are metaphors. They refer to the roles taken by the concepts each element embodies.
Hot and Cold Elements
Hot elements are active in human existence.
They stand for concepts that penetrate and alter the world around them. An outdated way of putting this would be to describe them as “masculine.” This comes from historical stereotypes about gender. I tend to use the term “active” to describe hot elements. That’s Fire and Air.
Cold elements are passive and receptive.
They represent concepts from which we draw nourishment. They are the structure or substance that forms our mental landscape. The hot elements tend to be the essence or organizing principle.
Cold elements are often stereotyped as “feminine.“ They are Water and Earth, both of which play a nourishing role in human existence.
Wet and Dry Elements
Dryness as a concept within the Western Magical Tradition refers to a fixed state. In other words, the dry elements are things that don’t often change. These elements are full of stability.
The key feature of a dry element is lack of intense motion. We can depend on the stable parts of our existence, represented by these elements.
The dry elements are Fire and Earth. It may seem strange to call fire stable, but it is a reliable source of warmth to us. It represents a constant feature of human life.
When we speak of wet elements, we mean the two elements that aren’t fixed. In other words, elements that flow ,change and transform. It is the concepts associated with these elements that drive the changes. They are reliable, but only insofar as change, itself, is something to rely on!
The wet elements are Air and Water. Both are natural features that shift and flow through our lives. The inclusion of Air as a wet element shows that these are metaphorical, not literal terms.
Much more could be said about how people have described the elements throughout time. The above image shows the alchemical view of how the elements can combine to create secondary principles.
As you might guess, “fixed” and “volatile” here stand for what we’ve been calling “passive” and “active.” If you want to know more about these further topics, I recommend Robert Bartlett’s book, True Alchemy.
The entire concept of the elements is a metaphor, though. It’s a metaphor that can work for you. It can help with your Craft, and help you connect with the universe. I’ll be posting the next article tomorrow! In that, I’ll be discussing each element in detail.
Create your own magical wishing well by creating a natural landscape with a water feature. Here I have a simple ceramic bowl filled with a little water, surrounded by living succulents. Craft it to be pleasing to the senses so that any Nature spirit would love to dwell there.
Your wishing well can be very simple, perhaps nothing more than a small bowl of water and a few acorns or stones you found in the park. Or it can be more elaborate and decorated.
Call your friends, allies, and beings of power who have agreed to work with you to dwell in the wishing well shrine. Or, make a deal with a new spirit to dwell in your wishing well altar and grant your wishes.
The coins you add to the fountain are payment to the spirit world for your wishes to be granted.
To make a wish, add a coin to the water and say your wish. Use the terminology and symbolism your spirit allies expect. Perhaps the more the coin is worth, the more work they will do for you.
You can also add other gifts such as jewelry (note the red bracelet above).
If you like making decorative scenes like me, why not a wishing well marker with tally marks for every wish that comes true.
When the fountain water needs to be changed or when the bowl becomes too full, move the gifts to a permanent jar. These things no longer belong to you; you hold on to them for the spirit world.
Remember not to be greedy. Spirits can only work so hard and so fast. Moderate your wishes depending on what your spirit allie(s) can accomplish.
So maybe you’re a college witch with limited space and money, limited to the one window in your dorm. Or, maybe you’re a witch without extensive backyard space who wants to start up a magical garden. Perhaps you’re a kitchen witch who wants the freshest herbs right at her fingertips.
For many witches, having a garden seems to be a bit of a no-brainer. After all, plants and magic go hand-in-hand. Plus, when thinking of a witch, it’s hard not to think of a cottage in the woods with a little vegetable garden out front. Unfortunately for the majority of us, our cottage in the woods is a tiny flat, and our garden out front is a windowsill with limited space.
This is when it comes time to embrace your craftiness and bring your garden indoors! Not only does it place your garden in a convenient location, it also allows you to freshen the air, recycle what would otherwise harm the earth, and embrace your witchy green thumb!
Bringing Another Element to the Garden
It’s that time of the year! Graduations are in full swing, and the city of San Luis experiences its bi-annual exodus of students coming in and out of town for college, work, and housing. Though the faces may change, one thing is definitely constant: we’ve got a lot of gardens and greenery here! One thing being somewhat less constant depending on when you’re in California is the presence of water. But with several creeks and streams cutting through SLO proper, and the presence of nearby Salinas River, Morro Bay, and… well, the ocean, we can safely say that water features are a part of what helps keep the pulse going here.
In the garden, water features are not only works of art (as many of SLO’s man-made water features are), but can also be utilitarian or spiritual in nature. From irrigating your plants in fashion to providing a space for scrying and reflection, it’s not hard to convert your garden into a beautiful and spiritual sanctuary.
I know, I know… there are some of you out there saying “But Josh, how the hell am I supposed to fit a bird bath or a water fountain on my windowsill? I live on campus for gods’ sakes!” Bear with me!
Spiritual Cleansing and Reflection
First of all, why would you want a water feature in your garden in the first place? The immediate answers that come to mind are usually something along the lines of “they’re pretty” or “they’re relaxing.” But in my opinion, they hold a bit of a deeper significance.
Water is a source of life - even succulents require water to thrive. Soil alone is not enough, and neither is light. As such, a life-giving element can also help lift the energy of a space, cleansing it through sound and appearance. Consider the emotion invoked by sitting near a fountain or a small waterfall or by a running stream. The sound of running water often inspires calm and peaceful thoughts and emotion. This is of immeasurable benefit for a witchy garden!
But moving water is not the only way for the element to be represented in a witchy context. Standing pools of water can invoke many of the same feelings due to their calm surfaces and tranquil movements when disturbed by a breeze. These reflection pools can be used for meditation or for scrying, both practices that are helpful for maintaining spiritual health and for divination.
Bringing the Magic Home
It’s extremely easy to put together the most basic water feature: a birdbath. A common method is to place a terra cotta saucer on a wire stand (such as a tomato stand or a milking stool) and then fill it with water. Other times, one can substitute the saucer with a trash can lid or other wide, shallow dish. Bless the water or set it out under a full moon if you wish to add a bit of extra magic to it! Additionally, a clear quartz crystal in the water is a great discreet way of helping maintain an enchantment on your water feature.
The fact that it attracts birds adds to the allure, helping for those who enjoy bird-watching either for pleasure or for divination. But try getting even closer with nature by adding some stones to the middle of the bath to provide a dry, sloping surface for bees and insects or as an additional perch for birds.
Water falls and artificial streams and pools can be built into a backyard for the same purposes. Consider how you can turn them into larger scale scrying pools for use during full or new moons!
Now, bringing it back to the windowsill! Some stores sell small water features such as miniature water fountains. These can be purposed much in the same way. However, if money is a factor, use a tea saucer or shallow bowl. This source of water may not help births bathe, but it will still serve as a space cleanser. In addition, if you have crystals that need cleansing, they can be submerged in this water for that same purpose!
How will you know when the water has cleansed as much as it could? Either it will become stagnant with dust and debris or it will completely evaporate - whichever comes first!
Take it a step further by turning it into a little shrine space! Many deities and spirits can be linked with water, and such a little water feature is a perfect way to honor them!
No matter the size or design, consider the many benefits water can bring to your spiritual garden!
And may all your harvests be bountiful! Blessed Be! )O(
Located in northern California, Lassen Volcanic National Park is a true winter wonderland. Silent, snow-covered volcanoes hide magma beneath their calm surfaces – clues to the area’s three million years of volcanic activity show up in steam vents, boiling springs and bubbling mudpots. Even in winter, these hydrothermal (“hot water”) features melt nearby snow and ice. Photo by Mike Matiasek, National Park Service.
(For all that you belong here, have the dirt and salt and scent and feathers to prove it, for all that, Elsewhere has a hold of you now. Time to see which hold is stronger.)
You go through security, board the plane. None of the metals pull at your bones. Just to see if you can, you spin fanciful lies about yourself as you make conversation with your seat mate.
(The words want to stick in your throat, but you’re mostly sure that’s from years (and years and years) of choosing your words ever so carefully with strangers, and not for any less …mundane a reason.)
After decades of filming his native New York, Woody Allen headed abroad, creating a series of postcard tributes to European cities such as Barcelona, Rome and Paris. This entertaining instalment is an unapologetically fanciful rendering of the French capital, a familiar and idealised Paris celebrated for its starring role in 19th and early 20th Century artistic, musical and literary culture.
Request: Hiiiii you’re amazing soooo can I request a lil thing like tom x reader are washing their hands and their hands keep bumping into each other and they battle to get under the water and there’s like tons of soap and tom pulls the reader’s hands out of the sink and they like “hand fight” and then it gets serious and he like intertwines their hands and then a kiss or something ??? ahhhh sorry lmao the things I think of super randommmm
Summary: You’re spending time with your best friend Tom, and your original plan was to bake together, but things took a minor detour.
“You are not touching anything until you wash your dirty Tessa hands,” You exclaimed at Tom while jabbing a finger at him.
Tom looked at you preposterously, then at his hands, before gazing down at Tessa who was looking up at him expectantly at his feet, “She didn’t mean it Tess, no, you’re a good clean girl,” he sweet talked her.
You rolled your eyes and proceeded to gather all the ingredients for sugar cookies, “Wait a minute,” Tom returned, “you were all over Tessa when you showed up, and I didn’t see you wash your hands.” He pointed out. You thought for a minute and knew that he was true, so you walked over to the bathroom, butting in front of your best friend, “Ladies first,” you reasoned.
“Pfft, I’d hardy call you a lady,” Tom teased while squeezing himself beside you and turning on the tap.
You bumped him aside with your hip, but he only stumbled slightly, easily retrieving his balance.
I’m sure this has been done a thousand times already but it’s something I’ve wanted to draw for awhile. An ambulance theme and the color yellow just seemed like something that made sense to me as a progression from the previous games. I threw in defibrillators because I felt they fit the theme, and that since 2 featured water as it’s primary weapon, the hypothetical 3 in my head could feature electricity as it’s weapon of sorts.
Great watch made from stainless steel, featuring textured dial with date window and 1/10-second, 60-second, and 60-minute subdials. As usually most of the watches have japanese quartz movement and this one are water resistant up to 100 m (330 ft).
These watches have many features like second time zone and quick date including bi-directional hands measure time and fly back like the dashboard gauge of a sports car! Definitely great for car fan dad.
If you are looking for something special this is the right choice! Among tons of features like water resistant
to 100 m (330 ft), durable Nylon Strap,
low-temperature resistance, backlight with after-glow and battery power indicator.
Thats it ! Hope you like the list. Let me know in comments if you have experiences with watches from the list. If you find this useful reblog it so your followers get some inspiration for upcoming fathers day.