Magic and elements

The Elements of Magick

“Attuning and working with these energies in magic not only lends you the power to affect dramatic changes in your life, it also allows you to sense your own place in the larger scheme of Nature.”

Scott Cunningham, Earth Power

The four creative energies of the universe.

Each of these creative elements are necessary for human life, the each have both positive and negative aspectsThe Earth without Water to moisten it, without Fire to warm it, and without Air to surround it, would be a lifeless planet. The elements work in harmony, even though at times their contrary aspects may seem in conflict with each other, to create and to sustain life. The elements exist in a physical form, such as a handful of soil, and in an un-manifested, non-physical form or energy. All the elements emerge from Akasha, the source of all energy.

The Elements and Ritual Magick.

To the ancient civilisations, the universe was divided into four basic principles, energies or elements, these being Earth, Water, Fire, and Air. With the advances in Chemistry, we know that there are more than these four elements, however; these four basic elemental principles are still accepted in Ritual Magic.

These basic principles are more attuned to emotions, the psyche and nature, than with the modern explanations of the world. The elements and their correspondences are also important in Astrology. In the Astral World or Planes, the elements are more forces or qualities of energy rather than manifestations of physical forms. In Western Mystery traditions the elements were each assigned a symbol and colour as shown below.

Earth Water Fire Air

The Eastern tattvic system uses different symbols and colours for these basic elements. When used within Ceremonial or Ritual Magic, the elements are associated with the directions, North , East, South and West and also with various ritual tools, for example, the Athame is associated with Fire.

Magic sees relationships between emotions, objects, actions, qualities and symbols, these relationships are called ‘correspondences‘. These magical correspondences are not meant as literal equations to one and other, but it may help if you think of them in that manner, such as Gold = Sun = Fire.

Aleister Crowley’s ‘777’, contains many tables of these relationships or ‘Correspondence Tables’. Thus, an emotion, object, action, quality or symbol is used to suggest another. When used in Ritual Magic, the Magician surrounds himself with appropriate symbols and correspondences. These sensory correspondences and symbols, affect the senses, in the hope that the Magical contact with the inner and astral planes become more lucid and powerful.

Of The Four Elements and their Natural Qualities

The Elements are the original base elements of all corporeal things, of which all other things are made, by transmutation and union.

Contrary Elements

Fire – Water

Earth – Air

The two heavy elements being Earth and Water and are Passives. The two light elements being Air and Fire are Actives. Plato ascribes the following qualities to the Elements :- Fire, Brightness, Thinness, Motion and Earth Darkness, Thickness, Quietness. These two are likewise contrary.

The other two Elements acquire properties from the other two. So Air receives two qualities from Fire Thinness and Motion and one from Earth Darkness. Water receives two qualities from Earth Darkness and Thickness and one from Fire Motion.

Elemental Cycle.

Fire – Air Air – Water Water – Earth Earth – Water Water – Air Air – Fire

First Order

Pure Elements which are neither compounded, changed or mixed by are incorruptible

Second Order

Elements that are compounded, changeable and impure, yet by art may be reduced to their pure form.

Third Order

These are not elements themselves, but twice compounded, various and changeable into another. These are the infallible medium and are called middle nature.


Elementals are usually only visible to those with clairvoyant sight and are more likely to be seen at night in the mountains or country away from cities — especially if you are tired or sleepy. Although elementals exist naturally, it is also possible to create one which will exist for a limited time — no elemental has immortality. A created elemental is called an ‘artificial elemental’.

To the Ancients, elementals were the physical explanation of the universe. However, some contemporary occultists see them only as symbols for forces and otherwise not ‘real’ at all. Another word sometimes used for elemental is ‘familiar’ (usually in medieval witchcraft); the term is ambiguous, as it might merely be an ordinary household pet such as a dog or cat.


One thought on “Magic and elements

  1. Pingback: Planes of Existence - As Above, So BelowSagittarian Sun, Inc. * Readings * Parties * Classes

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