4 Classical Elements : Earth, Air, Fire and Water

Magical Correspondences of the
Four Classical Elements: Earth, Air, Fire and Water

Many contemporary Pagans, Witches and Wiccans associate the four Classical Elements as described by the Greek philosopher Empedocles with specific cardinal directions, traits, meanings and energies. We call these “correspondences” and record them in our Books of Shadows.

Throughout our development as magical practitioners, we build upon our knowledge of these classical elements. Some traditions include a fifth element, which is Spirit (or Aether or Self), but as I don’t, I will not write of it here.

The following correspondences are for the Northern Hemisphere. Those in the Southern Hemisphere generally use the opposite correspondences.

Earth
The Element of Earth is connected to the North. It is considered to be the ultimate feminine element. It is fertile, stable, nurturing, solid, enduring and strong – and it is associated with the Goddess. In color correspondences, the colors green and brown connect to the Earth. Tools of this element include the pentacle or pentagram, salt, gems and stones.

Air
Air is the Element of the East. It is connected to the soul and to the breath of life. This element is related to wisdom, intuitive and psychic work, knowledge, abstract learning, communication and the powers of the mind. The Element of Air is associated with the colors yellow and white. Tools of this element include the wand and incense. Some traditions align the athame and sword with this element, but most align these items with the Element of Fire.

Fire
Associated with the South, Fire is a purifying, masculine energy; it is blood, life and will. Fire both creates and destroys, and symbolizes the fertility of the God. This energy can heal or harm, and can bring about new life or destroy that which is old and no longer serves the highest good. The colors of the Element of Fire are red and orange. The tools of this element include the athame, candles, lamps, censers, burned herbs and requests written on paper (to be burned). Some traditions align the wand with the Element of Fire, but most align it with the Element of Air.

Water
The Element of Water is related to the West. It is a healing, cleansing and purifying energy that is associated with emotions, feelings, love, daring, courage, the unconscious mind, intuition, fertility and passion. The colors of this element are blue and green. The tools of the Element of Water are cups, cauldrons, goblets and mirrors. The ocean, tides, lakes, pools, streams, springs, rivers and wells also are used as tools of this element.

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[Image: Four Classical Elements found at www.gaiaonline.com.]

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