Tag Archives: The Elements

Ways of connecting with Water

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Water Personalities

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People with Water as a dominant Element are the most naturally psychic of all the Elemental personalities. Even if they don’t realize the source of their intuition and intense feeling, they can be incredibly sensitive to the moods and energies of others, whether those people are in the same room, or, in the case of those they’re emotionally close to, very far away on the physical plane. Water people tend to have a deep understanding of the makeup and motives of the human psyche, and make for good healers and listeners. They are generally creative types, with mystical leanings and an appreciation for the sensual. The energy of Water allows them to be more at home in their emotions than others, which is essentially a prerequisite to being an artist of any kind. Water people love to be in love, and are immersed in the connections they form with others. The challenges of carrying Water energy include intense emotionality and difficulty maintaining psychic boundaries. Water people can be overly sensitive, to the point that they are essentially immobilized by all of the stimuli around them and risk drowning in other people’s emotions and energies. Depression can be a recurring issue for Water people, as can obsession with wanting to know the unknown before such knowing is possible. Indeed, a drawback of the high levels of psychic activity in Water is that they get accustomed to accessing information unavailable through the usual five senses, and they can get stuck seeking answers to questions they just aren’t meant to have answered at the time. They may also unintentionally give away too much of their power to negative people who feed off their kindness and loving natures, and thus become drains on the energies of others. Some natural Water bodies are stagnant, which, while beneficial for some life forms, is unhealthy for humans to drink. Likewise, Water people can succumb to laziness and lethargy if their energy frequencies are too low. Earth energy is a good starting point for Water people who need balance, as the ground can absorb excess Water. Fire, Water’s opposite, can shed light into the shadows, raise the frequency, and brighten the mood.

Elemental Beings

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Many Pagan and Wiccan traditions also believe in what are usually called “Elementals,” or “Elemental Beings.” These are the spirits of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, and they harken back to the animistic world view of the ancients. These spirits have many names, take many forms, and are the subjects of centuries of legend and lore. Wiccans and Witches who work with Elementals will attest to their presence in nature and in magical ritual. These beings are said mostly to be unseen, although some particularly sensitive people have seen glimpses of them. Keeping an open mind and a willingness to learn and discover can help you learn to contact and sense them, and ask for their help in your magical workings. Earth Elementals are widely identified as “gnomes” (meaning “Earth dwellers”) in the Western world, although they are also known as “elves,” “trolls,” and even “faeries.” (Some consider faeries to be Air Elementals, but others, such as the Irish, refer to the spirits of the Earth as faeries.) These spirits can inhabit a variety of natural features in a given landscape, but are most commonly associated with wooded areas, rocks, caves, and earthen mounds. Spending time in a quiet, undisturbed outdoor area is a good way to start working to connect with Earth spirits. Because of Earth’s connection with prosperity and material abundance, leaving offerings like sparkling stones can encourage a relationship with these spirits to flourish. Working with Earth Elementals in magic is appropriate for spells related to prosperity and success, as well as helping balance negative tendencies toward manipulation and greed. Earth spirits are also helpful in instilling the basic tenacity required to build gradual and long-term abundance, by increasing confidence, practicality, and consistency, as well as a more skillful balance of ambition, caution, and patience. Air Elementals are most commonly referred to as “sylphs,” but, as mentioned above, may also be likened to winged faeries. They are considered to be present in the clouds, in blowing wind, and other weather phenomena like heavy storms of rain or snow, and were believed in ancient cultures to bring divinatory messages to those able to listen. These spirits of Air are light in energy and quick-moving, so connections with them may have a more fleeting quality than those with Earth spirits, but they also may be felt more tangibly. It’s easier to commune with Air spirits on a breezy or windy day than in very still conditions, but, being of the Air, they are all around us nonetheless. Whistling and/or singing can help one attune with Air Elementals, as can paying attention to any flying insects in the vicinity. It also helps to leave offerings of flowers, which these spirits are said to love. In magic, Air spirits are helpful for work involving the intellect and communication, developing finer sensitivities to the invisible realms, and responding skillfully to change. As they are also associated with music, they can be called upon to help harmonize disruptive circumstances or relationships. Fire Elementals are known as “salamanders,” perhaps because to those who can perceive them visually: they look like small lizards with tongues of flame, although others see them as tiny balls of light. These spirits live in all forms of flame, lightning, and the heat of the Sun, and are said to be the catalysts that make the existence of Fire possible. They are considered by many to be the most powerful of the Elemental beings, and can be fairly easily summoned with the lighting of a candle or building of a fire. Burning incense or sage is a good way to honor and thank them for their presence. Fire spirits can aid in transformative magic, helping us to see what needs to be eliminated from our lives in order to make room for new growth. Spells for courage, passion, and extra energy are in Fire’s domain, both on physical and spiritual levels. Just as the physical manifestation of Fire is potentially dangerous, it’s important to respect the power of the spirits of Fire, and not be reckless or excessive with their energies. Water Elementals are most commonly referred to as “undines,” but have also been represented as water nymphs and mermaids in Western traditions. Existing in all forms of water, these spirits are most commonly associated with rivers, lakes, oceans, springs, wells, and waterfalls. Spending time near a natural body of water is the most ideal way to connect with Water spirits, who may acknowledge your presence with bubbles or subtle ripples in an otherwise calm surface. Rainy days can also be good occasions for communing with these Elementals. Of course, you can also gaze into the water in a bowl or cauldron. They are said to appreciate essential oils as offerings, but be sparing with any substance you pour into a natural body of water, and be sure that it’s entirely nontoxic to any marine life. Water spirits are helpful in magic related to love, creativity, and healing, as well as balancing extreme emotions. They help us get in touch with our inner feelings and become more flexible in our approach to solving problems. People who are new to the Craft sometimes have difficulty taking the concept of Elemental beings seriously. This is partly due to the way Elementals have been portrayed in our modern, commercialized culture, via Disney movies and Halloween costumes, but it may also be that these spirits are simply not part of one’s individual experience of nature. Whether or not you perceive the energies of the Elements as having distinct names and forms, musing on these legendary beings can provide a way into a deeper relationship with the Elements themselves. As you put more intention into your observance of the natural world, they may just show up for you—as the appearance of faces in trees, a sudden

Earth Personalities

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People with Earth as their dominant Element tend to be practically-minded, and are considered to be “sensible” by their peers. Oriented to the physical manifestations of reality as we know it, Earth people tend to place emphasis on what can be proven through the experience of the five senses, rather than on more subtle, less easily-perceived phenomena. They tend to be reliable, productive, and disciplined, with an innate sense for the workings of the material world and a methodical approach to work that enables them to achieve material security with greater ease than other Elemental personalities. They value stable and long-term friendships and make for honest and kind friends. The challenge for Earth people is to not let their practicality and desire for structure to keep them from discovering and reveling in life’s mysteries, or accessing their own emotional states. Too much Earth energy can lead to becoming rigid or narrow-minded, actually limiting our potential for growth by closing ourselves off to higher-frequency energies that inspire us with new perspectives and motivate us to set our sights on new horizons. People who are described as being “stubborn as a rock” or behaving like “a stick in the mud” are probably exhibiting an excess of Earth energy, and would benefit from loosening up and allowing themselves more access to mystery and joy. They may not always realize that security is, like everything else, ultimately impermanent, that growth is cyclical, and that there are always unseen forces which we may not be able to control, but can make an effort to better understand. Even the most sensible habits and patterns of living can become overly rigid, and without a certain amount of flexibility it can be hard to navigate the occasional interference that life throws our way. The Earth itself manifests the inevitability of disruption in the form of earthquakes, a phenomenon echoed in the phrase “shaken up” to describe how we feel when unexpected events wreak havoc on the seeming predictability of our daily lives. “Uprooted” is another Earth-related metaphor for how we experience moving from a place we’ve called home or changing jobs. We are, as human beings, oriented to the ground, and it can be difficult for those with Earth as their dominant energy to feel comfortable in the face of dynamic change.

Animals and the Elements

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Animals have played important roles in myth, legend, and spirituality in traditions throughout the world, and are considered sacred by many Witches and Wiccans. Some Witches work with animal “familiars,” which may be physical creatures actually living in their environments, or psychic connections with one or more animals on a purely spiritual level. Others may discover and work with what they describe as “power” or “totem” animals, borrowing from Native American and other shamanic traditions. In many Wiccan traditions, each of the Elements is associated with a variety of specific animals. Usually, these correspondences relate to habitat—so that most birds are considered Air animals, most sea creatures are Water animals, etc. But habitat is only one source of association. Myths, legends, and characteristics of the animal in question also come into play, particularly when it comes to the animals of Fire. For example, the lion has long been associated with solar deities, and embodies the qualities of strength, courage, and intensity. Therefore, the lion belongs to the Element of Fire. So does the red fox, associated with passion and desire, and known for its ability to think quickly and change course with agility. The praying mantis is another Fire animal, credited with creating fire among the San people of the Kalahari Desert. The mantis’ capacity for both stillness and swift, destructive action is also a source of this association. Earth animals include the wolf, known for its loyalty and generosity among its own kind; the bear, symbolizing both tranquility and great power; and even the ant, which uses its industrious and determined nature to build its home literally out of the Earth. Two obvious Air animals are the raven, associated with eloquence and self-knowledge, and the hummingbird, which reminds us of the importance of agility and playfulness. A less obvious correspondence with Air is the spider, which does not fly but spends much of its time suspended above the ground, and is associated with divine inspiration. Water animals include the dolphin, seen by the ancient Celts as “the watcher of the waters” and associated with playfulness and transcendence; the turtle, able to navigate both land and sea and so associated with adaptability as well as endurance; and the swan, seen as symbolic of grace and elegance. Often, the sudden or recurring appearance of an animal in one’s life is thought to be a message from the spirit world. You don’t have to be a Witch or a shaman for this to happen in your life. If a particular animal keeps crossing your path, whether literally or in the form of dreams or other seemingly significant references, it can be beneficial to do some research regarding the animal’s esoteric meanings, including its associated Element. You may be being asked to learn something new about yourself, or pay attention to an area of your life that you’ve been neglecting. As living, breathing embodiments of the Universal life force, animals have much in common with us, and much to teach us about the unseen realms of our magical existence.