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These are the four elements of nature
earth, air, water and fire which form the essential ingredients of all natural
are considered the bed-rock and basis of all nature. In Western occultism
they are believed to be the basis of all life, not just on planet earth
but throughout the universe. The elements were thought to link humankind
to the heavens and divine as well as governing its well-being.
The elements were recognized in the ancient Mysteries. The rays from celestial
bodies became elements when the struck their crystallized influences in
the lower world. They played a predominant role in magic among the Egyptians
and Greeks who ascribed various attributes and characteristics to each element.
Plato grouped all things into four categories based on the elements, such
as air/birds, water/fish, earth/pedestrians, and fire/stars, because they
all are interrelated.
During the Middle Ages alchemists and magicians ascribed the elements to the internal
and external parts of the human anatomy; various gems; minerals and materials;
planets and constellations; the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; various
species of the animal and plant kingdoms; human personality traits; and
Roger Fludd (1574-1637), an alchemist and astrologer, related the elements
to harmonics while Sisismund Bactrom, also a Renaissance alchemist, believed
that if all the elements could be united and harmonized , the Philosopher's
Stone would be the result.
In the Mithraic Mysteries it is believed that man must rule the elements
before he is able to attain spiritual wisdom. It is taught man must successfully
undergo the initiations of earth, air, water, and fire because each tests
a different aspect of his nature and being.
Below are listed some of the correspondences of the elements:
Earth: The north; the pentacle; female principle; fertility; darkness;
quiet; practicality; thrift; acquisition; patience; responsibility; boredom;
stagnation; the materialization of the cosmic powers; the color green; the
Air: The east; the wand; male principle; intellect, energy, endeavor;
sociability; squandering, frivolity; the expression of the magician's will;
the color yellow; the metal silver.
Water: The west; the cup; chalice and cauldron; female principle;
fecundity; body fluids; magical brews; the rhythms of nature; emotions,
sensitivity, receptivity; instability, indifference; the color blue; the
Fire: The south; the sword; male principle; action, courage, defense
against hostile forces; struggle, animosity, jealousy, anger; the color
orange; the metal gold.
When working magic, neo-Pagan witches and magicians summon the subtle forces
of the elements and their guardian spirits. Familiars are believed to be sources of vital elemental energy.
Most magical work in performed within a magic
circle that has been casted, which means that
it has been consecrated and purified by the elements. Each element or its
symbol is taken to its corresponding quarter of the circle where its guardian
spirit is invoked.
The elements are associated with the cardinal points of the magic circle,
and are within the hierarchy of spirits the lower ones are known as the
who are governed by higher beings called the devas, also known as the Lords of the Watchtowers, the Mighty
Ones, and the Guardians. A.G.H.