I’ll be covering correspondences with the four elements and my overall impressions of each of them. I’ll be giving you ideas of what you can do with information out there, so you can fully get into working with the elements. The elements and their associations with the directions were written about in Ancient Greece, so this is not a new idea. You can use these ideas on main altars, elemental altars, other types of altars and with other kinds of workings with the elements. This is where you can get creative! These are suggestions of how to use information that is out there. Scott Cunningham’s two books in Suggested Investigation come in handy. His books have the most complete lists of stone and plant correspondences with the elements that I have seen. I also suggest the other sources for learning about working with the elements. Knowing about and working with the elements is an important part of our practice.
Earth is literally beneath our feet. Imagine the silence of being in a cave. Physicality is the quality of ourselves that equals Earth. The gravity of Earth is the force that encourages muscular and bone growth within us. Earth is our nurturer and supports everything that grows. Stay grounded with Earth and pay attention to how it feels.
Some stones that correspond with Earth are green moss agate, coal, emerald and jet. There are a number of plants that fit the category. Many grains are associated with Earth. Root plants such as beet, potato and turnip are included. Other plants are cotton, fern, pea, rose, rhubarb and tulip. A few animals that correspond with Earth are rabbit, snake and mouse. Some human made objects that fit the category are cotton fabric, clay pottery (especially green, brown or black), a pentacle and gardening implements. Put this together, and one could put on a North altar a pair of cotton gardening gloves or a green pot with soil. A ceramic depiction of a mouse is excellent. A tulip or a fern in a brown ceramic pot works very well. Even better add a green moss agate to the pot. If working with Earth, how about a scone with rhubarb jam?
Many things are on the Air, and sound and smell are two of them. Air equals intellect. Sound and speech travel through the Air, and through that we learn. Learning knowledge and clear thinking are Air qualities, as well as perceiving clearly. As we watch things, we learn and then make decisions based on what we learn. Memory is also an Air quality and smell can evoke a memory. Breathe in Air and pay attention to the smell.
Some stones that correspond with Air are aventurine, jasper and mica. Some of the plants associated with Air are those with pleasant smells such as anise, caraway, mint, lavender and sage. Some nuts include almonds, hazel, pecan and pistachio. Other plants are aspen, broom, dandelion, maple, mistletoe, parsley and rice. Some animals that correspond with Air and that fly are butterflies, birds, bees, other flying insects and dragons. Human made items include incense with burners, brooms, fans and silk fabric. Put this together, and one could use a silk accordion fold fan with pictures of lavender flowers, butterflies or birds on it. A broom with an aspen handle with herbs such as mint, parsley or sage attached can be used. An incense burner with sage incense is great. If working with Air, how about almond flour cookies with anise, caraway and nuts?
Fire equals the will to change and to change things around us. Fire gives us light allowing us to see our paths. The greatest Fire we are affected by is the sun. Fire both creates and destroys, and one good example of this are forest fires. As we know, forest fires can cause great destruction. But they clear the way creating spaces with both land and light for new plants to grow. In fact, some seeds will not germinate without the heat of forest fires. Fire is the passion in our spirit to destroy and create new things in our lives. Gaze into a candle flame or embers of a Fire and pay attention to what you see.
Some stones that correspond with Fire are the agates: brown, black, red and banded. Others are citrine, obsidian, garnet and tiger’s eye. Plants that produce hot herbs and foods like bay, cinnamon, chili peppers and radish make the list. Other plants include cactus, carrot, frankincense, holly, olives, orange and rosemary. Some animals that fit this category are bees, horse, firefly and dragon. Human made objects that make this list are candles, incense and ceramic ware. Put things together, and a red candle in the image of a dragon works well. Both frankincense and rosemary smudge are great. A cactus in a red ceramic pot with a tiger’s eye next to the cactus is wonderful. If working with Fire, how about honey with a hint of curry in it over orange segments?
Like Fire, Water can be destructive, but it is essential for life. Ocean Water can kill us when drunk, yet an abundant amount of fish thrive in the salty Water. Fresh Water is essential for our lives. Water has been a sort of cradle holding the first life on Earth for billions of years. And amniotic fluid cradles life until it is ready to be born. Water is like our emotional life, and we need to be able to take control lest we drown. Dreams are considered to be like Water with thoughts from our subconscious rising out of the depths. Do we dare to remember these dreams? Drink a refreshing glass of cool Water, and pay attention to the taste.
Some stones that correspond with Water are coral, geodes, hag stones (stones with holes), moonstone and lapis lazuli. Some plants that fit this category are aloe, cabbage, cucumber, lettuce and African violet. Many fruit trees and plants like apricot, banana, lemon, raspberry and strawberry make the list. Animals include fish, duck, whale and beaver. Human made objects would be containers for liquid like a chalice, bowl or cauldron. Put things together, and a chalice of water or African violets planted in a cauldron shaped pot with a piece of lapis lazuli is wonderful. If working with Water, how about a salad of lettuce, cabbage, cucumber and strawberry with an apricot dressing and lemonade?
Enjoy learning more about and getting creative with the elements!
I will continue to post on Wednesdays.
Scott Cunningham, Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic, Llewellyn, 1990
Scott Cunningham, Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, Llewellyn, 2003.
Selena Fox, Healing with Sacred Earth, Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts, November 8, 2020, Encore from May 20, 2020.
Selena Fox, Healing with Sacred Air, Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts, November 15, 2020, Encore from May 6, 2020.
Selena Fox, Healing with Sacred Fire, Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts, November 22, 2020, Encore from May 27, 2020.
Selena Fox, Healing with Sacred Water, Circle Sanctuary Network Podcasts, November 29, 2020, Encore from May 13, 2020.
Deborah Lipp, The Elements of Ritual: Air, Fire, Water & Earth in the Wiccan Circle, Llewellyn, 2021.
David Rankine & Sorita D’Este, Practical Elemental Magick: Working the Magick of the Four Elements in the Western Mystery Tradition, Avalonia, 2022. Can be obtained on Kindle Unlimited.
Patricia Telesco, Your Book of Shadows: How to Write Your Own Magickal Spells, Building Beautiful Souls, Inc., 2018. Can be obtained on Kindle Unlimited.
http://www.thewhitegoddess.co.uk, The Elements and Their Correspondences, 2022.