Elements Of Witchcraft


Elements Of Witchcraft


       I have been guided to share more on witchcraft and ancient practices. This is something I vibe with deeply, and it runs into my soul like refreshing water to a thirsty heart. A few syncronistic events have happened which have let me to the message that I have to share certain things more. 

        The Elements are the literal forces of Nature, and so they are sacred and revered by Wiccans. They are incorporated into ritual and magic, and ultimately into the daily consciousness of those who live and work with the natural rhythms of life, death, and rebirth. Every aspect of material existence is bound up in Earth, Air, Fire and Water, while Spirit, the Fifth Element, is present in each of the other four.         The concept of elemental states of matter has been with us since at least the time of the ancient Greeks, when what we now call the four “classical” Elements—Earth, Air, Fire and Water— were discussed by the great philosophers. These four substances were said to make up all of matter—nothing physical existed that was not composed of one or more of them. This elemental paradigm informed the medical practices of Greek society as well as their spiritual traditions, and ultimately came to influence the discovery of the physical elements of modern chemistry today.         The Greeks were hardly the only ones to grasp the idea of all things arising from a handful of natural phenomena. This concept is also found, in one form or another, in ancient Egypt and Babylonia, as well as in Hinduism, Buddhism, and religions within China and Japan. Eastern traditions differ slightly in their recognition of the Elements. For example, Chinese astrology distinguishes the Earth-based substances of Wood and Metal as individual Elements in their own right, while ancient Indian philosophy mirrors the original Greek system but adds Akasha—or “Space”—as a fifth Element. This term, “Akasha,” was later borrowed by Western occultists and is used in some Wicca and Pagan traditions to refer to “Spirit.” Other traditions use the term “Aether,” which was Aristotle’s addition to the original Greek system, and which had a similar meaning.         The Elements are understood to be distinct spiritual energies and are an integral part of a ritual. Typically, they are invoked at the start of ritual to participate in the celebration at hand and in any magical work performed. Each of the four classical Elements is associated with one of the four cardinal directions—North, East, South, and West—and each is called upon by the ritual celebrant, who turns to face each direction to address and invite the spirit of the Element into the circle. This is known as “Calling the Quarters” in many traditions; others refer to it simply as invoking the Elements. These Elemental energies are then dismissed at the end of ritual, before the circle is closed. Each Element is also represented by one or more ritual tools on the altar. For example, the Pentacle symbolizes Earth, a designated candle represents Fire, a chalice—empty or filled—represents Water, and Air can be symbolized by a wand. There may be other tools further representing the Elements, depending on how elaborate one’s practice is, but for effective, balanced energy at least one representation for each should be present. Every herb, crystal, and color has specific Elemental associations. So do other natural objects—for example, you can represent Water with a sea shell, Air with a feather, Earth with a stone, and Fire with a pinch of smoldering herbs. When these correspondences are consciously acknowledged, and the assistance of the Element(s) formally requested, powerful spellwork can result.

        Witches respect and use the elements as a framework and basis for magickal work and correspondences. Correspondences are things that can be connected to, explained by, or enhanced by the elements. Some witches connect the elements to certain deities; gods or goddesses. There are four elements all incorporated and overseen by a neutral fifth: spirit, or as I like to think of it, energy. The four are Fire, Water, Air, and Earth. Each has certain distinct qualities attached to it. Fire: activity, inspiration, passion, courage, risk, impulsiveness, creativity, impatience Water: emotion, love, feeling, empathy, adaptability, secretive, artistic Air: intellect, thinking, communication, ungrounded, flighty, spirited, inventive, questioning Earth: grounded, practical, steady, responsibility, work, materialism Energy/Spirit: The fifth element. I like to think of this as the medium through which the elements express themselves. So in essence, energy is all-permeating throughout the Universe. Which it is. It’s what some of the early 20th Century New Thought writers called ‘the thinking substance’. Onto which