To balance out my look at the Hermetic Pagan Virtues here are the mainstream, neo-pagan associations of the five magical elements of paganism.
The most fixed and stable of the magical elements; Earth is the tangible ground beneath our feet, the plants and animals that fill the world around us. In ancient times it provided shelter and protection from a dangerous world. When we need to feel stable and safe it is this element that we turn to ground ourselves and understand the permeant nature of nature.
Direction – North
Time – Midnight
Season – Winter
Colours – Black, Brown, Green
Magic – Fertility, Protection, Health, Financial
Tool – Pentacle
Elemental – Gnome, Brownies and Bucca are all types of Earth elementals, these magical creatures are closely allied with the substance of the Earth or the natural world and in’s inhabitants.
Like a breath of fresh Air brining’s knowledge, wisdom and insight as this element moves through our lives. Air brings with it an opening of mind and sight as well as the new light of dawn and as such is the element to work with when you need to attain these things. This is the element of the scholar, but also of joy as it brings the rebirth of spring.
Direction – East
Time – Dawn
Season – Spring
Colours – Yellow, White
Magic – Knowledge, Wisdom
Tool – Censure/Incense or Wand (interchangeable with Sword)
Elemental – Sylphs are air elementals that grace the highest of realms, such as mountain tops. They ride the air currents viewing humanity from afar. On the other hand the fairies, or the winged fay, live much closer to us. They are capricious but tend the forests and woodland with great care.
Fire is the element of passion and heat; sometimes these are the flames of love and lust, at others they are the flames of anger and destruction. Whilst fire can be harmful and destructive it can also be regenerative, even after the greatest forest fires life will soon return to populate the waste lands. Fire is also comforting and protecting, it drives away the darkness and gives us courage to face the darkest nights.
Direction – South
Time – Midday
Season – Summer
Colours – Red, Orange, Gold
Magic – Strength, Passion/Love, Anger, Regeneration, Protection
Tool – Sword (interchangeable with Wand)
Elemental – Dragons and Djinn are spirits of Fire but the main elemental associated with it is the Salamander. Sometimes an amphibian of fire, more often a lizard, these creatures are born of fire and are most comfortable living in arid deserts or volcanos and lava lakes.
This element has three forms; liquid, gas and solid, but it has no form of its own. Its very nature means that it will always take on the shape of its container making it the most adaptable and responsive of the elements. Water is all about emotions and the emotional aspects of life and magic. It is closely associated with the moon, dreams and psychic abilities and is often used as a tool of divination, where Air is associated with academic knowledge Water is associated with occult wisdom.
Direction – West
Time – Sunset
Season – Autumn
Colours – Blue, Silver, Turquoise
Magic – Wisdom, Dreams, Emotions, Relationships, Psychic Development
Tool – Chalice
Elemental – Mermaids, Naiads and Oceanid are all types of Undines, water elementals that grace the waterways and oceans with their presence. They protect the waters in which they reside
The fifth element, the element created when the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water all exist in perfect harmony. It resides in all of it, cenral to our being and the spark from which we take life but it is also the spark of the divine which we carry within ourselves. When all things are in balance the Akashic forces are within our reach.
Direction – No Direction – placed at the Centre or the point of the pentagram/pentacle
Time – All Time and No Time
Colours – Purple, White
Magic – Psychic Development, Protection, Divinity, Higher Self
Tool – No Tool, sometimes depicted as a spiral or an oval
Elemental – Although this element doesn’t officially have an elemental being associated with it the spiritual messengers, the Angels, would be best ascribed to it. Removing the Christian connotations the root of the word is Angelos, meaning messenger, and angels are in truth the messengers of divine forces carrying knowledge and messages between the divine and man.