(Written and compiled by George Knowles.)
elements of nature: Earth, Air,
Fire and Water are the very foundations of creation and the basis of life
itself. Ancient myths and theories
tell us that four Divine Beings 'Spirits' were sent to the fledgling earth (then a smoldering
pot of confusion being created), to bring about order out of chaos.
As the rays of their celestial bodies made contact with the crystallized
influences of the lower world, they became the four elements linking humankind
to nature, the heavens and the Divine.
Wicca/Witchcraft all physical and spiritual substances (the spiritual essence,
if you like) are made up of one or more of these elements.
The Earth is the essence of fertility and solidarity; it nourishes, binds
and gives form. Air the essence of intelligence, which liberates and
stimulates. Fire is the essence of
strength and defense that animates and activates, while Water is the essence of
emotions and fecundity making things malleable and flexible.
The physical representations of these elements are merely their gross
forms in the material world.
celestial form sent by the divine beings the “Goddess and God”, the fifth
element or “spirit” (sometimes referred to as Akasha); came from a lower
hierarchy of spirits called Elementals. The
task was to govern the four elements. So Gnomes govern the Earth, Sylphs control the Air,
Salamanders command Fire and Undines prevail over Water.
Elements and elementals are assigned to the four cardinal points of a
circle under the watchful eyes of the Lords of the Watchtowers (the Mighty Ones,
Old Ones, or the Guardians), who are next in line on the hierarchy of the spirit
world. So Earth and Gnomes are
assigned to the North, Air and Sylphs to the East, Salamanders and Fire to the
South, and Undines and Water to the West.
(up-right five pointed star in-side a circle) is the witches’ traditional tool
of the craft, and is symbolic of the four elements being kept in balance for
“good” by the fifth element “spirit”, represented by the circle itself.
A reversed Pentacle (inverted five pointed star, often referred to as the
Satanic Pentacle) represents the bad or darker sides of elements and elementals.
As there is duplicity in the Goddess and God, so there is duplicity in
elements and elementals. Each has
its own good and bad aspects. Here are some of the main
correspondences representing elements and elementals.
The Goddess, the Moon, the planet Venus, the zodiacal signs of - Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn, the season of autumn, the North, salt or sand, the pentacle, fertility, good health, quietness, comfort, strength, courage, practicality, thrift, acquisition, patience, responsibility, things cold and dry, boredom, stagnation, destruction, darkness, the colour green, the metal gold. It is used to influence such matters as: Female principles, herbal magick, luck, physical healing, balance, prosperity, change, material things, harmony, relationships and success. Also used for romantic love, friendship, beauty, soul-mates, artistic ability, affection, partners, alliances, grace, luxury, social activity, marriage, decorating, cosmetics, gifts, income, gardening, architects, artists, beauticians, chiropractors, dancers, designers, engineers, entertainers, fashion, music, painting, poetry, courtship, dating, household improvements, planning parties and shopping.
The God, the Sun, the zodiacal signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, the season of spring, the East, the wand, incense and smoke. Also used to influence such matters as: Light, health, success, careers, goals, ambition, personnel finances, advancement, drama, fun, authority figures, law, fairs, crops, totem animals, volunteer and civic services, promotion, male principles, children, buying, selling and speculation, things hot and moist, squandering, frivolity, autism, gales, hurricanes and cyclones. Also used for achievement, healing energy, divination, clairvoyance, mental alertness, intelligence, intellectual growth, prosperity, harmony, energizing, creativity, the colour yellow and the metal silver.
The God, the
Sun, Mercury, Mars, the zodiacal signs of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, the
season of summer, the South, the sword or athame, candles, torches, light or
illumination. Represents vitality,
power, strength, courage and defense. It
is invigorating, motivating and passionate, and can be used to influence such
matters as: passion, partnerships,
action, physical activity, energy, aggression, things hot and dry, sex, sport,
guns, tools, metals, police, soldiers, combat, confrontation, war, business
deals, buying and selling, mechanical things, repairs, hunting, health,
luck, justice, success, ambition, personal finances, and authority figures.
The Goddess, the Moon, the planet Jupiter, the
zodiacal signs of Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces, the season of winter, the West, the
cup, chalice and cauldron. Water
is used for dealing with such matter as: wealth,
joy, opportunity, abundance, elevation, tranquillizing, aligning, business,
logic, gambling, social matters, political power, material wealth, publishing,
collage education and long distance travel.
Things cold and moist, brooding, foreboding, stagnation, poison, toxic
substances, foreign interests, religion, philosophy, forecasting, broadcasting,
publicity, expansion, luck, growth, sport, horses, legal matters, doctors,
guardians, merchants, psychologists, charity, correspondence courses,
self-improvement, research, reading and studying.
Elementals are those mystical creatures that dwell within the spirit
realm of the elements, watched over and controlled by the Lords
of the Watchtowers (the Mighty Ones, Old Ones, or the Guardians).
Elementals can be related to “nature spirits” and the old favorite,
ever written about “witches’ familiar”.
These are the spirits that govern all nature, the “forces of life”
that may be summoned to assist in working magic.
It’s important therefore that we understand “who they are” and
“what they represent”. Earth
spirits are known as Gnomes, Air spirits as Sylphs, Fire spirits as Salamanders,
and Water spirits are called Undines.
circle is formed and consecrated with the elements, a witch may next call down
the quarters by invoking the Lords of the Watchtowers (the Mighty Ones, Old
Ones, the Guardians), to preside and watch over the proceedings.
Specific elementals; those whose correspondences best suit the work or
rite being carried out, may then be invited to participate.
Their correspondences are closely related to those of the elements, so I
shall not re-write them here (See Correspondences in Part 1).
Care needs to be taken when calling the aid of elementals, due to the
duplicity of all things. Elementals
are not always the helpful little creature’s we expect them to be, and can be
mischievous, bad tempered little devils if allowed to get out of control.
elementals were thought to be fickle, malicious and unpredictable spirits sent
by the “wicked-witch” in the form of familiars to trick people into
accidents and traps and sometimes killing them.
This is the sort of belief that led to the plight of witches during the
Witch-hunt’s and purges of the 17th–18th centuries.
Still today in contemporary Witchcraft, witches use pets and animals as
familiars, but stress and emphasizes is given to working with good and friendly
elementals in producing positive magic. A
colorful character from contemporary times that used a familiar was Sybil
Leek. Her trademark was a cape,
loose gown, and a pet jackdaw named “Mr. Hotfoot Jackson”.
Gnomes are the
spiritual beings who inhabit the spirit realm of the elements.
As spirits of energy they are commonly invisible to the average person,
only those that possess second sight can see them clearly.
However being on the first level of the spirit realm, they are close
enough to the physical realm in order to easily inter-react with it.
By tradition Gnomes were the protectors of secret treasures hidden in
caves beneath the earth. Legends
have it that they were reluctant to help and aid humans, but if you were to gain
the trust of one, they could prove to be powerful friends. On the other hand, if you were to lose their trust, deceive
them or misuse their aid, then all hell could be let lose.
Wicca/Witchcraft Gnomes are called to instill confidence, steadfastness and
endurance, but can also be used to bring about gloom, melancholy and despair
should that be required. In some
old legends Gnomes were ruled over by a king called Gob whose followers became
known as Goblins. Goblins were
wondering mischievous sprites that would attach themselves to households,
particularly those containing children. When
they moved in, they would help by doing the chores at night and by playing with
and disciplining the children, giving them presents when they were good or
punishing them when they were bad.
When upset the
Goblins general good nature could became unpredictable.
They would bang pots and pans in the kitchen at night just to keep the
household awake, or move furniture about while knocking on walls and doors and
snatching bedclothes off sleeping persons, generally becoming a nuisance.
You’ve heard of poltergeist activity?
Well this is a type of it. A
Poltergeist is generally believed to be the spirit of a departed person or
animal, who hasn’t for various reasons withdrawn from the physical realm.
It can also be an elemental that has been called for a task and for some
reason failed to complete it, hence the haunting.
Witches are often called to exorcise haunting by contacting the spirit
and persuading it to move on, or if that fails they can contact higher spirits
or deities to banish them.
Goblins can be called to aid all magic associated with the element Earth as
given in the correspondences above.
Sylphs are the
spiritual beings that inhabit the spirit realm of the element Air.
Their activities are manifest in the gatherings of clouds, in the blowing
of the wind, the downpour of rain and the formation of snow.
They are also responsible for the growth and maturity of all the plant
life we see around us. In folklore,
Sylphs appeared in many myths and legends.
Some tales tell us that if you listened carefully, they would talk to you
on the wind as it passed through caves and caverns.
suggested that the Muses of Greek mythology were Sylphs who had assumed human
form in order to guide humans on a spiritual path.
They are associated with the activity of the mind and can influence and
inspire human actions. It is
generally though that they are attracted to poets and artists and instils them
with visions of spiritual beauty. Sylphs
are ruled by a King being known as Paralda, and in form they appear to humans as
in the classic image of the fairies.
Sylphs can be
called to aid in all magick associated with the element Air as shown in the
the spiritual beings that inhabit and control the element Fire, and it is
through their activities that fire exists.
There are many family branches of salamanders each differing in size,
appearance and dignity, and in folklore they were ruled over by a magnificent
flaming king being called Djin. Salamanders
are the strongest and most powerful of all the elementals having the ability to
extend or diminish their size as needed. They
and others of their kind are mischievous spirits, who like children don't fully
understand the results of their actions, which can affect the thoughts and
actions of people around them. As
such, strong control is required when using their aid in ritual or magick.
thought to move about most freely at night and if you are ever lucky enough to
see them, they would appear as small balls of light drifting across the air and
water. Old-time sailors often saw
them investigating the sails of their ships while sailing at sea, and the term
“St. Elmo’s Fire” was coined to refer to such phenomenon. On land they are mostly perceived as small lizard-like flames
about a foot or more in length.
When used in
magick, Salamanders can have a profound effect upon human nature.
Linked through the heat with which we maintain are bodily temperatures,
they can influence our emotions and general temperament.
When someone is called a hothead, or is referred to as hot-blooded, these
are terms referring to their elemental nature.
Undines are the
spiritual beings that inhabit the spirit realm of the element Water.
They not only exist in the water itself, but also in substances of
humidity and all other liquids. They appear to humans as beautiful water nymphs or the
classic mermaids of myths and legends which tell of them being seen gracefully
riding the waves of the ocean shimmering and shining with all the colors of the
sea. They are also said to frequent
marshlands, rocky pools, springs, streams and wells. They control the forces of nature in relation to plant and
marine life as well as the tides and motions of water.
cultures undines inhabited waterfalls, while others live in rivers and lakes,
every fountain had its nymph, and every ocean its oceanides (daughters of
Oceanus the Titan ruler of the sea before Poseidon).
In folklore the ruler of the undines is a being called Necksa whom they
love, serve, and honor unceasingly. Undines
are emotional beings, very friendly and open to being of service to humans, but
care must be taken when working with undines for they can have a strong
influence upon a person’s emotional well-being.
undines were often portrayed as tiny winged beings that people have mistakenly
called fairies. Seen near flowers
and plants that grow in watery areas, they had gossamer wings and shining
clothing. Some undine’s closely
resembled people in appearance and size, they lived in coral caves under the
ocean or on the shores of lakes and banks of rivers.
Undines work with the vital essences, the liquids of plants, animals, and
human beings and are present in everything containing water.
Undines can be called to aid in all magick associated with the element Water as shown in the correspondences above.
Best Wishes and Blessed Be.
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek
Mythology) / Esbats &
Full Moons / Links
to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft
Resources / What's a spell? /
Circle Casting and
Sacred Space / Pentagram
- Pentacle / Marks
of a Witch / The Witches
Power / The Witches Hat
esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism
Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1
/ Part 2 / Part
3 / A
history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope
Innocent VIII /
papal Bull /
Malleus Maleficarum /
An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum
/ The letter of approbation
Nider’s Formicarius /
Heinrich Kramer /
/ Montague Summers /
/ The Albigenses
The Hussites / The
/ Shielding (Occult
and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Rituals:
Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder. Also see: The Willow Tree (Folk Music)
Rocks and Stones:
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin: / Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murder by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A. Kelly / Albertus Magnus “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders "the King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary / Carl Llewellyn Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard (Dave Smith) / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Dorothy Morrison / Doreen Valiente / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake and the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gerald B. Gardner / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater "Horrible Herman" / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell / Janet Farrar & Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell “Lady Sheba” / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave (the White Fox) / John Michael Greer / John Score / Johannes Junius the Burgomaster of Bamberg / Karl von Eckartshausen / Laurie Cabot "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau the " Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the Desiderata / Monique Wilson the “Queen of the Witches” / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellers / Mrs. Grieve "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Emmons Isaac Bonewits / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and "The White Goddess" /Rudolf Steiner / Rosaleen Norton “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and The Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids / Sabrina - The Ink Witch / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather / Thomas Ady / Vera Chapman / Victor Henry Anderson / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest
Many of the above biographies are brief and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with aditional information, please cantact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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