Elemental Magic: Thinking Like A Witch
My spouse and I spent our weekend in nature. We had a friend watch our child, packed our bags and headed out into the forest. We deeply relaxed at my favourite co-op in Quebec, Aux barges du Lac Castor where we rented a cabin facing the lake.
We spent our time in nature. With no cell service it forced us to deeply unplug and be nourished by the elements.
This weekend forced me to examine my beliefs and my relationship with the elements. I discovered that my view on the elements was limited to what I had read in witchy books and what I learned through my tarot practice.
I feel that each individuals relationship to the elements could vary. In fact I believe it should vary. We all have different experiences and those experiences shape the relationships around us.
Elemental magic is a power you can tap into at all times with everything you do. With every act you can perform the elements are present.
As I write I am aware of the elements I am engaging with. I can feel the warming effect of fire underneath the blanket that is lying over my lap. It is also present in my computer, creating the electrical currents that are powering my device. Next to me is a bottle of water and a coffee. My breath is calm and even allowing the element of air to flow in and out of my body, fuelling my words. I feel supported by the earth, I feel the way my couch is curving around my body. I feel stable and comforted.
The Elements Are a Force of Nature
Just like human nature each element has a gentle side and an aggressive side. When you are considering spell work and how you want to approach a situation consider all aspects of each element. All the elements are best in balance and moderation.
Earth Is the fertile soil in our gardens that nourish us through our food. It’s the gentle sand between our toes that spark joy in our lives. In its aggressive state it is the cracked foundation in our house that causes us thousands of dollars in damage. It is the sink holes that give way and crumble. It is the Earth quakes that shake up and test our structures.
Belief systems for me are governed by the element of earth because our very personalities are built around them.
Air is the gentle breeze transporting the smell of lilacs into your nose or it can be the mighty hurricane that will transport your vehicle miles away. In its calm state it is the rustle of leaves through the trees, it can lift up the seeds of your intentions and place them on fertile earth where it can sprout and grow. In it’s aggressive side it is pure chaos blowing which ever way, demolishing well constructed buildings and forcefully carving out it’s own path.
Water Is the gentle tide pools, creating delicate ecosystems that support life. It’s the calm babbling brook that gently transports water from one area to another. In its aggressive state it’s ugly crying, the deepest part of the sea where little life exists, It’s the undertows that pull you under and steal your breath, it’s the flash floods and the whirlpools.
The element of water is deeply transformative since it turns from gaseous state to liquid and to solid state. It can be used to transform stable parts of your life into something else that is stable. Even the gentlest stream will erode the earth given enough time. It takes the path of least resistance.
Fire is the light glow of a candle flame, the warmth of a warm blanket, the beauty of a campfire at night. It can be used for fire burning ceremonies or cord cutting rituals. It is the element for passion, for creativity, and for inspiration. In its aggressive state it’s a forest fire that no amount of water can extinguish. It’s scorched flesh, hot coals that will set anything it touches on fire, the desert day that is void of moisture where only the toughest can survive. It is the all powerful sun that is gentle and warming but can cause painful sunburns. It can heat your meal to perfection or burn it to a crisp. It’s a tricky element that deserve a ton of respect and to be worked with carefully.
Building a Relationship With The Elements
Each individual practitioner will have varying ideas of what each element governs in their lives. This is the way I think it should be. We all have different memories and those are the anchors to relationships. The stronger the relationship means more power will be accessible.
For instance, I myself would call upon the element of fire if I needed comfort and security. This element isn’t necessarily associated with but when I think of my cozy place I am under a pile of blankets in front of a fire. I am warm and snuggly.
One thing I noticed this weekend was how hunched up I was in the cold and once I was kissed the the warmth of the fire my body began to expand. Cold contracts were as warmth expands. There is magic is that.
When you want to grow a certain area of your life consider using the element of fire in its gentle state to help you slowly release tension and expand.
Maybe your comfort is the element of air. A soft touch of a mother whispering comfort into your ear. Maybe it’s the smell of your favourite meal cooking on the stove.
Perhaps a hot bath, a cup of tea or sitting by a creek listening to the water run through is your ideal comfort. The sound of rain on a steel roof is one of my favourite sounds.
Getting my hands dirty has always been a way for me to alleviate my body of anxiety. Gardening is a well loved past-time for me because of that.
This might be an unpopular opinion, but for me the element of prosperity is water. Look at the verbiage used in the financial world. Making assets liquid, a fund is also referred to as a pool of money.
The energy of money for me flows in and out like the tides. I find when I hoard money it becomes stagnant and the flow stops. Where as when I spend my money in ways that benefit myself and my family the flow is strong.
I am also aware that this comes from a place of privilege and that many don’t have any excess income to spend.
My prosperity altar is my propagation station for this reason.
I associate the element of air with healing because our breath is our life force.
Become aware of the elements in your life. Examine them and see if any resonate with different areas of your life. If it goes against popular opinion that’s ok because it’s your magic and it should be unique to you.
All Elements, Present At All Times.
While I was sitting in front of a bonfire I thought about how the element of fire was the strongest present but all the other elements were still there. The element of water was present through the wood for the tree would not be able to grow without it. Earth was also present in the wood by being the fuel that burned. Air is needed for the fire to catch.
Another example is a book. Again the water gave life to the trees which gave life to the paper that created the book. Fire is present in the inspiration that drove the author and air is present through the words and the logic that wrote the story.
A shower is considered to be a ruling act under the element of water. Consider the fire warming up the water, the air moving around being displaced by the water, and the earth that is supporting the water heater or the floor of the tub/shower.
Trees are rooted deep inside the earth. Water gives the trees life. The sun, a fiery ball in the solar system, encourages the trees to photosynthesize allowing them to take in carbon monoxide and release oxygen. Literal air!
Look at any object natural or man made. At some point throughout its creation it was influenced by all the elements. Especially when you consider the presence of the elements in all living life forms, including plants and animals.
The Elements In Our Bodies
I’ve gone over the basic elemental presence in plants, but have you considered the elemental process in animals, mammals specifically?
I’m talking about our bodies which is our greatest tool as practicing witches. We breathe in the element of air into our lungs. In turn that air pumps our heart which using electrical signals (fire) pumps out our blood and plasma (water) into the rest of our bodies. Our bones and tissues (Earth) are the physical makeup of our bodies. Lastly our spirit is what creates the unique version of you.
We need every element in our bodies.
Fire is present in the act of digestion, breaking down food into fuel for our bodies to absorb. It is the electrical signals that are traveling up and down our spines, sending information throughout our nervous system that keep our bodies functioning. It is the heat that resonates from our core fighting off sickness and disease.
Water is the various fluids that keep our bodies lubricated and functioning, it is that which circulates throughout our physical systems. Our body is comprised of 55%-60% of water. It is our spit, our urine, our tears, our sweat, our plasma, our blood, and all the other fluids that power our bodies.
Air is the breath in our lungs and the thoughts in our mind. Every time we speak out loud we are using the element of air to transport our words out into the universe. I consider my words to be powerful spells for good or for harm. We can calm our nervous system or speed it up using our breath. We can breathe into various parts of our bodies expanding your awareness into them. If you have control of your breath you have control of your life.
Earth creates our bodies. Without our bodies we wouldn’t exist in the physical world. Our bones which support us, the various organ tissues that create the system that allows us to be alive. Our muscles to our flesh. It’s all the element of Earth.
Spirit: that which makes you you. Due to your spirit you can use your body as a tool for spell work.
Magic in Common Tasks
I will keep repeating it, your body is your most powerful tools for spell work. With this in mind you can turn even the most mundane tasks into spell work. All the processes your body needs to do in order to stay alive can be acts of magic.
Breathing is an act of air, breathing out that which no longer serves and breathing in life and health. Speaking your truth can be a powerful spell and an act for manifesting and protection.
Eating can be a ritual to Fire, welcoming energy and vitality into your life.
Going to the bathroom can be a water ritual to cleanse your body of that which is no longer serving, riding yourself of physical, mental and spiritual waste to make room for healing.
Sleeping turns into an Earth ritual to ground your body and charge it up with the Earth’s stabilizing energy.
Exercising is an opportunity for a fire ritual. Take a few moments at the beginning of your activity to set an intention. I like to use my trips to the gym to spark creativity or burn out sickness or limiting beliefs. As you build the heat in your body feel the element of fire come alive in your body. Feel it burning away thoughts and ailments that no longer serve, making way for new ideas, for health, for creativity and inspiration.
Water rituals for releasing and cleansing using the gentle path of least resistance include baths, showers or crying. Yes, even the act of crying can be a beautiful ritual to cleanse. After a good crying session I always feel like I’ve given my mental body a good shower.
Water is a nurturing energy. I like to soothe my nervous system with a cup of tea of a warm towel on my face. You can call upon the element of water to still to rough waters in your soul.
Walking on the Earth bare foot, also called earthing, is a powerful spell to ground your energy. You can call up energy when you’re low or you can send too much energy into the Earth. When I am filled with fear, anxiety or any other unwanted energy I like to lay on the Earth and feel it sucking out all of those yucky vibes.
Using your voice is an opportunity for an air ritual. You can verbally set boundaries for protection. The simplest spell is the word “No”.
This is why I believe chants or incantations are powerful tools. Especially when rhyming, it’s pleasant to say and it focuses the energy to raise into a specific intent.
Next time you’re performing in your car with song harness the element of air to uplift your mood. If I’m in a funk I turn on music I love to sing to and by the second or third song my mood has shifted.
Using scents is a powerful way to engage with the element of air. You can use specific scents to harness different feelings within your body. This is a powerful way to shift your mood for a specific purpose.
I highly suggest examining each individual element and figuring out what your relationship is with each one. Perhaps you don’t have a strong relationship with one element in particular. That’s the one I would work on and see how it can present itself in your life. Work with them and see how they can benefit your world. I promise your life will be enriched through this practice.