Magic Elements of Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Spirit and Powerful Ways To Use These Symbols

Magic Elements of Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Spirit and Powerful Ways To Use These Symbols

Home » Witchcraft » Magic Elements of Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Spirit and Powerful Ways To Use These Symbols

Magic elements and symbols have long been used in all manner of studies, including alchemy, medicine, magic, and astrology. They represent Nature, the cycle of seasons, and spiritual energy. They’re some of the most basic but essential fundamentals of nature spirituality.

Elements provide harmony and balance through the vibration and energy of the Universe and Nature. This article will discuss the five magic elements’ spiritual energy, correspondences, and spell ideas.

Please note that I make every effort to ensure this information is correct and accurate through my own experiences and referencing sources throughout AND at the bottom of this article.

Posts on this site may contain affiliate links that allow me to earn a small commission from your purchases (at no extra cost to you!)

Magic Elements: A History

The origins of the element symbols lie with the Greek philosopher and physician Empedocles (495 – 430 BCE). He believed the elements were the root of all creation, which he called rizomata, meaning “roots.” Empedocles was more interested in the physical scientific characteristics of elements instead of the energy most spiritual practitioners use today. In his poem On Nature, Empedocles theorized the entirety of the universe occurred due to a unique fusion of the elements.

As I stated in the blog post, Magical Properties of Herbs, Greek physician Hippocrates later expanded on the theory of elements built upon Empedocles’s work and created the idea of the Four Humors. This theory stated that the body held four humors: blood, phlegm, choler (yellow bile), and melancholy (black bile). In addition, each humor was ruled by various elements, seasons, organs, planets, etc.

Ailments and afflictions were believed to be due to your elements and four humors being out of balance. Humor balance could be properly restored by consuming or using the appropriate herb, which correlated with the corresponding element.

These ideas were presumably sourced from Eastern beliefs since the earliest recorded concepts date back to 2000 BCE. Balancing the energy of the elements is deeply rooted in Indian Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Elemental Magic Video For Beginners

YouTube video
Check out my Magic Elements video!

Magic Elements and Alchemy Through The Years

From ancient times to today, people have been fascinated by magic elements and alchemy. In this section, I’ll discuss the journey of the Magic Elements throughout history.

Ancient Greece

Greek philosophers and physicians used triangles and lines to symbolize elements and are theorized to have inspired the Seal of Solomon. Spiritual practitioners utilize these symbols to this day.

Medieval

You can’t find these four magic elements on the periodic table! Since ancient Greeks believed that the entirety of the universe formed due to a unique fusion of the elements, alchemists theorized these elements must have come from one source.

During the early Middle Ages, the symbol to represent the four elements consisted of a square with a triangle in each corner.

Another symbol that was often used to represent the four elements was a quartered square.

(Both examples are shown below)

Magic Element Symbols Quartered Square Representing the Elements
Quartered Square
Element Symbols Medieval Alchemy Element Symbol
Square with a Triangle in each corner

Quest for the Philosopher’s Stone

Alchemists’ primary goal was to utilize the elements to create or locate the Philosopher’s Stone, which was believed to be a common material that would heal diseases, provide everlasting life, and could transmute metal into gold or silver using the four elements.

Alchemists during the Middle Ages believe that by combining elements (The Quintessence), they could create the Philosopher’s Stone. So naturally, alchemists were very secretive about their work and would use deception and lies to keep their experiments safe. They would often use secret symbols and codes so prying eyes would not decipher their work.

The Flamels’ Legendary Success

Very few have claimed to have successfully created the Philosopher’s Stone, Nicholas Flamel and his wife Perenelle Flamel being one.

As the story goes, Nicholas was a scribe who came across an old manuscript with unique alchemy symbols that he could not translate. So he set off to find an alchemist who could! He studied with a Jewish alchemist named Canches, who passed away after three years of teaching Flamel what he knew.

Nicholas returned to his wife and, according to them, in 1382, was able to turn base metal into silver. A few months later, they turned base metal into gold. Interestingly, the Flamels did become quite wealthy in their later years.

Elemental Symbolism

The symbol for the Philosopher’s Stone consisted of images representing each element. A small circle for water, a square for earth, a triangle for fire, and the largest circle for air.

Symbol of the Philosophers Stone. A small circle for water, a square for earth, a triangle for fire, and the largest circle for air.
The symbol for the Philosopher’s Stone

20th Century

In 1921, Swiss psychologist Carl Jung published Psychological Types, which included four personality types that were obviously sourced from Hippocrates’s four humors. Jung’s personality types included the Fire Element Archetype (intuitive), Water Element Archetype (feeling), Air Element Archetype (thinking), and Earth Element Archetype (sensing).

Carl Jung’s personality types from Psychological Types were also the source of inspiration for The Meyers Briggs Personality Test.

Jung believed that the element symbols were illustrated as triangles to be connected and linked into a circle, which symbolized the Self, harmony, balance, and wholeness.

This is why spiritual practitioners, most often Wiccans, work with the cardinal directions in a quartered circle. The circle is a sacred space where the seven directions (east, west, north, south, above, below, and within) come together.

Element-Symbols-Quartered Circle representing the Four Elements

Did You Know?

Some of the most important of these [alchemy laboratory] devices were invented some time in the first century BCE by a Jewish alchemist in Alexandria, a woman named Miriam.

Little is known about the life of Mary the Jewess, as she generally is called in later alchemical writings. The fact that she was a brilliant inventor, though, is clear from the devices she created. One of them, the kerotakis, allowed metals to be exposed to corrosive vapors without letting those vapors get into the alchemist’s lungs. Another, a still with three spouts at different heights, was the first equipment for fractional distillation.

Her most famous creation, though, was the balneum Mariae, “Miriam’s bath,” the double broiler. She invented it to provide steady, even heat to alchemical processes; chefs use it today to cook delicate sauces without burning them – and the french still call this device a bain-marie.

The Occult Book – A Chronological Journey from Alchemy to Wicca

Magic Elements Meanings and Correspondences

Using magic elements embeds that corresponding energy into your ritual, altar, grimoire, charm, talisman, spell, or anywhere in your spiritual practice.

Remember that magic elements, meanings, and correspondences can resonate differently with each practitioner. Feel free to adapt this list as you begin working with the elements in your spiritual practice. Let your intuition guide you!

Note – the cardinal direction correspondences in this article are sourced from The Golden Dawn’s classifications in European areas. Different regions and cultures may have different orientations. Please feel free to use directions that resonate with you and your area.

Magic Element Symbols - Fire, Air, Earth, Water

Fire Element Magic Symbol

The fire element is powerful, transformative, and linked to the Sun’s solar energy. Helps to spark ambition, courage, and tenacity.

Fire Element Magic Symbol

Fire Element Correspondences and Magical Properties

  • SeasonSummer
  • Spiritual Intentions: power, sex, lust, determination, vigor, strength, passion, action, transformation, purification, freedom, courage, destruction
  • Crystals, Stones, and Metals: obsidian, orange calcite, carnelian, lava rock, red jasper, pyrite, sunstone, pumice, rhodochrosite, amber, ruby, bloodstone, garnet, tigers eye, gold, copper, iron, brass
  • Herbs and Botanicals: chili peppers, bell peppers, cloves, fire cider, cayenne, rosemary, marigold, stinging nettles, garlic, onion, cinnamon, basil, juniper, citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, limes, lemons)
  • Time of day: Noon
  • Cardinal Direction: South
  • Day of the week: Sunday and Tuesday
  • Tools and representation ideas: Dagger, wand, sunlight, red candle, ashes, dragon, bonfire or fireplace, phoenix, light source (light bulb, battery-operated tea-light or candle, etc), scorpions, snakes, blood, lion, fire element symbol
  • Colors: Red, orange, gold, or crimson
  • Moon phase: waxing moon

Fire Element Spell, Ritual, and Inscription Ideas

  • Spells for courage or motivation
  • Create solar water to use on an altar, to consume (sun tea – maybe with corresponding citrus fruits), or in your spiritual practice
  • Candle Magic
  • Positive mental health and self-image
  • Burning Sigils
  • Sex magic
  • Create Fire Cider
  • Fire scrying
  • Attraction spells
  • Strength or protection spells
  • Storm and lightning magic

Earth Element Magic Symbol

Earth is the element of manifestation and abundance, but it can also help to balance the ego. The Earth element helps to guide us in self-reflection and personal development. It represents the seasons and natural cycles of life.

Earth Element Magic Symbol

Earth Element Correspondences and Magical Properties

  • Season: Winter
  • Spiritual Intentions: fertility, self-reflection, wisdom, health, grounded, physical abundance, security, death and rebirth, connection with the seasons and earth’s cycles, sowing and reaping
  • Crystals, Stones, and Metals: quartz, hag stones, malachite, chrysocolla, emerald, smoky quartz, peridot, jade, petrified wood, jasper, slate, granite, rock salt, onyx, tourmaline, lead, silver (Note some practitioners believe ALL crystals can be used since crystals are derived from Earth)
  • Herbs and Botanicals: patchouli, sage, moss, honeysuckle, ivy, comfrey, oats, lichen, roots, seeds, wood, or trees (oak, cedar, etc.) (Again, some folks believe ALL herbs can be used since herbs are derived from Earth)
  • Time of day: Midnight
  • Cardinal Direction: North
  • Day of the week: Thursday and Saturday
  • Tools and representation ideas: Soil, salt, clay, stones, bones, chalk, plants, gnomes, tree branches, crows, deer, antlers, worms, leaves, green candles, nuts (acorns, walnuts, almonds, etc), the pentagram, flowers, garden fae, earth element symbol
  • Colors: Green (light or dark), brown, black, or colors found in Nature
  • Moon phase: New Moon

Earth Element Spell, Ritual, and Inscription Ideas

Water Element Magic Symbol

Water is the element of intuition, emotions, and wisdom. It’s a powerful element for spiritual awakenings, growth, and healing.

Water Element Magic Symbol

Water Element Correspondences and Magical Properties

  • Season: Autumn
  • Spiritual Intentions: healing, trust, psychic abilities, harmony, emotional, unconscious, kindness, dreams, cleansing, nurturing, empathy, lunar energy
  • Crystals, Stones, and Metals: aquamarine, pearl, moonstone, ocean jasper, selenite, fluorite, lapis lazuli, sodalite, blue topaz, silver, mercury
  • Herbs and Botanicals: water lily, seaweed, algae, lemon balm, gardenia, willow tree, chamomile, fern, mugwort, roses, myrrh, night-blooming flowers (jasmine, evening primrose, Casa Blanca lily)
  • Time of day: Dusk or Twilight
  • Cardinal Direction: West
  • Day of the week: Monday and Friday
  • Tools and representation ideas: container of water, seashells, frogs, aquatic creatures (dolphins, crawfish, octopus, beaver, squid, fish, eel, turtles, sea horses, etc.), pearls, water fountain, mermaid, chalice or cauldron, nymph, blue candles, sea glass, sirens, coral, sea salt, Moon Water, water element symbol
  • Colors: Blue (light and dark), white, turquoise, teal, seafoam green, light grey, silver
  • Moon phase: Full Moon

Water Element Spell, Ritual, and Inscription Ideas

  • For friendship
  • Create magical water (rainwater, moon water, solar water, rose water, lavender water, etc.) for your altar, to consume, or to use in your spiritual practice
  • Hydromancy (Water Scrying)
  • Ritual baths
  • For divination, clairvoyance, or psychic abilities
  • Releasing sigils or intentions down a river or stream
  • Full Moon Rituals
  • Freezer Spells
  • Spell bottles containing magical water
  • Reversing spells
  • Dream Magic
  • To aid in sleep
  • Moon Magic

Air Element Magic Symbol

Air is the element of creativity, intellect, and clear articulation. It’s a powerful element for new beginnings, self-expression, and happiness.

Air Element Magic Symbol

Air Element Correspondences and Magical Properties

  • SeasonSpring
  • Spiritual Intentions: Having to do with the Mind – learning, new beginnings, deep thoughts, knowledge, travel, creativity, writing, perception, self-expression, communication, truth, movement, memory, imagination, music, joy
  • Crystals, Stones, and Metals: celestite, sapphire, moldavite, opal, topaz, citrine, fluorite, amethyst, copper, tin, mercury
  • Herbs and Botanicals: primrose, dandelion, yarrow, lavender, violet, mint, frankincense, myrrh, clover, quaking aspen, dill, or lemongrass
  • Time of day: Dawn
  • Cardinal Direction: East
  • Day of the week: Wednesday
  • Tools and representation ideas: Feathers, leaves, bell, spiders, athame or wand, singing bowls, bubbles, butterflies, wind chimes, a yellow candle, smoke (incense, candles, etc), dragonflies, pinwheels, pollination flowers, birds, sylphs, bats, ribbons, balloons, besoms, air element symbol
  • Colors: Yellow, pale blue, light purple, cream, white
  • Moon phase: Waning moon

Air Element Spell, Ritual, and Inscription Ideas

  • Aeromancy
  • Smoke cleanse your home of negative energy
  • Memory enhancement
  • Cord-cutting ritual for new beginnings (check out my complete video tutorial here)
  • Spiritual journaling
  • Tearing paper with sigils or intentions and releasing them into the wind
  • Storm or Wind Magic
  • new beginnings
  • Make a wish upon a dandelion or birthday candle
  • Communication spells
  • Art Magic

Spirit Element Magic Symbol

Also known as Aether (sometimes spelled ether), Soul, or Universe. The origins of the element Spirit trace back to Aristotle, who believed that the Moon separated Earth from the spirit world. Therefore, the four elements were earthbound, but the Aether was the spiritual place where the divine resides.

It was believed that all the elements were created from the Spirit element and are where the elements will return as part of the natural cycle. The Spirit represents the link and connection of body and soul. However, since Spirit is not earthbound, it does not have similar correspondences as the other elements. Feel free to utilize whatever correspondences resonate with you.

Below are some commonly used symbols or intentions, but no definitive guidelines exist, so use what comes naturally to you.

Spirit Element Magic Symbol

Spirit Element Correspondences and Magical Properties

  • Spiritual Intentions: wholeness, connectedness, the universe, infinite time, the veil, ancestors, secrets, the unknown, innocence, spirit guides, deities
  • Crystals, Stones, and Metals: amethyst, tourmaline, meteorite
  • Tools and representation ideas: circles, spirals, cats, wheels, moths, stars, galaxies, Yggdrasil
  • Colors: White (a combination of all the colors combined)

Spell, Ritual, and Inscription Ideas

  • When connecting with ancestors, spirit guides, or the dead
  • Shadow work
  • Automatic writing
  • Deep Intuition work
  • Divination
  • Watching for signs and symbols from the universe, ancestors, or spirit guides

Can I Only Work With My Corresponding Zodiac Sign Element?

Just because your zodiac sign corresponds with a specific element does not mean you must only work with that particular element in your spiritual practice.

Remember, Empedocles said the entirety of the universe occurred because of a unique fusion of the elements. Therefore, the Universe is a mix of all the elements, making each one meaningful and powerful!

Zodiac Sign Element

I hope you enjoyed this article on magic elements, their meanings, and how to incorporate them into your spiritual practice! Lots of love to you, and remember, as always…

Sources

Gettings, Fred. Dictionary of Occult, Hermetic, and Alchemical Sigils. Routledge and Kegan Paul. 1981

Greer, John Michael. The Occult Book – A Chronological Journey from Alchemy to Wicca. Sterling New York. 2017

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Philosopher’s stone”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 10 Mar. 2020, https://www.britannica.com/topic/philosophers-stone. Accessed 9 June 2021.Copy Citation

Kynes, Sandra. “Magical Symbols and Alphabets.” A practitioner’s guide to spells, rites, and history. 2020

United States National Library of Medicine

Macdonald, Fiona. “The Plague and Medicine in the Middle Ages

Similar Posts