The Four (5) Elements

by | Feb 29, 2020 | Wytch Blog | 0 comments

The Four (5) Elements

This post will help you understand the magickal concept of vibration, developed by the ancient mystics and magicians across many different cultures, known as the Four Elements.

The basic wisdom of the mystics is that All is One – that is: there is only one vibration/energy that makes up the universe. However, this vibratory energy oscillates at infinitely varying rates. These differences define the ‘vibrational states’ of the manifest universe. To help our human minds make sense of this, the ancient mystics divided these energies up into the four ‘Elements’.

These four Elements have been named: Earth, Water, Fire and Air. These words are not meant as literal descriptions, ‘fire’ does not simply represent flames or heat, the words are also symbolic representations of the vibrations that are the building blocks of the manifest universe. They are useful to help us conceptualise the nature of this energy. For example, the vibration level of Fire is like a flame: quick, changeable, sparky, and unpredictable. Mystics and magicians also work with the concept of a fifth Element, representing the life-force which we call ‘Spirit’.

In reality there is no division between the Elements, the words are in fact describing a line of continuum from dense/solid/slow to light/free/fast in the following order:

Earth – Water – Fire – Air – Spirit

Rather than describing particular objects, the words describe the ‘vibrational state’ of the object at a particular moment. Nothing is fixed though – a rock can turn to liquid if enough heat is applied. It is also important to note that when the perspective changes, so too does the appearance of the energy. For example, if I look at a table it looks firm, fixed, solid – very reflective of the Element of ‘Earth’. But if I was size of an atom I would be able to see how the atoms of the table, and the electrons within, move around – more akin to the Element of water.

As children we are aware of all levels of vibration – from the most dense and solid to the most subtle. But as people grow older they are often encouraged to only acknowledge the more solid energy that is easily recognised with the 5 Senses (Earth, Water, and Fire).

Often recognition of the more subtle energies, which you may know as auras, telepathy, intuition, thought, hunches, or psychic vision etc., is met with suspicion and disdain (due to the influence of religion), even though this recognition is a normal and healthy part of brain function. When children tell their parents about the colours they see around people, the ‘fairies’, the ‘voices’, and the ‘imaginary’ friends, they are often met with fear and told that they are making things up.

Over the years they will forget how to ‘see’ these energies and begin to understand their universe only through the limited vision of the five senses. We learn to see only what we are told is real rather than allowing ourselves to believe the things we perceive, and these subtle energies eventually become invisible to us. However the exercises in the next two chapters will help you to expand your consciousness, reconnecting you with your awareness of the more subtle energies of Air and Spirit.

Following are descriptions of the Elements and also some attributes and magickal symbols that have become associated with them. Words hold us in everyday consciousness by engaging the intellect, but symbols help us to access a deeper place which is essential for magick. The unconscious speaks in symbols, therefore, in order for us to communicate with it, we need to speak in the same language.

Symbols are objects or pictures that hold meaning – they represent concepts and experience. Symbols expand meaning, rather than limit it – therefore encouraging access to the creative consciousness. When the magickal symbols of the Elements become familiar to you, they will help you to access the part of your consciousness that relates to the associated vibrational level. Some of the associations are reflected in astrology, the tarot, and other spiritual practices, so you may already be familiar with them.


  • Compass Direction: North – the darkest direction
  • Daily cycle: Night
  • Magickal symbol: Pentacle – a pentagram within a circle
  • Colour: Green
  • Nature: Trees, roots, landscapes, crystals
  • Animals: Earth bound – goats, horses, snakes
  • Mythology: Trolls, elves, minotaur, centaur, giants
  • Tarot suit: Pentacles or Disks (playing cards: clubs)


The Element of Earth is not to be mistaken for the planet Earth. It is a symbol for the densest vibration. It describes things that are solid, slow, hard, and still. The densest material on Earth is a diamond crystal – its energy is tightly squashed together making it harder and more solid than anything else. Other things that are made up mostly of ‘Earth’ vibrations are rocks, stones, wood, and metal.

But remember, these things only belong in the category of Earth because of their present state of vibration – once a rock becomes molten its vibration changes to that of Water. The Element of Earth represents everything that has a solid form but, also, everything that is similar to the properties of ‘solid’. So, for example, animals like elephants, and other slow grazing and heavy animals, are symbolically aligned with this Element.

Personal Reflection

  • Body – the vibration of Earth is similar to the hardest parts of our physical body: bones, teeth and nails.
  • Emotions – feeling stuck, blocked emotions, feeling centred and calm.
  • Personality – strong, assertive, solid, grounded, fixed, having tenacity, being straightforward, stubborn.
  • Experiences – the experiences that are similar to Earth vibrations are those which tend to be focused on the physical, or the concerns of the manifest world: home, work, environment, the body in general, and finances.


  • Compass direction: West – where the Sun sets
  • Daily cycle: Evening
  • Magickal symbol: Cup/Chalice
  • Colour: Blue
  • Nature: Rivers, lakes oceans, natural springs
  • Animals: Water based – dolphins, fish, seahorses, turtles, etc.
  • Mythology: Mermaids, water nymphs, Eros, Aphrodite, Cupid
  • Tarot suit: Cups (playing cards: hearts)


The Element of Water is a symbol describing energy which is less dense than that of Earth. Water represents vibration that is similar to liquid – it moves around, and it is fluid, flowing, malleable, absorbing, seeping, and reflective. Looking to the environment for things that resonate with this energy we find, of course, liquid itself in its many forms (waterfalls, rivers, seas, lakes). Also soft-bodied plants and sea or river animals can share some of the attributes of Water.

Personal Reflection

  • Body – liquid or softer body parts such as skin, internal organs, blood.
  • Emotions – the emotions that are similar to the Water vibration are love, empathy, care, and emotions that change and reflect. Also, deep emotions like sadness and grief that overflow and spill out.
  • Personality – the personality traits that are similar to Water are: soft, gentle, giving, nurturing, loving, supporting, understanding, changeable, and reflective.
  • Experiences – the experiences that are similar to the Water vibration are those which involve joining, sharing, loving, connecting, and reflecting. For example; parent/child relationships, falling in love, and loving sexual connection.


  • Compass direction: South – where the Sun is brightest and hottest
  • Daily cycle: Midday
  • Magickal symbol: Wooden carved stick /magick wand – the fire tool
  • Colour: Red
  • Nature: Volcanoes, lightening strikes, fire itself
  • Animals: Glow worms, lions, fire salamanders
  • Mythology: Dragons, phoenix, pixies
  • Tarot suit: Wands (playing cards: spades)


The Element of Fire is less dense than Water. It represents the vibration which is the transition between Water and Air. It relates to things like: physical heat, the vibration created when two people feel a spark of passion between them, explosive energy – lightning and thunder for example. Imagine a flame… it is neither liquid nor gas, its energy is changeable and unpredictable, it moves around quickly in all directions, it feels warm/hot, it is bright, it can spark, and it can suddenly engulf or just as suddenly expire.

Personal Reflection

  • Body – The areas of the body that relate to Fire are the endocrine system, which controls our hormones and glands, adrenaline, fight or flight response, intuitive decision-making, re-acting without thinking and sexual responsiveness.
  • Emotions – the emotions that reflect Fire are those which come, go, and change quickly. For example: anger, frustration, passion, and lust.
  • Personality – the personality types that reflect this energy can be fiery, assertive, passionate, creative, spontaneous, powerful, bossy and aggressive.
  • Experiences – the experiences that are associated with this vibration are passionate sex, the creative process, playfulness, intuition, excitable energy, and feeling motivated and ‘fired up’.


  • Compass direction: East – where the Sun rises
  • Daily cycle: Morning
  • Magickal symbol: Sword or crystal wand
  • Colour: Yellow
  • Nature: Wind, sky, clouds, breath, mist, sky
  • Animals: Air based – birds, butterflies, flying insects
  • Mythology: Angels, fairies, Pegasus
  • Tarot suit: Swords (playing cards: diamonds)


To imagine the Element of Air, it is easiest to think of a thin wisp of smoke. Smoke makes the behaviour of Air visible. Air is free, light, mobile, formless, and very easy to change. For example, when you blow gently, even from very far away, the path of the smoke is affected. Air relates to things like sound, smell, the energy of light, microwaves, and colour.

Personal Reflection

  • Body – The body reflects the Element of Air when thinking, organising, using the intellect, and communicating.
  • Emotions – Air relates more to thought and less to emotion. So the function of emotion that connects with Air vibration is when the emotions are hidden, cut off, or unnecessary.
  • Personality – The personality traits that reflect Air are: aloof, cold, fair, thoughtful, direct, distant, and intelligent.
  • Experiences – Experiences which connect us to the vibration of Air are: learning, verbal communication, language, reading, fantasising, games such as chess, organising, categorising, concentration, and focus of mind.


  • Magickal symbol: Globe of light
  • Colour: White

Spirit represents energy that is so subtle that it can only be recognised by the Sixth Sense. It is the vibration of electromagnetic energy, thought transmission, expansive connection, energetic healing, psychic vision, and the immediate vibrations around all objects/beings – sometimes known as ‘auras’. Spirit breathes divine energy into the other Elements to create the spark of life. The pentagram (below) is used to symbolise the four Elements and Spirit working together to create a whole. 

You may be familiar with this sacred shape (below). However, it has been misused in horror movies to represent ‘evil forces’ or devil worship and has therefore developed a negative reputation. But this symbol has been used for thousands of years, across many cultures, to represent nature and divinity entwined as one – the magick of creation. Beautiful…  Simple.