Each of the elements is necessary for human life. All have both positive and negative aspects, and each acts as a check for the others. The Earth without Water to moisten it, without Fire to warm it, and without Air to surround it, would be a lifeless planet. The elements work in harmony to create and to sustain life.
      Keep in mind that the elements are present both in physical form, (such as a handful of soil) and in unmanifested, non-physical form. Additionally, all the elements emerge from Akasha, the source of all energy.

      Earth is our mother. It's as fertile and nurturing as farmland; as moist as soil and as dry as land. In it's physical manifestations, (such as stones), Earth represents the densest of the elements.
      Press your hand against frest dirt. Feel it's stability, it's
earthiness. Know that within it's fertile surface, we've raised our food; on it we live our lives; within it we bury our deceased.
      We couldn't exist in this form without the Earth. But our planet is simply a manifestation of this element. True Earth-energy also exists within ourselves and within the universe at large.
      Here are some symbolic associations of Earth. Think about these aspects of this most basic element.
BASIC NATURE: Fertile, moist, nurturing; stabilizing; grounding. Gravity is a manifestation of this element.
TYPE OF ENERGY: Receptive.
COLOR: Green (from the color of living plants)
PLACES: Caves, canyons, chasms, forests, groves, valleys, fields, farms, gardens, arboretums, parks, plant nurseries, farmer's markets, kitchens, baby nurseries, basements, mines, holes.
RITUALS: Money, prosperity, fertility, stability, grounding, employment.
RITUAL FORMS: Burying, planting, making images in soil or sand.
HERBS: Earth-smelling plants, such as patchouly and verivert; mosses and lichens; nuts; dry and stiff plants; heavy, low-ground plants, generally roots.
STONES: Heavy or opaque, as in coal; green, as in emerald and peridot.
METALS: Iron, lead.
MUSICAL INSTRUMENT: Drum, all percussion instruments.
CREATURES: Dog, horse, earthworm, gopher, ant, cow, burrowing animals.
SEASON: Winter (the time of darkness).
DIRECTION: North (the place of greatest darkness).
TIME: Night.
MAGICAL TOOL: Pentacle (a wooden, metal, or clay disk inscribed with a five-pointed star).
POINT IN LIFE: Advanced Age
ASTROLOGICAL SIGNS: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.
SENSE: Touch.
NATURAL SYMBOLS: Salt, clay dish of fresh soil; rocks, sheaves of wheat, acorns.
TYPES OF MAGICK RULED: Gardening, magnet, image, stone, tree, knot, binding.

      Scientists and magicians may have different views concerning this element, but all agree that it's vital to human survival.
      Without air, we would perish.
      Air is the power of movement; of freshening and of intelligence. It's the invisible ad yet quite real mixture of gases that we breathe in every day. In magical terms, Air is also the power of the mind: the force of intellect.
      Go to a place with clean air and breathe deeply. Touch a feather. Inhale the fragrance of a heavily scented flower. Study an intricately patterned leaf. Experience the wonders of the manifestations of this element. Remember, too, that we possess Air energy within ourselves.
      Here are some Air associations:
BASIC NATURE: Flying, moving, fresh, intelligent, suspending. Sound is a manifestation of this element.
TYPE OF ENERGY: Projective.
COLOR: Yellow (the yellow of the sun, the sky at dawn).
PLACES: Mountaintops, wind-swept plains, cloudy skies, high towers, airports, schools, libraries, offices, travel agencies, psychiatrist's offices.
RITUALS: Travel, instruction, study, freedom, knowledge, recovering lost items.
RITUAL FORMS: Tossing objects into the air, suspending tools in high places, fanning light objects, visualization, positive thinking.
HERBS: Fragrant, as many flowers; pungent, as in culinary herbs such as dill; airy, finely-veined, or windswept; generally leaves.
STONES: Light stones, such as pumice, transparent stones, such as mica.
METALS: Tin, copper.
MUSICAL INSTRUMENT: Flute, all wind instruments.
CREATURES: Spider, most birds, winged insects.
SEASON: Spring (the time of freshness).
DIRECTION: East (the place of sunrise).
TIME: Dawn.
ASTROLOGICAL SIGNS: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius.
SENSES: Hearing, smell.
NATURAL SYMBOLS: A feather, incense smoke, fragrant flowers.
TYPES OF MAGIC RULED: Divination, concentration, visualization, wind magic.

      Fire is the creator and the destroyer. It warms our homes, cooks our food, and fuels our passions. Unlike the other elements, Fire cannot exist in physical form without consuming something else. Thus, fire trasforms objects into new forms: heat, light, ash, and smoke.
      On a sunny day, go outside at noon and press your receptive hand against a warm rock. Smell the smoke from a burning fire. Gaze into a candle's flame. Immerse yourself in fire energy, and realize that it also exists within ourselves.
      Fire must be controlled to be of benefit to us. When we light a candle, we call upon it's powers - but also limit them. This is necessary if its physical forms are to be of use. But even a raging forest fire actually helps the Earth, clearing away underbrush and encouraging dormant seeds to burst into new life.
      Here are some of the magical associations of Fire:
BASIC NATURE: Purifying, destructive, cleansing, energetic, sexual, forceful. Heat is a manifestation of this element.
TYPE OF ENERGY: Projective.
COLOR: Red (from the color of flames).
PLACES: Deserts, hot springs, volcanoes, ovens, fireplaces, bedrooms (for sex), weight rooms, locker rooms, saunas, athletic fields.
RITUALS: Protection, courage, sex, energy, strength, authority, banishing negativity.
RITUAL FORMS: Burning or smouldering; heating.
HERBS: Stinging, thorny or hot, as thistles, chile peppers and bouganvillea, desert-dwelling, as cacti; stimulating, as coffee beans, generally seeds.
STONES: Red or fiery, as in jasper; volcanic, as in lava; clear, as in quartz crystal.
METALS: Gold, brass.
MUSICAL INSTRUMENT: Guitar, all stringed instruments.
CREATURES: Snake, cricket, lizard, praying mantis, ladybug, bee, scorpion, shark.
SEASONS: Summer (the time of heat)
DIRECTION: South (the place of heat)
TIME: Noon.
ASTROLOGICAL SIGNS: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius.
SENSE: Sight.
NATURAL SYMBOLS: Flame, lava, a heated object.
TYPES OF MAGIC RULED: Candle, storm, time and star.

      Water is the cleansing, healing, psychic, loving element. It washes over us when we see our mates; supports us when we swim; gives us life when we are dehydrated. Dew dusts plants after the sun sets. Rain storms (one manifestation of this element) drench us.
      Taste pure water. Move your hands through a stream, lake, pool, or a bowl full of water. Feel it's cool liquidity; it's soft touch. Listen to water trickling into a pool. As you do these things, remember that we contain Water energy within ourselves as well.
      The energy of this element is vital to our well-being as humans, for it contains within it the essence of love. Love is the underlying reason for all magic. Water is love.
      Here are some magical Water associations:
BASIC NATURE: Flowing, purifying, healing, soothing, loving.
TYPE OF ENERGY: Receptive.
COLOR: Blue (from the hue of deep water).
PLACES: Lakes, springs, streams, rivers, beaches, oceans, wells, swimming pools, bathtubs, showers, bedrooms (for sleep), health spas, steam rooms, fountains.
RITUALS: Purification, love, psychic awareness, dreams, sleep, peace, marriage, friendship.
RITUAL FORMS: Dilution, placing into water, washing away, bathing.
HERBS: Aquatic, such as water lillies and seaweed; fleshy as in succulents and lettuce; loving, as in rose and gardenia; generally flowers.
STONES: Transparent or translucent, as in amethyst and aquamarine; blue, as in blue tourmaline.
METALS: Mercury (quicksilver), silver, copper.
MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS: Cymbal, bell, all resonant metals.
CREATURES: Cat, frog, turtle, dolphin, whale, otter, seal, dugong; most fish and shellfish.
SEASON: Autumn (the time of harvest).
DIRECTION: West (the place of the setting sun).
TIME: Dusk.
MAGICAL TOOLS: Cup, the cauldron.
POINT IN LIFE: Maturity.
ASTROLOGICAL SIGNS: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces.
SENSE: Taste.
NATURAL SYMBOLS: Shells, a cup of water.
TYPES OF MAGIC RULED: Sea, ice, snow, fog, mirror, magnet.

      The elements emerge from Akasha, the immutable, changeless source of all energy. This is the realm of potentiality: of promise, of paths not yet taken, of unformed galaxies, of outer space.
      Akasha is also present within our bodies. Some say that the spark of life, that unknowable force that is called the "soul", is a bit of Akashic energy housed in the physical body.
      Akasha is sometimes thought to be symbolically present on the Earth. More often it's seen as the Mother (Creatrix) of the elments. It's little used in natural magic, but something of it's nature should be understood.
      Primarily, Akasha is
unbeingness. It's energy, which extends everywhere throughout the universe, has not yet achieved form and substance. It's the primal source of energy that creates and fuels the elements.
      Because of this, it contains complete, balanced energy: Earth and Air and Fire and Water. The following table of Akashic associations points out it's universal nature, and it is not meant to be used for magical purposes.
BASIC NATURE: Unknowable.
TYPE OF ENERGY: Projective/Receptive.
COLOR: Purple or black.
PLACES: Outer space, vacuums; the void.
TYPES OF RITUALS: Religious in nature.
HERBS: None.
METAL: Meteoritic.
CREATURES: None (and yet, all).
SEASON: All (and yet, none).
DIRECTION: North, East, South, and West; also within and without; up and down; also, a complete lack of directions and dimensions.
TIME: Eternal starlight.
POINT IN LIFE: Pre-Conception; soulness.
SENSE: None.