Water is the element commonly connected with emotions and empathy. Many of the feelings associated with the element are warm, kind and calm. In most disciplines, the elements are also associated with a direction. Water is the element of the west. Normally it is associated with growth, life and healing. However, harmful water associations exist as well, such as the power of natural disasters that use water. Depression is also linked to darker colors of blue that sometimes represent water.
Fire is the most aggressive of all the magical elements. It is also representative of the passions and desires that people hold. This is a dynamic, intense and potentially even unstable element at times. Intuition is also closely linked with the element of fire. Fire is connected in most disciplines with sexuality, desire and lust. The color red is used to symbolize fire in many magical rituals. Candles, fires and the sun also represent fire.
Earth is a very feminine element and is always tied to ideas of fertility. The harvest, spring and the cycle of growth that springs up out of the earth is why these associations exist. Earth is a strong but practical element. As opposed to the erratic strength associated with fire, earth is steady and patient. If assigned a direction, earth is often tied to the south. It is identified by different colors in different disciplines. Sometimes earth is yellow, sometimes green and sometimes brown.
Air is an intellectual element. Thoughts, logic and reasoning are all characteristics of this element. By the same token, the psychic powers or telepathy that some people believe in are also linked with air and its associations with the mind. East is the direction that is tied to air and its colors are typically yellow or white. In a ritual, throwing light objects in the air -- feathers or smoke -- might be used to represent air.
Some pagan and magic systems recognize the presences of a fifth element. Most call this element simply spirit, although the term "Aether" is also sometimes used. This is the element that represents the power within living beings, call it the soul, god, magic or any other term to refer to the energy that underlies all things.