My suggestion is to shed all preconception of what the elements are, and how they are functional within magic.
Do not go into it seeking to control weather, fire, waves and shake earth.
Within occult tradition, in both Eastern and Western conception, the Elements govern emotional, energetic, psychic, and spiritual qualities.
Within western concepts, Fire is an element of purity. It is the warmth that is in everything. It is the giver of light. Its absence is shadow. Water is the glue that holds everything together. It gives life, it weathers the stone, in it all things are mixed. Air is ephemeral. Air is thought, imagination, and whim. It is fleeting and elusive of the grasp. Earth is all that is solid. It is the basis in which things can grow, and flourish. It is that which cannot be moved, and it gives all else form.
Spirit, as some modern concepts consider to be the fifth element, is separate. Within this we see concepts such as good and evil, whereas the other elements are neutral in their foundation. Spirit offers the spark of intelligence, the spark of real emotion, where all else is just an influence.
Studying this structure, unless you choose to examine the similar Chinese structure of the elements, is the best place to begin in my opinion.