Getting to know the Elements

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An article about the 4 elements, about their significance, their etymology and what they symbolize.

Many traditions hold belief in the four classical elements, although theyare seen as symbols as representations of the phases of matter. These four elements are invoked during many magical rituals and spells, notably when consecrating a magical circle. The four elements are air, water, earth and fire and also aether, which unites the other four.


Earth is one of the four classical elements in Ancient Greek philosophy and science. It was commonly associated with qualities of heaviness, matter and the terrestrial world. Due to the occults and chthonic underworld deities, the element earth is also associated with with sensual aspects of both life and death in occultism.



Air is often seen as a universal power or pure substance. It has a fundamental importance to life anf can be seen in words such as aspire, inspire, perspire and spirit. It is all derived from the Latin word "Spirare". Air signifies peace and freedom.


Fire has been important part of all cultures and religions from prrhistory to modern day and was still vital to the development of civilization. It has been regarded in many different contexts throughout history, but especially as a metaphysical constant of the world. It was commonly associated with the qualities of energy, assertiveness and passion. Fire signifies strength and bravery.


Water is one of the elements in Ancient Greek philosophy, in Asian-Indian system, Panchamahabhuta and in Chinese cosmological and Physiological system, Wu Xing. In contemporary esoteric traditions it is commonly associated with qualities of emotion and intuition. Water signifies purity and flexibility.

Added to on Jun 13, 2014
This article was contributed by The Air Element.
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