The elements are themselves a system of checks and balances for one another and their order of study is of vital importance. You must begin with Earth. Earth is the foundation and provides the stability and the grounding necessary for the other elements. Once Earth has been developed you move on to Air. Without Earth to ground you, Air can leave you lost in thought and air-headed. Without Air for you to breathe Water can drown you in your own emotions. Without Water to cool you, Fire will cause uncontrollable anger and burn you. And, without Fire to drive you, Earth may leave you stagnant and lethargic. All of the elements work together, and must work in balance and harmony.
In this work, I am assuming that you have spent the time to become aware of the elements, learn their energy and acquire a basic knowledge of them. If you have not done this, the article The Elements An Introduction deserves your attention and practice. As we move forward with the exercises contained in this work, it will build upon the previous work.
There are several ways to balance the elemental energies. You can work with them individually or together. By using techniques of ceremonial magic and ritual they are equalized and brought into harmony. This is a reoccurring theme through the Western Mystery Traditions. In fact, you have probably already been practicing this. When you do the Qabalistic Cross, the first part of the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, you are symbolically balancing the elements within you.
For the exercises we will be discussing, we must first acquaint ourselves with some additional symbolism. The Qabalistic understanding of the elements includes god names and archangels. Do not think that these are connected to religious beliefs. While they are used by such, Qabalistically they are used to represent higher spiritual forces. This is not worship, nor will you have to take up the study of any particular religion. Think of them as words of power designed to affect or call upon the energies in specific ways. There is also a choir of angles and finally the elemental rulers themselves. Each of these represent the elemental energies in one of the four worlds of Qabalistic thought. The god names are representative of Atziluth, the archangels represent Briah, the choir of angles represent Yetzirah and the elemental rulers represent Assiah.
We will also be drawing some symbolism from the previous work. Specifically, the kerubic images taken from astrology. These are the signs that the elements are respectively strongest in. Fire is strongest in Leo, so the symbol for Leo is the kerubic symbol of Fire. Similarly, Aquarius is the sign Air is strongest in, so it is the kerubic sign of Air. Taurus is the Kerubic sign of Earth and Scorpio is the kerubic sign of Water. Also, the directions of the elements are important. Air is associated with the East, Fire in the South, Water in the West and Earth in the North. You will also need the colors of the elements: red for Fire, blue for Water, yellow for Air and olive, citrine, russet or black for Earth.
This gives us the following information:
Fire: god name: Eloim; archangel: Michael; choir of angels: Aral; elemental ruler: Djinn; kerubic symbol: Leo; direction: South; Color: Red
Water: god name: Eheheh; archangel: Gabriel; choir of angles: Taliahad; elemental ruler: Nixia; symbol: Scorpio; direction: West; color: blue
Air: god name: YHVH (pronounced Yod Hey Vauv Hey); archangel: Raphael; choir of angels: Chassan; elemental ruler: Paralda; symbol: Aquarius; direction: East; color: Yellow
Earth: god name: Adonai; archangel: Uriel; choir of angels: Phorlakh; elemental ruler: Ghob; symbol: Taurus, direction: North; color, Citrine, Russet, Olive, Black
The final piece of symbolism we need to discuss for this work is the pentagram. The pentagram is symbolic of the four elements and what is sometimes called the fifth element, or spirit. Spirit is not an element per se. It is the quality of life that functions through the elements and as such, it is said to rule over them. Actually it is more of a symbiotic relationship. The elements would not have life without spirit, and the spirit would not have a vehicle to function in on the physical world without the elements.
The pentagram, or five pointed star, represents these elements and spirit working together. The bottom left point symbolizes Earth, the bottom right symbolizes Fire, the upper left is Air and the upper right is Water. The top point represents Spirit. When laid out like this, the refined elements are on the left, the raw elements are on the right. The active elements are joined by a diagonal line and the passive elements are connected by another diagonal line. Since all of the elements are represented on this one symbol it can be used to invoke or banish the elemental energies. As a rule, for the four elements you invoke by drawing the pentagram towards the point associated with the element you are invoking and draw it away from the point when banishing. So, to invoke Earth you would start at the point of Spirit and draw the pentagram, first moving from Spirit to Earth. To banish Earth you would start at the point of Earth and move to the point of Spirit, then completing the rest of the pentagram. Fire is similar, starting at Spirit for invoking and moving to the Fire point, and starting at the Fire point and moving to Spirit for banishing. To invoke Air start at the Water point and move to the Air point, and start at the Air point and move to the Water point for banishing. For Water, invoke from Air point to Water, and to banish start at the Water point and move to Air. Always complete the rest of the pentagram with the drawing.
Spirit is a unique case. You do not invoke or banish Spirit. It is always present. There is an equilibrating use of the pentagrams of Spirit and a closing use of the Spirit pentagrams. For the moment, however, we will not be using those.
When you are drawing elemental pentagrams, you will want to visualize them in the appropriate color. This is markedly different from the pentagrams used in the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram, which is just white. That is a generic banishing pentagram. The pentagrams used at this point are elemental pentagrams. Therefore, though you may make the same movement with the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram and the Banishing Ritual of the Earth Pentagram, they are not the same.
It is advisable to spend a period of time working with each of the elemental energies, fully invoking and banishing it before moving on to the next. I would recommend a minimum of a month with each. Longer would not hurt.
In preparation for invoking the elements you should have a white candle for the altar, a candle the color of the element you are working with in the appropriate quarter and a wand or dagger to perform the ritual with. Preferably the Wand of Double Power should be constructed, but any wand or dagger will suffice. If neither are available you may use your finger, pointing to direct energy.
Begin with lighting the white candle on the altar and perform the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram. Then, turn and face the direction of the element you are going to be invoking. Say the following, inserting the appropriate names where indicated:
I invoke ye, (god name), to send thy angel (archangelic name) and his subordinates, the (name of choir of angels) to aid me in this work. I invoke thee, great king (elemental ruler), who rules the elementals of (element). Be here now. Lend you power and aid in this work of balancing the energies of (element) within me.
Now light the colored candle in the appropriate quarter.
While still in the appropriate quarter, draw the invoking pentagram of the element with the wand, dagger or finger. Make it the appropriate color. Then, in the center of the pentagram, draw the symbol of the astrological sign for the element. Now, chant the god name several times. Visualize the elemental energy appearing in the quarter, becoming brighter and brighter. So bright and intense that you can almost not look at it.
Once it is bright and intense, begin chanting the archangelic name. As you do this, the brightness and intensity will decrease to a more comfortable level. Once this is done, chant the name of the choir of angels. Visualize the intensity decreasing further, so that the energy is still there and strong, but you can easily look at it. Finally, chant the name of the elemental ruler and let the energy change to a more manageable level. Then, breathe deeply, and as you do see this energy moving into you as you inhale. Draw this energy into you and allow it to harmonize with in you.
Enjoy this for as long as you wish. When you are ready to end the exercise, begin by saying:
I thank all the powers that attended and assisted in this working today, and I bless you to the level that you are able to receive. (As you say this, allow energy to flow out of you and to those beings who need and accept it.) I give you all leave to depart. May there be peace between you and I.
Now, draw the banishing elemental pentagram and feel the energy dissipating. Draw the symbol of the astrological sign on the element. Once you have done this blow out the elemental candle. Then, return to the center and perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. When you have completed say:
I now release any spirits or entities that may have been imprisoned by this ritual. Return to your abodes and habitations in peace and go with the blessings of Yeheyshuah, Yahheyvahshuah.
Once you are finished, blow out the altar candle.
Remember not to short change this exercise. Perform it daily for at least a month before moving to the next element. Also, do them in order: Earth, Air, Water and Fire. Remember if you do not feel comfortable working with a particular element spend extra time working on it.
After you have gained some success at invoking the energies of the element in to you, you are ready to bring them all into balance at one time. The following exercise is based off of the symbolism of the pentagram, and will allow this to happen.
Begin as before, by lighting the altar candle and performing the Lesser Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram. Once done, spread your legs apart to the sides and extend your arms to the side, so that you assume the form of a pentagram with your head as the top angle. (This is also part of the reason why the pentagram is the symbol of man.) Beginning in order from Earth to Fire, chant the god name, the archangelic name, the choir of angles and the name of the elemental ruler. As you do, visualize the Earth energy manifesting in your right leg. (The image of the Pentagram is superimposed on your body.) Then do the same with Air coming into your right arm. Next, do the same again with Water coming into your left arm. Finally, repeat the process with Fire coming into the left leg.
Now, imagine the white Light, like when you do the Qabalistic Cross, coming down into your head, filling the head and chest. This will create the fifth angle of the pentagram. Visualize yourself standing there, as a pentagram of the elements, for as long as you like. When you are ready to finish, let the image fade from your mind but know that it is still there. Perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram. Release any trapped entities as in the ritual above, and extinguish the candle.
If you do this final exercise for a month, then the work in this article should take a minimum of five months. Once you have completed this work you should be balanced, able to call up the elemental energies and manipulate them.