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What's My Element?

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What's My Element?
Post # 1

I seem to share this thing wherever I go so I decided to post it here.

"How do I find my element?"

What is the most common way this question is answered? Either:
"It's the one you work with best."
"What's your zodiac sign...?"

Well personally I've kind of taken a different approach. You see in magic the idea most often is to keep things lenient and flexible. You don't want to tie yourself down with too many rules but you still want to remain earth-bound and levelheaded. To say there is a single answer to that famous question, "How do I find my element?" I just can't agree with. I never truly have. So let's take a second to look further into the two theories or answers I presented first.

"It's the one you work with best."
This is the answer I see coming from the more experience but somehow less educated practitioners trying to answer this question. When you see the truly knowledgeable practitioners answer it they're a bit tongue-tied at times and basically tell you, "well it's good to work well with all four of the elements" basically suggesting a since of balance between the foundation of existence. Which makes.
Anyway, when referring to the element you work with best it means exactly as it sounds. This is the trial and error method of finding your primary element. You try working with water, you see how it feels. You then work with earth a bit and compare your results. You go on with air and fire and do the same thing until you figure out which one you have an "affinity" for.
Now I won't say that you absolutely have to be able to work well with all four in order to maintain balance because all "primary element" refers to is the element you work with best, or easiest if you will. That doesn't necessarily mean you stink at the other three. Plus, it's perfectly possible to work with just one and get along fine. I don't see why "balance" must be attached to every bloody concept in magic.

"What's your zodiac sign...?"
This, for future reference is most often speaking in relation to the "Western Zodiac". Just to let everyone know, there are many forms of zodiac from various belief systems. The system people usually go by when talking about zodiac related elements is the Western version (Capricorn, Cancer, Leo, Aquarious, etc...). While the Chinese Zodiac and others versions do have elemental related correspondences, the Western version is again the most commonly talked about.
Now then, each sign of the Western zodiac corresponds to one of the main four elements (Air, Water, Fire, Earth). They also have assigned qualities (Cardinal, Mutable, Fixed), but that's a discussion for another day.
Suggestively the Zodiac is supposedly going to tell you which element you have an affinity for...or at LEAST that's how most people talking about it in this sense means it. The problem with this theory is that it's difficult to predict such a personal aspect and attach every person of a specific sign to a single element.

All right now I'll try explaining my own personal views on elemental affinities.
To start off with I do not feel there it is rigid, I feel this affinity can be "whatever floats your boat and gets you across the rive." In other words, whatever is your preference that actually works.
This being said, if you find that the zodiac assigned affinity applies to you then by all means...if you find you need to ignore it because there is no official table explaining which affinities go with which zodiac symbol and you need to go about it in a more personalized manner then by all means...

However I do have a personal stance which actually includes BOTH!

There are two sides to simplified practice: spell, energy, and ritualistic work which is not rigid and traditional and then ritualistic which is rigid and traditional governed by rules and regulations.

You have spell, energy, and ritualistic work that which is not traditional/rigid in a sense of being governed by exterior forces and I'll refer to it as "informal practice" for this post (making it easier). Informal practice includes what is casual and/or practical like a good luck spell (informal spell work), a personalized ritual for Samhain (informal ritual work), or kundalini meditation (informal energy work). These examples can be included in traditional or formal practice but I am using them for the moment, as informal. These practices are where you would use your energetic or energy related affinity that which is found through a more personalized manner like meditation. This is the element you are attracted to or have a certain draw towards.

You then have other forms of ritual which by traditional sense is rigid and governed by rules, laws, values handed down, lore, etc... I refer to this as formal practice.
Formal practice may at times incorporate an assigned elemental affinity predetermined at birth, by other people like a coven coven council, or by a chart like the zodiac element tables. This element is used in certain formal practices as it represents you as a mature practitioner apart of a whole rather than an individual doing personal spirit work.

Both types of practices (formal and informal) can take up varying portions of casters' lives therefore, in my opinion, it is perfectly acceptable to go by both options.

It's a matter of preference.

Also, it is important to mention that both types of practices may call for more than one elemental affinity. For instance, you may feel drawn to water and earth while on the other hand you may be assigned water and fire for apparent reasons.


Beyond all this a big idea I get is that it's best, according to some opinions, to work with all four of the main elements. I would never disagree that it is good to work well with all four and that it does assist in finding a balance. However, I do think that, like these other theories I've presented, are entirely opinion based. It perfectly possible to get through life working with just one, two, or three of the main elements and not having problems.

Some occult related practices don't even deal with the elements period!

Again, it's what works best for the person themself and with how they prefer to look at practice.

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