From The Bench

Elements, Symbols, Wicca: Exploring the Elements in Paganism

It is the time of the year again when warlocks and witches sprout warts, stir cauldrons, wave their wands, and sometimes, even ride brooms. References to elements symbols Wicca also become more popular. By the end of September, you’d probably see her on the tube, in your Halloween decorations, in your favorite ad, and even on the hand towel you bought at the dollar store.

She is not the witch we are looking for, though. Many Americans call themselves Pagan or Wiccan, two religions whose adherents are frequently labeled “witches” despite widespread misunderstanding.

Elements symbols Wicca is based on harmony with nature and the spiritual realm and has nothing in common with Satanism.

The distinction between the wicked witch of the west and a self-identified witch that believes in elements symbols Wicca has become increasingly apparent in recent years. To the point that some would even say it’s cool to identify as a witch. The hashtag #witchesofinstagram has become popular.

Alongside the #witchesofinstagram trend is the fact that symbolism in art and jewelry has been consistent for decades. Just check out Xinar’s Wiccan charms collection and, of course, our silver Halloween charms. These charms represent the popular imagination, how people see witchcraft and every other lore and symbol other than what’s ‘legit’ and canonical in Western culture.

A witch is someone whose life is shaped by the natural world around them, including the moon’s various phases and the changing of the seasons, and by their interaction with the Earth’s elements (Earth, air, fire, water) as their spirit. After a year and a day of study, you’ll be initiated by other witches.

Then, a party and a ceremony follow. As an oral tradition, witchcraft is widely shared amongst those who practice it. However, since witches have been persecuted throughout history, our religion has been kept secret, and until the 1950s, very little was written about it.

As a whole, it’s because of nervousness and ignorance. In the eyes of some, our faith is in direct opposition to Christianity, but this is not the case. A solid spiritual foundation can be found in many religions, and many people find comfort in the Catholic faith because it honors both men and women as divine. Wiccans believe in and honor supernatural beings on both the male and female sides.

Elements Symbols Wicca: How Does It Work?

Popular culture often portrays witches as ‘working with nature or ‘working with the elements,’ making people even more curious about elements symbols in Wicca. But how do nature and the four classical elements figure into Wicca?

The four classical elements—Earth, air, fire, and water—are central to many contemporary Pagan worldviews. While most Pagan religions do not recognize the fifth element, some Wiccan sects do.

The idea that there are only four elements symbols Wicca is not novel. Empedocles, a Greek philosopher, is credited with developing the cosmogenic theory that these four elements are fundamental to all matter. Unfortunately, most of Empedocles’ works have been lost, but his teachings resonate with modern Pagans.

Some religions, particularly those with a Wiccan influence, connect the four cardinal directions and the elements to fortifications. Invoked for protection when casting a sacred circle, these are regarded as guardians or elemental beings.

Each cardinal direction corresponds to a particular element, and each element has its characteristics and meanings. These northerly hemisphere-specific direction associations are presented below. If you’re reading this and live in the southern hemisphere, switch the letters around. It’s also OK to incorporate regionally specific natural features, such as those that make your area special. For example, if your home is on the Atlantic coast, with the ocean directly to the east, then you may safely use “water” instead of “east.”

Earth Element

The Earth element, associated with the north, is the most primal of the feminine elements. The Goddess represents the Earth and is a source of stability and fertility.

As the Earth spins around the Sun, we witness the entire cycle of life from its beginning to its end and then its rebirth. The Earth is a nurturing and reliable home, solid foundation, and source of strength and fortitude. So in color theory, it’s no surprise that green and brown both represent the Earth. According to the tarot, the suit of pentacles or coins represents the ground or Earth.

Air Element

The eastern direction is associated with the element of air, which represents the soul and the vital breath of life. Workings involving speech, knowledge, or mental prowess should center on the element of air. The wind blows away your cares disperses the seeds of discord, and carries your good vibes to faraway people. Yellow and white, representing air, are linked to the swords suit in the tarot.

Fire Element

The purifying, masculine energy of the fire element is traditionally associated with the southern hemisphere and with a strong will and boundless vitality. So it’s fitting that fire, which can be both creative and destructive, represents God’s procreative potential.

Fire’s versatility means it can both help and hurt. It has the power to revitalize or demolish tired structures. Fire is linked to the wand suit in tarot. When making color associations, red and orange are used to signify fire.

Water Element

The water element has strong associations with the Goddess and other feminine energies. Water, associated with the west and with passion and emotion, is used for healing, cleansing, and purification.

Holy water plays an essential role in many religions and spiritual practices. Holy water is salted water, with a blessing or invocation. Such water is used to bless the ritual space and its implements in some Wiccan covens. The color blue and the suit of cup cards in the tarot are commonly associated with water.

Ether

Some contemporary forms of Paganism add a fifth to this list: spirit, also known as Akasha or the Aether. The spirit connects the material world to the ethereal realm.

Do You Have to Rely on Nature and the Classical Elements?

Is it a requirement that you interact with the elements, at least in the traditional sense of Earth, air, fire, and water? Of course not, but you should know that much neopagan literature is based on this idea. Learning it well will equip you to comprehend ritual and magic.

Please contact us if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for reading!

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