Are you feeling out of balance? Overly tired or fuzzy-brained? Perhaps, you feel emotionally shut down.
Witches connect with the Elements to achieve balance. The point is to use each Element’s attributes to balance yourself out. Witches will meditate on a specific Element to improve their current situation.
As a feminine element, Earth is the provider of sustenance for her children, just as a mother nurses her infant. Earth represents fertility and abundance.
Represented as the North, Earth stands for stillness and our foundation. We stand on rock, but more than that, metaphorically Earth is a foundation of our spirit.
Earth also represents the fertile soil from which life springs. In the cycle of life, Earth is also the silent tomb where we return to rest until we are reborn.
As we learn more about Wicca, we discover that there are elementals associated with each element. For example, strong and squat gnomes are Earth’s elementals. Their skin reveals the colors of the earth, in many shades of brown and black.
Finally, on our altar, we can use rocks, crystals, dirt, and fossils to represent Earth.
Water corresponds with the direction West. Like Earth, water is a feminine element. The Earth’s oceans represent the womb of all life on the planet we call Mother. Witches look upon sea water as a representative of the Goddess’ womb.
A mother’s womb holds a sacred water that is saline, similar to the salinity found in seawater. So, Witches apply sea salt to water to create their holy water.
Witches use various things to represent water including seashells, seaweed, water, sponges, and fish.
Associated with the direction East, air is a masculine element. Air represents the flowing thoughts of our minds. We take in new thoughts like we take in a new breath into our lungs. Air goes hand in hand with Fire, which is also a masculine element. Without the air (specifically oxygen) to support it, fire dies.
What is the elemental of Air? It’s the sylph, often depicted as a human figure, sporting wings. Numerous people report seeing Sylphs in cloud formations.
Representations of Air include feathers, birds of all kinds, clouds, dust devils, wind chimes, and incense smoke. Any of these items can be placed in the East quarter of your circle. Be creative.
Aligned with the direction South, Fire is associated with energy and heat. European originators of Wicca held the understanding that South and fire were related. As the Europeans saw it, the farther south you go toward the equator the temperature heats up. So the South and fire were linked.
We also see Fire as a masculine element. Fire kindles our bright spirit into action. Fire drives us; it is the moving force for our will. Fire inspires. Simply, fire is energy! A transformer, Fire gives us the power to change our thoughts which change our actions and our lives! We jump in and tackle our problems.
The Fire’s elementals are Salamanders. Our ancestors saw the red coloring of salamanders’ bellies and associated them with fire. Seen as dragon like, the elemental Salamanders are shape-shifters like the flames themselves. Sometimes, Salamanders can have wings and human faces like Sylphs.
Some things that represent fire for Witches include: embers, the sun, hot chili peppers, and a candle’s flame. You can use any of these items in the South quarter of your circle to represent Fire.
To balance out these Elements, you can do meditation and bring each Element that you need into you. Feel it. Experience it and have it balance out what you may be lacking in your daily life.
Warming: Be sure to dismiss any Element at the end of your meditation.
“What are the negatives and positives of each Element? For example, fire is warm and comforting, yet can be destructive,” one of my readers asked.
Let’s explore this.
A first thought that fire can be destructive can miss an important part of the picture. For example, fire can be used to purify something. This can be viewed as using fire’s “destructive side” for a positive outcome.
Water is all about emotion. When water crashes, it might be associated with anger. Can the emotion of anger be used for something positive? One of my friends once did a silly stunt in college. He jumped to a balcony. He found himself dangling by his hands with the risk of death or grave injury. He got mad that his life might be ended if he didn’t muster the energy to pull himself up. He grunted a powerful curse word and pulled himself to safety.
One can use anger about how people are hurting our environment and then channel it into taking action to get elected officials to move forward to protect our environment.
Water is also associated with positive emotion, including love. Think of floating serenely on a lake.
Air is about thought. We wouldn’t want to be stuck there. Action is required for positive change. However, thinking something through, which can invoke our intuition, can be truly necessary. Good thought and then good action.
Earth is the foundation. Traditionally, witches associate earth with abundance, strength and prosperity. However, Earth can be destructive in terms of earthquakes, mudslides and avalanches. Earth is the sustainer. I often think of Earth as connected to stillness. When you tune into the positive aspect of Earth think of how the Earth sustains and supports us.
When you cast your Circle you’re asking the Elementals, the rulers of the Elements, to help you out.
I’ve noticed that it helps to keep in mind the multiple aspects of the Elements.
Do you really need something? I don’t mean want; I mean need. This happens often for many of us. What is the difference?
A Want is something that you desire, but if it came right down to it, you could live without it. For example, I want a vacation in Scotland. Do I need it? No.
A Need is something we can’t live without.
Do you or a friend need a car? Some of us live in a city with a good public transportation system—mostly on time and with good coverage. Other people live in a rural area and having a vehicle is simply a necessity. With a vehicle, you can get to the doctor or your job.
Bless and consecrate all your materials. Make a list of what you want. Here’s an example: “I want a car that I can afford, that has low mileage, gets good mileage per gallon, has the color I prefer …”
Write down your list with the quill and ink. Write the word “new-to-me car” or “new car” (if you desire a brand-new car) down on the bay leaf.
Fold your list around the bay leaf and drip one drop of wax from the red candle to seal it. Drip three drops of dragon’s blood essential oil on the bundle and say:
Little bundle of mine, Listen up because it is time. Draw for me a ____, quick and neat. Keep me free from all deceit. Sacred smoke now fills the air, To the Gods to bring my care. For this or better, as I so Will, So Mote It Be!
Be sure the bundle burns to ashes—in the cauldron.
Many of my readers seek healing and magickal empowerment. With Midsummer near, we have the opportunity to harvest and dry herbs. Witches know that empowering dried herbs is the first step to creating a magickal tincture to empower your magick and heal yourself or another person.
Begin by placing your dried herbs on the pentacle that resides on your Witch’s altar. Say the following chant aloud:
Herb Empowerment Chant
Little bundle of [herb you are using] of mine,
I empower you now, for it is time.
I call upon the powers of the Moon and Sun,
I call upon the powers of the Earth and Sky.
I call upon the four elements, Earth, Air, Fire, Water,
Give this [herb you are using] all Your power.
I call upon the powers of the rivers and the seas,
Listen to my hopeful pleas.
May this [herb you are using] bring me peace and tranquility,
And protect me from all negativity.
Lovely Lady of the Moon,
Give me this, my greatest boon.
Now that your dried herbs are charged use the following directions to complete your sacred tincture.
How to Make a Sacred Tincture
What you will need:
2 dark jars
Funnel for liquids
Enough herbs to fill the jar one-third full
Bottle of vodka
On a waxing moon thirteen days before the full moon, cleanse and consecrate your jars, cheesecloth, funnel and a bottle of vodka.
Warning: Do not use poisonous herbs!
Ask the Gods to enrich these items with Their positive energy as you fill one of the jars one-third full of the herbs. Fill the jar the rest of the way with vodka. Shake the jar until the contents are well mixed.
Leave the mixture in a dark, cool place.
For thirteen days, mix the herbs by shaking them daily. Make sure to keep all the herbs fully submerged to avoid mold.
Once your tincture (the mixture) has been fully infused, use the second jar, funnel, and cheesecloth to strain the tincture. Place the funnel into the opening of the second jar. Cover the funnel with the cheesecloth and pour your tincture through the cheesecloth—into the second jar. Make sure you squeeze the herbs to get all the tincture out of them.
Label the jar and identify when the tincture was completed.
Now the tincture is ready for you to use in your spell work.
“I can’t take any more of this,” Todd, a workshop participant, said.
“Would you tell me more?” I asked.
“I feel overwhelmed,” he replied.
I felt great empathy for his situation. This began a valuable conversation.
So, what do you do when your back is against the wall?
Figure out how to lessen the overload
Draw a vertical line down the middle of a sheet of paper. On the left side, list the top three situations that are impinging on you. Directly across from each stressful situation, note two things you might do that could relieve some of your pain. Here’s a helpful angle about this process: Somewhere, somehow, there’s a lesson in all this. Consider writing in a journal about your thoughts and feelings that arise.
Ask the Gods for Guidance
Meditation is the key here. During your meditation session, breathe in deeply. Ask the God and Goddess, “Please guide me for my good and the good of all involved.” You can also ask, “Is there a lesson for me to learn here?”
Do a ritual to help alleviate the pain
Ritual is a great process for releasing negative energy—to flush it away.
Also, during a ritual you can create and enhance positive energy.
Bless and consecrate your items (paper, marker [or ink and quill])
Write your resolution on the paper. Hold the paper in your dominant hand and think of what you want to accomplish with the resolution. Pause and consider the experience and the benefits of manifesting your resolution. Imagine and feel the positive feelings.
Once you have your mind firmly on the outcome of your desire, ignite the paper on the working candle and drop the paper into the cauldron to burn completely and say:
Lord and Lady, Inspire and make manifest All the best That I desire Fuel the fire So I experience what I hope for, Blessings evermore
Have you had moments, like me, of thinking, “Change is hard.”
I like this quote:
“Magic is natural. It is a harmonious movement of energies to create needed change.”
– Scott Cunningham
This idea “magic is natural” can transform how you look at change.
Recently, I realized that the path of “harmonious movement of energies to create needed change” is a path that focuses on the pentagram and the 4 Elements plus Spirit.
As Wiccans we can use the Elements in magick to help us. Each Element is a step toward change.
In the process, each Element serves as a step to the next one.
The first step for making real change relates to the Element Air. Air represents thought. We need to know that we truly want to change in the first place.
Wanting change is not enough. In order to create real change, we need to know that change is needed in our life. This knowing helps us make a real commitment.
Simply wishing for change does not get you where you need to go.
Begin with the idea and firm it up. An idea is a powerful thing. Just like a seed has the potential to grow into a beautiful rose, an idea can manifest into something great.
A well-formed idea includes specifics. You want a target that is sharp like a tack. Something you can measure and see. I will use my weight loss of 42.3 lbs. as an example during this post.
In January, my doctor told me I needed to lose the weight. Now, usually just telling someone to lose weight doesn’t work. They need to want to lose the weight. They need to want to make a permanent change in their life. So where could I begin?
Meditation served as my starting point.
Try it. Burn some incense and meditate on your idea. (By the way, burning incense relates to the Element of Air.)
During meditation, let your mind flow. Ultimately, you take that vague idea you have and shape it into a solid idea.
Losing weight was too vague of a target for me. So, I brought it down to a solid number. I wanted to lose five pounds. That’s it. Just five pounds. It’s something small, measurable, and it can be recorded by tracking my weight on a scale.
Having a firm idea is a good start. But you need the Element of Fire to get your will into the process. Fire helps give you that push, that extra oomph.
Fire gives you the passion to fulfill your idea.
Use passion to help you form a plan of action. For example, my plan was to focus on dropping five pounds. Using the passion of Fire, I did a Weight Loss Spell:
What you will need:
One seven knob, green candle
Warning: Be sure to do this spell during the waning moon.
Cast the Circle.
Cleanse and consecrate the oil and candle. Set the candle in its holder. Sit and meditate on your losing weight. See the candle as a representation of the excess weight. When you’re ready, light the candle and say three times:
Little knobbed candle of green,
With powers, great and unseen.
I light you in the vast darkness so,
Illuminate health for me to know.
Bad eating habits and lethargy, I rip out
Of my life within and without!
Let this my prayer be answered now!
I pray that you will, I pray that you must,
For me to lose weight high water or bust!
As you my little green candle melts,
So too does my weight and waistline melt.
So mote it be!
Now sit and meditate on losing weight until the first knob is burned completely. Then put out the candle with a snuffer.
Repeat above spell for the next six days.
Do the Cakes and Wine Ceremony.
Close the Circle.
Taking action is a great step. Next, you’ll need to marshal positive emotion.
The Element of Water is associated with emotion. We’ve progressed from idea to passion to a plan of action.
Now, let’s be sure that you keep yourself emotionally healthy during the process.
Losing five pounds was all and good, but I could derail my efforts if I drove myself nuts trying to be perfect. To take care of myself emotionally, I created a tool for myself—the Goddess Style Weight Loss method. (See below for my Online Course Goddess Style Weight Loss.)
Take your plan of action and make a tool/method to help you emotionally.
A weekly meeting with a friend to “rally the troops” and to keep you strong and consistent in your efforts
A pamper yourself day to help keep you calm. Or one simple, nurturing action just for you: like getting a massage once a week.
Consider the possibility of getting pastoral counseling from a fellow Priest or Priestess. Your fellow Priest of Priestess has a unique insight into your journey as a Pagan. This can be especially helpful. Doing a ritual together can be just what’s needed to have you move forward faster.
In some cases, working with a therapist related to emotional healing can help you stay on track. You may not realize that a past trauma may be influencing your behavior. I found that working with a therapist helped me deal with details from my past.
Stay grounded through the Element of Earth.
Part of grounding is to keep silent about your plans when in the presence of naysayers. Guard your energy against intrusions by naysayers, who can ruin one’s magick work.
Imagine that you ground your plan of action into reality. Take the seed of your plan and plant it in the earth.
Let your seed of intention grow strong and create the change you desire.
At the core of Wicca—it is a joyous union with nature. The Earth is a manifestation of divine energy. – Scott Cunningham
This leads right into Spirit.
Spirit is an essential facet of your journey to create positive change.
With Air, Fire, Water, and Earth, you have stepped into a new life. You’re using the tools of change.
The last step is Spirit in which you manifest a permanent, positive change.
If that which thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. – written in the voice of the Goddess (found in The Charge of The Goddess by Doreen Valiente)
Your Spirit is within you, always. Your Spirit is your true connection with the God and Goddess.
Change fundamentally comes from within. When we do our magick and create change, we don’t necessarily change the outer world, but we really change our inner world.
“Moonwater was telling me about her weight loss program, and it sounded like something I could do that didn’t cost me more than the normal groceries I buy, anyway. I started with an egg omelet in the morning with mushrooms and spinach. … In two weeks, I lost 7 lbs. I had a couple of days of eating what I wanted but not overeating. Then right back to Goddess Style. I feel great and eat what the Goddess gives us.” – Denise Kopplinger
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