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.
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.
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.
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“I have this cute statue I just bought, and I am going to place it on my altar,” my friend Lisa said.
“Have you blessed and consecrated it yet?” I asked.
“No.” said Lisa.
“It’s vital to bless and consecrate an object to make it safe to use,” I emphasized.
Witches often Bless and Consecrate an object, space or person. We use this process every time we cast circle.
Use holy water to Bless and Consecrate an object and thereby remove bad energies and entities. You avoid having other energies mix with your intentions. Leaving in bad energies and entities would have created chaos and undesired effects.
Below I’m going to give two highlights from the blessing and consecrating processes.
Using Holy Water*
After Casting Circle, you hold the object and sprinkle holy water upon it (the process of asperging). Say: I cleanse you by Earth and Water
Using Smoke Arising from Incense
Waft the object through the smoke arising from Blessed Incense. By the way, wafting the object through smoke is the process of charging the object.
As you waft the object through smoke three times, say: I bless and consecrate you by Fire and Air
You have made the object suitable for use in your spellwork.
(*Witches make their own holy water with three pinches of salt.)
“My life’s just too busy. I’m juggling everything. Trying to keep my husband happy and our two children. Work is getting worse, too,” Nadine told me.
“It sounds like you need a little ‘silence’ in your life,” I suggested.
“Don’t I wish!” Nadine confirmed.
In today’s post, I’m talking about the element Earth, represented as North of the Witches Pyramid.
In the previous post, we explored West and Water. Water was about to dare.
There is a different type of strength that we can find helpful: the strength known as to Remain Silent, as manifested as Earth.
Many of us find our thoughts racing all day long. It would really help if we could calm down our minds. As Wiccans, we find that quieting our minds helps us focus our thoughts and our magick. When you bring your mind to quiet, you can focus and manifest your desire into reality.
Furthermore, when we talk about to Remain Silent, we actually refer to literally being silent. For example, we stay silent about what happens when we conduct ritual. Everything done and said in Circle is sacred. This means that we Wiccans keep the details locked in our hearts and away from the mundane world.
Sure you might be tempted to share details of life-transforming occurrences in Circle. Instead, be sure that you keep silent! Keep the details as a precious, sweet experience all your own.
So how do you bring the element Earth and to remain silent into your life?
A Meditation to Celebrate Sacred Silence in Your Life
Find a quiet place where you will be alone and relaxed for five or ten minutes. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply. Picture a pyramid in your mind. Gently explore your answers to these questions:
What is this pyramid made out of?
What color is it?
What is the texture of your pyramid?
Imagine viewing the pyramid from various angles. Focus. Concentrate until you can even see the pyramid with your eyes open.
This pyramid process helps you focus your mind and clear it of extraneous thoughts.
Repeat this practice whenever you feel overwhelmed. Practice focusing, calming down and experiencing Sacred Silence.
More feelings of calm and peace are just a brief pyramid-meditation session away.
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Karina turned to me and said, “But I’ve never done this before. It’s a lot of money. I mean, I could spend all this money recording my songs and no one buys them.”
“What does your heart say?” I replied. Sometimes, and it depends on the individual, the heart says, “It’s time to Dare.”
In the previous post we talked about Fire. Now, we’ll discuss the element Water, which is West on the Witches Pyramid.
Water represents to Dare.
In this series of posts, we started with Air, which gave us the idea. Then we proceeded to Fire which was to Will and to desire the change, and get it moving into reality. Now we focus on Water because we need to Dare to accomplish the change.
Wanting to change isn’t enough, we need more energy associated to the process. We need to Dare to do it!
Many of us are too afraid of change. We hide from it and even run from it. Still, we notice:
“There is nothing permanent except change.” – Heraclitus
Change can be a very emotional subject. Being afraid of change is natural and so we need Water, to Dare ourselves to do it.
Change promotes growth. We grow not only spiritually, but also with our relationships and our mental and physical health.
A Ritual to Celebrate Water and to Move Beyond Fear
Consider something in your own life that you know you need to change but are afraid to.
Draw a pleasant, hot bath. Make a sachet of lavender. Lavender is used for purification, and lavender helps us calm those fears of change.
When your bath of lavender is ready, step in and relax. Breathe in and out slowly.
Once you have relaxed, think of the change you want and the fear holding you back from it. Concentrate on these fears you have.
Now envision the fear being absorbed by the water all while you continue breathing deeply—in and out.
When you feel you have successfully transferred all the fear into the liquid, get out and drain the water away. Dry off and make sure you do not use the towel again until you have laundered it.
Use this ritual focusing on Water and to Dare to move forward in your life.
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“I don’t want to make a mistake. I’m new to spellwork,” Claudia said.
Shifting the phone to my other ear, I thought, “I can empathize with this because I went through it, too.”
Years ago, when I first began with Wicca, I was really concerned about doing Wicca correctly from the start. It was very important for me to honor the God and Goddess appropriately.
Claudia asked, “How do I do dedication ceremony? It seems like there are a lot of ways to do it, depending on what kind of Traditions [Trads] are out there.”
“It’s true that there are many different types of dedication ceremonies,” I began. “Many have valuable parts and there’s no one and only way to do a dedication ceremony.”
Wicca includes various rituals that a practitioner may do. Rituals can be incredibly complex to quite simple depending on your tastes. Do you like complex and complicated or do you prefer the more simple types of rituals? The best thing that I can say is whatever you do, do it from your heart. That is what pleases the Gods.
I continued by sharing my own journey and how I chose one of the oldest Trads for learning the basics.
Claudia then asked about casting of a circle and why people enter from the East and leave from the West. I answered, “We start in the East, in the direction of the sunrise. Then you walk around deosil (clockwise or sun-wise) untill you end up back in the East. West is the direction of Death so you exit that way. When you make a circle starting in the East, it comes around to the East again, making a ‘door.’”
Think of the cycle of life and death. We are born just like the sun each day. And then the wheel turns untill we end up at death, when the sun goes down or “dies.”
Then Claudia asked about which colors are appropriate to use for your circle. You can use white. Or you can use colors that correspond to the four directions:
Another way to find a mentor is attending PantheaCon, a Pagan conference that takes place in the San Francisco Bay Area each February. Many different practitioners of Paganism (including Wicca) attend. You can then check out and ask about the different Trads, and learn from the practitioners themselves. You can check out the website of PantheaCon It would be fun to talk with you if we meet there. I often attend.
When we begin a ritual and call in the Elements, we are inviting them to protect us and help us with something we want in life.
For example, if I’m doing a ritual related to love, I may invoke Water because it focuses on emotions.
I may want to bring passion to some situation in my life, and I would then invoke Fire.
How do we invoke an Element? It involves moving your hand in the air according to that which is indicated in the below diagram.
Proper invoking is easy. All you need to know is where to start. Here is a good rule: To invoke, go towards the element you’re invoking.
What this means is: you move your hand in the air (according to the diagram) in the direction of the desired Element.
At the end of your ritual . . .
At the end of the ritual, you will want to banish the element. I’ve shared with a student that if you don’t banish Water after you invoke it, you might end up with plumbing problems. If you don’t banish Fire, you might have a fire start in your home. Don’t let this happen! Be sure to banish the element.
To banish the element, move your hand in the direction away from that element you wish to banish. You can see this in the diagram below.
When do I use the elemental invoking and banishing pentacles? One of the most common ways to use these pentagrams is casting and later taking down a circle. The other most common use is when you work with specific elements.
Elements can be a powerful part of your spiritual practice.