Elements and the Living Universe

Wicca Natural Magic Kit: The Sun, The Moon, and The Elements, Elemental Magic, Moon Magic, and Wheel of the Year Magic - Lisa Chamberlain 2018

Elements and the Living Universe

What do the Elements have to do with our modern way of life?

Particularly in the developed countries of the West, it may seem that the answer is “not much.” Apart from weather events that can cause major inconveniences and the occasional catastrophe, we live life relatively removed from the basic forces of nature.

Even if we rarely think about it on a conscious level, we all understand how important the four Elements—Earth, Air, Fire, and Water—are for our survival. We need air to breathe, of course, and water to sustain life. We live on the Earth and depend on it as a source of food for sustenance, and fire—in the form of light, heat, and energy—is quite essential.

However, despite acknowledging their fundamental importance, most of us remain incredibly detached from the Elements.

We no longer have to build fires to heat our homes during the cold Winter months, and we can even keep out the sweltering Summer air with insulation. We have no need to worry about sourcing water, which is as easy as turning on a tap. Furthermore, most of us are very far removed from the sources of our food, and there’s an enormous variety of “food” products on grocery store shelves with ingredients that do even not come naturally from the Earth.

It almost seems as if we’ve gone to great lengths in the “civilized world” to get as far away from the Elements as possible. After all, they can be detrimental to our health and safety in many ways, as we can see in the phrase “exposure to the elements,” which is often used in the context of damage or death.

What Witches know is that the Elements are powerful forces in their own right, with benevolent as well as destructive properties. They are necessary for the functioning of all life, even though they can be dangerous.

The Elements are perhaps the ultimate expression of the co-creative nature of the Universe, as each interacts with all others in the physical realm, and each participates in its own way in the ongoing cycles of life and death. These forces are a fundamental part of Wicca and other nature-based religions, and they can, with practice and intention, be directed to cause a desired change in our lives—in fact, this is the essence of what magic and spellwork is.

But how do the Elements work in Witchcraft?

There are a number of ways to answer this, and different answers will come from different books, traditions, and individual practitioners. But a brief look at the lineage of Wiccan beliefs can help illuminate the general concepts that underlie the magic of the Elements.