The Elements and Modern Occultism - Elemental Philosophy

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

The Elements and Modern Occultism
Elemental Philosophy

The influence of the concept of the Elements on Western cultures can be seen in many spiritual and esoteric practices.

While the tradition of alchemy is no longer the popular interest that it was in the Middle Ages, its foundation in the process of transformation using both physical and spiritual means was inspired by the Classical Elements, and has echoes in many modern Pagan traditions. A more widely contemporary Occult tradition with roots in the Middle Ages is the divination system known as the Tarot.

Once used as playing cards in 14th century Europe, Tarot decks grew to be adopted in later centuries as a spiritual tool for accessing information not available on the physical plane. Each card in the Tarot is associated with an Element. In the Minor Arcana, the Elements determined according to the four suits:











Each suit has associated meanings that correlate to the properties of that Element, which can be used to gain insights into a given Tarot reading. For example, the cards in the suit of Air will pertain to issues of intellect and outlook, decision-making and mental struggles. Many Swords in a given reading may indicate that the questioner is struggling with a conflict or negative attitude, or simply needs to look more closely at a situation.

Undoubtedly though, astrology can take the most credit for keeping an awareness of the Elements alive in popular culture.

Each sign in the wheel of the Zodiac is associated with a specific Element, and astrology holds that our personal characters are shaped not only by the arrangement of the planets at the time of our birth, but also by the qualities of the Element associated with our Sun sign.

Scorpios, for example, tend to be strongly affected by emotions and introspective, though they can be outwardly quite direct and intense in their projection of energy. The other Water signs, Pisces and Cancer, are also more under the pull of their emotions than Earth or Air, but can be more compassionate than Scorpio in the way they relate to others. The Earth signs—Capricorn, Taurus and Virgo—are more grounded and practical than Water signs. Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra, associated with Air, are more detached and can seem unemotional, while Fire signs—Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius—tend toward enthusiasm and impatience.