Elemental Magic for Beginners: Basic Principles

Let’s do a deep dive into elemental magic. I’ll do a sequence of articles on each element. This one will serve as the introduction to the topic.

Prelude

Brigitte steps out into the cool, fresh air. The storm has passed.

She kneels to examine the bowl of stormwater she has collected. She gives thanks to nature, for it will do perfectly.

Brigitte brings the bowl inside and wipes down the droplets on the outside and picks up the bundled rosemary and flower petals. She takes these tools to her bedroom.

She closes her eyes and says a few words to her self while gently placing the bundle into the water. There is a pause as the transformation is completed.

Brigitte smiles and sets the bowl under her bed. She knows the spell is successful, and the nightmares will cease as the water evaporates back into the air.

What is Wiccan Magic?

Elemental Magic for Beginners

Magic should be simple and effective. It should be a part of nature, and it should never harm.

Magic is also founded on the idea that you get back three times what you put out.

This takes time.

If you’re looking to hex someone or quickly fix something, you should look elsewhere.

Brigitte’s story is what real magic looks like. It’s not flashy like the movies, but it works.

If you’re just beginning to learn these ancient traditions, I’m glad to be on this transformative journey with you. If you’re a longtime practitioner, I hope you find something useful in this return to the basics.

For a more thorough introduction, you may be interested in my article: Wicca for Beginners.

What is Elemental Magic?

Elemental magic refers to the magic of the elements of nature: earth, air, fire, and water.

Spells will typically consist of using a single element most related to the goal of the spell.

I always recommend newcomers to Wicca start with elemental magic. The beauty of this tradition is in its simplicity.

Most elemental magic requires only basic ingredients that can be found anywhere: bowls of water, stones, candles, and so on.

This makes it perfect for learning the foundations of magic.

Energy

Energy is the foundation of all elemental magic. The words and actions accompanying a spell are the least important part. This might be shocking to some readers.

The words and actions of the spell serve only to guide your focus on the energy involved.

It’s common for new practitioners to complain that they did everything a spell said but didn’t get results.

Well, of course!

A spell will only work if you do the parts it doesn’t say. This might sound frustrating. How do you know what this even is if the spell doesn’t say it?

That’s the whole point of this article.

There are huge stores of energy in your body. Think about how quickly you can go from sleepy to full force when someone jumps out from around the corner to scare you.

You will learn to tap into this energy when doing elemental magic and to transfer it. When a spell calls for you to inscribe a rune into the dirt, the physical motion’s purpose is to help you transfer your personal energy.

There is also the energy already present in each element. We’ll discuss each of these below.

Earth

Earth energy is on the feminine side of the spectrum. You can think of the Goddess and Mother Earth.

It is associated with the North. The pentagram is a symbol for it, and it is the pentacles suit in the tarot.

It is associated with the color green and other dark “earthy” colors. This makes onyx and aventurine common gems for Earth rites.

Salt is a common ingredient in Earth magic. Winter is the best time to do Earth magic.

Earth magic is often about luck and prosperity.

Air

Air energy is on the masculine side of the spectrum. It is associated with the East.

Wands are symbols of air, and air is associated with the wands/staffs suit of the tarot.

Air is represented by the color yellow, and the Spring season is the best time for air magic.

Citrine is a good gem for Air spells.

Incense and smudge sticks are common ingredients of Air magic. Air spells often have to do with purification and healing.

Fire

Fire is on the masculine side of the spectrum and is the element associated with the Godhead aspect of the divine.

It is associated with the South and Summer. Daggers and athames are common symbols for fire, and it is the swords suit of the tarot.

The most common tools for fire magic are candles, but there are many other types of burning rituals and spells, too.

Fire is red and gold. This makes red jasper, bloodstone, tiger’s eye, and rubies all good gems for fire magic. Cinnamon and allspice are common herbs.

Fire magic often involves love, passion, creativity, power, and strength.

Water

water elemental magic

Water is on the feminine side of the spectrum. Its direction is West and colors are blue and green.

Bowls, chalices, and cauldrons are common tools and symbols for the element. It is the cups suit of the tarot.

Water is the main ingredient in water magic, and the spells work best in Autumn.

Water lily and aloe are common plants/herbs. Aquamarine, opal, and amethyst are gems for the water element.

Water magic is often for purification, dreams, peace, and divination.

Elemental Magic for Beginners

I’ll leave the actual spells for the individual articles on each element. Instead, I’ll describe the basic principles for elemental magic.

As I’ve said about a hundred times across Craft of Wicca, magic works best when you make it your own.

It is far better to craft your own spell once you understand how magic works than to blindly follow someone else’s.

This article gives a starting point with symbols, stones, herbs, directions, and so on for each element.

Each spell will have the same components: need/goal, visualization, charging, and release.

Here’s a sample to help you understand the pieces. Let’s say you wish to make a luck charm out of aventurine.

This is the perfect gem for it. The color is green and it is associated with Earth, the element of luck and prosperity.

The goal is to make a charm that brings good luck when you carry it. You will start with this intent.

Now you visualize the result of good luck as if it already happened. Build up the energy within yourself and focus it through the visualization.

A common way to do this would be with an incantation. Enclose the gem in your hand and say the words to focus your visualization and energy. Feel it flow out of you and into the gem.

This is known as “charging.”

Release the energy to let it combine with that of the Earth. Your spell has now gone out into the world. If your intentions were true and pure, you should receive the natural gifts back.

Don’t worry if this seemed vague. I wasn’t trying to give you an exact spell. I only wanted to illuminate the underlying process of this type of magic.

What elemental magic do I have?

For the purposes of rituals and spells that require understanding your true nature, it can be important to identify which elemental magic you have.

Everyone has all elemental magic, of course, but most people have a natural affinity and identification with one or another.

You can easily determine which you have by paying attention to your interests and what you’re drawn toward and even your personality traits.

  • People drawn to nurturing roles have natural Earth magic.
  • People who are wise beyond their years, soulful, and spiritual identify with Air.
  • People who sense what is to come easily have Water magic.
  • Hot-headed, passionate people have Fire magic.

There are many more traits that can suggest these roles as well. Maybe you have always been fascinated with water, swimming, the ocean, or other aspects of water. Maybe you spend a lot of time hiking and communing with Earth.

Think through your life to see if you have been strangely drawn to any of the elements.

To find out more, check out the articles on each elements specifically.

Final Remarks

Now you know all of the pieces to begin doing elemental magic.

For further information, see my articles on each of the elements. I include more fleshed out spells on those.

But I strongly urge you to take the foundational principles you’ve learned and to develop your own. Record what works and what doesn’t work until you’ve struck upon the most powerful magic you can do.

These notes will turn into your Book of Shadows.

Further Reading

Earth Magic and Spells

Air Magic and Spells

Fire Magic and Spells

Water Magic and Spells

For a physical resource, you can’t go wrong with Scott Cunningham’s classic text: Earth, Air, Fire & Water.

elemental magic for beginners