Using the Elements in Your Spells (Baby Witch Bootcamp Ch. 8)

In my last post, we talked about correspondences and how they can add power to your spells. As a witch, one form of correspondences that you will probably work with a lot is the four elements.

These four (or five, depending on who you ask) elements are the building blocks of the natural world, and everything on earth is associated with one or more of them. Because of this, the elements can serve as a kind of “correspondence cheat sheet” for new witches. For example: you want to do a spell for self-love, and you know that water is associated with healing and love, so you choose herbs and crystals for your spell that are associated with the water element.

Connecting with the elements can also be a spiritual experience for many pagans, but today we’ll be focusing on their uses in magic.


In her book Wicca For Beginners Thea Sabin says that, “air is masculine, light, and cerebral. It corresponds to… birth; youth; enlightenment; inspiration; communication; writing; mobility; and computers and electronics.”

  • Invoke in Spells For: increasing mental abilities, gaining clarity, travel and movement, new beginnings, spirituality or spiritual development, creativity, inspiration, communication
  • Magical Tools that Represent Air: incense smoke, feathers (make sure they’re naturally shed and ethically collected!), a fan, bells or chimes
  • Colors: yellow, gold
  • Speed: very fast (but the results may not stick)
  • Cardinal Direction: East
  • Season: spring
  • Herbs/Plants: rosemary, lavender, lemongrass
  • Crystals: fluorite, kyanite
  • Animals: birds, insects, and any flying animal
  • Astrology: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
  • Tarot: the suit of Swords
  • Example of Air in a Spell: banishing something you want to be rid of by taking a pinch of cayenne pepper in your hand, whispering your intent, and blowing the pepper off of your hand and out a door or window. 
  • Ways to Connect with Air Energy:
    • light incense and watch the smoke curl and shift in the air (an essential oil diffuser is a good smoke-free alternative)
    • learn something new!
    • express your creativity by drawing a picture or writing a poem
    • make a wish on a dandelion and watch the seeds fly away on your breath
    • if there is a situation or relationship in your life suffering from poor communication, take steps to resolve it


Thea Sabin says that, “fire is masculine, hot (obviously), and energetic. It corresponds to… adolescence; impetuousness; passion; drive; creativity; anger; force; light and brightness; and transformation.”

  • Invoke in Spells For: passion, creativity, motivation, transformation, success
  • Magical Tools that Represent Fire: candles (including electronic flameless candles!), incense
  • Colors: red, orange
  • Speed: fast
  • Cardinal Direction: South
  • Season: summer 
  • Herbs/Plants: cayenne, cinnamon, ginger
  • Crystals: carnelian, amber
  • Animals: dragons, reptiles, lions
  • Astrology: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius 
  • Tarot: the suit of Wands (sometimes called Staves or Rods)
  • Example of Fire in a Spell: Burning a red candle for passion and motivation. 
  • Ways to Connect with Fire Energy:
    • go outside and spend a few minutes enjoying the heat and warmth of the sun
    • meditate by gazing into a candle flame
    • make and drink hot chocolate with cinnamon
    • eat spicy foods
    • do something you feel passionate about (especially if it involves physical activity!)


Thea Sabin says that, “water is feminine, cleansing, and healing. It corresponds to… adulthood; nurture; emotions; the subconscious; the otherworld; transformation (like fire, but slower); mystery; compassion; secrets; and the occult.”

  • Invoke in Spells For: healing, love or self love, processing trauma, shadow work, psychic abilities, nurturing yourself and others
  • Magical Tools that Represent Water: a glass or chalice filled with water (or an empty chalice), seashells, sacred oils 
  • Colors: blue, green
  • Speed: Not very fast, but not very slow
  • Cardinal Direction: West
  • Season: fall
  • Herbs/Plants: rose, lilac, jasmine
  • Crystals: aquamarine, rose quartz
  • Animals: fish and any other water-dwelling animals
  • Astrology: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
  • Tarot: the suit of Cups
  • Example of Water in a Spell: Taking a cleansing bath with rose quartz, Himalayan salt, and jasmine essential oil to promote self love.
  • Ways to Connect with Water Energy:
    • drink more water!
    • take a relaxing bath or shower
    • visit the ocean or a lake or river
    • use a deep meditation to connect to your shadow self
    • keep a dream journal to connect with your subconscious


Thea Sabin says, “earth is feminine, solid, and stable. It corresponds to… old age and/or death; fertility; money; stability; building foundations; food and sustenance; and agriculture and gardening.”

  • Invoke in Spells For: prosperity and material abundance, gaining stillness, feeling grounded, sexuality, fertility, connecting with family or heritage, creating something that will last
  • Magical Tools that Represent Earth: rocks (not just crystals, but rocks from your backyard), dirt or sand, salt
  • Colors: green, brown
  • Speed: very slow (but results will last a very long time)
  • Cardinal Direction: North
  • Season: winter
  • Herbs/Plants: all plants are at least partially associated with this element, but some especially “earthy” plants are sage, coffee, and patchouli
  • Crystals: all crystals are associated with earth, but some especially “earthy” stones are moss agate and bloodstone
  • Animals: bear, buffalo, wolves, deer
  • Astrology: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
  • Tarot: the suit of Pentacles (sometimes called the Coins or Disks)
  • Example of Earth in a Spell: Writing a wish on a bay leaf and burying it in the ground to “plant the seed” for manifesting that desire. 
  • Ways to Connect with Earth Energy:
    • practice grounding your energy,
    • do some gardening even if it’s just getting a houseplant
    • spend time with your loved ones
    • play with your pets
    • donate money to a worthy cause

You may or may not choose to work with a fifth element, called spirit or aether. In Wicca, spirit is associated with deity, which unites the other four elements. In other Western occult traditions, the element of spirit represents the underlying spiritual force that exists within all things. In the book You Are Magical, Tess Whitehurst phrases it this way: “Ultimately everything is pure spirit element temporarily masquerading as something else.” 

Because of its limitless and undefined nature, it can be hard to nail down correspondences for spirit. You can invoke the element of spirit to strengthen your connection to the divine, work with your ancestors, or connect more strongly with your own spiritual power. 

You can represent the element of spirit in ritual with sacred symbols, such as images of deities, or with sacred geometric shapes. 

You do not have to work with spirit to do magic. I personally only work with the four classical elements, and do not include spirit or aether in my practice. However, many witches do choose to incorporate this fifth element and find working with it very fulfilling. The choice is up to you.

One last note: this post focuses on how the elements are divided in Western magic and occult traditions. Different cultures classify the elements differently. For example, in Hinduism the elements are earth, water, fire, air, and either void or Askasha (aether). The Chinese elements are fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. If you do not resonate with the Western division of the elements, feel free to investigate other ways of classifying natural forces.

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