The Elements

Earth Magic – To lose your troubles

Earth Magic

To lose your troubles:

Take a handful of earth and gaze into it pour into it all of your problems. Outline in minute detail all of the problems plaguing you. When you are finished throw the dirt behind you, turn away from it and walk away, not turning back. An earth charm:

Tie up in a small green square of cloth some fresh rich soil. Firmly tie this so no earth can escape. Carry this with you if you have troubles with stability, security, or self control. If you are apt to let your emotions rule your life, if you are constantly angry or nervous this amulet of earth will help.

 

The Green Mother’s Book of Shadows
Gwenyfur Draigtanllwyth

 

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The Elements: Spirit

The Elements

Spirit

 

Spirit is the final element and is the subtle spiritual essence that resides in all things within the Universe. It is the unseen element that is tied to all things physical , but reflected in the essence of things, not the physical appearance that enshrouds the spirit. It is the energy you feel in the rock you hold, the tree you commune with, the caress of the winds on your skin and in your hair, it is the heat of the flame that warms you and the visions in the flames as you meditate. Spirit is the energy of all, of the Universe, it is the power with which you summon all other elements and bend them to you Workings. Spirit is what brings order that is the maelstrom of chaos in the Universe. Spirit is represented by the color purple and is associated with the practitioner within the Working Circle or by the figures of the Gods and Goddesses the practitioner is Working with.

 

The Green Mother’s Book of Shadows
Gwenyfur Draigtanllwyth

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The Elements: Water

The Elements

Water

 

Water is the element of purification, regeneration, the subconscious mind, love and emotions. Just as water is fluid and constantly changing, flowing from one life to another, so too are our emotions in a constant state of flux.

Water is the element of absorption and germination, involves pleasure, friendship, courage, fertility, happiness, healing, sleep, dreaming, and psychic arts. The subconscious is symbolized by the element because it is constantly moving, rolling in the ripples of a pond, the flow of the whispering brook or raging rivers and in the ebb and flow of the eternal restless unyielding tides of the seas. Water is a feminine element represented by the color blue of the deep still water. It rules the west and autumn is its season when rain showers wash and cleanse the earth. The magic of water is wrought with mirrors, the sea, fog, rain, or any body of water. Water is symbolized today by the chalice.

 

The Green Mother’s Book of Shadows
Gwenyfur Draigtanllwyth,

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The Elements: Fire

The Element

Fire

 

Fire is the element of change, will and passion. In a sense it contains within it all forms of magic, since magic is a process of change. Fire is the realm of sexuality and passion it is the spark of divinity which shines within all living things. Its magical rituals usually involve energy, authority, sex, healing, destruction, purification, and evolution . A ritual of fire usually involves the fuming and burning or smoldering of an image herb or other flammable object, the use of candles, or small blazes. Fire is masculine, it rules the south the place of greatest heat the color is red and the season of summer.

Fire is a living element and possibly the oldest symbol of the Divine. The eternal flame is a common theme in most ancient mystery religions and was believed to be hidden within the wood itself, only released by rubbing sticks together. Today it is one of the creative or changing elements and represented by the Witch’s athame because the blade was forged in fire.

Due to its fiery nature Fire Magic is best performed in the desert, but anywhere will suffice, so long as you are sure to keep fire extinguishing materials nearby. (Sand and dirt are plentiful in the desert, buckets of water or hose where available, or the standard fire extinguisher.

 

The Green Mother’s Book of Shadows
Gwenyfur Draigtanllwyth,

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The Elements: Earth

The Element

Earth

 

Earth doesn’t represent just our planet Earth, but indeed its magical symbolism is the part of the Universe that is stable, solid, and reliable. Earth is the foundation of the elements, the foundation upon which the rest of the universe live their lives. Earth is the dimension of abundance, prosperity, and wealth.

In magical work, earth rules all spells and rituals, business, money, employment, prosperity, fertility, stability and so on. Earth is a feminine element, its nurturing, abundant fertility , and moist, fruitful giving qualities that reveal the femininity of the element. Earth rules the North cardinal point and it is the place of greatest darkness and winter. The color of the Earth element is the green of fields, plants, trees, and life. It rules stone, image, true, and knot magics. Today Earth is symbolized by a pentacle or a stone.

 

The Green Mother’s Book of Shadows
Gwenyfur Draigtanllwyth,

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The Elements: Air

The Elements

Air

Air is the element of the intellect; it is the realm of thought which is the first step toward creation . Air is the clear and uncluttered pure visualization and movement, the impetus that sends the visualization toward manifestation.
Air rules spells and ritual involving travel, instruction, freedom, wisdom, recovering lost items, and discerning truth. Air can also be used to develop the psychic faculties. Air is a masculine element, being dry, expansive, and active. It is the element that excels in places of learning and which is at work while we theorize, meditate, and explore all possibilities. Air rules the East the greatest light of wisdom and consciousness. Its color is yellow of the sun and its season is spring. Air governs the magic of the four winds most divinations, concentration, and visualization magics. Air is symbolized today by a wand.
One caution – Air magic can be as unpredictable as the Four Winds themselves. The Winds are thought of as being four different types, corresponding to the four cardinal points of the earth, each possessed of its own magical virtue and contain magic that are best used for certain types of spells and rituals.

 

The Winds and Their Association With Air

The North Wind is the wind of death, not necessarily of physical death, but the elimination of negativity, bad habits, or harm.

The North Wind blows from the direction of winter and snows , it is dry and barren, thus paves the way for spells of destruction, breaking, banishing, and cleansing. While the North Wind does share some of the magical qualities of Earth, it is dry and not favored for fertility or prosperity magics, though it can be greatly effective in healing. Its color is the black of midnight. Also note in the Southern Hemisphere the South Wind would have these characteristics.

The East Wind is that of freshness, renewal, life, strength, power, and intellect. The East Wind is a warm bracing wind that blows from the point that the Sun makes His fiery appearance in the morning, the Moon and stars make her glowing appearance , shining in the evening. It’s the direction of beginnings, new life, and the new beginnings that occur after the Workings of the North Wind.
The heat is that of the Sun and the spark of Creation, and the East Wind is best utilized for spells and rituals that involve dramatic improvements, behavioral changes, and spells and rituals involving growth in intellect, knowledge and wisdom. The East wind is related to the element of Air and is represented by the pure white of the light of the Moon.
The South Wind is a hot fiery wind. Symbolically it rules the high time of the sky, when the Sun or Moon is at their zenith, the time of greatest light and heat. Because the South Wind is related to fire its magic covers the same ground of passion, will, change, and sexuality. The South Wind can be used for any type of magic and when it is blowing it is a good time to do your Workings.
Since this wind is strong and hot, spells performed are assured of an extra jolt of power. However, be warned that fire, even the diluted fire of the south wind can be dangerous if mishandled. The color of the South Wind is the yellow of the Sun. Also note in the Southern Hemisphere the North Wind would have these characteristics.

 

The West Wind blows cool and moist, and may convey a hint of rain or mist as it washes over the land. It is a fertile, loving force which is gentle, persuasive and symbolically rules the between times of between day and night, when the world seems at a standstill and is holding its breath; and the landscape of muted colors and cool breezes; the best times of all to perform magic, more so if the correct wind happens to be blowing.

 

The West Wind is related to the element of water thus love, fertility, healing, and anything to do with emotional well being flow from that quarter. The energies are especially excellent for cleansing or purely religious rituals. The West Wind is a welcome relief after the dry hot fiery winds of the South. The West Wind is represented by the blue of the sky just before all light fades.

 

Charting the Winds is best done by a weathervane or a windsock , the latter being inexpensive and easily crafted by your hands and energy for your workings. Instructions will be later in this writing.

 

The Green Mother’s Book of Shadows
Gwenyfur Draigtanllwyth,

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The Element of Water: Folklore and Legends

The Element of Water: Folklore and Legends

By , About.com

 

Each of the four cardinal elements – earth, air, fire and water – can be incorporated into magical practice and ritual. Depending on your needs and intent, you may find yourself drawn to one of these elements more so that the others.

Water is a feminine energy and highly connected with the aspects of the Goddess. Used for healing, cleansing, and purification, Water is related to the West, and associated with passion and emotion. In many spiritual paths, including Catholicism, consecrated Water can be found – holy water is just regular water with salt added to it, and usually a blessing or invocation is said above it. In Wiccan covens, such water is used to consecrate the circle and all the tools within it. As you may expect, water is associated with the color blue, and the Tarot suit of Cup cards.

Let’s look at some of the many magical myths and legends surrounding water:

Water Spirits:

Many cultures feature water spirits as part of their folklore and mythology. To the Greeks, a water spirit known as a naiad often presided over a spring or stream. The Romans had a similar entity found in the Camenae. Among a number of the ethnic groups of Cameroon, the water spirits called jengu serve as protective deities, which is not uncommon among other African diasporic faiths.

For residents of the British Isles, many local bodies of water such as streams and wells were host to water spirits – and often these took on the role of local deity. Historians say it became a popular custom to toss a bit of silver — coins, pins, etc — into a sacred body of water as an offering to the god or goddess of that area.

Dowsing for Water:

Dowsing is the ability to find a water source in a previously unknown area via divination. In many parts of Europe professional dowsers were hired to locate new places to dig wells. This was typically done with the use of a forked stick, or sometimes a copper rod. The stick was held out in front of the dowser, who walked around until the stick or rod began to vibrate. The vibrations signaled the presence of water beneath the ground, and this was where villagers would dig their new well.

During the Middle Ages this was a popular technique for locating new springs to use as wells, but it later became associated with negative sorcery. By the seventeenth century, most dowsing had been outlawed because of its connection to the devil.

Ocean Beings:

The Orkney Islands are the home of a number of fascinating myths and legends about the magical power of the sea. The ocean is the home of Finmen and mermaids, selkies and sea monsters. In Celtic mythology, a water horse called a kelpie haunts the shores and rivers of Scotland and Ireland.

Water Magic and the Moon:

The moon is tied to the ebb and flow of tides around the world. A phenomenon known as lunar tide occurs during the full and new moon phases – during these phases, the gravitational forces create a very high high tide, and a very low low tide.

Use water for divination by scrying during the full moon.

Country Folklore:

An English rural custom says that a woman who splashes too much water around as she does laundry or washes dishes will be cursed with a husband who drinks to excess.

Spilling water from a bucket on the way back from a well or spring can bring misfortune – unless, of course, you return to the source and make an offering to appease the spirits of the place.

In parts of Appalachia, it is believed that if you dream of crossing water there will be an illness in your family. If your dream includes muddy or stagnant water, then back luck is on the way.

In Hoodoo and other folk magic traditions, vervain is used to make Van-Van oil – this is simply a blend of vervain and a base oil, simmered and strained. This oil is used to provide magical protection, and clear away evil energies. In many forms of folklore, vervain is associated with workings that decrease lust – however, the scent of vervain is a well-known aphrodisiac.

Water Gods and Goddesses

These are some of the many deities associated with water:

  • Gong Gong (Chinese)
  • Llyr (Welsh)
  • Manannan mac Lir (Irish)
  • Namaka (Hawaiian)
  • Neptune (Roman)
  • Njord (Norse)
  • Oceanus (Greek)
  • Poseidon (Greek)
  • Sedna (Inuit)
  • Sobek (Egyptian)
  • Thetis (Greek)
  • Yemaya (Yoruba)
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The Element of Fire: Folklore and Legends

Fire Folklore and Legends

By

 

Each of the four cardinal elements – earth, air, fire and water – can be incorporated into magical practice and ritual. Depending on your needs and intent, you may find yourself drawn to one of these elements more so that the others.

Connected to the South, Fire is a purifying, masculine energy, and connected to strong will and energy. Fire both creates and destroys, and symbolizes the fertility of the God. Fire can heal or harm, and can bring about new life or destroy the old and worn. In Tarot, Fire is connected to the Wand suit (although in some interpretations, it is associated with Swords). For color correspondences, use red and orange for Fire associations.

Let’s look at some of the many magical myths and legends surrounding fire:

Fire Spirits & Elemental Beings:

In many magical traditions, fire is associated with various spirits and elemental beings. For instance, the salamander is an elemental entity connected with the power of fire – and this isn’t your basic garden lizard, but a magical, fantastical creature. Other fire-associated beings include the phoenix – the bird that burns itself to death and then is reborn from its own ashes – and dragons, known in many cultures as fire-breathing destroyers.

The Magic of Fire:

Fire has been important to mankind since the beginning of time. It was not only a method of cooking one’s food, but it could mean the difference between life and death on a frigid winter night. To keep a fire burning in the hearth was to ensure that one’s family might survive another day. Fire is typically seen as a bit of a magical paradox, because in addition to its role as destroyer, it can also create and regenerate. The ability to control fire – to not only harness it, but use it to suit our own needs – is one of the things that separates humans from animals. However, according to ancient myths, this has not always been the case.

Fire appears in legends going back to the classical period. The Greeks told the story of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods in order to give it to man – thus leading to the advancement and development of civilization itself. This theme, of the theft of fire, appears in a number of myths from different culture. A Cherokee legend tells of Grandmother Spider, who stole fire from the sun, hid it in a clay pot, and gave it to the People so they could see in the darkness. A Hindu text known as the Rig Veda related the story of Mātariśvan, the hero who stole fire that had been hidden away from the eyes of man.

Fire is sometimes associated with deities of trickery and chaos – probably because while we may think we have domination over it, ultimately it is the fire itself that is in control. Fire is often connected with Loki, the Norse god of chaos, and the Greek Hephaestus (who appears in Roman legend as Vulcan) the god of metalworking, who demonstrates no small amount of deceit.

Fire and Folktales:

Fire appears in a number of folktales from around the world, many of which have to do with magical superstitions. In parts of England, the shape of cinders which jumped out of the hearth often foretold a major event – a birth, a death, or the arrival of an important visitor.

In parts of the Pacific Islands, hearths were guarded by small statues of old women. The old woman, or hearth mother, protected the fire and prevented it from burning out.

The Devil himself appears in some fire-related folktales. In parts of Europe, it is believed that if a fire won’t draw properly, it’s because the Devil is lurking nearby. In other areas, people are warned not to toss bread crusts into the fireplace, because it will attract the Devil (although there’s no clear explanation of what the Devil might want with burnt bread crusts).

Japanese children are told that if they play with fire, they will become chronic bed-wetters – a perfect way to prevent pyromania!

A German folktale claims that fire should never be given away from the house of a woman within the first six weeks after childbirth. Another tale says that if a maid is starting a fire from tinder, she should use strips from mens’ shirts as tinder – cloth from women’s garments will never catch a flame.

 

Deities Associated with Fire:

  • Bel (Celtic)
  • Brighid (Celtic)
  • Hephaestus (Greek)
  • Hestia (Greek)
  • Loki (Norse)
  • Pele (Hawaiian)
  • Svarog (Slavic)
  • Vesta (Roman)
  • Vulcan (Roman)
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