What are the 4 elements?
The four elements are present all around and within you. They are essential to all life. You and the universe are formed by these four elements: earth, air, water, fire. These elements go beyond the physical and manifest as personality traits and energetic forces too.
The elements are here to bring balance. Fire needs water to be quenched and the earth needs wind to move it. Your personality might contain more fire and less water, contributing to specific distinctions in your outlook on life and how you express yourself. The elements of your personality can be balanced just like nature.
Each element carries its own set of qualities. No element is inherently bad or good. They each carry an equal amount of positive and negative traits. Check out some of the attributes of each element here.
There are endless ways for you to apply the four elements to your life. Let’s start with why you’d want to use them!
Why represent the 4 elements?
Balancing your own energy
Did you know that your zodiac sign corresponds with one of the four elements? Check out the chart below to see what element you lean towards based on your sign.
One great way to employ the power of the four elements is to balance your own energy. If you lean towards the earth element you may find that bringing some fire energy into your life may energize you. Try wearing a symbol or object that represents the element you’re needing more of.
Bringing Elemental Energy into your space
Do you live or work in a space that’s really tense or competitive? The energy of the space might be overloaded with fire energy that could really benefit from some balancing water energy. By adding some simple symbols or objects that represent water you may find that the vibe of the space really mellows out.
Magical and ritual practices
Because the four elements are the building blocks of all things, inside and outside of you, they are essential for most rituals and magical practices. Think of them as energetic forces to employ for magical manifesting and ritual. Simply having all four of them represented on your altar or in a sacred space is a powerful balancing force.
How to represent the 4 elements
The four elements can be represented in physical form or non-physical form (a symbol) for different purposes. The symbols and representations of them can be placed in a variety of areas. You can wear them, put them on your altar, on your desk, in your car, or in a room. Here are a few ways that you can represent each of the elements.
The element cards shown in the images can be found in The Ritual Deck here.
- The symbol for Earth element
- Root chakra
- Earthy stones like jasper, agate, amber, petrified wood, and malachite
- Metal and wood objects
- Green or brown candle
- Plants and flowers
- The symbol for the Water element
- Sacral chakra
- Vessel of water
- Blue candle
- Shells, coral, sand dollars, etc.
- Moon symbolism
- Cauldron or chalice
- The symbol for the Fire element
- Solar plexus chakra
- Burning herbs or incense
- Matches or lighter
- Fire opal and carnelian
- The symbol for the Air element
- Third eye chakra
- Smoke from resin, herbs, or incense
- Yellow candle
- Citrine and smoky quartz
- Butterfly, birds, fairies, or dragonflies
You may have already noticed that many of these overlap. For example, burning herbs can serve for earth (the plant material), air (the smoke), and fire (as it burns). Add in an abalone shell (water) to the mix and you’ve got all four elements represented very easily!
Cassie Uhl is a published author, artist, intuitive, and founder of Zenned Out. She created Zenned Out in 2012 with the mission to build a brand that normalizes spirituality. In 2018 she self-published her popular and interactive Goddess Discovery Book series. In 2020 her writing and art became more mainstream with Understanding Auras, Understanding Crystals, and Understanding Chakras, published by The Quarto Group. Her writing style and art combine to help marry accessibility with deep spiritual topics. It is her goal to help others understand and live spiritual practices that can change the world. Inspired by her open-minded grandmother, Cassie has been meditating and working with her energy since her teenage years. She received her 200hr YTT in 2012 with a focus on breathwork. Now, her work focuses on energy work, journeying, mediumship, death midwifery, and healing through traditional Celtic shamanic practices.