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Elemental Correspondences: Fire, Earth, Water, Air, and Spirit

The Elemental Correspondences of Fire, Earth, Air, and Water are the Classical Elements, with the fifth of Spirit, aether, or quintessence being the binding force. They represent the realms of the cosmos where all things exist and consist. Classic Greek thinking classified the elements according to temperature and water content with Air being primarily moist and secondarily warm, Fire being primarily warm and secondarily dry, Earth being primarily dry and secondarily cool, and Water being primarily cool and secondarily moist.

Hippocrates used the elements to describe the human body with the following associations: yellow bile (Fire), black bile (Earth), blood (Air), and phlegm (Water).

The Pythagoreans added idea as the fifth element and Aristotle added aether as the quintessence, both of which today are commonly referred to as the Spirit. The reasoning behind the thoughts Pythagoreans and Aristotle are believed to be that whereas Fire, Earth, Air, and Water were earthly and corruptible, and since no changes were ever perceived in the heavenly regions, then the stars must not be made of any of the four elements, and therefore must be made from a different, unchangeable, heavenly substance, henceforth the idea or aether theories.

Below are listed the most common magical elemental correspondences. This list is by no means complete, but we have attempted to give a good, high-level overview of the subject.

elements fire wind air earth


Direction: South

Qualities: hot and dry, light and active

Color: Red

Metal: brass, gold, iron, steel

Type of magic: tantra, healing, candle magic

Zodiacal signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius

Tattvic symbol: red triangle (Tejas)

Tattvic tide: March 21 - June 21

Season: Summer

Hour of day: Noon

Celtic name: Deas

Major Arcana Card: judgment (XX)

Minor Arcana suit: Wands

Symbolic creature: lion, fire-breathing dragon, horses

Alchemical symbol: right side up triangle

Symbols: fire, sun, stars, volcanoes, candle flame, hearth fire

Plant: nettle, red poppies, garlic, onions


Direction: West

Qualities: cold and moist, heavy and passive

Color: Green

Metal: copper, silver

Type of magic: fertility, mirror magic, purification, healing, divination, dream magic

Zodiacal signs: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces

Tattvic symbol: silver crescent (Apas)

Tattvic tide: September 23 - December 23

Season: Fall

Hour of day: twilight

Celtic name: iar

Major Arcana card: Hanged Man (XII)

Minor Arcana suit: Cups

Symbolic creatures: scorpion, snake, dolphin, dragon(serpent), all water creatures

Alchemical symbol: upside down triangle

Symbols: waterfalls, all bodies of water, waves, fog, rain

Plants: all water plants, fern, lotus, moss


Direction: East

Qualities: hot and moist, light and active

Color: Blue

Metal: aluminum, mercury, tin

Types of magic: To find an object that has been lost or stolen, magic of the four winds, visualizations, divination.

Zodiacal signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius

Tattvic symbol: blue circle (Vayu)

Tattvic tide: June 21 - September 23

Season: Spring

Hour of day: Dawn

Celtic name: airt

Major Arcana card: Fool (0)

Minor Arcana suit: Swords

Symbolic creatures: eagle, hawk, butterfly

Alchemical symbol: right side up triangle with a line through the middle

Symbols: sky, wind, clouds, incense

Plants: aspen tree, mistletoe


Direction: North

Qualities: cold and dry, heavy and passive

Color: Yellow

Metal: lead, mercury

Types of magic: fertility magic, tree magic, herbal lore, prosperity, rune casting, knot magic

Zodiacal signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

Tattivic symbol: yellow square (prithivi)

Tattivic tide: December 23 - March 21

Season: Winter

Hour of day: midnight

Celtic name: Tuath

Major Arcana card: Universe (XXI)

Minor Arcana suit: Pentacles

Symbolic creatures: bull, sphinx, stag

Alchemical symbol: upside down triangle with a line through the middle

Symbols: mountains, caves, gems, fields, rocks

Plants: red poppy, thrift plant, ivy, grains


Direction: the Center

Color: White

Metal: meteorite

Qualities: timelessness, spacelessness

Tattvic symbol: black oval (Akasha)

Time: Now and all time

Major Arcana card: Fool (0) and Judgement (XX)

Tarot suit: Major Arcana

Symbols: spiral, the cosmos

Magic Correspondences