The Elements in Wicca

Updated on May 1, 2020
WiccanSage profile image

A Wiccan of 25 years, Sage likes to put her background as a writer and teacher to use by helping people learn about this NeoPagan path.

About the Elements

Elements—they are the building blocks of the entire universe. No, I’m not talking about the scientific elements, such as is found on the periodic chart. Sure, they are the building blocks for the physical universe. But I’m referring to the spiritual or classical Elements—they are the metaphysical building blocks.

Mention of Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Aether (Spirit) are something Wiccans will come across time and again. Regardless of how big or small a role the Elements play in your personal spiritual path, they’re something you should learn to understand.

Elements in Wicca

Learning about the elements.
Learning about the elements. | Source

Periodic Table


Big “E”; Little “e”

Sometimes I write ‘Element’, and sometimes ‘elements’. Sometimes I capitalize Air (Earth, Fire, etc.), and sometimes I don’t. There’s actually a reason for it.

Remember the Periodic Table of the Elements from chemistry class? There are 118 known elements and all matter breaks down to these most basic components. When speaking of scientific elements, I use the little “e”.

In ancient Greece, the concept of the Elements (the classical/spiritual ones) was born. They did not have the technology to see atoms and molecules, so they thought everything was made up of some combination of Air, Earth, Fire, Water and Aether.

Fast forward a couple dozen centuries-- now we know that air, earth, fire, water and aether are compounds-- a mixture of smaller elements on the periodic table. For example, water is a compound of hydrogen and oxygen.

This is the reason for the distinction. The Elements (capital E) refer to the spiritual/classical Elements of our religion—those forces that we honor. The elements (lowercase e) refers to the actual scientific elements on the periodic table.

Greek elements


There’s More to Elements Than Compounds

We all know the Elements are Air, Earth, Fire, Water, and Aether. Sometimes people confuse this with earth, air, fire, water and ether. Note my use of capitalization here, because it's very significant.

The Elements—Air, Earth, Fire, and Water—are not the same thing as wind, dirt, flames, and H20. These compounds are meaningful representations of the Elements of course, but the compounds themselves are not Elements. The Elements (capital 'E') are so much more than the compounds for which they are named.

Wiccan Elements

Elements in Wicca are often incorporated into practice.
Elements in Wicca are often incorporated into practice. | Source

Recommended Wicca Book:

The Elements of Ritual: Air, Fire, Water & Earth in the Wiccan Circle
The Elements of Ritual: Air, Fire, Water & Earth in the Wiccan Circle
A must read for any Pagan studying the Elements, this book goes more in depth into how the Elements affect our spiritual practices than any I can remember. Most books tend to breeze past the subject in a chapter or less, but this book focuses on aspects that I, even having been Wiccan for decades, had not considered.

A Bird's-Eye View of Elements in the Quarters


The Elemental Connection

The Elements represent all things, and connect all things. Look at the diagram above; you can see the vertical axis contains the masculine Elements (Air and Fire). The horizontal Axis contains the feminine Elements (Water and Earth). The circle is where the Elements meet, as if at a crossroads. The circle surrounds and connects the four Elements, just as Aether (Spirit) is the unifying and balancing factor that runs through everything in the universe—the soul, the divine, it’s what gives life and meaning to all things.

Notice how they are equivalent in length and well balanced. When you go around the circle, you get the polarity alternating the masculine and feminine Elements, the projective and receptive, the positive and negative: Kind of like an electric charge (energy!).

You might even envision it as a compass, with each Element at one of the cardinal directions. You can even set up the primary altar tools as in some traditions in that same format: the athame is a symbol of Air, the pentacle a symbol of Earth, the wand a symbol of Fire, and the cup a symbol of Water.

Correspondence Wheel

Notice the harmony and the flow between the directions, times of day, times of year, times of life, elements and more.
Notice the harmony and the flow between the directions, times of day, times of year, times of life, elements and more. | Source

Correspondences—Just the Start

Notice the innermost circle we have our compass and our male/female axis. Beyond that we have correspondences to the directions, time of day, time of the year/season, the sabbats—even the life cycle itself. You get a taste right there at how the Elements correspond to everything; and everything corresponds to one or more of the Elements.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, really, as Elements also correspond to zodiac signs, tarot cards, runes, herbs, gemstones, deities, personality traits, occupations, body functions, activities, etc....the cycles and connections are endless.

Types of Matter

Grom ether to gasses to liquid and solid.
Grom ether to gasses to liquid and solid. | Source

In Relation to the Pentagram

Each pentagram point represents an element. This is why the pentacle is the ultimate symbol of balance—each equal point, all intertwined with each other—balance is a key tenet in Wicca.

Wiccans usually wear a pentacle point-up. We move from the point at top (Aether) the intangible, to the semi-intangible realm (Fire and Air) to the tangible realm (Water and Earth).

I say usually because some Wiccan trads also occasionally use the pentagram point down. No, this does not represent Satanism; in Wicca, the pentagram has nothing to do with Satanism no matter which way it faces. When the pentagram is point up, it stands for Spirit (Aether) ascending over matter. When it’s point down, it represents Spirit descending into matter.

As you can see, the Elements are a rich, diverse, and complex system of symbols and energies that effect our world, our minds, and our spiritual practices. Take advantage of their potential by learning to work in harmony with them.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2013 Mackenzie Sage Wright


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      16 months ago

      hello I like this writing I have a question what elements in wicca are plodding and protective? :]

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      No joke , i was at school and my friends and I did a quiz to see what element we are and I was air. When it was second break I decided to see if I had powers. So when the wind was going I pointed the other direction and it went that way. Do I have powers.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      what if you have like more than one and if you can really connect with it


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)