Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

September/October Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: Elemental Symbols

DEFINITIONS

Elemental Symbols: Much of magic is done through the mediation of the four occult elements, Fire, Air, Water, and Earth. They determine both the type of energy that accomplishes the work and the avenue through which it acts. For this reason a clear understanding and proper use of the elements is vital in ritual. Each element is represented by its own material symbol, which is placed atop the altar beside the lamp in the appropriate elemental quarter. If a ritual concerns only one element, its symbol is placed on the altar alone; if all four elements are involved, all four symbols are present.

Fire is embodied in a short rod about nine inches long. This has a very specific design in the Golden Dawn magical system, but the details are not really necessary. It is the essential shape of the rod that is most important. The nature of elemental Fire is in accord with this strongly phallic symbol.

Air is embodied in a short dagger. Again, it is the associations of the blade—its flashing quickness, its piercing quality, its brightness——that are important, not details of the hilt and so on. The difference in tone between the rod and the dagger says much about the essential difference between elemental Fire and Air.

Water is embodied in a cup or chalice. It should be rounded and womblike, enclosing and protective. It is also more harmonious if the cup is made of a watery, or at least a natural, material. Blue hand blown glass is good, or earth-tone ceramic.

Earth is embodied in the disk or pentacle. This is a flat disk painted with Earth colors. Ideally it should be made of clay or stone. Usually it is of wood. It must not be too large to conveniently hold in the hand—four inches in diameter is a good size, because four is a material, earthy number.

So far as I know, the use of elemental symbols originated with the Victorian Order of the Golden Dawn in the last century, and received its inspiration from the symbols of the lesser arcana—the number cards—of the Tarot. Specific, formal symbols of the four elements were not used in medieval times, and are not strictly necessary. However, the employment of these symbols has become almost universal in modern magic, and they can be very useful. It is important that they be made to harmonize with the sensibilities of the one who will actually use them, not merely according to some arbitrary standard.
source: Truth about Ritual Magic, Donald Tyson

Also See: Elemental Symbol

ARTICLES

Review of Legend: The Arthurian Tarot
Summary: If you are a collector, either of fine artwork or of Tarot decks, this is an excellent addition. If you are fascinated by the Arthurian myths but don’t know too much about them, this deck, combined with the book included in the set, ...
Relevance:  2 % 2%


Review of The Vampires Tarot of the Eternal Night
Summary: The theme of vampires lends itself to the shadowy aspects of human experiences. The Tarot, by its nature, sheds light in the darkness. This deck, with its dual nature, helps us explore the darkness, whether within or around us, while ...
Relevance:  2 % 2%


Review of The Gilded Tarot
Summary: A spectacularly beautiful Tarot deck using modern digital art that is firmly based on the Rider-Waite-Smith model—making it easy to use for traditionalists and beginners, as well as a compliment for any book—yet significantly original so it ...
Relevance:  2 % 2%


The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage
The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage is actually composed of three books written by a person calling himself Abraham the Jew and is supposedly intended as a gift to his son named Lamech. It was supposedly written originally in ...
Relevance:  2 % 2%


About Dream Journals
Using a Dream Journal Record the elements of a dream immediately up awakening (See: Dream Recall), but do not stop to interpret them. Later, you will also record your interpretation, and start a "dictionary" of the symbols and other elements that ...
Relevance:  2 % 2%


What is Enochian Magick
Enochian Magick is a special branch of magick that was begun in modern times by Dr. John Dee, court astrologer to Queen Elizabeth I, and his psychic partner, Edward Kelly. Dee and Kelly discovered an ancient language they called the Angelic, or ...
Relevance:  2 % 2%


The Robin Wood Tarot—A Review
Summary: A delightful delicacy in lively, stand-out color that modernizes the Rider-Waite-Smith deck in style while keeping most of the symbolism (including the medieval context) and making the characters’ personalities really apparent. This moves ...
Relevance:  2 % 2%


Animals of the Spirit Worlds
The Spirit Animal One’s personal animal guide is called the spirit animal or medicine animal. In shamanism, the spirit animal is the psychopomp: the escort of souls to the spirit world. It is the embodiment of the collective animal ...
Relevance:  2 % 2%


Are You Vulnerable to Psychic Attack?
The answer, in all likelihood, is yes. You are immune to psychic attack only if you have learned how to protect yourself from this kind of assault—and most people don’t even know psychic attack is possible, much less that they can learn techniques ...
Relevance:  2 % 2%


Can Astral Projection Be Dangerous?
We have looked at astral projection from a number of different points of view. We have seen what happens when the astral body separates momentarily from the physical body; we have traveled around the world, into other realms with it; we have ...
Relevance:  2 % 2%


Astrology
Astrology is a science that examines the action of celestial bodies upon all living beings, non-living objects, and earthly conditions, as well as their reactions to such influences. The study of the stars is one of the oldest sciences known to ...
Relevance:  2 % 2%



I am often asked how I catch some of the most incredible evidence ever captured on a battlefield. It is relatively simple, but many people are not willing to do what is necessary to capture a paranormal event. If, however, you are one of those rare individuals who not only want to experience the paranormal, but capture it—read on! As a means of... read this article
Gettysburg: Beyond a Shadow of a Doubt
Celtic Tree Magic: 6 Ways to Work with Sacred Trees
Ritual: Thelemic Refuge
The Dark Side of Your Moon
3 Ways (Yoga Included!) To Shift Your Body Image

Most recent posts:
Lost Souls
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Patrick Burke, co-author of the new Ghost Soldiers of Gettysburg. As an expert on battlefield and...

Samhain Thoughts...
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Sonja Sadovsky, author of the new Priestess and the Pen. The wheel turns, and another Samhain is...

Empowering Readings, part 1
When someone asks “what if” they are usually worried about the outcome of something they are considering doing. They may be looking for assurances...




Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar
82nd Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $15.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide
Complete Astrology At-A-Glance

By: Llewellyn
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN