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
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

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

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

November/December Gift Guide 2015 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 Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

An Introduction to Elemental Spells

This article was written by Deborah Lipp
posted under Pagan

Some people love spellbooks, and some people hate them. The lovable part is the neat tips and tricks; new little ideas, bits of folklore that dress up magic and make it both more fun and more powerful. I like flipping through and thinking, “Oooh … red thread! I never thought of that.”

The bad part is how beginners seem to depend upon them; it’s as if they are helpless to create their own spells for their own purposes. This is unfortunate, because no matter how many spellbooks are on your shelves, your situation is always just a little bit different from any spell you find. A good spellbook should teach you the how and why of spell construction, just as a good cookbook should teach you something about food and cooking. Recipes alone aren’t enough.

Most importantly, The Way of Four Spellbook is about my continuing obsession with the four elements. While writing The Way of Four, I became captivated by the idea of presenting elemental spells for elemental purposes. I began to contemplate: What is an elemental spell?

I realized there were two entirely different answers to this question: An elemental spell is any spell that fulfills an elemental purpose (e.g. a Water spell is a spell with a Watery goal), or it is a spell using one or more elements to achieve its goal (e.g. if you soak something, it’s a Water spell). I had never seen anyone put these two kinds of elemental spells together.

I wrote four spells for The Way of Four, each an example of achieving an elemental goal through the use of that element. For Air, I wrote a spell to improve school performance that involves writing and burning sage. Knowledge, education, writing, and sage are all associated with Air. Creating those four spells opened the proverbial can of worms. First, it was fun. Pulling together the disparate ideas that can be connected through an element was like solving a puzzle. This sense of being engaged, this fascination, is part of what makes magic work. So I knew that this sort of spell had the opportunity to be quite effective.

Second, the more I wrote, the more I realized was being left unsaid. How could I include a writing spell without explaining what a writing spell was, how it worked, and what sort of variations were possible? In fact, how could I include any spell without first introducing the nature of magic itself? There was so much exposition left out of The Way of Four, simply because the spells were only a part of a chapter. Several times while writing, I used phrases like, “A whole book could be written about this, but I’ll be brief.” After using that “I could write a book” canard the third or fourth time, I realized I really should.

In The Way of Four Spellbook I dive deeply into waters I had only waded through before. I start with what magic is and what a spell is. I include reasons to do spells, and reasons not to do them. I include a basic outline for the steps of any spell and answer common questions in a meaty chapter that I enjoyed writing. So much so, in fact, that I now use it as the basis for a workshop, so if you see me at a festival, you might catch “The Structure of Spellcasting.”

After reviewing the elements, I launch into how they might be used in spells. What are Air goals? Fire goals? Water goals? Earth goals? When and why do you use all four elements in a spell? I thought this was necessary, because not all spells are elemental spells. But the premise of this book is elemental spells, so we move to those chapters quickly.

Each chapter presents a type of elemental spell, and teaches you how it’s done. In the Fire chapter, for example, I note that both candles and sex are Fiery. So there’s a discussion of the many different types of candle spells, followed by sample candle spells for Fiery goals. Then there’s a discussion of sex magic, followed by a sex spell for a different Fiery goal. The Fire chapter includes a total of seven different spells, each using a different technique taught in the chapter, and each achieving a different Fire goal.

It was fun setting up various spells to see how to make them work, and I’m pleased with the result. In a field laden with recipe books, I feel I’ve presented something else; something about the principles of “cooking” with the elements.

Deborah LippDeborah Lipp
Deborah Lipp was initiated into a traditional Gardnerian coven of Witches in 1981, became a High Priestess in 1986, and has been teaching Wicca and running Pagan circles ever since. She has appeared in various media discussing Wicca, including the A&E...  Read more


The Elements of Ritual
The Elements of Ritual
Air, Fire, Water & Earth in the Wiccan Circle
Deborah Lipp
$21.95 US | Add to Cart
The Way of Four Spellbook
The Way of Four Spellbook
Working Magic with the Elements
Deborah Lipp
$17.99 US,  $20.95 CAN | Add to Cart
The Way of Four
The Way of Four
Create Elemental Balance in Your Life
Deborah Lipp
$23.95 US | Add to Cart

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

Sitting here in the dark, watching the moon shine over the autumn landscape (my favorite time of year) I find myself reflecting on the question that is most frequently asked of me: "How do I know if my house is haunted?" The question seems so simple, so endearing and direct, but it is as complex as the human mind or the spiritual realm and it... read this article
Chakras Around the World: Are There Really Seven Chakras?
How to Successfully Navigate a Mercury Retrograde
Psychic Vision: 3 Easy Ways
An Accessible Guide to the Thoth Tarot
How Strengthening My Spirituality Helped Me With My Cancer Diagnosis

Most recent posts:
How Many Chakras Do You Have?
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Cyndi Dale, author of a number of books, including The Complete Book of Chakra Healing and the new...

The Paranormal Epiphany
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Sarah Soderlund, author of the new Haunted by the Abyss. I have the honor of talking, lecturing, and...

A Fresh View of Judgement
In my opinion, the Judgement card needs a rename as much as the Hierophant. It is such an important card and so many people seem to misunderstand it....

Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
$9.59 US,  $11.99 CAN On Sale!
Love in the Stars Love in the Stars
Find Your Perfect Match With Astrology

By: Brad Kronen
Price: $21.99 US,  $25.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2016 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2016 Astrological Calendar
83rd Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.99 CAN
$11.99 US,  $14.39 CAN On Sale!
Wheels of Life Wheels of Life
A User's Guide to the Chakra System

By: Anodea Judith
Price: $21.95 US,  $25.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
$11.19 US,  $13.59 CAN On Sale!