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

Earth, Air, Fire & Water: The Birth of the Book

This article was written by Scott Cunningham
posted under Pagan

Originally published in Llewellyn's New Times, issue number 921.

When I was fifteen years old, I was handed a visa of sorts. This “visa” consisted of an open invitation to explore the byways of human thought and practice that have become known as magic.

I eagerly took up this work, for nothing in my life until that time had sparked all three levels (mental, emotional and spiritual) of my being. Magic seemed to offer everything to me.

Dorothy, the girl who handed me this mystic key, was my first guide. We chanted on moon-silvered beaches; performed gathering rites while picking herbs on the surrounding mountains; lit perfumed candles; divined the future; watched the stars at night and listened to the wind.

earthairfirewaterSoon, eager for knowledge, I expanded my knowledge with old books and other teachers. Though I was simultaneously studying Wicca, I was equally interested in folk magic—that misunderstood practice that was accepted, for many centuries, as a natural, positive tool of transformation.

I soon learned of the Elements. Earth, Air, Fire and Water were potent sources of energy upon which magicians have always called. I began keeping lists of Elemental correspondences in my bound spellbooks, carefully recording this information by candlelight with a dip pen and a bottle of black ink.

I also explored the Elements to determine their magical qualities. Swimming in the sea or pools brought a greater understanding of Water’s loving and psychic energy. Building and lighting bonfires got me in touch with Fire’s transformative properties (which I later applied during candle magic). Raising herbs and hiking in the mountains connected me with the Earth’s fertility (soon utilized in money magic), and I learned to call the winds by the garden gate (which was later useful for spells involving travel).

In my studies, I traveled throughout time and space to uncover the secrets of folk magic. By comparing and compiling those mysteries with those I had been taught and had experienced, I formed a system of natural magic built along ancient lines.

Each day brought new discoveries, and I spent many nights putting this knowledge into practice. My father, who is a writer, urged me to record some of this lore in book form. I wrote Magical Herbalism between 1976-79, then sent it to Llewellyn with the hope that it would be published.

By the time it was released in the spring of 1982, I was busy writing on other forms of folk magic: the Elements,magicalherbalism knots, mirrors, the sea, stones, images, and trees. This was the magic that I had learned and had practiced for so many years. In 1983, Llewellyn published this information in Earth Power. I was 27.

This book’s great popularity surprised me, though perhaps it shouldn’t have, for most other texts of the day had been filled with hate spells, garbled (and unworkable) rituals and noisome ingredients. Earth Power, with its gentle message of magic as a tool of love, seemed to speak to a new generation eager to rediscover the old ways.

After the publication of Earth Power I wrote many other books on a variety of magical topics and even created a video tape. Earth Power continued to sell, and I received letters from around the world regarding this book. Many of their writers asked me to produce another work concerning this way of magic.

I began collecting notes toward this end in the late 1980s. Then, in April of 1990, I decided that it was finally time to work on a continuation of Earth Power.

I threw myself into this task. Several times while writing it I thought of a fabulous ritual to include—only to remember that it had appeared in Earth Power.

So I struck out into rarely explored territory. Much of this book details the uses of unusual tools of magic (such as stars, sand, magnets, clay, snow, wells, and ice) as well as new looks at stones, candles, mirrors, and the sea. I also included evocative preparatory chants, a basic introduction to magic, and two ecological rituals.

earthpowerBut this didn’t seem to be enough, so I wrote an additional chapter (the first of its kind) outlining, in explicit detail, a simple method of creating spells for a variety of purposes. I completed the book on November 1, 1991. It is now available.

Earth, Air, Fire & Water
continues the magic begun in Earth Power. Though it’s a simple guide to this art, I wrote it with the hope that this book’s words would provide inspiration and useful tools to those who seek to improve their lives.

True natural magic is a process of inner transformation, one in which we join our energies with those of the Elements to create positive change. In this age of great uncertainty and doubt, magic can be a powerfully effective ally.

Earth, Air, Fire & Water awaits those who feel the call of the green earth; who hear the wind’s whispers; feel the flickering flames and drink from rippling waters. It’s based on the premise that all things contain energy, and that this energy can be used to create powerful, positive change.

Magic comes to life only in the hands of its practitioners. May your magic live with Earth, Air, Fire & Water.

Scott CunninghamScott Cunningham
Scott Cunningham practiced magic actively for over twenty years. He was the author of more than fifty books covering both fiction and non-fiction subject matter; sixteen of his titles are published by Llewellyn Publications. Scott's books reflect a broad...  Read more


Earth Power
Earth Power
Techniques of Natural Magic
Scott Cunningham
$12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN | Add to Cart
Earth, Air, Fire & Water
Over 200,000 sold!
Earth, Air, Fire & Water
More Techniques of Natural Magic
Scott Cunningham
$13.99 US,  $15.95 CAN | Add to Cart
Magical Herbalism
Magical Herbalism
The Secret Craft of the Wise
Scott Cunningham
$13.99 US,  $15.95 CAN | 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!