The Five Elements – Spirit, Fire, Air, Water & Earth

The Ancient Greeks created a system composed of five elements, four of which are the components of our planet. The fifth, spirit, is also referred to as ether or quintessence, which is at the top of the Greek hierarchy; followed by fire, air, water and earth. The first three elements are considered to be spiritual, while the others are more physical in nature.

Spirit

During the Renaissance, the pentagon was adopted to represent the five elements. An upward pointing pentagon signifies spirit ruling over the other four, while one facing down shows spirit descending into matter. There is no standard symbol to represent the element, even though a circle, eight spoked wheels or spirals are used. Spirit is the bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds, representing the bridge between body and soul.

Golden Dawn Colour: Violet, Orange & White

Fire

Fire is a warm, dry element associated with strength, activity, blood and life-force. It is also used in purification and protection, driving back forces of darkness and consuming impurities. As a masculine element, fire is also the most spiritual of the earthly elements. This is because it lacks a solid physical existence, produces light and has the ability to transform objects.

Planet: Mars,

Magical Tools: Sword, Athame, Dagger or sometimes the Wand.

Zodiac Signs: Aries, Leo & Sagittarius

Golden Dawn Colour: Red

Season: Summer

Time of Day: Noon

Symbol: Triangle

Air

This element is associated with spring during which things are becoming warmer and brighter, and both animals and plants give birth to a new generation. Air is also the intangible, masculine element of intelligence and creativity. It follows fire in the hierarchy, displaying active, moist and warm tendencies.

Planet: Jupiter

Magical Tool: Wand, or sometimes Sword, Dagger or Athame

Zodiac Signs: Gemini, Libra & Aquarius

Golden Dawn Colour: Yellow

Season: Spring

Time of Day: Morning, Sunrise.

Symbol: Triangle with a line going through it.

Water

Water is a natural flowing element that is cold and moist. In direct contrast to the intellectual properties of air, it represents emotions and the unconscious. Water’s physical existence can interact with all five of our human senses. It is also the element of wisdom, representing mainly the wisdom of old age. It shows a time that is past its peak, and moving towards the end of its cycle.

Planets: Moon, Venus

Magical Tool: Cup

Zodiac Signs: Cancer, Scorpio & Pisces

Golden Dawn Colour: Blue

Season: Fall

Time of Day: Sunset

Symbol: Downward Facing Triangle

Earth

This feminine element is cold and dry and represents fertility, stability, materiality and potential. It is also considered a symbol of death and rebirth, as life comes forth from the ground and returns to it. Earth is the opposite of fire and represents the point of transformation, where the old gives way to the new.

Planet: Saturn

Magical Tool: Pentacle

Zodiac Signs: Taurus, Virgo & Capricorn

Golden Dawn Colour: Green

Season: Winter

Time of Day: Midnight

Symbol: Downward facing triangle with a line going through.

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