Ever have that overwhelming sense of peace and nothing else mattered at all, and all your problems, after a stressful day, seem unimportant?  You probably had contact with an “Elemental”.  Elementals are “Nature’s Angels” (according to some) and they are referred to by various names including Fairies, Elves, Devas, Brownies, Leprechauns, Gnomes, Sprites, Pixies, Banshees, Goblins, Dryads, Mermaids, Trolls, Dragons, Griffins, and numerous others. They are ruled or governed over by higher spirits such as devas or archangels (which in modern witchcraft are called Lords of the Watchtowers, the Guardians, or the Mighty Ones). Generally elementals are looked upon as benevolent creatures that maintain natural harmony.

But won’t be getting into angels as of yet. That’ll be for another post. However, like Angels, Elementals have a recognizable appearance consistently depicted by the archetypal language of art and literature. For example, it is easy to determine if a drawing is an Angel or a winged elemental. Angels have feathered bird-like wings and the winged Elementals have wings that look like a butterfly or other non-bird-like wings.

An Elemental is a spirit embodying one of the five elements: Earth (solid), Water (liquid), Wind (gas), Fire (heat), Aether (quintessence/ spirit/Akasha.) Elemental spirits possess supernatural powers and are usually invisible to humans, living among the trees, rivers, plants, bogs, mountains, and minerals. They attach themselves to practically every natural thing. Earthly Elementals are the metaphysical (beyond the physics) cause of earthquakes, floods, gales, thunderstorms, and wild-fires. More importantly, Earthly Elementals are responsible for creating, sustaining, and renewing life on Earth.

Elementals are of a lower type of nature spirit. They are believed to exist as the life force in all living things. They are said to even exist in the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water; the planets, stars, and the signs of the zodiac; and the hours of the day and night.

Long before Angels, there were Elementals who inhabited all things.  Elementals do appear to clairvoyants and are easily recognizable. Many are claimed to wear clothes and jewelry. Gnomes are dwarfish living in caves and mountains. Sylphs appear as butterflies, undines as waves, and salamanders as lizard-like creatures that frolic in flames.

If they choose to show themselves to you, they may choose a form that you will recognize and be comfortable with or will associate with the element they represent. A fire elemental may appear as a spark, a face in a candle flame or bonfire, or simply a sudden warm spot. A water elemental may be a cold spot. An air elemental could be a sudden breeze or tiny whirlwind in the dust. A smell, taste, or an unexplained pebble in your shoe could be evidence of the earth elementals at play.

Elementals are very mischievous and like to play, but their play may also appear to us as disasters rather than play, such as thunderstorms, blizzards, raging seas.  When Elementals decide to enjoy themselves, it’s best for us humans to take cover and hope they tire soon.  Contrary to how it seems, Elementals activities are not always destructive, even though it may seem that way to humans at times. The elementals have their own agenda and they have a definite purpose, which we may not understand, but may be for the good of the planet as a whole.

Also included among elementals are elves who live in woods and along seashores, and household spirits such as goblins, brownies, bogles, and kobolds. Sometimes fairies are included within the elemental category, and also mannikins which are male fairies having the attributes of elves, gnomes, and brownies.

In the folklore among many Native North American tribes, water babies, that are small in human form, inhabit lakes, streams, springs, and other bodies of water. They are not malicious, but do at times play tricks on humans, and are feared.

Other types of “little people” as they are called do inhabit forests and mountains. Some are said to possess powerful medicine which they frequently bestow on humans in times of need.

Thus far elementals, except the water babies, seem like nice, friendly little creatures of nature. But, others share a different viewpoint. Although the elementals are classed as nature spirits, they are thought by some to be entities of the astral plane.

Many believe Elementals are from a different realm, coming and going between our realm and theirs at their leisure.  According to Quantum Physics, there are parallel universes much like our own, but in some of them animals who are extinct here, still exist  there.  Wars have had different outcomes.  Unicorns run and graze freely.  Ideas that are accepted there, but aren’t believed here.  Elementals live in the realms where they are accepted and they can live freely and they easily travel between the universes where there is an overlap of the two universes.  You can say, like a portal. 

 The origin of the belief in their existence seems to be similar to the one previously mentioned; the belief in elementals was at its height when everything in nature was thought to possess life, and these spirits were thought to live in every tree, stream, hill, cloud, and boulder.

Some writers describe them as evil, others as evil or just mischievous, others say they are both good and bad. The latter description is derived from the Greek term “daimone.” They also have been classed somewhere between angels and men, and can materialize in animal or human form.

Out of the conjunction of folklore and demonology comes the succubi (an incubus being the male counterpart). In rabbinical writings the first of all succubi was Lilith who was the personification of feminine lust, and mated with Adam before Eve. Some say she seduced Adam. Others claim she conceived from his nocturnal emissions spilt during his sleep. Either way, elementals, such as the satyr, elves, and the like which inhabit the secret parts of the earth invisible to normal man, resulted from Lilith’s conception. Some occultists still hold creation of these invisible creatures still continues.

Most occultists and Neo-pagan witches believe these spirits possess supernatural powers and are usually invisible to humans, living among the trees, rivers, plants, bogs, mountains, and minerals. They attach themselves to practically every natural thing.

Animism, which is oldest known human spiritual practice, is the belief Elementals inhabit all things. The belief in Elementals goes back to before the beginning of religion.  This is evident in anthropoligical records of indigenous beliefs and practices throughout the world, including Australian Aboriginies who have the oldest continuous culture. In China, for example, they watch over the rice, silk, roads, gateways, and other things. In the Shinto religion of Japan there is worship of nature, nature forces, and nature spirits.

Nature spirit worship was also practiced by the Greeks and Romans who believed spirits inhabited every glen, pool, and even the air. As can be seen there are many incidences of the universality of nature spirit worship.  Animism, which is believed to be the original religion of humankind, believed that Elementals inhabit all things. 

The origin of the belief in their existence seems to be similar to the one previously mentioned; the belief in elementals was at its height when everything in nature was thought to possess life, and these spirits were thought to live in every tree, stream, hill, cloud, and boulder.

There was a time when most people freely believed in Elementals, until the church convinced them they didn’t exist.  Now, because people can’t see them, they don’t believe they exist.  Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.  There has been so much research done on what people see, in plain sight.  One such experiment was done by Daniel J. Simons & Christopher F. Chabris from the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Briefly, in this study, people were asked to watch a video of a basketball game and to keep track of the team with the ball.  The people were so intent on the teams, half of them never noticed a woman in a gorilla suit walking across the middle of the screen during the game.  Because some of the people didn’t see the gorilla, does that mean she didn’t exist?

Despite his outstanding contributions to medical science, Paracelsus, physician, alchemist mystic and medical critic, was a believer in supernatural things, intuition and the invisible causes of illness.  His major work was in reconciling the art of healing with Christian and Pagan religion, studying the philosophy of spiritual substance, warning his contemporaries that to divide therapy from religion was a grave error in judgment.  He believed the advancement of practical therapy depended upon a continuous exploration of the invisible side of nature, a search for causes and the realization that man was not simply a physical creature, but a living soul whose internal attitudes could profoundly affect his health. Concerning Elementals, Paracelsus said: 

“The Elementals are not properly spirits, because they have flesh, blood and bones; they live and propagate offspring; they eat and talk, act and sleep.  They are beings occupying a space between men and spirits, resembling men and women in their organization and form and resembling spirits in the rapidity of their locomotion.” Paracelsus 

Some believe elementals lack souls and seek sexual union with humans in order to acquire one. They are capable of copulating and bearing children. Folklore contains many tales of such prodigies such as Hercules, Achilies, Plato, Alexander the Great, and Julius Caesar. Many are known to have existed in the royal and ducal houses of France and England. Among them are the Merovingian and Carlovingian kings (the latter included Charlemagne) to name a few, although there were others. Folklore seems to have a fascination for human-elemental unions.

Some elementals are said to be deceitful and hateful toward human beings and enjoy causing accidents and tragedies. Frequently these entities are associated with ritual magic and sent on psychic attacks by magicians. The practitioners of such magic say when elementals are summoned they attach themselves to the human aura. Unless they are dispatched when their mission is accomplished they unnecessarily drain energy from the aura.

Also, along with this category of elementals may fall confused spirits which are attached to the aura of their victims. If these spirits are not properly detached from their victims through deposition they can be extremely troublesome.

Artificially created elementals are commonly called thought-forms. They are generally considered non-physical entities existing in the mental or astral plane. They do affect the human aura, which can be seen by clairvoyants, and sensed by others on an intuitive level. Thought-forms radiate out and attack sympathetic essences.

There are many people who study and practice rituals to invoke Elementals. These include Wiccans and followers of nature based religions, as well as Freemasons studying the esoteric knowledge and the practices of alchemy and witchcraft. The belief of animism still exists among many people who believe that all things possess life, which is especially true among most occultists and Neo-pagan witches.

Activating Elementals is performed by the conscious act of the practitioner personifying an object of focus and animating the spirit. The practice involves ceremony and ritual with clearly defined positions and a fastidiousness to order which invoke the spirit through charms, incantations and signs. The practice has a high degree of caution. Given the powerful and the important role of Elementals, participants must ask themselves why they are interceding into the Elemental realm. The thoughts and feelings of the participant are in equilibrium with the Elemental. In other words, the way the participant affects the Elemental is equal to the way the Elemental will affect the participant. Impure practitioners who transfer any negative affects onto another person by changing positions achieve short term gain. However, it returns to the initiating participant with long term consequences.

Usually Elemental ceremonies involve communion with the spirits to reconcile and cleanse negative acts on the natural world, to ask for blessings and gifts of nature to continue, and to thank the elemental spirits for their life giving purpose.

An early modern reference of elementals appears in the 16th century alchemical works of Paracelsus. His works grouped the Elementals into four of the five elements:[2]

  • Gnome, Earth Elemental.
  • Undines (also known as Nymph), Water Elemental.
  • Sylph, Air Elemental (also know as Wind Elemental).
  • Salamander, Fire Elemental.

The Neoplatonic Greeks (ca. third century AD) grouped the elementals according to the four elements of life. The elementals of the earth are the gnomes, ruled by the angel Ariel; the ones of the air are the sylphs, ruled by Cherub; the ones of the water are the undines, ruled by Tharsis; and there are five elementals that are salamanders, ruled by Seraph. Porclus, in the fifth century, added a fifth group which dwells beneath the ground; and in the eleventh century Psellus included a sixth group, the ‘lucifugum’ which means “fly-the-light.”

There is a group of Elementals for each of the elements – Earth, Air, Water and Fire.  Below is a brief description of some, but not all, creatures of the four elements.


Earth:  Gnomes

“The type of gnome most frequently seen is the brownie, or elf, a mischievous and grotesque little creature from twelve to eighteen inches high, usually dressed in green or russet brown.  Most of them appear as very aged, often with long white beards, and their figures are inclined to rotundity.  They can be seen scampering out of holes in the stumps of trees and sometimes they vanish by actually dissolving into the tree itself.” Paracelsus

More commonly known as dwarves or goblins, they are concerned with the products and treasures of the earth.  Being of the earth, Gnomes usually live in the soil, rocks, beneath the ground, and under the tree roots.  Gnomes will only help humans if they have been considerate of nature and treat it well.  They are very helpful of those who have established a connection with them through prior acts of kindness.  When working with humans, Gnomes are most helpful with healing the bones. 

The subgroups of the Earth Gnomes consist of Brownies, Dryads, Durdalis, Earth Spirits, Elves, Hamadryads, Pans, Pygmies, Sylvestres, and Satyrs.


Air:  Sylphs

The sylphs are the air spirits. Their element has the highest vibratory rate.  They are said to live on the tops of mountains. The leader of the sylphs is a being called Queen Paralda who is said to dwell on the highest mountain of Earth. 

They often assume human form but only for short periods of time and they are said to be the most beautiful of all the elementals.  They are usually seen with wings, looking like cherubs or fairies. They are said to leave beautiful green rings in meadows and fields caused by bending the dewy grass caused by their dancing in circles.  Because of their connection to air, which is associated with the mental aspect, one of their functions is to help humans receive inspiration.  The sylphs are drawn to those who use their minds, particularly those on creative arts. 

Sylphs are usually sympathetic of human endeavors and for the most part their actions towards them are kindly and thoughtful. The Sylphs can have a profound and powerful influence on the human mental body and thought, and, they are responsible for being the primary impetus behind both inspirational art and inventions


Water:  Undines

The water spirits are called Undines. This name was first used by Swiss metaphysician Paracelsus in the early 16th century.[3]  They closely resemble humans in appearance and size, except for those inhabiting smaller streams and ponds.  They are beautiful, emotional, and graceful Nature Spirits who dress themselves in greenish, sea colored garb that has both a shimmering consistency and a watery texture.  Their ruler is known as Necksa who they love, serve, and honor unceasingly.

Since their purpose is to direct the flow and course of the waters of the planet, they live in coral caves, fountains, lakes, marshlands, rivers, seas, waterfalls, and underneath lily pads. Besides caring for plants both above and below the surface of the water, the Undines are concerned with the movements of water and how they relate to human emotions and soul responses. 

The Undines and their subgroups are friendly, approachable, and are very willing to work with people and to help them.  Etheric in nature, they exist within the water itself and this is why they can’t be seen with the normal physical vision.  

The subgroups of the Water Undines consist of Limoniades, Mermaids, Naiads, Oceanid, Oreads, Potamides, Sea Maids.


Fire:  Salamanders

“Salamanders have been seen in the shape of fiery balls, or tongues of fire, running over the fields, or peering in houses.”  Paracelsus

The salamanders are the spirit of fire. They keep us warm and work through the liver, bloodstream and emotions.  Without these beings, fire cannot exist. You cannot light a match without a salamander’s being present.  They are considered the strongest and most powerful of all the elementals.

Their ruler is a magnificent flaming being called Djin. On the spiritual level, they also help to awaken kundalini.  Salamanders will always help people who are friendly towards them and keep their heart fires burning.  They also have special influence over those with fiery tempers.

The basic concept of an Elemental refers to the ancient idea of the elements Earth, Water, Wind, Fire, and Aether as the fundamental building blocks of nature. This system prevailed in the Classical world. This paradigm was highly influential in Medieval natural philosophy, and Paracelsus drew a range of mythological beings into this paradigm by identifying them as belonging to one of the four elemental types.

Interest in the elementals increased during the Middle Ages and Renaissance when practitioners experimenting with alchemy and magic sought to acquire nature’s secrets so to be able to control their forces. The five elements earth, water, wind, fire, and aether are analogous to the five states of nature modelled in contempory physics (ie. solid, liquid, gas, plasma, and Bose–Einstein condensate.) From a metaphysical point of view, the ancient elements do not contradict modern physics tabling 92 natural occuring elements ranging from hydrogen (lightest) to Uranium (heaviest). In industry the four Elements of Earth, Water, Wind , and Fire are powers used to charm and temper the natural order of elements like iron into steel through heat (plasma), molten iron (liquid), and iron, carbon & chrome (solids). Turning lead into gold, either in a physical or metaphysical sense, is one of the enduring legacies of Elemental folklore. 

(( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elemental ))

 (( http://www.angelfocus.com/elementals.htm ))

(( http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/e/elementals.html ))


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