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The Ancients divided the world into
four basic principles or elements-- earth, water, fire, and air. That
viewpoint has mostly changed with advances of science, but the four
elements are still accepted in magick, for they are more closely linked
with emotions, the human psyche, and with nature than are modern
explanations of the world.
These magical elements are also of
some importance in astrology. Many occultists think of the magical
elements as forces, or as qualities of energy; especially within the
astral world. Each element has a symbol and color. (Common symbols are --
fire: a triangle pointing up; air: a triangle pointing up and with a
horizontal line through the middle of it; water: a triangle pointing down;
earth: a triangle pointing down and with a horizontal line through the
middle of it.)
Colors of the elements are -- earth: brown and green; water: blue;
fire: red; air: yellow...The Eastern tattvic system uses different symbols
and colors. (The tattvic symbols are briefly described later on in this
course.) The elements are often used in magick ritual.
Magick sees relationships between
things. These relationships are called 'correspondences'. Although magical
correspondences are not literally equal to one another, you can think of
them that way (such as gold equals sun). Tables of these relationships,
called 'Correspondence Tables', are available (an important one is
Crowley's '777'). Thus one thing or symbol can be used to suggest another.
This is important in magick, for the magician may surround himself with as
many appropriate correspondences as he can to vividly affect the senses;
thus making his magical contact with the inner planes more lucid.
Elementals are usually only visible
to those with clairvoyant sight and are more likely to be seen at night in
the mountains or country away from cities -- especially if you are tired
or sleepy. Although elementals exist naturally, it is also possible to
create one which will exist for a limited time -- no elemental has
immortality. A created elemental is called an 'artificial elemental'.
To the Ancients, elementals were the physical explanation of the universe. However, some contemporary occultists see them only as symbols for forces and otherwise not 'real' at all. Another word sometimes used for elemental is 'familiar' (usually in medieval witchcraft); the term is ambiguous, as it might merely be an ordinary household pet such as a dog or cat.