Hedge Witch: Into the Wilds…

Let me take you on a journey through the wilds of nature and back to the roots and bones of witchcraft, a natural witchcraft that works with the seasons and all the natural items that Mother Nature provides drawing on magical folk lore with a dash of hedge witch and gypsy magic too.

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The Elements

 

The Elements

The five elements are very important within Witchcraft.  Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Spirit make up the elements.  Each one has its own unique energy and characteristics.

Earth

When I think of Earth I think about soil.  Soil contains and keeps all the minerals and moisture that all the plants on the planet need to live.  Earth is everything we are and everything we have comes from the element of Earth.  We are born of it and we return to it at the end of our lives.  Earth is the foundation so it is no wonder that the element of Earth is associated with abundance and prosperity.  Earth also stabilises and grounds us, think of the grounding exercise mentioned earlier – it involves not only trees that grow but the earth, soil and rock of the planet.

Earth is associated with North, with the season of winter and the advancement of old age.  Winter, to me at least, is a time of reflecting.  The trees and plants and even the animals have all withdrawn into Mother Earth to recuperate, to replenish, ready to venture forth in the spring, renewed and refreshed.

Don’t forget to look after this element, the planet, the environment around you.  It can even be something small like picking up a piece of litter.

Earth has the colours of the season of winter those of the dark nights, brown soil, dark grassy landscape and the white of frost and snow. It is also the time of the Cailleach; she is the Goddess of Winter.

To represent this element you could use a small dish of soil, an earthenware dish, a stone, a pebble, a crystal or even a piece of wood.

Air

When I think of the element of Air I get an image of a bright blue sky with wispy white clouds comes to my mind.  The sky is limit less; you can’t see an end to it. 

Air is all about intellect, truth and knowledge.   Air means truth, truth in who you really are and the freedom that comes with that realisation. 

Think about the qualities of the wind too, when it whips up the leaves and sends them dancing around.  When a wisp of breeze catches your hair.  There is nothing quite like the feeling of standing on top of a windy hill with your arms outstretched just letting the wind wrap around you.  Don’t forget that air also has its destructive side, think of hurricanes and tornadoes.

Air represents East, the season of spring and youth. It is the place of hope and new beginnings. We get up, we start each new day fresh with new opportunities to learn and grow. We go out into the world to go about our business.

Spring has the same feeling – fresh, new energy.   We have hibernated over winter, dreaming and planning.  Now it is time to put those plans into action. 

Youth is an exciting and even slightly scary time.  We set out on our own, starting to explore the big world for ourselves.  New experiences, new people, new ventures.   This is the time when we start to discover who we are.

Air is associated with thoughts.  We need air to breath, and therefore to live. The air we breathe in allows us to think clearly, to clear our minds. 

Air has the colours of spring: Yellow of the rising sun, the light blue of the sky and white of the clouds. Even pale green and pink of new foliage and blossom of Bride, the Goddess of Spring.

To represent the element of Air you might like to use feathers, incense or spring flowers.

Fire

When I think of Fire I visualise a huge bonfire, glowing red, yellow and orange.  A huge pile of crackling logs and sticks.  I can hear spitting sparks of flame and feel the heat on my face.

Fire brings warmth, comfort and protection.  It is the light in the dark that drives away outside threats.  Fire brings people together, as a community.  Although most houses now don’t have open fires in each room, a lot still have fireplaces.  The hearth is the centre of a home. 

Fire is passion; it is the burning flame inside that gives us energy and strength.  It is the fire within us that helps us to meet the challenges that life brings to us.   Fire also sparks our imagination, lights our passions and fills us with enthusiasm and encouragement.

Fire can also be destructive, but from that destruction comes renewal and rebirth – think of the Phoenix rising from the ashes.  The warning that comes with fire is that it does need to be kept in check.  A fire that causes rage can get out of hand.

Cast your mind to the blacksmith’s forge.  The blacksmith takes raw material, heats it in the fire and creates something new from it.  A transformation, this we can do with our own selves.

The fire within you is your own personal power.  It is the force that gives you confidence, it takes away the fear and challenges you to push yourself that bit further.

Fire represents the South, the season of summer and adulthood.  The Sun is at its highest point, it is when we put all our energy into projects and help them to grow and mature.  The projects that were started in the spring are now flourishing.  It is a time for energy, activity and passion.  A time to laugh, dance, sing and have fun.

Adults have experience, experience of life and who they are.  By adulthood you should have found your place in the world.  You have responsibilities, control of your life and your expectations.  Just remember to enjoy yourself too, find your inner passion and run with it!

Fire is the colour of summer: the reds of a beautiful sunset, the yellow of the Sun and even the green and bright colours of summer flowers and plants. I think of Belenos the Celtic Sun God.

To represent Fire the most obvious item is a candle, especially a red one.  You could also use a red stone/crystal.

Water

With Water my first thought is always of the ocean, of waves crashing on the shore.

What would we do without water? It sustains all life.  Without water we and all the plants and animals would not survive.  Water is very powerful – the ocean, a flood, a tidal wave.

Water is all about emotions.  Emotions flow, chop and change and rise to the surface as water does in a river, lake or ocean.  A shower of rain can be refreshing like the release of emotion or destructive like the waves on a rough sea.

Water is also cleansing and healing.  We clean ourselves, wash our food, and clean our houses and possessions with water.  Your daily household chores such as washing up can be cleansing rituals in themselves.

Water is excellent for scrying.   Divination with water uses our intuition, imagination and emotions.  Take a bowl that has a dark inside, fill it with water and drop a silver coin in the bottom.  Calm and centre yourself, look into the water and see what images come to you.

Water represents the West.  It is the season of autumn and old age.  This is the time of harvest, a time to gather in.  What we have spent the year nurturing and tending to is now ready to reap.  It is time to let go. 

As people get older and become more aware of their mortality, they seek to balance their lives. They surrender some of the hard work they have been doing and concentrate on what is most important to them. Often these are things that bring emotional fulfilment, like spending time with loved ones, or pursuing a creative dream.

Water gives us the flow of our emotions and nurtures our lives. In return, we can offer it our love. Everything we do with love, and every act of love we perform, honours Water. Love, like water, has the power of healing.

The colours of Water are the colours of the sea: the blue of the Mediterranean, and the grey of the North Sea. The black of a deep lake and the green of the sea before a storm. But also all the glorious colours of the autumn leaves that remind me of the God Mabon.

On my altar a bowl with sea shells represents Water.

Spirit

There is the fifth element, that of spirit.  To me it encompasses all the others, it is all and it is nothing.

 

 

 

Image - Marc Szeglat/Unsplash

 

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Tagged in: air earth elements Fire water
 
Rachel is a witch...has been for a very long time, not the green skinned warty kind obviously...the real sort - but she is also a working wife and mother living in Hampshire, England who has also been lucky enough to write and have published a growing stack of books on the Craft. She loves to learn she loves to study and continues to do so each and every day but has learned the most from actually getting outside and doing it. She regularly gives talks and workshops at pagan events. Rachel is also founder and an Elder at the Kitchen Witch online school of witchcraft. She likes to laugh...and eat cake...
 
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