Each of the four elements - Air, Fire, Water and Earth - is represented by a single candle colour - yellow, red, blue and green. A coloured candle representing each of the elements can be placed at the four main compass points around the circle to mark the quarters - East, South, West and North. You can place the elemental candles either on the edge of the circle in sturdy floor-standing holders, or on small tables or plinths at the compass points. Though each element is represented by a single candle, you can use a second to increase a particular element in its own quadrant of the circle or use the elemental colour in all four quadrants. So, for example, if you were carrying out a Fire spell, you could use four red (or gold or orange) candles and begin the ritual facing South.
Some practitioners invoke Fire to conquer floods and Water to conquer drought but I believe that each element can most effectively counter excesses of itself.
Light elemental candles after the altar candles, after you have cast the circles but before lighting any wish or astrological candle. Begin in the North, with a green candle.
Green is for Earth and the North, midnight and winter. A green candle is placed at what would be the 12 o'clock position on a clock, aligned with magnetic or a symbolic North.
Earth is the element of order, both in nature and institutions such as the law, politics, finance, health and education. It also represents yin, the female, nurturing goddess aspect, Mother Earth, the home and family, as well as money and security, and is a good element to invoke when you have matters of property or money that need attention. It is also a focus for all rituals against famine, deforestation and land pollution and devastation through unwise industrialisation or building, and for caring for animals and their natural habitats.
Surround your green Earth candle with grains, berries, fruits, coins or pot pourri. Brown candles may also be used as Earth candles.
Yellow is for Air and the East, dawn and spring. A yellow candle is placed at the three o'clock position.
Air represents life itself, logic, the mind, communication, health, new beginnings, travel, learning, yang and the male god in the form of Sky deities. It is a good element to invoke if you are seeking change or when communication is proving difficult with either an individual or an organisation, and to clear stagnation of thoughts.
It is also a focus for spells against air pollution, technological devastation and storms, and for the protection of birds, butterflies and insects.
Surround your Air candles with feathers, thistledown, tiny helium balloons, model planes and ceramic or wooden birds.
Red is for Fire and the South, noon and summer. Place your red candle in the six o'clock position.
Fire represents light, the Sun, lightning, fertility, power, joy, ambition, inspiration and achievement and also destruction of what is now no longer needed.
Like Air, Fire represents the yang, male god in the form of the Sun deities. Fire rituals are good when you need power or you have an important issue that needs energy. They are effective against drought, global warming, all pollution caused by burning fuels or chemicals, forest fires and the 'slash and burn' policy in rainforests.
Surround your Fire candle with golden sunflowers or chrysanthemums, tiny mirrors that reflect the light and clear crystal quartz, which is called in the Orient 'the essence of the dragon'.
Blue is for Water and the West, dusk and autumn. A blue candle is placed in the nine o'clock position.
Water represents love, relationships, sympathy, intuition, reconciliation, harmony, healing and the cycle of birth, death and rebirth, natural cyclical evolutions from one stage to another as opposed to changes made consciously under the auspices of Air. It is also potent for fighting floods, cleansing seas, lakes and rivers of pollution, in campaigns to provide fresh water in arid places, in all initiatives towards world health and the care of whales, dolphins, seals and endangered sea creatures.
Like Earth, Water represents the yin, female goddess in the form of the Moon Goddesses.
Surround your Water candles with silver objects, sea shells and pieces of coral or, for the lunar goddesses, mother of pearl and moonstones that grow brighter as the Moon waxes.
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