Thursday, 5 January 2012

Pagan 101: Air



Air is one of the four Elementals, or life forces, of the universe. Without these four elementals, (air, fire, water and earth), life could not exist and so they are fundamental to all living things, including us humans.

We can invite these elementals to come guide and protect us, and to help us manifest our intent in ritual practises. We can invite them individually, for specific intents, or we can invite them all during circle casting (more on this in a few weeks) for a more balanced approach. 

In order to tap into and use this energy effectively, we need to understand their powers and attributes. Each elemental has certain correspondences, (i.e. associated things), that differentiate it from the other three. For example, air corresponds to the direction east, fire to south, water to west and earth to north. Air and fire are considered masculine, water and earth are considered feminine.

Correspondences Of Air

Rulers: sylphs and the fairies of winds, trees, plants and flowers
King: Paralda
Attributes: masculine, active, moist, changeable between light and strong and cold and hot
Attracted by: oils, incenses, music, sounds
Colour: yellow, white, pale blue

Direction: East
Planets: Mercury, Uranus
Time: sunrise, spring, beginnings, birth/childhood
Zodiac signs: Aquarius, Gemini, Libra
Tools: wands, musical instruments; especially wind instruments, censers, incenses, oils, bows and arrows, wind chimes, spoken or sung words, smoke

Symbols: clouds, feathers, sky, plants, herbs, flowers, trees, breath, kites 
Trees: aspen, alder
Plants: fragrant plants, wind-pollinated plants, wispy plants that move easily and/or make a sound in a breeze, mistletoe
Animals: all birds and flying animals/insects

Qualities: kindness, joy of life, open mindedness, communication and all communicative attributes (e.g. hearing, truth and lies, gossip, secrets, compliments, boasting),  intelligence and intellect, thought, ideas, knowledge, freedom, movement, inattention and fickleness, inconsistency, vibrations, wind, breezes, psychic abilities, harmony, herbal knowledge, plant growth, inspiration, aspiration, memory and forgetfulness, finding lost things, squander, optimism

I stumbled across this post from paganspath which explains how and why it is important to make your own lists of correspondences, because what works for one person in one place and time, will not necessarily work for another in different circumstances. Given this information, there will be some air correspondences that make sense to me, but will not work for you, so please do your own research and observations and create your own personalised lists of correspondence. A good place to start would be with one of the lists you can find from a Google search, or my own list above, and amend, delete and add to it after taking your own feelings and observations into account.

Practical uses and application

Using the list of correspondences you can invite air to manifest any intent involving any of the things listed. For example, you could hang a pale blue feather on an Eastern wall to help you find a lost object. Or you could blow a flute, ring a bell, or waft incense into all the corners of your home, or set up a dedicated 'Air' altar with several objects to bring change and movement when your life has become stagnant. You could enhance the power of this action by doing it at sunrise, or in the spring. 

Your ritual can involve a simple thought, long meditation, prayer and or any actions such as placing a dedicated object somewhere, dancing, singing, creating artwork, making use of a relevant object (such as flying a kite, lighting a candle, throwing feathers into the wind, planting a seed) or anything you can think of that makes use of your list of correspondences.

As another example, an owl picture like the one below available in my shop here could be hung to enhance one's knowledge (and communication of that knowledge) during a period of study or before an upcoming exam.

The owl is a popular and well-known symbol of knowledge. This one, being made of book pages, has an extra added air correspondence and to enhance its power further it could be hung on an Eastern wall. These are just a few examples of how you can use the list of Air Correspondences (and others) to enhance your life in a positive way.

I find that the more involved these sort of rituals are, the more effective they are. And so it's worth going through your list of correspondences meticulously to pick out all the things (that are most meaningful and evocative in your view) you can incorporate into your ritual, whether these are times, places, objects, symbols or actions, or all of these drawn together into a more elaborate ritual.

Image acknowledgements:
four elementals


  1. A lovely post on the Element Air. I liked your use of photos too. Great that you talked about correspondences and the need for us all to find our own individual ones. You've given me some good ideas. Thank you.

  2. Lovely post :o) I too really liked the fact you re-affirmed to people that what is right for one person might not be for another. Its something I feel very personal about along my Pagan Path....its exactly that its mine but you'll meet other that share areas of that along the way :o) Wonderful x

  3. Lovely post on Air! I find connecting to air challenging, and in addition to trying some of your ideas, you've inspired me to blog about it! Blessings!

  4. I love the owl from the book ages. I'm always trying to think of cute ways of representing the elements for my crafts. That takes the cake. :)

  5. Thanks for blogging about this. As someone who has had no contact with paganism, i'm fascinated to hear and understand the components, rituals and belief system that make it up. Looking forward to more :)

  6. The owl is awesome! And that is coming from someone with a phobia of owls :)

  7. I'm loving the owl from the book pages! Very awesome. I don't have a list of correspondences as of yet, so thank you for a sort of starting list of what I need to explore in the future!

  8. I too liked the owl from book pages. Thank you for the refresher on the Air Elementals.

  9. Great post!I defo agree that one should always work to incorporate their own correspondences as well as the more traditional ones when it comes to elemental symbolism. I personally have alot of my own correspondences for air in the personified form of birds, simply because they comeinto play so much in the Lore of Freyja, my personal patron you could say for lack of a better term. Looking forward to reading your next post!

    In Frith,

  10. thank you for the lovely post.