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The Four Elements

The four elements in nature are earth, water, air, and fire. These are the elements as they are known in western tradition. Eastern traditions have a fifth element, but this website will deal only with the western four.

The ancients tried to understand the world as being made up of these four elements. All matter, the theory went, is a combination of fire, water, earth and air. A newcomer to esoteric teachings may want to begin with the four elements as they provide a general overview of the occult. Astrology signs are divided into earth signs, water signs, air signs and fire signs, each personality exhibiting some of the traits of each element. The four suits in the tarot are linked to the elements as well.

Although our attempt to understand the world through science has grown beyond the four elements, an understanding of the elements is still useful in psychology. Carl Jung used the four elements as inspiration for his personality types: sensing, feeling, thinking and intuiting.


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