Back to the Four Elements

Elementals are mystical creatures that dwell within the spirit realm of the elements. Elementals can be related to "nature spirits". These are the spirits that govern all nature, the forces of life that may be summoned to assist in working magick. It's important therefore to understand who they are and what they represent. Earth spirits are known as Gnomes, Air spirits as Sylphs, Fire spirits as Salamanders, and Water spirits are called Undines.

After the Wiccan circle is formed and consecrated with the elements, after calling the Quarters to preside and watch over the proceedings, specific elementals whose natures best suit the work or rite being carried out may then be invited to participate. Care needs to be taken when calling the aid of elementals. Elementals are not always the helpful little creatures we'd like them to be, and can be mischievous, bad tempered little devils if allowed to get out of control.


Gnomes are beings associated with the element of Earth. They possess a vibratory rate that makes them invisible to humans, but one that is still close enough to the lower physical vibration for them to interact with it. Their actions are reflected in the presence of mineral deposits, the erosion of rock, and the formation of crystals and other geological formations.

In ancient legends the Gnomes were protectors of secret treasures concealed in vast caverns beneath the earth. The old sages taught that the Gnomes were not naturally inclined to aid humankind, but if a person won their confidence and trust they would prove to be valuable allies. However, like all elementals, it was dangerous to deceive them or misuse their aid. Elementals work through the subjective nature of men and women, and can influence the human mind. Gnomes have the capability to bring about gloom, melancholy, and despair. Conversely, Gnomes can also bestow confidence, steadfastness, and endurance.

Gnomes are ruled by a king whose name is Gob. His followers came to be called Goblins as tales of them were told and retold over the centuries. They usually appear to humans as small, dwarf-like creatures.

Gnomes are the most substantial of the elementals. They dwell in holes, mines, and caverns. They are the most like us in personality, with all its good and bad points, but they are especially prey to all the weaknesses in human nature. They are called upon for help with money matters, stability, and growth.


Sylphs are beings associated with the element of Air. Their activity is reflected in the gathering of clouds, the formation of snowflakes, and the growth and maturity of all plant life. They are the spirits of the wind, and were the source of many Greek myths and legends. Among the Elementals as a whole, Sylphs are of the highest vibration and can thus traverse the dimensions more or less at will.

The Sylphs have a ruler whose name is Paralda. Though essentially creatures of the air, Sylphs reside on high mountain tops. Legend has it that they once spoke to human through caverns and were the voices of ancient oracles.

Sylphs are associated with the activity of the human mind. They can influence and inspire humans; often they are said to gather around the poet or artist in order to impart their inner visions of spiritual beauty. They usually appear to humans in the classic fairy image.

Sylphs are active, quick of movement and speech. They are clever and intelligent, but can be subtle in their persuasiveness. By nature, Sylphs are aloof and detached. They're called for help in creation or resolution of issues involving the intelligence and the mind, or products of intellect.


Undines are beings associated with the element of Water. In ancient lore they are recalled in the images of water nymphs and mermaids. Springs, streams, and wells are favored by Undines. Their traditional abodes were among marsh reeds and vegetation growing alongside rivers and lakes.

Undines are ruled by Necksa. They are friendly toward humans and their presence has a strong influence on our emotional well-being. The moodiness of an individual can be traced to their elemental nature (such as when we say that a person is "all washed out"). Just as water can be beautiful in a fall or river, it can also be unattractive in a stagnant pool.

The activity of Undines is responsible for the vitality within all liquids - therefore they play a vital role in plant, animal, and human life. Undines appear to human most often in full human shape, as beautiful maidens.

Undines are seen as sensual and graceful in their movements, with very strong emotions. Undines are the most human and seductive of the four elemental types. They tend to be sympathetic and loving, and are most helpful in matters dealing with emotional issues, such as love and friendship, desire and lust.


Salamanders are beings associated with the element of Fire. It is through their activity that fire exists and can be used by humankind. Fire elementals were the first elementals to befriend humans, teaching our ancestors how to make campfires. Salamanders are ruled by king called Djin.

Salamanders move about most freely at night, appearing as balls of light drifting across various bodies of water. Old-time sailors often saw them investigating the sails of their ships - from this came the term "St. Elmo's fire", describing the mysterious forks of flame that often appeared on old sailing vessels.

Salamanders have a profound effect on human nature since they are linked to the activity of our bodies through which we maintain a body temperature. They tend to influence general temperament, such as when someone is "hot-blooded" or a "hothead". Salamanders often appear to humans in the shape of small, lizard-like flames.

Salamanders are explosive, quick in movement, and very bright. They are also unstable, especially with respect to emotions. Fire is traditionally associated with Will, so one can expect Salamanders to be forceful and highly opinionated. They are called upon to help in matters involving the discipline and exercise of the Will and Power, including willpower, conflicts with others, war, and courage. However, due to their unstable natures, calling upon Salamanders carries its own risks as fire-based anomalies may be experienced in the general area in which they're called.