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Elemental Symbols


The Greeks proposed the existence of five basic elements. Of these, four were the physical elements – fire, air, water and earth – of which the entire world is composed. Alchemists eventually associated four triangular symbols to represent these elements.

The fifth element, which goes by a variety of names, is more rarefied than the four physical elements. Some simply call it Spirit. Others call it Aether or Quintessence (literally "fifth element" in Latin).

In traditional Western occult theory, the elements are hierarchical - spirit, fire, air, water and earth – with the first elements being more spiritual and perfect and the last elements being more material and base. Some modern systems, such as Wicca, view the elements as equal.

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Symbol of elemental fireFireSymbol of Elemental AirAirSymbol of Elemental WaterWaterSymbol of Elemental EarthEarth
circleSpiritFour Elements and their QualitiesElemental QualitiesFive Elements and PentagramElemental PentagramElemental Correspondences - Seasons, Cardinal Directions, Time of Day, Moon PhasesElemental Correspondences

Catherine Beyer
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