Magic of Elements is involved in studying objects and their energy in their pure forms. When we look at an object, we can describe it as a whole; or in its components. In Magic Tradition, Elements are the parts of the natural world; they were chosen/written down in a very simplistic form before science was developed. However, for purposes of the Magi, it's a handy way to parametrize the world and study its properties.
Traditionally, there are four Classical Elements: Air, Earth, Fire, and Water.
Air represents a shift of consciousness to the Future time, the system's entropy, and the amount of uncertainty. Earth is related to the structure of matter, systems, information, and electric forces. Fire is related to kinetic energy in the present time (here and now) and the temperature of matter. Water is associated with an object's inertia and history, shift to the Past on the time dimension. Sometimes there's a discussion of the 5th and 6th Elements of Aether, and the opposite of it, Death. The Aether and Death is a combination of the four Classical Elements.
In other systems, for example, in Wuxing, there are five agents, but they are not the same as Classical Elements and are used differently to describe change and influence in a system.
A Magus is ready to study Elements after initial training is complete. Initial training involves a lot of steps that last for years, such as Meditation training, building a strong base of body energy, and lower ethereal and astral energies. It requires Third Eye activation and knowledge of Large Mysteries or Major Arcana.
We learn Elements through Small Mysteries of the Tarot Deck or the Minor Arcana cards. Each suit represents an element, and there are 14 cards in each suit. The higher the card number, the higher the energy level described.
- Wands represent Air
- Pentacles represent Earth
- Swords represent Fire
- Cups represent Water
The further the consciousness shifts toward a particular element, the higher the strength and the level of a Magus for a specific Element, and the more influence a Magus can exert on the world. We can compare it to increasing potential difference between two points in space: If a Magus has a strong Fire element, he can transfer more potential in the neutral world. Similarly, when a high electric potential develops between parts of the clouds, a lightning discharge occurs.
It's a life choice of a Magus to select a particular Element that becomes the Primary Element. Usually, it has to do with a person's natural talents, tendencies, and affinity to a certain element. A secondary element can also be practiced, but it cannot be the opposite Element of the Primary. For example, if Fire Element is the main one, the Air or Earth could be the secondary, but not Water. It's not possible to get to the same degree in the opposite direction.