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Nature Spirits


Nature spirits which include elementals are believed to be various types of beings or spirits which inhabit Nature. The belief in their existence was almost universal in the ancient era of religions which embodied animism. This belief still exists among many people who believe that all things possess life, which is especially true among most occultists and Neo-pagan witches. These spirits are thought to possess supernatural powers and are usually invisible to humans, save those possessing the psychic ability of clairvoyance. Nature spirits usually abide in trees, rivers, plants, bogs, mountains, and minerals. They attached themselves to practically every natural thing. We call them by a myriad of names - fairies, elves, devas, nymphs, gnomes, etc. Elementals have similarities to other nature spirits, they work on feelings, sensations, and symbolism. They are not a "being" in the same way other faeries are. They are more like a form of living energy than anything else. An energy with a will, that can display emotions without being emotional, and that is constantly changing. They can be of tremendous aid to your magical workings, but only if you approach them properly.


Elementals are of a lower type of nature spirit. They are believed to exist as the life force in all living things. They are said to even exist in the four elements of earth, air, fire, and water; the planets, stars, and the signs of the zodiac; and the hours of the day and night, and they don't really have a definite form or appearance. They are raw forces of nature. A large part of the weather itself. Mother Nature's little helpers if you will. The elementals have their own agenda - they are not subject to our whims and desires. They have a definite purpose, which we may not understand, and which may not necessarily be to our benefit, but may be for the good of the planet as a whole.


If they choose to show themselves to you, they may choose a form that you will associate readily with the element they represent. A fire elemental may appear as a spark, a face in a candle flame or bonfire, or simply a warm spot that you suddenly walk through. A water elemental may be a cold spot. An air elemental could be a sudden breeze or tiny whirlwind in the dust. A smell, taste, or an unexplained pebble in your shoe could be evidence of the earth elementals at play.


They are ruled or governed over by higher spirits such as devas or archangels (which in modern witchcraft are called Lords of the Watchtowers, the Guardians, or the Mighty Ones). Generally elementals are looked upon as benevolent creatures that maintain natural harmony The elementals cannot be controlled by us, and frankly, you are deluding yourself if you believe that you can, and you are a fool if you try. The elementals have extraordinary power and cannot be tamed or controlled. They are far beyond us. If you tamper with them, you are certain to irritate them. They are likely to lash out at you. It could be a gentle nose tweak. Or they could destroy you. Best not to chance it. You may ASK the elementals to help you accomplish a specific task (politely, mind you), and if they feel like helping or feel that your goal is worthy, they might. The best route is to try to earn their favour and stay on their good side. And remember, just because they don't help you one time, doesn't mean they won't the next. They have a very strong sense of justice, propriety, and right and wrong. Explain your goals very clearly and honestly. You can't deceive them, and it would be dangerous to try.


The Neoplatonic Greeks (ca. third century AD) grouped the elementals according to the four elements of life. The elementals of the earth are the gnomes, ruled by the angel Ariel; the ones of the air are the sylphs, ruled by Cherub; the ones of the water are the undines, ruled by Tharsis; and there are five elementals that are salamanders, ruled by Seraph.

Also included among elementals are elves who live in woods and along seashores, and household spirits such as goblins, brownies, bogles, and kobolds. Sometimes fairies are included within the elemental category, and also mannikins which are male fairies having the attributes of elves, gnomes, and brownies.


Other types of "little people" as they are called do inhabit forests and mountains. Some are said to possess powerful medicine which they frequently bestow on humans in times of need.

Elementals do appear to clairvoyants and are easy recognizable. Many are claimed to wear clothes and jewellery. Gnomes are dwarfish living in caves and mountains. Sylphs appear as butterflies, undines as waves, and salamanders as lizard-like creatures that frolic in flames.

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 would like them to be, and can be mischievous, bad tempered little devils if allowed to get out of control.






The nature spirits of the Earth are called Gnomes. 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. Gnome associates or subgroups include: Brownies, Dryads, Durdalis,
Earth Spirits, Elves, Hamadryads, Pans, Pygmies, Sylvestres, & Satyrs.




The sylphs are the air spirits. Their element has the highest vibratory rate of the four (beside earth, fire, water). They live hundreds of years, often reaching one thousand and never seeming to get old. They are said to live on the tops of mountains. Legend has it that they once spoke to human through caverns and were the voices of ancient oracles.The leader of the sylphs is a being called Paralda who is said to dwell on the highest mountain of Earth. Sylphs often assume human form but only for short periods of time. The vary in size from being as large as a human to being much smaller. They are volatile and changeable. The winds are their particular vehicle. The work through the gases and ethers of the Earth and are kindly toward humans. They are usually seen with wings, looking like cherubs or fairies. Because of their connection to air, which is associated with the mental aspect, one of their functions is to help humans receive inspiration. The sylphs are drawn to those who use their minds, particularly those on creative arts. 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, As Sylphs are of the highest vibration and can thus traverse the dimensions more or less at will.

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 are called for help in creation or resolution of issues involving the intelligence and the mind, or products of intellect.

Sylphs are beings of wide-open spaces and the air. Sometimes they are depicted as cloud beings. Sylphs are responsible for the myths of "angels", the winged protectors of the Garden of Eden. Their attitudes embody the extremes of nature, mercurial and intense. Most of all, they defend the high peaks and wilderness mountains that are their home.

Sylphs are creatures of the air, and their great wings allow them to soar with the eagles. Sylphs are believed to be an offshoot branch of the sidhe, winged rulers of the Dreaming, controllers of the weather and the great birds of the mountains.

Sylphs are loners, content to soar the skies with the eagles. They care little for the machinations and politics of "ground folk", and they rarely interfere with changeling society. Like trolls, sylphs hold their word of honor to be inviolate, and once sworn to protect something, they will defend it to (or even past) their death.

Like the sidhe, sylphs are very regal in manner and bearing. Theirs is an ancient and proud legacy, and it is dying out. Fewer and fewer sylphs fly as the modern world creeps in. Most sylphs feel that this is the end of their race, that they will be the first of the kiths to slip into the Fimbulwinter. It is for this reason that they have come down from their mountains and rejoined changeling society in large numbers. If they are to die, then at least they will be remembered for the honor, glory and majesty that is inherent to their kind.

Appearance Sylphs resemble tall, lithe humans - with one exception. Sprouting from their backs are a pair of huge feathered wings. These wings are almost 2 body-lengths long, but fold up behind the sylph when they are on the ground. Their eyes are large and shaped like a hawk's, and their faces are sharp and angular.

Childlings sylphs are timid and flighty. They rarely associate with others, but when they do, they usually form bonds that last for life. They are called Cherubs by the rest of changeling society.

Wilder sylphs are intense and direct, like the birds of prey they resemble. They soar endlessly through the skies, looking for something to attract their interests and allow them to prove their worth.







The undines are the elemental beings that compose water.

In ancient lore, they are recalled in the images of water nymphs and mermaids. Undines favour springs, streams, and wells. 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 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. They are able to control, to a great degree, the course and function of the water element. Etheric in nature, they exist within the water itself and this is why they can't be seen with the normal physical vision. These beings are beautiful to look at and are very graceful.

They are often seen riding the waves of the ocean. They can also be found in rocky pools and in marshlands. They are clothed in a shimmery substance looking like water but shinning with all the colors of the sea, with green predominating. The concept of the mermaid is connected with these elemental beings. The undines also work with the plants that grow under the water and with the motion of water. Some undines inhabit waterfalls, others live in rivers and lakes. Every fountain has its nymph. Every ocean has its oceanids. The undines closely resemble humans in appearance and size, except for those inhabiting smaller streams and ponds. The undines often live in coral caves under the ocean or on the shores of lakes or banks of rivers. Smaller undines live under lily pads.

The undines work with the vital essences and liquids of plants, animals, and human beings. They are present in everything containing water. There are many families of undines, as the chart indicates. The ruler of the undines is a being called Necksa. The undines love, serve, and honor her unceasingly. They are emotional beings, very friendly and open to being of service to human beings. The smaller undines are often seen as winged beings that people have mistakenly called fairies. Those winged beings are seen near flowers that grow in watery areas. They have gossamer wings and gossamer clothing. Undine associates or subgroups include: Limoniades, Merfolk, Naiads, Oceanid, Oreads, Potamides, Sea Maids, Water Spirits.




The salamanders are the spirit of fire. Without these beings, fire cannot exist. You cannot light a match without a salamander's being present. 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 are called.

There are many families of salamanders, differing in size, appearance, and dignity. Some people have seen them as small balls of light, but most commonly they are perceived as being lizard-like in shape and about a foot or more in length. The salamanders are considered the strongest and most powerful of all the elementals. Their ruler is a magnificent flaming being called Djin. Those who have seen him say that he is terrible, yet awe-inspiring in appearance. Salamanders have the ability to extend their size or diminish it, as needed. If you ever need to light a campfire in the wilderness, call to the salamanders and they will help you. It has also been said that salamanders (and the other elemental beings) can be mischievous at times. For example, a fiery temper and inharmonious conditions in a person's home can cause these beings to make trouble. They are like children in that they don't fully understand the results of their actions. They are greatly affected, as are all nature spirits, by human humankind's thinking.




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