Working with the elements is about working with the essential fabric of reality; most cultures have envisioned that reality has five fundamental elements, through which we can work with reality itself. The most common variation is earth, fire, water, air and spirit or void.

Working with the elements allows us to go beyond human concepts and language, to the heart of experience. The elements wind through everything that exists, and so in working with them we can work with our relationships to the whole of creation.

Working with the element is helpful when:

  • We need to access a relationship that’s abstract or not grounded in physical reality, such as relationship to an emotion.
  • We need to explore the underlying feelings and patterns of a relationship.
  • We need to solve a problem that we can’t put into words.
  • We’re experiencing a journey that needs map points to guide by.

Element work involves using the foundation tools such as ceremony and altars to express different aspects of an element. We can use any system of elements that is familiar and makes sense to us, but we have to remember to stay within that system so we don’t start to mix systems up.

For more about ceremony and altars – the foundations of element work – join the free 12 week Foundation in Animism course here: