By Julia Celeste | Instagram
You likely do grounding as part of your magick, burn incense, work with Moon water, and do candle magick. Yet many practitioners do not delve any further than this into the elements and the secrets they hold. Today, we will explore the element of air – explore its properties and associations, discuss some ways to integrate it into your magical practice, and learn a simple elemental meditation as an introduction to this elusive, transient element. Through this work, you will be able to draw on the powers of air more easily and hopefully find new ways to incorporate air magick into your craft.
To breathe air is to live. When you think about it, we need all the elements to survive, but it is air that we literally need every second. We have so many words devoted to air through the Latin root verb spirare, which means ‘breathe’: aspire, inspire, conspire, transpire, and even spirit. To inspire can mean to draw in a breath, instill creativity, and even signify “a divine influence or action on a person believed to qualify him or her to receive and communicate sacred revelation,” as defined by Merriam-Webster.
In order to work with any element, you must first get to know it; learn its ways, earn its trust. To introduce yourself to the element of air, all you need is to a place where you can feel the wind on your face and be caressed by a breeze. Begin by finding a location that is high up or windswept, if possible. Ideally, this would be a bluff, top of a mountain or hill, or a cliff. If this is not possible (i.e. you cannot travel or you live in a flat terrain – Florida, I see you), do your best to be as high up as possible, or somewhere it is always windy. This could be a meadow, rooftop, or even just an open second story window. Part of your connection to air is scouting for a location where YOU feel you will connect to its magick.
Air Element Meditation
Timing: New Moon, Dawn (preferably, on a gently windy day)
You will need:
Items you associate with air and use in your practice, such as a wand
Citrine or another stone that reminds you of air
A small feather as an offering
Once you are at your location, place your air materials on your lap or hold them, and settle in. Spend some time focusing on the breeze around you. Is it gentle or strong? Which direction is it blowing? What smells does it carry? How does it make your body feel (e.g. goosebumps from a chilly northern wind or a pleasant coolness from a gentle southern breeze)? Spend some time observing the clouds and the sky.
After you have “observed” the air around you, sit comfortably and close your eyes. Begin by meditating on the symbol of air. Imagine the symbol of air (an upward-pointing triangle, bisected by a horizontal line) manifesting in brilliant yellow light in front of you. If you look closely with your mind’s eye, you see it is composed of many tiny air currents, flowing up towards the point or moving sideways. Really see the air flow and feel it emanating gentle breezes towards you. Focus on your breathing: with every breath, see yourself absorbing more and more of this yellow light, both in color and feeling of lightness, and see it flowing into the objects you have with you. Know that this is limitless, you can draw in as much of this lightness as you need to.
Feel the air entering your nose as you breathe in, dwell a few minutes on how the air feels when this happens. Does it feel a certain way? Humid, cool, or dry? Feel it leaving your mouth as you exhale – how does that feel? As the air fills your lungs, spend a few moments meditating on this sensation. Feel your lungs expand as you breathe in, contract as you breathe out. Imagine the light of the air symbol not only filling your lungs, but nourishing your entire body with life-giving air and a golden light.
When you feel as light as you wish to feel, open your eyes (you can keep them closed, if that is easier) and focus on the sensations outside of you – on the physical wind. Feel the wind’s movement and vibration. Begin to resonate this vibration within you; this can be a hum you emit, or you may simply feel the vibration. Try to match the wind’s patterns and cadence. Spend some time being one with the wind.
When you feel ready, open your arms wide and say:
“Powers of air, I seek your presence!
I feel the air flow gracefully around me,
I feel each sacred breath of life I take,
I feel the subtle knowledge bound in your movement.
Share with me your wisdom.”
Sit there quietly, being receptive to whatever form of communication the element brings to you. Perhaps you will notice a new bird not far away, or the wind may change. Remember, air is subtle. When you are done, thank the elemental powers and allow the feather offering to be carried away on the wind.
Simple Air Magick Ideas
- Send your wishes up on dandelion seeds or non-toxic bubbles! Not only do you tap into your inner child, but this is a perfect way to invoke the element of air to help you manifest.
- Draw a sigil on a dried dandelion leaf (you can use anything so long as it won’t harm the environment, make sure it composts!), take it to a high place, and let it be carried away by the wind.
- Scry with cloud patterns!
- Awaken your spell component or tool during a ritual by breathing gently across it and telling it to awaken. Example: “awaken, rosemary, to your power of protection.”
- Create an air jar. Use items associated with the element of air, such as citrine chips or other airy stones, plants and herbs, feathers, and anything else that connects you with the element of air. Take a long incense stick with a single note, such as frankincense or myrrh, and use it to draw a sigil that represents your spell inside the jar. Then, “fill” the jar with the incense smoke by placing the smoldering end of the stick into the jar and cover the mouth of jar as much as possible with the jar cover. When there is enough smoke, remove the incense and cover the jar with the lid. For a very quick moment, channel your intention and power into the jar – be quick here, just as the element of air is quick! Then open the jar and let the air carry the smoke up and manifest your intent.
- If there is a storm, you can capture the energy for your ritual. Put moon water outside at night – or just near a window – and infuse your moon water with the element of powerful storm energy. If you don’t have moon water, regular water is fine.
Finally, here are some common associations of the element of air, for reference. You can ask five different people what are the associations for any given element, or consult five different books, and you will likely get five different answers! So use these as a guide but go with your instinct.
Air Element Associations
Quarter: East or South
Note: while we often associate Air with East, this is relatively modern. The ancients associated Air with South, originally assigned by Zosimos of Panopolis of ancient Greece. It was only in the mid-19th century that Eliphas Levi (an occult writer and magician) flipped East and South. This small change was carried by the Golden Dawn system into most modern traditions. As always, do what feels right to you.
Axiom: To Know
Energy: Projecting, shifting, flowing, rapid change; air is both life (oxygen, scattering of seeds for growth) and destruction (extreme weather and temperatures)
Platonic Solid: Octahedron
Crystals: Amazonite, Apatite, Azurite, Celestite, Citrine, Fluorite, Mica, Lapis Lazuli, Sapphire, Tiger’s Eye, Topaz, Blue Tourmaline, Turquoise
Alchemical Metal: Iron (more modern is Tin and Silver)
Magick Work: communication, information, creativity, travel, contracts/agreements, mental clarity, education, finding lost items
Creatures: Sylphs, Sprites, Griffons, Winged Fae, Soulth, Star Folk, Atua, Peri, Spriggans, Vily, Rusali – any creatures associated with wind, weather, flight, etc.
Deities: Aelous, Anemoi/Venti (the Greek/Roman four winds, collectively), Aura, Ba’al, Dogoda, Ehecatl, Enlil, Fei Lian, Fujin, Hera, Mercury, Njoror, Nuada, Nut, Oya, Perun, Quetzalcoatl, Stribog, Shu, Varuna, Zeus
Note: this list is not comprehensive. There are many more deities associated with either wind, air, or other forms of the element.
Activities: incense burning/other smoke cleansing, fanning, music, bell ringing, breathing, chanting, singing, throwing things in the air, hanging things (especially high up), meditation, bird feeding, cloud watching, blowing dandelion seeds
Places: anywhere high up (mountains, tall buildings), windy areas, educational institutions, places of business, libraries, airports
Tools: feathers, bells, incense, wand, athame (depending on your tradition), arrows, wind chimes
Colors: yellow, blue, silver, grey, white
Plants: Acacia, Air Plants, Alder, Dandelion, Dill, Fennel, Lavender, Lungwort
Note: most leaves, plants with fine veins, or flowers that carry fragrance can be associated with the element of air.
Planets: Mercury, Jupiter
Tarot: Wands or Swords (depending on your tradition), The Fool
About the Author: Following a highly eclectic path, Julia’s (she / her) spiritual journey re-emerged two years ago, after her move to the Washington, D.C. area. She loves reading and tries to read as much as possible around her full-time job, taking care of a 3.5 year old, and casting a little bit of magick. Julia is currently exploring all the simple ways she can bring more magick to her busy life, such as magick in the kitchen. She believes that simple rituals, like candle magick or sigils, are no less effective than elaborate rituals and accessible by anyone. Her Instagram name is @well.of.starlight, which is a creative space for her to share her love of magick, history, and legends.