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The Five Sacred Elements 


Fire - Air - Water - Earth - Life

Elements? Five? Sacred?

Sometimes know as the classical elements, many of Earths cultures have revered these as essential and therefore Sacred. 





Above are my associations, which align and differ from others. 



Below are world examples across time and space. The number of elements sometimes varies: 3, 4, 5, 6, or even 7

Indigenous Examples

Eastern Examples

Classical Western Examples

Other Modern Examples

Modern Scientific Examples

Modern Landscape Examples

Contemporary Paganism Examples

Pop-culture Examples

Other Associations

Indigenous Examples

Ojibwe Indian stone medicine wheel

from Cedar Tree Institute, Marquette, Michigan via Native Voices


Key to stone medicine wheel:

  1. Creator - Center of life, the Medicine Wheel itself.

  2. Earth Mother - Gives us our home, and lives.

  3. Father Sun - Warms life, source of energy and light.

  4. Grandmother Moon - Guides dreams and visions.

  5. Turtle Clan - The element of earth. Growth and life.

  6. Frog Clan - The element of water. Cleansing.

  7. Thunderbird Clan - The element of fire. Energy.

  8. Butterfly Clan - The element of air. Transformation.

  9. The North - Knowledge and wisdom.

  10. The East - Daybreak, Illumination. Spirit.

  11. The South - Youth and innocence. Emotion.

  12. The West - Introspection, Looks within.

  13. Snow Goose – Direction.

  14. Otter - Balanced female energy.

  15. Cougar - Leadership without insisting.

  16. Red Hawk - Observant. Messengers of the Gods.

  17. Beaver - Builder and do-er.

  18. Deer - Power and gentleness.

  19. Flicker – Music.

  20. Sturgeon - Moving through life, swimming.

  21. Brown Bear - Sweetness of truth.

  22. Raven - Keeper of Sacred law.

  23. Snake - Power of creation. Transmutation.

  24. Elk - Stamina. To go the distance.

  25. Cleansing - To make clean. Purify

  26. Renewal - To begin again.

  27. Purity - Clean and innocent.

  28. Clarity - Unclouded. Free from darkness.

  29. Love - To delight in a higher state of appreciation.

  30. Wisdom - Knowledge and sense. Intelligence and foresight.

  31. Illumination - To enlighten. Cast light upon.

  32. Growth - To become. To change from one state to another. To advance.

  33. Trust - To place confidence in the reliance on the integrity and friendship of another.

  34. Experience - Knowledge and understanding

  35. Introspection - To look inside.

  36. Strength - Power and vigor of mind.

http___tmwsfn.com_images_The Medicine Wh

Dagara of West Africa

from Fire Up, Water Down

Fire, the original element, is seen as a most potent connection to the spirit world. It is puts us back on our spiritual track by consuming that which stands between us and our purpose.

Water brings cleansing, reconciliation, purification and peace-making.

Earth, the central element, is the mother who is inviting us to come home to community and the earth, our true home.

Mineral is the elemental energy that invites us to remember, through ritual, who we are and why we are here.

Nature asks us to open to transformation in order to realize our true and authentic selves. 


Eastern Examples

Pancha Bhoota

Five Great Elements

Sanskrit: पञ्चभूत, पञ्चमहाभूत

or Five Gross Tattvas (mahābhuta) of Hindu Tantrism


The five great elements according to Hinduism, is the basis of all cosmic creation. 

Prithvi/Bhudevi (पृथ्वी)        Earth

Apas/Varuna/Jal (अप्)       Water

Agni (अग्नि)                       Fire

Vayu (वायु)                       Air

Aakash/Dyaus (आकाश)     Aether 


Diurnal Cycle - 

Wu Xing - Taoism


Bon- Tibetan Religion


Classical Western Examples

Aristotlian Elements


Empedoclean elements

Eucleaidan elements.PNG

Zodiac Elements of Astrology

Elements of Medieval Alchemy


Modern Scientific Examples

pentegram of systems_icon.jpg

Modern Landscape Examples


Light from the Heliosphere





Contemporary Paganism Examples


Wiccan Pentagram


Elemental Goddesses and the Feminine Devine

Neopagan Chant


The Fifth Sacred Thing

A Novel by Starhawk

jriiann Avatar art.png
2018-03-03 08.52.25.jpg


The Last Airbender


2018-10-27 10.27.03.jpg
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Magic the Gathering

Deck-based RPG


The Fifth Element

Sci-Fi film


Fullmetal Alchemist


Captain Planet and the Planeteers: 

In this 90's Environmental, 

Gaia the spirit of the Earth sent Five Elemental Rings to global youth, each to control an element of nature. The rings power can combine to summon Captain Planet.  

Fair use,


Fantastic Four - 

Marvel Universe (Comics)

From the series 1602: "A band of explorers who gained powers when their ship encountered a strange energy vortex at sea. The four are Captain Benjamin GrimmSir Richard ReedSusan Storm, and John Storm. Their bodies were reshaped into the four elements: Reed's flesh became pliable like water, Grimm's body became solid rock, Susan's body became weightless and invisible like air, and John's body became living fire."

By Source, Fair use,


Other Modern Examples

valley of the horses cover.jpg

Venus Figure of Upper Paleolithic

26,000–21,000 years 

By Ramessos - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Other Associations

was archaeological inspiration for the religious philosophy of the people withing the Earth's Children novel series by Jean M. Auel.

The Zelandonii People hold sacred 5 colors, seasons, and elements. 

Directions: North, South, East, West, up/down

Elements:  Earth, Fire, Air, Water, Life

Season: Early and LateWinter, Summer, Spring, Fall, 

System: Geophere, Heliosphere, Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere

Color: brown, red, blue, clear, green

Platonic Solids: Cube, Tetrahedron, Octahedron, Dodecahedron, Isohedron

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