Whether you are new to Wicca or have been practicing for a while, it is always a good time to brush up on your knowledge of those aspects of the Craft that are invoked frequently. In many altar setups, spells, and rituals, the elements are called upon or used. Though Air is the least tangible and visible of the elements, we still frequently incorporate it into our practice.
Air is the breath of life for mammals and is needed for us to live. Plants cleanse the air for us. Even water animals use oxygen (they just get it a different way to us). Air is the soft, gentle breeze that cools us on a warm Spring day. But it is also the raging tornado that tears down all in its path. Like all things in life and nature, it has two sides to its coin.
What is the Air Element?
Air is an element full of motion. Its contrary element is Earth. It is through its interactions with other elements that we can observe the Air element. Fire lights the incense stick, and the smoke curls into the air. Water ripples under the kiss of the wind. Pollen and seeds float on the breeze. It can also have the power of the other elements, making fire more powerful or fully extinguishing a flame, ripping plants out of the earth in a storm, or carrying water to new places. Air is most associated with the intellect, the mind, communication, divination, and psychic ability.
Air Element Correspondences
When working with the Air element, especially when it is the primary focus of a ritual or spell, you want to use some of its correspondences (that also correspond to your spell’s intention) to heighten Air’s power.
As with Water and Fire, you’ll notice that Air’s correspondences make a great deal of logical sense. The sun rises at dawn, in the East – both correspondences of Air. Dawn is no longer night, not yet day. Spring is no longer winter, not yet summer. These natural correspondences make these different aspects bonded so that using them together increases their power. An Air spell performed at dawn in the Spring will have more power than that same spell performed any other time. Air can still be invoked at any time of day or year, but there are small ways you can enhance its power in your spellwork.
Using the Air Element in Spells
Air comes into spellwork and ritual in many different ways, but the most common way is through incense. Spellwork that focuses on the energies associated with Air will be enhanced with an added focus to Air and its correspondences. Communication, wisdom, intellect, divination, psychic abilities, the Third Eye are all connected to Air. If you are doing a ritual connected to any of these energies, you will want Air to be a key focus of your spell. For example, meditating outdoors with incense opens you to psychic communication.
Air isn’t just used in rituals focused on these energies, however. Incense is a common ingredient in many spells. Anytime all four elements need to be represented, Air will be there. Even if the ritual is focused on burning something, you are releasing that into the air and letting it be carried away by it. Air is used for cleansing, such as when using a sage smudge stick to cleanse your home. It can also be used to carry energies and intentions for us and to make music. Air is used for every incantation we utter in spells.
Connecting with the Air Element
We connect with the Air element all day every day – or we die. But connecting with the element is so much more than the breaths we take automatically throughout the day.
In meditation, focus on your breathing. Be conscious of how you are drawing air into your body and expelling it. Think about how it fills your lungs. Get outside and breathe fresh air! Notice the smell as it fills your nostrils. Focus on how it feels against your skin. Pay attention to how it interacts with the nature that surrounds you – how a bird floats on the wind’s back, how the tree rustles as it passes, how flowers sway in the breeze. Picture tiny seeds and pollen floating in the air, traveling to create new life in nature.
You can connect with the Air element indoors as well. Meditate with incense burning. Turn on a fan and sit below or beside it, focusing on how the air moves over your skin. Go to an oxygen bar and focus your intention on connecting with the element. Climbing to the top of a mountain is another way to connect to the Air element. Not only are you breathing in a new, fresh type of air, but you are also farther away from the influence of the other elements. You are rising to Air’s true realm.