Elementals are beings that inhabit nature, specifically through the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. After this basic definition things get a bit fuzzier. Some people claim that all spirits associated with nature such as nymphs, faeries and devas are elementals. Others restrict elementals to the four beings described by the 16th Century Occultist Paracelsus: Earth Gnomes, Air Sylphs, Water Undines and Fire Salamanders.
The elementals are considered by most Occultists to be "lower beings" in that they rarely exhibit a will or intellect of their own. (Elemental spirits are not to be confused with elemental Kings, Queens and Intelligences, which are considered "higher beings" and do have their own will and intellect.) One can think of elementals as the little worker bees of the natural world: busily going about their assigned tasks without much thought. The task that they perform, however, is the all-important one of maintaining the spiritual structure of the material world and the world of nature. As such, people who are sensitive to spirits can often sense a disturbance in the natural order of things by a disturbance in the flow of the elementals. When this happens it is important for those of us who are nature conscious to try to correct whatever imbalance has set them off course.
Magically speaking elementals have been invoked for centuries to lend a magical hand in rituals, particularly those involving the elements. They are often invoked at the beginning of rituals in order to lend their energies to the work at hand. Working and meditating with the elementals is also a great way to get yourself in tune with an element. However, because elementals do not have great intelligence or will if you invoke them and especially if you give them a certain task to do, make sure you release and banish them after! Otherwise they will stick around forever continuing the task or filling the space or your aura with their elemental energy until you tell them to stop. This can cause great imbalance in the spaces, yourself and those around you, and even some harm. On the other hand, doing a meditation where you become aware of the elementals all around you is completely safe and very interesting.
Here are the prayers to each of the elementals as described by Eliphas Levi, the French Occultist, which can be used to invoke them or if said silently during meditation to become aware of them and to give them some recognition and thanks for their part in maintaining the universe.
The Prayer of the Gnomes or Earth Spirits.
O Invisible King, who, taking the Earth for Foundation, didst hollow its
depths to fill them with Thy Almighty Power. Thou whose Name shaketh the
Arches of the World, Thou who causest the Seven Metals to flow in the veins
of the rocks, King of the Seven Lights, Rewarder of the subterranean
workers, lead us into the desirable Air and into the Realm of Splendour. We
watch and we labour unceasingly, we seek and we hope, by the twelve
stones of the Holy City, by the buried Talismans, by the Axis of the
Lodestone which passes through the centre of the Earth – O Lord, O Lord, O
Lord! Have pity upon those who suffer. Expand our hearts, unbind and
upraise our minds, enlarge our natures.
O Stability and Motion! O Darkness veiled in Brilliance! O Day clothed in
Night! O Master who never doest withhold the wages of Thy workmen! O
Silver Whiteness – O Golden Splendour! O Crown of Living and Harmonious
Diamond! Thou who wearest the Heavens on Thy Finger like a ring of
Sapphire! Thou who hidest beneath the Earth in the Kingdom of Gems, the
marvellous Seed of the Stars! Live, reign, and be Thou the Eternal
Dispenser of the Treasures whereof Thou hast made us the wardens. Amen.
SPIRIT OF LIFE! Spirit of Wisdom! Whose breath giveth forth and
withdraweth the form of all things:
THOU before whom the life of beings is but a shadow which changeth, and a
vapour which passeth;
THOU who mountest upon the clouds, and who walkest upon the Wings of
THOU who breathest forth Thy breath, and endless space is peopled;
THOU who drawest in Thy breath, and all that cometh from Thee returneth
CEASELESS MOTION in Eternal Stability, be Thou eternally blessed!
We praise Thee and we bless Thee in the Changelss Empire of Created
Light, of Shades, of Reflections, and of Images, and we aspire without
cessation unto Thy immutable and imperishable brilliance. Let the ray of
Thy intelligence and the warmth of Thy love penetrate even unto us! Then
that which is Volatile shall be Fixed; the Shadow shall be a Body; the Spirit
of Air shall be a Soul; the Dream shall be a Thought. And no more shall we
be swept away by the Tempest, but we shall hold the Bridles of the Winged
Steeds of Dawn. And we shall direct the course of the Evening Breeze to fly
before Thee! O Spirit of Spirits! O Eternal Soul of Souls! O imperishable
Breath of Life! O creative sigh! O Mouth which breathest forth and
withdrawest the life of all beings, in the flux and reflux of Thine Eternal
Word, which is the Divine Ocean of Movement and of Truth! Amen.
Terrible King of the Sea, Thou who holdest the Keys of the Cataracts of
Heaven, and who enclosest the subterraean Waters in the cavernous
hollows of Earth. King of the Deluge and of the Rains of Spring. Thou who
openest the sources of the rivers and of the fountains; thou who
commandest moisture which is, as it were, the Blood of the Earth, to
become the sap of the plants. We adore Thee and we invoke Thee. Speak
Thou unto us, Thy Mobile and changeful creatures, in the Great Tempests,Thou unto us, Thy Mobile and changeful creatures, in the Great Tempests,
and we shall tremble before Thee. Speak to us also in the murmer of the
limpid Waters, and we shall desire Thy love.
O Vastness! wherein all the rivers of Being seek to lose themselves – which
renew themselves ever in Thee! O Thou Ocean of Infinite Perfection! O
Height which reflectest Thyself in the Depth! O Depth which exhalest into
the Height! Lead us unto the true life through intelligence, through love!
Lead us into immortality through sacrifice, that we may be found worthy to
offer one day unto Thee, the Water, the Blood and the Tears, for the
Remission of Sins! Amen.
Immortal, Eternal, Ineffable and Uncreated Father of all, borne upon the
Chariot of Worlds which ever roll in ceaseless motion. Ruler over the
Etherial Vastness where the Throne of Thy Power is raised from the summit
of which Thine Eyes behold all and Thy Pure and Holy Ears hear all – help
us, thy children, whom Thou hast loved since the birth of the Ages of Time!
Thy Majesty, Golden, Vast and Eternal, shineth above the Heaven of Stars.
Above them art Thou exalted.
O Thou Flashing Fire, there Thou illuminatest all things with Thine
Insupportable Glory, whence flow the Ceaseless Streams of Splendour
which nourish Thine Infinite Spirit. This Infinite Spirit nourishest all and
maketh that inexhausible Treasure of Generation which ever encompasseth
Thee replete with the mumberless forms wherewith Thou hast filled it from
the Beginning. From this Spirit arise those most holy Kings who are around
Thy Throne, and who compose Thy Court.
O Universal Father, One and Alone! Father alike of Immortals and Mortals.
Thou hast especially created Powers similar unto thy Thought Eternal and
unto Thy Venerable Essence. Thou hast established them above the Angels
who announce Thy Will to the world. Lastly, thou hast created us as a third
Order in our Elemental Empire.
There our continual exercise is to praise and to adore Thy Desires; there we
ceaselessy burn with Eternal Aspirations unto Thee, O Father! O Mother of
Mothers! O Archetype Eternal of Maternity and Love! O Son, the Flower of
all Sons! Form of all Forms! Soul, Spirit, Harmony, and Numeral of all