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Goddess "" Earth "" Cosmology "" Women's Health "" Reader Contributions "" Book Reviews "" Editor's Desk

Nature Spirits

The most peaceful place in the world is nature, no matter where that nature is found. The wild energy, the beauty found in natural chaos -- it is all so amazing to see and experience.

When you walk out of doors, what do you see? Trees? Rocks? Flowers? Or do you see something more? Do you ever feel as if the trees are in fact watching you? Have you ever stopped to think that maybe they are?

In my life and my practice, I work most closely with nature spirits. To my surprise I've learned that many witches seem to be afraid to work with them very often. It seems that many are wary of their unpredictability and elemental nature, yet those very qualities can make working with them so valuable. They can help us gain a new perspective on a situation or get in touch with a part of ourselves that is suppressed or ignored.

So when you decide to work with nature spirits, where do you start?

Nature spirits can be found anywhere in nature. They are in plants, water, stones. They are all around us. Most of us simply do not see them. Fortunately, this can be easily remedied. The more time you spend in nature, the easier it will become to see them. This can be as simple as spending more time outdoors in a park, having houseplants, or leaving a part of your yard more wild, less structured.

There are four types of spirits referred to as elementals. They are composed entirely of their own element and behave accordingly. This means that any advice or help from them will also follow their own nature, so don't expect an emotional response from an air spirit! Other nature spirits such as tree spirits or flower spirits are comprised of a combination of multiple elements. For those who are new to working with these energies, you may feel more comfortable beginning with these types of spirits since they may be a bit easier to relate to.

Earth - gnomes Earth spirits maintain the physical earth. They aid us in maintaining our physical bodies as well as the physical realm of the earth. We can ask them to help us to become more aware of our physical senses and to develop reliance upon them. They can teach us to be patient, but remember that they can be very stubborn as well.

Water - undines Water spirits are found in natural sources of water such as rivers, springs, and the ocean. They work with our astral selves and our dreams, and are part of desire, intuition, and love. They are infinitely sensual, something to keep in mind if you wish to work with them. They can assist us to get in touch with the softer side of our creative nature and our emotions, or when we are in need of healing.

Air - sylphs Air spirits are found in any motion of air, from a light breeze to a tornado. They are composed entirely from wind and thought, and they are the source of all life energy. They can assist us to develop mental abilities and inspiration. Be careful not to get too caught up in the element of air. It is easy to get swept up in ideas and forget everything else!

Fire - salamanders Fire spirits are everywhere. They are responsible for all light, heat, and strong emotions and are composed of Will. They are most helpful in developing our spiritual selves and for stimulating "out with the old, in with the new" energies. Seek their assistance for strong creative energy, but keep in mind that fire energies can be quite temperamental and impulsive.

In addition to these four elemental spirits are tree spirits. Some consider them a type of earth spirit, while others consider them to be something else entirely. They are often known to be drawn to humans and quite fond of us. Each tree spirit has its own energies and qualities, and they each have something important to teach us. I could write an entire article just on that topic alone! Personally, I have always been most drawn to tree spirits. I find them to be an invaluable part of my life, and always willing to help whenever I need grounding, healing, or simple companionship. Flower spirits are similar in that they also each have their own traits and abilities.

Don't be afraid to embrace the natural energies that are around us. There are many more types out there and so much information available. Both nature spirits and elementals can be guides if only we will let them. Here's my challenge: Explore the wild energies in your surroundings!

Further Reading

  • Andrews, Ted. 1993. Enchantment of the Faerie Realm: Communicate with Nature Spirits and Elementals. Llewellyn: St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • Lipp, Deborah. 2004. The Way of Four: Create Elemental Balance in your Life. Llewellyn: St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • Penczak, Christopher. 2002. Spirit Allies: Meet Your Team form the Other Side. Red Wheel/Weiser: Boston, Massachusetts.

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