In Wicca, we generally recognize the Four Directions and The Four Elements as key components of our Circle. We call to the Four Directions - or Quarters, and we call upon the energy of an element at each quarter.
As there are Four Seasons, many find that each element also corresponds with a season. While some traditions may have different correspondences, we like to look to the Astrological Wheel for clues about the elements for each season. The FIXED signs of the Zodiac wheel are the signs that occur in the middle of a season. Thus we have come to associate the element of each fixed sign as the element of that season. Astrological Winter in the Northern Hemisphere includes the seasons of Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Aquarius is the Fixed sign that marks the middle of Astrological Winter. Since Aquarius is an Air sign, we assign the element of AIR to the season of WINTER.
In astrology, the element of Air is characterized by its swift and changeable nature. Those influenced by this element often possess sharp thinking, a love for intellectual pursuits, and a natural ability to communicate effectively. In the realm of Modern Paganism and Wicca, the element of Air is linked to the mind, wisdom, and the power of the spoken word. Practitioners may call upon the energy of Air for clarity of thought, effective communication, and the inspiration needed for intellectual endeavors. It symbolizes the breath of life, communication, clarity of thought, ideas, and inspiration. Lessons drawn from the element of Air encourage us to embrace intellectual growth, communicate thoughtfully, and remain adaptable in the face of change, fostering a harmonious balance between the mind and the spirit.
As magical practitioners, we know that our magic begins with our thoughts and ideas: our intentions. We know that our thoughts and words will influence our ability to manifest, and that we should be careful with our words. Many feel that the most important job of the Witch is "Know Thyself", and this work is primarily done through the element of Air - with our own minds and thoughts. The very act of "conjuring" is related to the element of Air. Air is the Mind, and the Mind is where we formulate our thoughts to make our wishes and then speak those wishes to the Gods or the Universe.
So why is Air the element of Winter? In the winter months, we are often forced to physically slow down and rest. Weather does not permit as much outdoor activity, and we turn inwards to tend to our homes. We cannot be outside as much, and metaphorically we will also tend to be more internally focused. Winter is an excellent time for activities that stimulate the mind - like reading and writing. It is also a great time for just sitting and thinking, or perhaps letting your mind wander while you knit or bake. If we imagine our intentions as seeds that we plant, then before we plant the seed in the earth (Spring) we must first set the intention with our seed. We bless the seed with our intentions, and speak our wishes into the seed, visualizing the outcome that we desire and planning out all the steps we will take to help manifest our wish into reality. All of this intention setting and visualizing and planning are related to the element of Air, and metaphorically we do the planning in the Winter and then the actual planting and growing happens in the Spring.
In the Tarot, the season of Winter is represented by the Ace of Swords and the Page of Swords. The entire suit of Swords relates to the element of Air (and therefore can also correspond to Winter) and the swords cards will all represent different aspects of the Mind, Mental Processes, Communication, Learning, and Thoughts or Ideas. The Ace represents the seed of potential for the entire suit - The Ace of Swords holds all the potential energy of the suit of Air. The Pages also represent the potential of the suit - they are the youthful energy of the suit that hold the hopes and dreams of what the suit (or element) might become when it sets out on a journey. You can look to the Ace and Page of Swords to help you connect with the element of Air in its most pure form.
The Ace of Swords in Tarot symbolizes clarity, truth, and breakthroughs in thought. Depicted as a single, upright sword emerging from a cloud, it represents a powerful surge of intellectual energy and the triumph of reason. Linked to the element of Air, this card underscores the importance of clear communication, rational thinking, and the swift pursuit of knowledge. The element of Air embodies intellect, objectivity, and the ability to cut through confusion. In the context of seasons, the Ace of Swords aligns with Winter, a time of introspection and reflection. Just as winter allows nature to rest and renew, this card suggests a period of mental rejuvenation and the potential for fresh perspectives to cut through the metaphorical frost of uncertainty.
Ace of Swords Affirmation: (Or, an affirmation for Winter)
"I am a beacon of clarity and insight. My mind is sharp, and I value clear and honest communication. Every thought I have cuts through confusion, paving the way for truth and understanding. I am open to breakthroughs and new perspectives, trusting in my ability to navigate challenges with intelligence and wisdom. Like the Ace of Swords, I possess profound mental clarity and use this gift to propel myself forward on my journey of growth and discovery."
The Page of Swords in Tarot embodies the qualities of curiosity, intellectual vigor, and the pursuit of knowledge. Illustrated as a youthful figure wielding a sword, this card signifies the emergence of a new and enthusiastic intellectual energy. Aligned with the element of Air, the Page of Swords emphasizes the importance of mental clarity, open-mindedness, and effective communication. Air, as an element, represents the realm of ideas and intellect, urging individuals to approach situations with objectivity and a thirst for learning. Corresponding with the season of Winter, this card aligns with the introspective nature of the cold months. It suggests a time for reflection and harnessing the fresh, crisp energy of Winter to explore new ideas, communicate openly, and embark on a journey of mental growth and discovery.
Page of Swords Affirmation: (Or, an affirmation for Winter)
"My mind is open, and I embrace the joy of learning and exploring new ideas. Like the Page of Swords, I approach challenges with a youthful enthusiasm, wielding the sword of knowledge to cut through confusion. I communicate with honesty and precision, fostering connections through the power of clear and thoughtful expression. In every situation, I am a seeker of wisdom, and I welcome the fresh perspectives that come my way. Just as Winter brings a sense of quiet reflection, I use this time to delve into the depths of my mind, uncovering new insights and embracing the journey of continuous mental growth."
As we move into Aquarius season and the middle of Winter, take some time to consider the element of Air. This season is a time for you to connect with your mind and understand the power of your thoughts and words. It is a great time for practicing Mindfulness, and embarking on journeys of Self-Awareness and Knowledge.
What are you filling your mind with through these Winter months?