In Neo-Pagan Witchcraft, Wicca and various forms of Ritual Magick, Low-level spirits that personify the four Elements - earth, air, fire and water. The term also is applied to Nature Spirits, which are said to exist in all things in nature, such as animals, insects, birds, rocks and plants.
Ruled by Devas or archangels (called in modem Witchcraft the 'Lords of the Watchtowers' , the 'Guardians' or the 'Mighty Ones'), elementals serve as the life force and may be summoned by Witches to assist in Magick.
Earth elementals are known as Gnomes; fire as salamanders; water as un dines; and air as sylphs. They may be seen by psychically gifted persons who are close in spirit to nature. MagickNumerous elemental sightings have been reported at the Circle Sanctuary at Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. The pioneers of the Findhorn community in northern Scotland achieved remarkable gardening results reputedly by communicating with elementals.
Some elementals are said to be malicious and unpredictable, tricking human beings into accidents, setting traps for them and killing them. Most Witches who work with elementals, however, prefer to work with friendly ones in the creation of positive Magick.
Artificial elemental is a term occasionally used for Thought-form, a being of energy ritually created through intense will, which is programmed to carry out assignments and disintegrate once the work is done.
One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.
Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans. Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.
Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church. Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.
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