Earth, Fire, Air, Water
These four are the classical Greek elements, with Aether or Spirit as a fifth. I generally think of these elements first because I was brought up with the movie The Fifth Element, and the TV series Avatar: The Last Airbender. (You have to get your inspiration and cultural awareness from somewhere…)
I associate water with gentleness, with malleability; earth with firmness and depth; fire with excitement and danger; air with strength and freedom. I think my associations are a mixture of where I live, the weather we tend to have, and experiences with each elements (wind can be strong and make the house shake, whereas water tends to just drop from the sky; fire is danger, fire is always danger; and air is sky and the sky is freedom). I really miss living by the sea, because the great expanse of water was very soothing and beautiful, even when choppy and noisy. It was constant, but changing, and beautiful. I like the effects of the air on the trees and the earth, and on me – I love walking when it’s windy and my face goes red. Earth is depth. I know mountains are earth too, but they’re mostly sky and wind; they’re what you use to get to the sky and the wind. The earth is constant, firm, unmoving.
Some people like to represent four elements on their altar or in their worship. I do. I have stones from the beach, a feather, unlit candles (I associate fire with danger for a reason..), and a jar of water with a moss ball growing inside. It’s a nice way to bring the outside indoors, to ground me a little, and to remind me what I find important.
I suppose I most closely follow the ‘land, sea and sky’ rather than all four elements.