East Meets West


Although the Tattvas are not used in a traditional Wiccan path, the perspective they offer and the different layers of meaning they give to the more traditional attributes of the elements can offer great insight. I did, after all, say that this course would be a slightly different introduction to Wiccan philosophies.

Eastern Philosophy Meets Western Tradition:

The Tattwas were traditionally components and specified energetic constructs that were used within the Indian Tantric and Yogic teachings. Their introduction into the Western Magickal System developed through use in the Golden Dawn Tradition. Author, Donald Tyson offers commentary below:

“How they found their way into the magic system of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn would be interesting to know, since most of the techniques of this Order were Western in origin, but they formed an essential part of Golden Dawn training in meditation, visualization, clairvoyance, consecration of instruments, making telesmatic images, and other aspects of the Golden Dawn system.

One of the key members of the early Golden Dawn was Allan Bennett, who was primarily interested in yoga and Eastern methods of training. Perhaps he played a part in popularizing the Tattwas within the Order. Some aspects of the Golden Dawn system formulated at the beginning of the Order were allowed to lapse and were almost never used. This cannot be said of the Tattwas, which always formed a central part of Golden Dawn teachings.”

Astral/Etheric Forms of the Grosser Elements:

The Tattwas (or Tattvas) are primal energies that underlie the five elements of Hindu philosophy; Akasha or Akasa (spirit),Tejas (fire), Apas (water), Vayu (air) and Prithivi (earth). The term “Tattwas” means realities or states of being. Each of the five has a specific symbol or glyph used for visual and identification purposes. The use of these glyphs imprints the images within the mind, and once imprinted the levels of consciousness are also uploaded with memory of these symbols. This allows for greater and deeper connection at all levels of being.

Vayu/Air is represented as a circular sky-blue disk

Air Tattwa

Tejas/Fire is represented as an upright red equilateral triangle

Fire Tattwa

Apas/Water is represented as a silver crescent with its horns pointing upward

Water Tattwa

Prithivi/Earth is represented as a yellow square


Akasha/Spirit is represented by an inverted black egg

Spirit Tattwa

Some Uses:

The Tattwas may be used in the same way as the traditional Wiccan elements as well as with some additional attributes. Because of the dense layers of metaphysical meaning overlaid within their essence and a higher resonance to the astral realms they may also be used as:

• Astral Gateways or portals through which consciousness may move
• Developing Psychic Energy Skills
• Focus images for Scrying or Divination

When using the Tattwas they are often placed one in the other to form specific combinations of energies. These are considered to be compound (coalesced) in nature. There are the 5 basic Tattwas and the possibility for 4 combinations of each. The secondary element represents the active energy; the primary element represents the background or environment within which the secondary expresses its nature. For example:

Air of Air Fire of Air Water of Air Earth of Air Spirit of Air
Air of Water Fire of Water Water of Water Earth of Water Spirit of Water
Air of Fire Fire of Fire Water of Fire Earth of Fire Spirit of Fire
Air of Earth Fire of Earth Water of Earth Earth of Earth Spirit of Earth
Air of Spirit Fire of Spirit Water of Spirit Earth of Spirit Spirit of Spirit



Placing Fire within Air would represent the fires of mind or the catalytic effects of energy when placed within the realm of mind and intellect which manifests as the brilliant flash of inspired idea. In magickal practice, the use of Fire to enliven the properties of mind and thought can be applied to quicken and germinate the plans you have keep in the thinking stages and move them into a place of action and determination.


Tattwa one

Fire within Water is the electrical charge of the fires of will being expressed through the intuitive or emotional selves. In magickal practice, this is the igniting of the inner spark of our inherent Divine nature supported by compassionate love, understanding and the call to healing.



In Magickal practice Fire of Earth presents as the enlivening and active agent that moves what is immovable.  What we worked so hard to manifest in our lives can often become that which provides the largest challenge in our desire to change.  The same stability that is prized within the manifest and strengthening energy of earth turns stagnant quickly if a fire is not lit occasionally to prod it forward in new growth.



Wings beat furiously and strain
With expansion upwards
Quickening the spark of flame.

Blinding light flashes
And I move through
The flaming center
Of the sun and into
The black iciness of
The Enlightened Will.

A Tattwa placed within itself intensifies the elemental quality. Fire within Fire would indicate is energy that is focused and directed towards action, will and transformation. All outcomes and all applications are directed towards this singular action. Fire within Fire is the catalyst that exerts its dynamic will and produces the motivation that allows the scaling of great heights. This is the Phoenix rising.

Having some basic information of this system of thinking about the elements can open and enhance the perspective you have around the Traditional Elements of Wiccan Practice.

Foundations of Practice: Observation
The Elements in Action


The Elemental Year: Aligning the Elements of SELF

Next Week’s Post:
Gaia- Our Mother

This entry was posted in YAD-Lesson Two, Year and A Day Course and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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