Crowley switched the elements


Has anyone else heard about the elements being in different directions? Before Crowley, Air was South and Fire was East according to the book “Practical Elemental Magick”

It is mentioned SO briefly, just a sentence I believe, but ever since I read it I have felt like I know some amazing secret.

I used to call the corners and all that jazz. Every year or so, it seems, I like to throw away everything I knew (or have read/been told) and get my practice back to basics based on how I feel. I’m not feeling the elements lately and my work turns out just fine but there is always more to learn. Anyways…

If someone were to publish vast amounts of magickal knowledge, wouldn’t it be wise of them and reasonable to assume that they obscured it? And what an ingenious code he (Crowley) created - the switching of 2 elemental directions, which could have such a powerful effect on the potency of the uneducated and unready practicioners’ workings.

Let’s discuss-


I’venever read that book, but if you’re talking about what i think you are then it’s not a chance of elements in the directions, but using different astrology. Some of his rituals used the fixed signs in the quarters, others used cardnal signs.


Stephen Flowers in Hermetic Magic: The Postmodern Magical Papyrus of Abaris discusses where and why the elements were ascribed their directions. Because Magicians have been using these directions for so long it doesn’t make any difference if you change them because east will still be air, etc.

P.s. Flower’s Hermetic Magic isn’t that great a book, although it deals with the Bornless/Headless Ritual at length.


My understanding that though there is a majority “default” most people use, there are differences. Like more often than not in tarot, wands are fire and swords are wind. I work with swords being fire and wands being air as it suites my mentality better and I get good results.

Though it is often interesting and useful to know why somethings are placed the way the are and what they were and have been changed from.


Crowley admitted to changing things like the elemental directions to confuse new comers into the occult.

He only wanted people who could figure out the subtle errors he wrote on purpose.

He wanted people who could think for themselves.


As long as the element symbols are correct, you can try this:
Invoke only.

Invoke using the same element symbol only in each quarter.
Use the same name for the same element only in each quarter.
Pause at each quarter.
Complete the circle.

Next, use the same element symbol in each quarter, but use the next godname in each quarter.
Pause at each quarter.
Complete the circle.

Once the four godnames have been cycled through, repeat the processes for the next element symbol.

You should feel an unmistakeable sensation when you hit the right symbol and name for the different quarters.


I think there are several approaches, for example, I work the “wheel of the south” cause I’m from south hemisphere, so Air at East, Fire at North, Water at West and Earth at South (shadow side of the wheel in the south hemisphere).


I do that same thing.
The purpose of the ritual is to bring about the right state of mind and get you where you need to be mentally to function magically. The details of the operation are much less important than the way you feel about it.


I tend to see wands as air and swords as fire also. :slight_smile:


I agree, nobody just wakes up one day and says to themselves “Hey, I think I might to be a devil worshiper” they are either brought into it by someone else or they discover it on their own. They say 10% of the population thinks for themselves I bet around here it’s much higher %


I detect blasphemers who ascribe Wands to Air and Swords to Fire! You should be deeply ashamed of yourselves. I suffered for some time. Swords cut through Air and Wands blast Fire. And I know about semen being ascribed (correctly) to Air and semen coming from a Wand, but never a Sword. As I said, I suffered. Moreover, I honestly can’t bring myself to believe that Crowley screwed up His Thoth deck symbolism, just for a little fun.

Then to my absolute horror I find other blasphemers: Directional Heretics. My directions are classical northern hemisphere: East: Air. South: Fire. West: Water. North: Earth. I know this to be true because it’s the only way I’ve ever worked. So there! For me there’s just no better authority.

Anyway, in the end it doesn’t matter. You can still stand in awe and feel ashamed though.



And why the hell not Christians substitute wine for grape juice.


That’s okay, the GD uses a few chemicals to turn water into wine.


Lol yes and here is the alchemical process…pour the water on the grape vine then watch the grapes grow then add some fermentation and voila! Time to get shitfaced.


Where is it the “do what thou wilt”? lol


I agree with the heresy the more I think about it. I mean, a knife (sword) cuts a steak best on a plate (pentacle), and Wands and cups would seem to be more fun together.


Many traditions have many different ascriptions to the cardinal directions, not all but many follow the tetragrammaton principle and will even include two elements to the four cardinal points i.e. north with earth and water, east with fire and air, west with water and air, and south with earth and fire. I am an inspired and practical practitioner of alchemy, I have reformed my circle with eight cardinal points with eight protective planetary forces for all the points, I place two altars in the west which are a metaphorical point of behind me the two altars as representations represent the counterintuitive forces of the human conglomerate spirit, venus and uranus these points represent the nadir and the crown of the shadow self, Sandalphon or Elijah in the horizon, and Metatron or Enoch in the zenith.


I was initially taught the elements in this aspect, fire is to wands as wands are to clubs, the great works of the south, earth is to pentacles as pentacles are to diamonds the great harvestof the north, water is to cups as cups are to hearts the great passion of the west, and air is to swords as swords are to spades the great strife of the east.


I recently made wine out of water… plus honey and yeast… and it took a few weeks. Haha to the ancients maybe making mead was magick.
To the OP: What I know of this topic is that Crowley wrote books that are readily available online. Also what correspondences for the elements work for you? Those are the correct elements for you. I don’t believe there is one correct way to use them, nor do I believe Crowley had the means to misguide everyone to the point of changing books written centuries before his birth.


Crowley did in fact throw curveballs in his writing to make sure people read front to back and paid attention. If you read his works you’ll notice such things. It was more to stop people from jumping to the section they wanted and thinking they knew everything . If you do that, you’ll likely end up doing some thing wrong. As for changing the elements, I don’t know if I think that was to confuse, or if it fit with his systematical approach to magick.