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The elements are primordial essences of creation. They are the building blocks of matter and life. Initially we have the four basic elements: We have Fire which we can attribute its classical principal as pure energy, which creates and forms the Earth. We have Earth which we can attribute its classical principle as a solid, a foundation for matter. We have Water which we can attribute to its classical principle as a liquid, which sustains and nourishes Earth. We have Air which we can attribute its classical principle as a gas, which grants life to the Earth. Now we have Akasha or Spirit the element in which binds the four basic elements, and in doing so they work together in harmony to create and balance the cycle of life, the universe, and the cosmos.
The elements each on their own resonate extreme forces of power and creation, but like all things that can create, they can also destroy. You have to understand that when working with the elements, you don't just have one or two, but rather you have all them as you are connected to them all; Air, Water, Earth, Fire, and Spirit (Note that astrological signs don't correspond with Spirit.) Most well experienced and well round practitioners and element workers will tell you that it is a life long journey working with the elements. As such one should work with and practice with each of the elements until it practically becomes second nature and seems effortless.
However along this journey you might find that over time while working with the elements, you may form a personal bond and connection with or or two elements specifically more so than the rest; which is completely natural and fine. The elements your form a closer bond with play to your natural instincts, energy, desires, emotions, personality, and so on. With your bonded element/s you may find it much easier to work with sometimes to the point that it is completely fluid and unison like; not that you should not strive to achieve the same affect with all the elements.
Personally speaking my two bonded elements are Air first, and Water second. But this is how I like to envision myself when working with the elements: Before me lies the Element Air, the element of Knowledge, Wisdom, Inspiration, and Freedom which is ruled by the direction East. To my right lies the element Fire, the element of Passion, Strength, Transformation, and Will which is ruled by the direction South. Behind me falls the element Water, the elements of Change, Emotion, Courage, and Reflection which is ruled by the direction West. To my left the element Earth stands, the element of Balance, Nature, Endurance, and Wealth which is ruled by the direction North. And within me lives the element and body of Spirit, the element of Love, Desire, Compassion, and Eternity.
To work with the elements in a general sense I would suggest giving your hand at working with them and meditating with them in a myriad of different ways. For example I will list several possibilities for each element:
Experiment with deep breath meditations
Go outside and find your favorite breezy spot and absorb the magic of wind
Fly a kite
Experiment with flying in the astral plane
Scry using smoke, and watch the wind blow the smoke in swirls and patterns
Sit outside next to a campfire or bonfire and meditate
Scry with fire by gazing into the flames
Try your hand by manipulating the flame of a candle
Spend extra time outside and enjoy the glorious sunshine
perform workings using candle and fire magics
Sit by a lake, river, stream, pond or any body of water and meditate
Drink more water than you usually drink and see how it affects you and how you react
Go on a boat/kayak, or canoe ride
Shine your pretty voice and take a bath or shower, and sing to your hearts desire
Try using a bowl or some watered surface, and try scrying that way
Go for a walk outdoors or hike
Play in the dirt, sand, or mud
If you have a garden or like gardening go out and do some work with your green thumbs, if you've never tried now's a good time to start
Go on a stone hunt or explore different stones you see while walking or hiking
Have a stone or crystal day, spend your time with your stones and gems
There are many more ways you can go about working and exploring the elements. With creativity and imagination there are some pretty amazing things one can do while working with the natural elements. The elements have their correspondences and associations just like many things with the craft and magic so for an example I will share with you my associations and correspondences that I have formed with the elements. But keep in mind that correspondences between different people, different paths, different traditions will not always be the same, sometimes similar sometimes complete different from one another. That's because the elements like many things are unique to each individual as you each form a relationship with each element, and over time you will come to bond and connect with them, following of which you will gradually learn about them as they learn about you.