SORITA D’ESTE. The system of the four elements, Air, Fire, Water and Earth is a key foundation stone in the development of the Western Esoteric Tradition, and practices associated with it can still be found in almost all the modern traditions of magic and mysticism, including Alchemy, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Ceremonial Magic, and Qabalah through to the Wiccan Tradition, Neo-Pagan Witchcraft and Druidry. Its historical origins can be found two and a half thousand years ago in the writings of the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles. In the fifth century BCE in his Tetrasomia (Doctrine of the Four Elements), Empedocles expressed the view that the four elements were not only the building blocks of the universe, but also spiritual essences.
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