Who doesn’t love a garden gnome? Subject of fun commercials, nursery rhymes, and online images by way too many people with way too much time on their hands, gnomes are one of the Elementals, spirit beings related to earth, air, water, and fire.
Gnomes, of course, are the earth spirits. They concern themselves with the processes by which matter, especially minerals, assumes different forms. Because of this governance, alchemists would seek gnome assistance when trying to turn lead into gold.
Sylphs embody the element of air. Sometimes tempestuous like the weather they create, sylphs are also spirits of inspiration. The element of air represents the mind, clarity of vision, and music.
Undines are the water spirits. They inhabit the oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers. Water represents the emotions and intuition, and so undines are the most empathetic of the Elementals.
And finally, salamanders represent the element of fire. Born from the first volcano, salamanders explore all aspects of fire, including lightning and magma. Salamanders personify (amphibify?) the qualities of unrestrained will and fearlessness.
Get out and about in nature today; you might just run across an Elemental willing to chat with you. If you see a gnome with a suitcase, however, it’s probably not a real Elemental.
Information for this post taken from “The Book of Faeries” by Francis Melville.