aggrippa’s book one begins with explaining the elements – there is a lot of information that tells how the 4 elements relate to each other.  It’s a little hard to follow the information simply by reading, and I have drawn the information up onto a page for reference.

Essentially, fire and earth are the primary elements, with water and air being derived from aspects of fire and earth.  Even with this distinction, all 4 are seen as base elements.

Each of the four is described with aspects: brightness – darkness, thinness – thickness, and motion – quietness, that Agrippa orders from darkest, thickest, quietest (earth) to the brightest, thinnest, most active (fire).

This is interesting and I will refine my ‘cheat sheet’ a bit to help me better see the relationships


Chap. iii. Of the four Elements, their qualities, and mutuall mixtions.

Earth Water Air Fire
Dry – Cold Cold – Moist Moist – Hot Hot – Dry
Contrary to Air Contrary to Fire Contrary to Earth Contrary to Water
Heavy (passive) Heavy (passive) Light (active) Light (active)
2 Earth / 1 Fire 2 Fire / 1 Earth
Darkness Darkness (from Earth)

(twice as bright as Earth)

Darkness (from Earth)

(twice as bright as Water)


(4 times more bright than Air)

Thickness Thickness (from Earth)

(3 times more thin than Earth)

Thinness (from Fire)

(3 times more thin than Water)


(twice as thin as Air)

Quietness Motion (from Fire)

(4 times more moveable than Earth)

Motion (from Fire)

(4 times more moveable than Water)


(3 times more moveable than Air)


Three Books of Occult Philosophy, or of Magick; Henry Cornelius Agrippa