Elementals are spirits of the four elements. As defined by Paracelsus in the 16th century, they are: Earth - Gnomes, Air - Sylphs, Fire - Salamanders, and Water - Undines.
Elementals govern all nature, and may be summoned to assist in Magick. Elementals work through the subjective nature of men and women, and can influence the human mind. They can be mischievous, bad tempered demons if allowed to get out of control. It's important therefore to understand who they are and what they represent.
Earth - Gnomes: Not naturally inclined to aid humankind, but if a person wins their confidence and trust they will prove to be valuable allies. They have the capability to bring about gloom, melancholy, and despair. Conversely, Gnomes can also bestow confidence, steadfastness, and endurance.
Gnomes are ruled by a king whose name is Gob. His followers came to be called Goblins as tales of them were told and retold over the centuries. They usually appear as dwarf-like creatures.
Gnomes are the most substantial of the elementals. They dwell in holes, mines, and caverns. They are the most like us in personality, with all its good and bad points, but they are especially prey to all the weaknesses in human nature. They are called upon for help with money matters, stability, and growth.
Air - Sylphs: They are the spirits of the wind and are associated with the activity of the mind. They can influence and inspire; often they are said to gather around the artist in order to impart inner visions of spiritual beauty. They usually appear to humans in the classic fairy image.
Sylphs are active, quick of movement and speech. They are clever and intelligent, but can be subtle in their persuasiveness. By nature, Sylphs are aloof and detached. They're called for help in creation or resolution of issues involving the intelligence and the mind, or products of intellect.
Fire - Salamanders: Were the first elementals to befriend humans, teaching our ancestors how to make campfires. Salamanders are ruled by king called Djin.
Salamanders move about most freely at night, appearing as balls of light drifting across various bodies of water. Sailors often saw them investigating the sails of their ships - from this came the term "St. Elmo's fire", describing the mysterious forks of flame that often appeared on old sailing vessels.
Salamanders have a profound effect on human nature since they are linked to the activity of our bodies through which we maintain a body temperature. They tend to influence general temperament, such as when someone is hot-blooded. Salamanders often appear to humans in the shape of small, lizard-like flames.
They are unstable, especially with respect to emotions. Fire is traditionally associated with Will, so one can expect Salamanders to be forceful and highly opinionated. They are called upon to help in matters involving the discipline and exercise of the Will and Power, war, and courage. However, due to their unstable natures, calling upon Salamanders carries its own risks as fire-based anomalies may be experienced in the general area in which they're called.
Water - Undines: Their traditional abodes were among marsh reeds and vegetation growing alongside rivers and lakes.
Undines are ruled by Necksa. They are friendly toward humans and their presence has a strong influence on our emotional well-being. The moodiness of an individual can be traced to their elemental nature. Just as water can be beautiful in a fall or river, it can also be unattractive in a stagnant pool.
The activity of Undines is responsible for the vitality within all liquids - therefore they play a vital role in plant, animal, and human life. Undines appear to human most often in full human shape, as beautiful maidens.
Undines are seen as sensual and graceful in their movements, with very strong emotions. Undines are the most human and seductive of the four elemental types. They tend to be sympathetic and loving, and are most helpful in matters dealing with emotional issues, such as love and friendship, desire and lust.