The four classical elements, Earth, Air, Fire and Water, are the root of all things, according to the Greek philosopher Empedocles. Each of the four elements has symbolic meanings, and each is associated with a direction on the compass.
Earth is related to the direction of North, to stability and security. Air is related to the East and to wisdom and communication. Fire is associated with the direction of South, and to passion and energy. Finally, Water relates to the West, and to healing and purification. Often invoked in spellwork, or in the casting of a circle, the four classical elements are often an important part of Pagan ritual.
Be sure to read Earth, Air, Fire and Water to learn more about these four elements, and about folklore relating to each of them.
Examples: According to the Greek philosopher Empedocles, the four elements are the root of all things.