Five Element Mantras

Mantras and Five Elements

Download artwork on our FREE STUFF page!

Five Element Mantras

The five element system is a powerful way to view the world and the process of transformation. Many traditional cultures categorize various aspects of life according to a system of natural elements. Natural element systems describe the relationship between different energies and phenomena in the world around us. Finding your natural element compatibility can help you to choose the mantras that are the most supportive and healing for you.

Chinese and Vedic Five Element Systems
The Chinese five element system uses wood, fire, earth, metal, and water as the primary natural elements. The Vedic five element system is like the Chinese system but developed separately in India. The Vedic system also uses the elements of water, earth, and fire. However, the fourth and fifth elements in the Vedic system are space and air (rather than wood and metal).

Table of Contents

Share this page with a friend!

Determining Five Element Affinities

Each of the five elements have characteristics that can be identified as personality types. If you are predominantly one type, you may want to emphasize mantras that help to balance your approach to life. Look at the summary of the five element personality types below to see where you think you currently fit. As you go through life, your compatibility with one or more elements can shift.

Balancing the Five Elements
For example, I am predominantly compatible with the water element. To balance this, I love to focus on fire chants! After years of this practice, I no longer have cold hands and feet. In fact, sometimes I feel a distinct surge of warmth while chanting. At this point, I could probably shift to chants connected to other elements to avoid activating too much fire!

Take the Five Elements Personality Survey
For an extensive survey to determine your five element compatibility, click for a PDF of the Five Element Personality Survey or see the checklist at the end of this article. This survey includes physical, emotional and psychological traits typical of each of the five elements. Note that you may be a mix of more than one although one usually predominates.

Click for your Five Element Personality Survey.

Five Element Characteristics

Fire Element Personalities

Fire energy is characterized by its ability to give off warmth and attract others. Predominately “fire” types place a great deal of emphasis on interpersonal relationships. Accordingly, they are romantic and idealistic, enthusiastic, and emotional. The danger of too much fire is an excess of anger or passion.

Earth Element Personalities

The earth element can absorb excesses of the other elements. Earth personalities are forgiving and compassionate. Earth types are wonderful friends and great listeners. The main concern with being an earth type is the tendency to take on the burdens of others to a degree that is detrimental to yourself.

Water Element Personalities

Water can change effortlessly without losing its essential nature. Water types are resourceful and single-minded, flowing over problems like a river. Water types can also store or “pool” their resources to be in a position of strength when opportunities arise. On the other hand, if a person has too much water, they may become overly emotional or stagnant.

Air Element Personalities

Air personalities are often highly intelligent, analyzing life at every turn. They literally breeze through life, moving quickly and making decisions easily. Something to watch out for as an air personality is unpredictability or detachment.

Space or Ether Element Personalities

The element of space is the most subtle and has the least defining characteristics. Space or ether is close to the concept of “emptiness.” In Sanskrit, this element is called akasha. This means the background against which everything is perceived. A person with this predominant element is someone who focuses on the eternal. Staying tethered to this world might be an issue for space (ether) personalities.

Finding A Five Element Mantra

In the Vedic system, there are deities associated with each element. In turn, each deity has mantras and sounds that represent their unique energy. There are also typical interactions between the five elements.

Five Element Interactions
Simplified examples of these interactions would be the fire element heating water; the earth element absorbing water; the water element putting out fire; the air element feeding fire; and the space or ether element supporting the earth. The list of deities associated with the five elements below will help you create more balance in your life!

Watch over 200 videos on our YouTube channel!

Fire Element Personality: The Radiant One

Fire types are passionate about life and relationships. If your predominant compatibility is with fire, you attract others through your warmth and intuitive empathy. Your sunny, summer-time disposition makes you popular in any crowd. You work hard at creating and sustaining relationships.

Fire Element Sensitivity
Your sensitivity to others is highly developed, and you often sense what others are thinking and feeling, sometimes even before they do! You are devoted to your loved ones and experience a great deal of pain when separated from them. You are idealistic and classically romantic, yearning for a relationship that fuses two hearts into one forever. You are enthusiastic, full of energy, vivacious, warm-hearted and emotional.

Maintaining a Network
You constantly run the risk of losing a sense of self when you are deeply and intensely involved in a primary relationship. You need to remain connected to friends, family and the larger community to maintain your balance. When your intelligence and passion are channeled, you are highly creative and may be gifted as a public speaker, actor, politician or writer.

Fire Element

Challenges for Fire Element Personalities

You may have a tendency towards nervousness, agitation, and fidgeting. Problems arise for you when you feel disconnected from others or when you are constantly over excited or over stimulated. You need to set boundaries that will protect you and help to conserve your energy.

Fire Element Excesses
Excesses of the fire element can lead to irrational thoughts, phobias and fears. Restlessness, panic attacks, anxiety, heartburn and an accelerated heart rate can result. You may experience unpleasant mood swings and a lack of appetite. The heart and small intestines are the organs most affected by imbalances in fire energy.

Deficient Fire Energy
If your fire energy becomes deficient, you may have a sense of lost direction, of being overwhelmed by circumstances or out of control. Eventually this can lead to emotional instability, depression and hopelessness.

Fire Element Mantras

To emphasize fire mantras, choose chants to Agni Deva (Hindu Lord of Fire), the Goddess Kali, the Goddess Durga, or Lord Rama. Each of these have a different for of fire. Some are an etheric fire, others are an earthly fire, the fire of lightning, or the fire of the heart.

Agni Deva Mantras: The Hindu fire god is known as Agni Deva. He is a masculine deity who embodies primordial fire, holy fire, or spiritual fire. Fire is the perfect metaphor for the transformation of unwanted patterns, situations, and personal characteristics. Fire is an expression of both light and heat—two fundamentals for the sustenance of life. Listen to mantras to Agni Deva.

Kali Deity Art

Download artwork on our FREE STUFF page!

Goddess Kali Mantras: Kali is a Hindu deity symbolizing mastery over time and death. Kali battles the forces of evil on behalf of her children. She is an intimidating figure, brandishing multiple weapons with her four arms. Kali wears a skirt of severed arms and a gruesome garland of heads. These grisly body parts are symbolic of the demonic forces that she slays to protect her devotees. Learn more about Kali.

Goddess Durga Mantras: Durga is a warrior goddess. She overthrows the forces that threaten peace, prosperity and all that is good. The name Durga means a fort or a place that is difficult to overrun. Durga is a goddess who saves her devotees from difficulties whenever possible. More about Durga.

Lord Ram & Goddess Sita Mantras: Ram and Sita are sometimes viewed as symbolizing the unmanifest and the manifest minds, or the pineal and pituitary glands. While Sita represents courage, dedication and purity, Ram (or Rama) represents truth, the soul and virtue. Learn more about Ram and Sita.

Watch over 200 videos on our YouTube channel!

Earth Element Personality: The Peacemaker

Earth types are tolerant, forgiving and caring. If your predominant compatibility is with the earth element, you are naturally sympathetic and have great difficulty saying no to people in need. You are a wonderful friend, willing to listen to other people’s problems. You possess a good disposition and the necessary patience to go with it. You are a loving parent, a spokesperson for peace and cooperation, and the one who tries to create harmony in all situations.

Earth Element Connections
People feel safe with you, and you establish connections with many different types of people. Kinship with others and companionship are essential for your health and happiness. You are thrown off-balance by discord and strife. Your own natural non-judgmental attitude makes you a fine teacher, especially for young children.

Working with the Earth
You are likely to derive a great deal of pleasure from gardening. You love to harvest your handiwork as gifts for others. In fact, you particularly enjoy the season of late summer, sometimes known as Indian summer. The familiar comforts of the seasons as well as your home environment give you a sense of grounding and stability.

Challenges for the Earth Element

Imbalances in earth energy often affect the stomach and spleen. These organs are related to your center of gravity as well as to physical digestion. If you allow the desire to solve other people’s problems to become an obsession, you may have little time to care for yourself.

Excess Earth Energy
This is a key signal that you are suffering from excess earth energy. The boundaries between yourself and others are no longer clearly defined. your natural need to nurture others can become a suffocating over-protectiveness for them and an energy drain for you.

Unwanted Weight Gain
Your natural concern for people and situations can also degenerate into constant worry and fretting. As an earth type, you are likely to turn to food for gratification, especially sweets. you may be plagued by blood sugar problems such as hypoglycemia and have difficulty losing unwanted weight. You can become hypersensitive to criticism from others, have difficulty with changes and transitions, and feel sluggish in general.

Deficiency of the Earth Element
If your affinity to the earth element becomes deficient, your connection to others becomes dependence on them rather than a desire to help. A fear of abandonment or deprivation can lead to deep emotional insecurities.

Watch over 200 videos on our YouTube channel!

Earth Mantras

To focus on the earth element, choose mantras to Ganesha (the Elephant-Headed God). The energy of a large, heavy creature like an elephant is a good metaphor for the earth element.

Download artwork on our FREE STUFF page!

Ganesha Mantras: Ganesha is one of the most well-known and popular deities in the Hindu pantheon. He is also known as Ganapati or Lord Ganesh. This deity is commonly believed to be the ruler of new beginnings, success, wisdom, removing obstacles, letters, and learning. Mantras and prayers to Ganesha are often used at the beginning of an undertaking. Ganesha is an unusual and beloved part of Hindu tradition. Hear mantras to Ganesha.

Watch over 200 videos on our YouTube channel!

Water Element Personality: The Philosopher

Water types have the ability to change effortlessly without ever losing their essential character. If your predominant compatibility is with water, you are resourceful, dependable and single-minded in the pursuit of your goals. You have a strong sense of self and follow your path with purpose in spite of difficult or demanding situations.

Going Deep with the Water Element
Water types often have a spiritual focus in life, or at least a dedication to quiet introspection. If you are a water element personality, you are curious about the underlying mechanics of the world as well as the underlying meaning of life and are gifted with an active imagination. you are an intellectual and a visionary. Logic and analysis come naturally to you, including the solving of complex mathematical or political problems. 

Flowing Over Problems
You flow over problems like a river and have the ability to pool your resources and strengths when necessary. This puts you in a position of readiness and strength when the opportunity to move forward arises again.

Kidneys and the Water Element
The organs most associate with the water element are the kidneys. As the regulators of blood quality, the kidneys metaphorically supply the energy required to continue moving forward in life. Depression, coping difficulties and a sense of foreboding can result when the blood is not filtered and warmed sufficiently by the kidneys. 

Challenges for the Water Element

Excess water energy can result in a cooling or “freezing” effect. Arthritis, tumors and high blood pressure can result. on the emotional level, excess water energy can result in intolerance and a tendency to be overly opinionated. Refusing to change your course, you can become paranoid about the contrasting views of others and fear persecution. Eventually this can lead to antisocial tendencies, marked withdrawal from others and pessimism.

Problems with the Water Element
Deficient water energy types are melancholy and feel arid, empty and alone. Excessive dryness of the skin and mucus membranes can occur on the physical level, as well as deterioration in hearing and vision. Urinary or sexual problems can also arise.

Deficient Water Energy
The deficient water type can become absentminded. procrastination and laziness can replace the natural quality of single-mindedness. Although winter is the season with the most affinity for water element types, deficiency can result in an aversion to cold weather.

Water Element Mantras

To increase the water element, there are a number of Hindu deities to choose from including Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth), Ganga Mata (Ganges Goddess), or Krishna.

Download artwork on our FREE STUFF page!

Lakshmi (Goddess of Wealth) Mantras: The goddess Lakshmi is the personification of all that is good, helpful and beneficial. A Lakshmi mantra will usually focus on auspiciousness, wealth and prosperity. Her name is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning goal, aim or sign. Hear a mantra to Lakshmi.

Ganga Mata (Ganges River Goddess) Mantras: Ganga Mata is a Hindu goddess personifying the Ganges River. She is a deity associated with forgiveness and purification. Water is a symbol of purity in many spiritual traditions, used for cleansing and baptism. Hindus bathe in the river Ganges for spiritual and ritual purposes. Listen to a water element mantra to Ganga Mata.

Krishna Mantras: Krishna is one of the most significant deities in Hinduism. He is the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, one of the three persons of the Hindu trinity. Krishna widely revered among devotees around the world. Krishna is known for the qualities of compassion, tenderness, protection and love.

Watch over 200 videos on our YouTube channel!

Air Element Personality: The Commander

Air types are constantly in motion. They are driven to grow and expand like the green shoots bursting forth in spring. If your predominant compatibility is with air, you appreciate being firmly grounded with deep roots at home. From this place of stability and strength, your potential is unlimited and you have the ability to succeed against all odds.

Advantages of the Air Element
As a personality with a fundamental affinity to the air element, you tend to seek out new challenges and adventures. You are bold and ambitious. You are direct and forceful, with clear and effective self-expression. At times you are fiercely and perhaps overly competitive.

Characteristics of the Air Element
You are adaptable and imbued with a sense of strength and purpose. You are blessed with insight, vision and the ability to plan ahead. Your determination is strong. You react to stress, frustration and injustice with anger. Releasing and channeling anger effectively is  key to maintaining your balance and pliability.

Challenges for the Air Element

Problems arise for you when you live for long periods of time with chronic, unrelieved stress. This can be complicated by poor health habits: unhealthy diet, too many medications, and lack of exercise. All of these poor habits will tend to burden your liver and gallbladder. A tendency towards impulsive or reckless behavior may result, as well as difficulties with decision-making.

Excessive Air Element Challenges
When your affinity to air becomes excessive and is not balanced by the qualities of the other five fundamental elements, you may become unpleasantly aggressive. You may cause damage to yourself and others by pushing ahead without adequate planning or thought. Your behavior can become inconsiderate towards family and friends, but their protestations will only meet with angry self-defense and pointed denunciations.

Health Problems and the Air Element
Increasing physical and emotional distresses may test your independence and self-reliance. Physical symptoms can include tight or cramped muscles, migraine headaches and digestive disturbances. You may become exceedingly serious and have difficulty relaxing. You may become obsessed with a particular goal and develop self-destructive, workaholic tendencies.

Deficient Air Element
If your affinity to air becomes deficient, you may be faced with an internal weakening and eventual collapse. You have depleted your energy reserves and your personal power begins to wane. Rather than focusing anger outward, you may fall prey to inwardly-directed shame and humiliation. This will result in stagnation.

Impact of Air Element Deficiency on Health
You may find your powers of concentration have lessened considerably and you are becoming exhausted and despondent. If your deficiency of air energy is uncorrected for an extended period of time, sleep disturbances, allergies, eye problems, and digestive difficulties can result.

Air Element Mantras

To generate more of the air element, try mantras to Hanuman (Monkey-Faced God), Shiva, or Buddha. Air mantras may help to lighten things up if you feel too earth-bound.

Hanuman Mantras: Hanuman is the monkey-god, hero of epics and stories in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. He is the ardent devotee of Lord Rama, and central to the epic poem Ramayana. Hanuman is sometimes depicted as the patron of martial arts, wrestling, and acrobatics. He is also the patron of meditation and scholarship. Listen to mantras and learn more about Hanuman.

Shiva Mantras: Shiva is part of the Hindu trinity composed of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. This aspect of God is the destroyer of evil, akin to the Holy Spirit in the Christian trinity. Shiva is alternately depicted both as benevolent and fearsome. Listen to Shiva Mantras.

Female Buddha Mantras: The female buddhas are generally less well known than their male counterparts. When taken together, the masculine and feminine forms are a balanced whole. Buddhist deities are viewed as aspects of one God rather than separate beings. They are used to help the seeker visualize and internalize a specific aspect of God. Listen to mantras to the Female Buddhas.

Watch over 200 videos on our YouTube channel!

Ether Element Personality: The Artist

Ether or space element personalities are characterized by the qualities of strength, endurance, idealism, discipline and will. People with strong space or ether in their personality have high aspirations and are often involved in creative expressions that seek to uplift life. Space element personalities draw the viewer to the core issues in life such as ethics, morality, philosophy, religion and the underlying principles revealed through the best of higher learning. Those with a strong affinity to the space element seek quality rather than quantity in life.

Positive Ether Element Characteristics
Ideally, ether element types have strong lungs, representing the ability to take life in and let go in a healthy, invigorating way. The element of space can be symbolized by majestic, snow-capped mountains. Mountains are firmly grounded. At the same time, they reach towards the heavens. If your predominant compatibility is with space, you are precise and tranquil, yet adaptable to changing circumstances.

Ether Element Personality Intellectual Pursuits
Ether element types seek to develop their character through the study of culture and higher truth. You appreciate conciseness and have a special understanding of the temporary nature of life. You find the season of autumn exhilarating and refreshing. Space types enjoy intellectual discussions. They avoid small talk and superficial chatter.

Organs Associated with the Ether Element
The organs most associated with space or ether energy are the lungs and large intestines. On both the physical and the emotional levels, space types have to balance the ability to hold on and let go, to yield and demand, to give and take.

Challenges for Ether Element Personalities

Too much space element can result in rigidity, tight scheduling, and a level of order that inhibits rather than supports accomplishments in life. Emotions are kept under tight control. As a result, the body begins to stiffen and creativity becomes limited. In addition, the ability to maintain loving relationships is eroded.

Downside of the Ether Element
Unfortunately, ether element types may become even more rigid as they seek to regain control in their lives. They may turn towards the accumulation of material possessions, greater outward success or adhere irrationally to a fixed set of beliefs. This is an attempt to bolster a lack of self-esteem.

Health Difficulties Associated with the Ether Element
When the fluid strength of space has hardened to become solid and unyielding, spine and joint problems can result. Hay fever, allergies and respiratory symptoms can develop. Space types can become highly uncomfortable with conflict and disorder, and sometimes fanatical about cleanliness.

Deficient Ether Element Energies
If space or ether energy is deficient, the need for outside support begins to replace the native inner strength of the space personality. Criticism from others becomes unbearable. You begin to revert to social conventions such as good manners and surface beauty rather than adhering to a structure of deeper meaning.

Creating Balance with the Ether Element
Your immune function may suffer and you may become plagued by recurring or chronic illness. Rather than tightly scheduling every minute of the day, you need to create order in your life without going overboard.

Space (Ether) Mantras

There is a deity associated with the element of space or ether named Isana. However, this deity has few traditional mantras. On the other hand, there are a number of Buddhist chants associated with the space or ether element. One of these is featured below.

Heart Sutra Mantra (Gate Gate): The Buddhist mantra “Gate Gate Paragate” is clearly an ether or space element chant. This mantra means, “Gone, gone, gone wholly beyond.” This is a well-known mantra from the Buddhist text called The Heart Sutra. Listen to the Gate Gate Paragate mantra.

More About the Vedic Five Element System

In the Vedic system, there are sounds and deities associated with each element. Each deity has mantras and symbols to represent their unique energy. The summary below links to additional information about each of the five elements:


Natural Materials: leather, wool
Gems & Minerals: ruby, garnet, carnelian
Shape: triangle, pyramid, cone, radiant patterns
Artwork: animals, people, fire, lightning, sunshine, candles, fireplaces, campfires, wood stoves
Symbols: flames, animals
Quality: very yang
Colors: red, orange, yellow
Deities: Durga, Kali, Rama, Skanda


Natural Materials: soil, adobe, ceramics, tile, stucco, brick, wood, earthenware, rocks
Gems & Minerals: lapis, amber, jade, emerald, agate, diamond, bronze, gold, copper, silver
Shape: square, rectangle, plaid patterns, floral prints, stripes, scallops
Artwork: landscapes, mountains, hills, gardens, fruit, plants, flowers, herbs, trees, fields
Symbols: mountain, tree, lotus, goat, elephant
Quality: balanced
Colors: orange, brown, yellow, earth tones, purple
Deities: Ganesha, Indra


Natural Materials: lace, veils
Gems & Minerals: pearl
Shape: sphere, dome, unbounded patterns
Artwork: angels, stars, fairies, spiritual beings, astronomy, galaxies, universe
Symbols: stars, mythical or celestial beings
Quality: extremely yin
Colors: white, golden colors, rose
Deities: Isana


Natural Materials: glass, crystals, sand, pebbles
Gems & Minerals: quartz, aquamarine, sapphire, turquoise
Shape: asymmetrical, free-flowing, curved, smooth, wave-like, circle, oval, ellipse
Artwork: rivers, rain, waterfalls, oceans, streams, lakes, ponds, water basins, mirrors, birdbaths
Symbols: turtles, water lilies
Quality: very yin
Colors: turquoise, aqua, blue, green, black
Deities: Lakshmi, Sundari, Vishnu, Krishna


Natural Materials: fabric
Gems & Minerals: opal
Shape: amorphous, swirled patterns
Artwork: flags, kites, sailboats, tents
Symbols: birds
Quality: cool air/yin, hot air/yang
Colors: grey, dark blue, dark red
Deities: Hanuman, Shiva, Buddha

Sylphs of the Air Wind Painting

A Beautiful Wind by Kathleen Karlsen

Beyond the Five Elements

There are some elements that go beyond the five basic elements, creating a larger set of nine elements. These elements could be viewed as etheric or spiritual. In some cases, they are subsets of one of the five elements. For example, the element called “lake” is a subset of the water element. The element of “mountain” is connected to the earth element. The four additional elements are lake, mountain, heaven, and wind.

The Lake Natural Element
The lake element is a unique combination of characteristics that can be used to add subtle accents or energies to an indoor environment. Natural materials associated with lakes include sand and pebbles. The oval shape corresponds well with the lake element but is not as aligned with other bodies of water such as the ocean or rivers.

The Mountain Natural Element
Likewise, the mountain element is connected to the triangle shape whereas the earth element is associated with a square. Mountain structures include A-frame homes and teepees. The mountain goat is the animal that corresponds to the mountain element. on the other hand, the lotus flower represents the earth.

The Heaven Natural Element
The heaven element can be expressed with materials like lace and veils. Images of angels, celestial beings and the universe bring the heaven element into indoor spaces. Colors associated with heaven are white and gold and the structure is a dome.

The Wind Natural Element
The element of wind can be symbolized by swirling patterns and depictions of flags, kites and sailboats. The animals associated with the wind are the many species of birds that grace the sky. The wind has no definite shape.

Five Element Chart

Click for a full size PDF of the Complete Five Element Chart.

Feng Shui Element Chart

Five Element Personality Survey

Individuals may have affinities for one or more of the five elements. The factors in the list below will help you to decide which elements are part of your own fundamental nature. This helps you to choose appropriate mantras as well as colors, images and structures in your environment that will bring the optimal balance in your life. 

Click for a full size PDF of the Five Element Personality Survey.

The following information can be used as a survey. See which of the descriptions in each section fit you best. You may not fit all the characteristics listed for a particular element. Pick the one that has the closest correlation to your physique and personality.

Using the Five Element Personality Survey
Keep track of your score separately or print out the PDF linked above to get a total tally for air, fire, earth, space and water. The highest score is your predominant compatibility. The next highest score is your secondary compatibility.

More Natural Element Resources
To experiment with balancing your compatibilities with the symbols, colors and other aspects of the elements in your environment, see the Complete Feng Shui Element Chart. If you have health issues, please consult a qualified practitioner. This survey is for educational purposes only.

Kathleen Karlsen Video Resources Thumbnail

Author Kathleen Karlsen

Kathleen Karlsen is a musician, artist, writer and speaker. She is the author of two books (Flower Symbols and Vocal Medicine) and over 200 articles. Kathleen, her husband Andrew, and their five children live in Bozeman, Montana. More about Kathleen Karlsen.

Share this page with a friend!

Scroll to Top