|“||Bastianna, one of the Elders, called upon the four elements to bind our past and future magic together. Earth to connect us to our ancestors. Water to heal the community. Wind to carry us to our ancestors and back. Fire to purify.||”|
Elemental Control is an ability of the witches to change, control or manipulate the elements of air, earth, fire or water. Witches commonly invoke these elements to harness their specific properties and can have devastating effects when combined together. This power can also be activated through various spells though commonly performed non-verbally.
The four elements were invoked in the lifting of the seal that kept the tomb vampires in Fell's Church trapped. The spell was improvised by Bonnie and Sheila Bennett due to the original key being destroyed by their ancestor Emily Bennett. Drawing on the elements for power in order for the Bennett witches to perform the spell, Air, Earth, Fire and Water were symbolized within a pentagram of torches. The spell, however, was only meant to open the seal, to allow vampires to enter, and not to remove it entirely. (Fool Me Once)
The four elements are invoked in the Harvest an Ancestral Magic-based ritual performed by the covens of New Orleans, and also manifest should the final stage of the ritual, known as the Reaping, not be completed within a year of the first stage of the ritual. This was demonstrated in 2011, when New Orleans was plagued by intense earthquakes, torrential rain, severe windstorms, as well as wildfires spreading throughout the city as a result of the fourth Harvest Witch, Davina Claire, not being sacrificed to the Ancestors as intended. Had the Harvest not been completed by Sophie Deveraux, Elijah Mikaelson, Niklaus Mikaelson, Rebekah Mikaelson, and Hayley Marshall, the effects of the Ancestors' elemental control would have completely decimated New Orleans. (Après Moi, Le Déluge)
As seen during the Fête des Bénédictions, the "Feast of the Blessings", each of the Harvest Girls demonstrated abilities that corresponded to one of the four elements that were invoked during the Harvest ritual: Monique represented earth, Abigail represented air, Davina represented fire, and had she been present, Cassie would have represented water. They demonstrated the following elemental capabilities to the crowd: Monique caused a minor tremor, Abigail caused moderate breeze to blow around the streets, and Davina used her magic to set off the fireworks that kicked off the festival. (The Big Uneasy)
Control over the following four elements is an ability possessed by all witches, regardless of skill level, though practice is needed in order to use them in a precise manner.
- Pyrokinesis: This is the ability to control and manipulate flames, embers, or any object with an extremely high temperature. The manipulation of fire is one of the most basic and commonly used facets of elemental control in magic. However, it requires concentration; those who lose their focus on the fire-related task can cause the flames to die, and loss of control over ones emotions while using pyrokinesis can lead to destruction and death. Fire is associated with strong emotions such as passion, anger, and rage.
- Hydrokinesis: This is the ability to control and manipulate bodies of water or any other types of liquids. The manipulation of water is commonly used for divination, healing, and restoration of nature. Technically speaking, this ability can also extent to the manipulation of blood, such as when Davina used a spell to siphon Klaus' blood from the pavement upon which it had been splattered. Despite hydrokinesis not being widely used as a form of defensive or offensive magic, it still requires significant concentration in order to successfully complete their tasks, such as when the Heretics controlled the available water from a sprinkler system to use as an accelerate for a fire spell in Day One of Twenty-Two Thousand, Give or Take. Another potent form of hydrokinesis includes the use of freezing water into solid ice, otherwise known as cryokinesis, though this has rarely been used. Hope Mikaelson once used this ability when she performed a spell to turn water into ice and busted Connor's car window in The Tale of Two Wolves. Lizzie Saltzman used a similar spell in That's Nothing I Had to Remember when she rapidly cooled and extinguished the flames on the reanimated "zombie" jogger. Lizzie once again used a spell in This is Why We Don't Entrust Plans to Muppet Babies in her attempt freeze the mora miserium to keep it from breaking, but Alaric seemed to believe that it was speeding up the process. Water is associated with passive emotions such as serenity and tranquility.
- Aerokinesis: This is the ability to control and manipulate gusts of wind, such as creating windstorms and tornadoes. The manipulation of air is the second most basic and commonly used facet of elemental control with regards to magic. Despite not being widely used as defensive or offensive magic, air differs from the other elements because it is both the weakest and the most powerful form of Elemental Magic. This is most notable when Maria and her fellow Travelers pulled the air from Jeremy Gilbert's lungs and he began to suffocate in What Lies Beneath. In That's Nothing I Had to Remember, Hope used a spell to form a localized wind torrent to push back a croatoan. It requires concentration to successfully attain the desired result, and those witches who are especially experienced and powerful can even use aerokinesis to control the weather. Air is associated with emotions such as freedom, harmony, and boldness.
- Geokinesis: This is the power to control and manipulate the Earth, including minerals, rocks, soil, and the movements of tectonic plates. The manipulation of earth is used to create earthquakes, tremors, and to influence agriculture. This element is considered to be the most difficult to handle, since its shape is solid, which makes it less flexible in comparison to the other elements. However, unlike aerokinesis and hydrokinesis, geokinesis can be used as a powerful defensive or offensive attack against an enemy due to the potentially devastating effects it can create. Earth is associated with patience, strength, stability, and goodness.
Advanced Forms of Elemental Control
There are several aspects of elemental control that can be accessed by especially powerful and well-trained witches. However, diligent practice and a significant amount of magical power are required in order to use these abilities with precision.
- Chlorokinesis: This is the ability to control vegetation and the life within it, such as by accelerating, reviving, or withering plant growth and creating various organic flora at will. The manipulation of plant life is an advanced form of elemental control that comes closest to Nature itself. Chlorokinesis is an extremely gentle form of elemental control in comparison with the other four elements, as it nurtures that of another life. For this reason, it is rarely used as defensive or offensive magic.
- Electrokinesis: This is the ability to control energy within the environment. Due to the complexity and difficulty in controlling this element in its most potent form, lightning has the potential to cause severe destruction, more so than other facets of elemental control. Specifically, lightning is pure energy that is capable of destroying a physical body and reducing it to ashes within seconds. To date, only one witch has directly used this form of elemental control in its most potent form; in The Five, the Witch of The Five called upon and summoned a bolt of lightning when she created the Brotherhood of the Five. Despite its complexity, in its most basic form, witches, such as Bonnie Bennett, in We'll Always Have Bourbon Street, Esther Mikaelson, in Every Mother's Son, and Dahlia, in When the Levee Breaks, have manipulated electricity to cause lights to flicker or to disrupt cellular reception, respectively. Additionally, Emma Tig performed a spell in We're Gonna Need A Spotlight to generate a spark of electricity, where she used Aximander Dust to augment the spell's effects.
- Atmokinesis: This is the power to control and manipulate meteorological phenomenon through precise manipulation of humidity, precipitation, temperature, and barometric pressure. Atmokinesis is the most advanced form of elemental control, as it involves the combination of various elements to achieve the desired effect, such as causing powerful thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Because of the complexity involved in atmokinesis, it requires massive amounts of magical power and concentration to use. Bonnie displayed this ability when she harnessed the power of one-hundred dead witches in Know Thy Enemy and created a storm in mere seconds while Dahlia created a storm that lasted a few days in City Beneath The Sea.
Other Users of Elemental Control
Dryads (TV series): Dryads are the living spirits of trees and, as such, they possess the ability to control, accelerate, and direct growth of plant vegetation at a far greater precision and efficiency than that of witches. Such accuracy has been used as extensions of the dryad's own arms and vines used within combat to strike their enemies. Furthermore, upon the death of the only known dryad, she sprouted and rapidly grew into an enormous, fully mature willow tree.
Phoenixes (TV series): Phoenixes have an indirect use of the element of fire. When they die, their bodies automatically erupts in fire and they resurrect with all damages repaired. Furthermore, they can use this ability to produce wings made of fire to fly in the air. Whether they can use fire other purposes is currently unknown.
Vampires (novels): In The Vampire Diaries novels, extremely old and powerful vampires possess the ability to manipulate the weather. The Old One, Klaus demonstrated the unusual and deadly ability of being able to control lightning. However, the elements can also be used against vampires, as running water can weaken a vampire, and fire can destroy them.
- According to Elijah Mikaelson, objects enchanted by witchcraft can only be destroyed by using the elements of water and fire. He then demonstrated this fact by throwing the moonlight stones over hot coals and then pouring water over them.
- In the TV series, a witch can control the elements at a basic level. The more power and experience a witch has, the greater and more difficult to control the effects will be.
- In the novels, the origin of vampires is a mystery, but some of the powers of the undead are controlling elements and weather. In the TV series, vampires are hated by Nature and are considered as an abomination. Because of this hatred, witches, as the servants of Nature, are the only supernatural species that can manipulate the elements, and if they are turned into a vampire, Nature will sever the witch's connection to the earth and prevent them from using their powers. The only exception to this rule are the Siphoners, who don't possess magic on their own and thus fall into a loophole in the laws of Nature.