The High Priestess: How to Connect to and Embody the Elements

Connect to earth, air, fire, water, and spirit using cannabis.
The High Priestess: How to Connect to and Embody the Elements
Ivory Woods

Are you ready to get wet, hot, and steamy this summer? We just experienced the transformative release of the Full Moon in Scorpio, and now we’re inching closer and closer to the peak of the year on the Summer Solstice on June 21st. Spring has sprung, and now we’re officially in Gemini season, the air sign represented by the glyph of the twins. This is a season of creativity, communication, collaboration, union, and expansion, where we get to embrace the freedom of air and its need to transform.  

For this installment of the High Priestess, I was inspired by my current muses: the elements. Earth, air, fire, water, and spirit exist in nearly every spiritual tradition in some form. These elements speak of the physical, natural world around us, as well as of the subtle, spiritual world. The elements teach us of finding grounding, presence, compassion, and passion. Luckily enough, we can connect to all of this wisdom through cannabis.   

For this column, I had the pleasure of interviewing the CannaSexual® and sex and relationship coach Ashley Manta about how plant medicine can lead us deeper into discovering the magick of the elements. Besides actively sharing the ways in which Cannabis can improve our sex lives, Ashley is also a practicing witch and a Taurus, so you know that she talks the talk and walks the walk of all things Venusian and pleasure. In this column, we talk about what each of the elements can teach us, and receive CannaSexual approved mantras as well as simple rituals you can practice connect even further with these energies.  

Ivory Woods


We all connect to the element of earth every day. This element is the physical; the flowers we smell, the ground we walk on, the cannabis we’re smoking. Not only is earth all about Mother Nature herself, but this element also speaks to all of the things that keep us safe, grounded and protected. The element of earth represents the things we have in our lives as well; the objects we keep, our home, our relationships (since these too exist in the physical vessel of a human being). And in our case specifically, the element of Earth is represented by cannabis herself. The element of earth IS cannabis, the Green Ganja Goddess, Gaia, Mother Nature, or whatever other name you call her.

Ashley, who moonlights as a “botanical ambassador”, shares that for her, connecting with the element of earth means being grateful and physically honoring the cannabis plant.

“Even before I start to put the cannabis into the bowl or bong or whatever I’m smoking out of, I just hold the flower in my hands and inhale and I regard it and honor it,” she explains. “Not only the grower that brought it to cultivation but the people who are still sitting in jail who have had this plant used against them because we live in this systematic culture of racism and oppression, especially against black and brown people, so [earth is] being aware and really honoring that.”

Earth is safety and when we tend to the roots, we tend to the flowers. Connecting to the element of earth through cannabis means returning to our bodies and cross-pollinating—doing what we can in the physical to fight these systems of injustice; we help ourselves and then help others.

How to Connect With The Earth: Ground

Ashley and I both have the same grounding visualization, one that is simple and that you can use whenever you want to connect to the earth.

To begin, take a moment to breathe into your body. Imagine roots moving from the base of your spine, deep into the earth. These vines draw up golden energy to your sacral chakra, where your pelvis is, pulling this nourishing light into this space, “releasing all the shame, all the toxic bullshit into it. A beautiful symbiotic relationship that really helps us so much” Ashley explains.

Mantra for Earth:

I follow the path of cross pollination; as I grow and flourish, I help other people grow and flourish.

Ivory Woods


If Earth is the first thing we think of because it is the cannabis plant herself, then air and smoke are surely the second. Air is the element of presence, of expansion, freedom, and expression. It is the reign of the mind, of the intellect. Air is also the breath, our connection to our bodies, our personal purification system. Air reminds us to be our fullest self.

“Air helps me remember to take up space, that it’s okay and good and healthy. I don’t have to be small and unobtrusive,” Ashley shares. “Cannabis helps me get out of my head, it helps me quite those voices that have been telling me my whole life that  ‘you’re too much, you’re being too ridiculous, you’re being too sexual.’”

As we take the time to prepare ourselves to take a hit from our bong, bowl, joint or whatever else, we can work with the element of air to be embodied in the moment. As we exhale and release what’s keeping us small, we make way to fully inhale all the present. Our spirits follow the path of our bodies taking up as much space as possible. Air can also mean we’re intensely aware as we smoke. Instead of heaving the television on and doing this passively, maybe you really take the time to honor each step of the process, of smoking, of feeling your air fill with lungs.

How to Connect With Air: Breathwork

We can return to our breath whenever we need to return to the present moment. And we can connect to this element when we’re getting stoned with our favorite plant by smoking with some intention.

For this exercise you’re going to be breathing consciously. For Ashley, this means that the prep work begins before she starts smoking, for her it’s all about “remembering to empty out my lungs fully, contract my belly, and then inhale fully from the diaphragm [as I smoke].” Filling your lungs up with air in this way will also get you higher which is a plus. You may also wish to experiment with different breathing techniques like the four-fold breath, where you inhale, hold, exhale and hold before beginning again.

Mantra for Air:

I am fully expressed; I don’t have to hide or present a more palatable version of who I am. I am safe to be my fullest self.


For many of us, one of the perks of being high is being in “the flow.” That ability to let go and be completely chill. Water is the realm of the subconscious, of the emotions, of the spiritual, of the subtle. This is soul-level stuff, the feeling of being cared for, held, and nurtured. And Ashley reminds us that water, like the ocean herself, is incredibly powerful and not to be messed with. While air gives us the freedom to take up space and spread as beautifully as smoke does, water gives us the ability to feel the depth of our emotions.  Water shares with us the gift of being multidimensional humans, with light, shadows, brilliance and darkness, which as Ashley puts so beautifully “is really what makes us so interesting and dynamic as humans.”

Connecting with the element of water can be as simple as putting water in your bong or as intentional as spending time by a body of water like a lake or ocean. It can be taking time to take to a partner before you smoke together, which is what Ashley and her partner call “emotional intimacy as foreplay.” Having deep and vulnerable conversations as you smoke can be a really personal way to relate to someone else through the element of water, which is associated with the heart and love, and can also lead to some fiery and steamy moments. Water wants us to connect, to feel, to emote, to create. Cannabis naturally guides us into this realm of conscious creativity and vulnerability, and we can embrace the element of water to understand this more deeply.   

How to Connect with Water: Smoke by the Ocean

Ashley’s happy place is smoking cannabis by the ocean, especially at sunset, and this is always a recommendation, but smoking near a body of water or in a bathtub is good enough. If you like smoking out of a bong, you may wish to leave some water under the New or Full Moon for 4-6 waters to keep and use as blessed bong water. The Moon is associated with the subtle and emotional body, the divine feminine and the heart.  Moon water can be used to cleanse, purify and embed something with the Moon’s energy.

Mantra for Water:

I release all the shit that I hold on to that’s too much for me. I release what no longer serves me and I give it to the ocean.

Ivory Woods


Fire is steamy, it’s passionate, it’s lustful and primal. Fire is power and purpose. It’s also alchemy, and the reason we even get high. “When you light the plant matter, specifically cannabis, the spark, the fire is what turns THCA to Delta9 THC, which is what causes the intoxicating or high effect,” Ashley shares. “In its non-heated form in the flower, it’s THCA; which is why if you were to eat cannabis, you wouldn’t get high.” The fire itself it turns out, is what transmutes the flower and gives us the euphoric feeling of being high.

Fire represents that which lights us up. It’s the actions we take to make our dreams a reality. It’s our sexuality, our desires, what turns us on. Fire is that which allows us to experience altered states, that which allows us to transcend. Through fire we return to the core, the match, the brightest possible expression of our fullest power. Fire is what gets us to places we’ve always dreamed of. It’s the energy of the big bang, of orgasms, of anger channeled into passion. Fire is what burns away what no longer serves us while fortifying what does.

How to Connect with Fire: Sex Magick

For Ashley, cannabis is one of the biggest cornerstones of how she connects to fire and sexuality, how she deepens her awareness and access to her energetic power. She does this through sex magick, which I’ve written about before for this column!

First she sets the scene energetically and physically, dimming lights and putting on a playlist that makes her feel powerful. Then she sets an intention for her ritual before she takes a hit from her bong (since it unites all the elements at once.) “I’ll pack my bowl, and set my intention and think about what I want this experience to be like for me. I’ll call any guides, angels, archetypes, ascended masters, bring in the dream team and as something sexy comes on [the playlist] I’ll smoke naked in front of the mirror.”

To experiment with this, stand in front of the mirror and move your body, seducing yourself. Make eye contact with yourself (this is crucial) and then when you’re ready take yourself to bed. Here, you’ll masturbate and as you climax, you’ll send this energy to the intention you set before you began smoking.

Mantra for Fire:

I seduce myself. I leave room for my intention or something better.


Spirit is the connection through it all. It’s the intention we set, the fire we use to set the spark, the air we inhale into our lungs, and the emotional shift we experience as the high sets in. Spirit is our ability to think, feel, grow, receive and love. It’s the thread connecting earth, air, fire, and water. In our case, you could think of spirit as being high, as the feeling of being in an altered state. This is when we receive downloads, insight, healing. Spirit is the plant medicine in action.

This element is less tangible than the others because it’s the negative space and dark matter that connects everything else. We can’t see it but we can experience it. Connect with each element as you smoke and then feel the effects of the spell you’ve just performed. What does your favorite sort of high feel like? What does it change about the way you feel—about yourself, life, the universe, connection, god whatever it is?

Personally, I feel a sense of gratitude and understanding when I’m stoned. Like, the world just reveals herself to me and I don’t have to try so hard to understand. Spirit means balance means finding grounding as I grow, tapping into my emotions even in my fullest moments of passion. Spirit is the feeling of being high on a spring day under the sun. It’s magick, and it’s something that you experience to understand.

How to Connect to Spirit: Work with a Tarot or Oracle Deck

Ashley and I both share an affinity for pulling a card before any sort of smoking ritual. You may choose to pull something from the 78-cards of the classic tarot deck, or an oracle deck. Take a moment to breathe, get clear with your intention before you shuffle and then pull a card. Write down any insight or messages you have and repeat the following mantra to help you tap into the cards wisdom

Mantra for Spirit:

I create space for ancestors, guides, benevolent beings, and the universe to connect with me through intuitive wisdom.

No matter how you connect to cannabis, or earth, air, fire, water or spirit, I hope that you have the time to honor whatever feels delicious to you. As always, enjoy the high and tune in the week after next for another installment of the High Priestess. And don’t forget to check out my lovely and sexy guest, the CannaSexual and her work.

And this month, we’re continuing the support of National Bail Out, which seeks to help incarcerated moms get back to their families. You can support them by reading about their mission here and donating here.

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