In most Western occult traditions (and books) the associations are as follows:
North = Earth: realm of all 'earthly' matters, such as finances, etc. It is associated with grounding and being 'well rooted'. Also considered the realm of the crone and sage aspects of the God and Goddess. It is associated with winter, death and rebirth. The color(s) it is usually associated with is green or brown.
East = Air: realm of creativity and enlightenment. I tend to associate this element with intuition, not the South. (But to each his or her own) It is associated with dreaming and springtime. It is the place of new beginnings - where the sun starts each day. This is most frequently associated with the maiden/son aspects of the God/Goddess. The color it is usually associated with is yellow.
South = Fire: realm of passion and all the qualities embodied in the warrior archetype- aggression (not necessarily bad aggression), protectiveness, strength, and courage, to name a few. It is associated with high energy and associated with the middle of the day - noon time, as well as the season of summer. It is most frequently associated with the transition between maiden/son, and mother/father aspects of the God/Goddess. The color it is usually associated with is red.
West = Water: realm of emotions and also intuition. It is a very feminine energy (in my humble opinion) that is associated with divination and lunar energy. It can also be likened or associated with fluidity and flexibility in ones' life. It is associated with dusk, and the season of autumn. It also corresponds to the mother/father aspect of the God/Goddess. The color it is usually associated with is blue.
In the North American Shamanistic traditions, they usually go a little more like this -- each of them rotated a half a turn counter clockwise --
North = Air: The color it is most frequently associated with is White. The totem it is frequently (but not always) associated with is the white buffalo. (I've also seen the wolf used.) It is associated with winter time.
East = Fire: The color it is most frequently associated with is yellow (still). The yellow is a representative of the sun (fire) rising from that direction. The totem it is frequently (but not always) associated with is the eagle. The eagle is associated with flight, prayer, and (to me) magickal workings, as well as a closeness to divinity. It is also associated with creativity and enlightenment.
South = Water: The color it is most frequently associated with is red. The totem I have seen it represented by is the mouse. This quarter is the realm of emotions and feelings. It has to do with intuition here.
West = Earth: The color it is most frequently associated with is black. The totem it is most frequently associated with is the bear. The bear is associated with introspection, strength, and direction. It is the realm of all things 'earthly' and bodily.
West = Water: realm of emotions and also intuition. It is a very feminine energy (in my humble opinion) that is associated with divination and lunar energy. It can also be likened or associated with fluidity and flexibility in ones' life. It is associated with dusk, and the season of autumn. It also corresponds to the mother/father aspect of the God/Goddess. The color it is usually associated with is blue
WATER is the element of love, intuition, emotion, fertility, sorrow, understanding and imagination. It is considered a passive and receptive. The direction and quarter of the Circle that corresponds to Water is the West. The season is Autumn and in the foundations of magick, Water is imagination. Imagination begins in our dreams, the language of our subconscious minds and without it our rituals would be dry and emotionless. Imagination allows us to see what might be and is therefore creativity, fertility, and change.
The tool of Water is the Chalice which is used to contain the water of purification and exorcism, holds the ritual wine and for seeing past, present, and future in the practice of scrying. The chalice represents wisdom, transformation, and receptivity. In the legends of ancient times, the Grail of Immortality was sought by the valiant for its life-giving and regenerative powers as well as for the knowledge it brings. The ritual Cauldron is also of the element of Water and the stories that surround it (as the cauldron of Dagda, the cauldron of Cerridwen and the cauldron of Baba Yaga) reaffirm the theme of wisdom, life, transformation, and regeneration.
The Sabbat which corresponds to Water is Samhain/Hallowmas, the festival of death, change and regeneration. Samhain falls in the fixed water sign of Scorpio, known for occult ability, psychic power, death, and regeneration.
The archangel of water is Gabriel, known as the Prince of Change and Alteration. He can be seen on the Judgment Card of the Tarot, blowing his horn which represents fertility and authority. He is visualized in robes of clear blue and orange, holding a chalice from which torrents of water spill.
Undines are the elements of Water. They are extremely graceful and seductive. Undines are similar to humans in form and majority of them are female. They will impart psychic knowledge and ability. If you work with them in this area, be sure to give them extravagant and appealing gifts in return, for they have feelings that can be easily bruised. They correspond to the human digestive system and Necksa is their King. Undines live in the oceans, the rivers, springs, creeks, and raindrops. Their most beloved scents are cool ones - camphor, cucumber, and citrus fruits such as lime. They delight in beautiful shells, silver jewelry, boxes for their treasures and flutes.
The undines love, serve, and honor her unceasingly. They are emotional beings, very friendly and open to being of service to human beings.
Etheric in nature, they exist within the water itself and this is why they can't be seen with the normal physical vision. These beings are beautiful to look at and are very graceful.
They are often seen riding the waves of the ocean. They can also be found in rocky pools and in marshlands. They are clothed in a shimmery substance looking like water but shinning with all the colors of the sea, with green predominating. The concept of the mermaid is connected with these elemental beings.
The undines also work with the plants that grow under the water and with the motion of water. Some undines inhabit waterfalls, others live in rivers and lakes. Every fountain has its nymph. Every ocean has its oceanids.
The undines closely resemble humans in appearance and size, except for those inhabiting smaller streams and ponds. The undines often live in coral caves under the ocean or on the shores of lakes or banks of rivers. Smaller undines live under lily pads.
The undines work with the vital essences and liquids of plants, animals, and human beings. They are present in everything containing water. There are many families of undines, as the chart indicates.
The smaller undines are often seen as winged beings that people have mistakenly called fairies. Those winged beings are seen near flowers that grow in watery areas. They have gossamer wings and gossamer clothing.
Crystals and Gemstones
Think crystal-clear or yellow, as a beginning; a quartz crystal with cloudlike "flaws" is a great (and inexpensive) start. Quartz pebbles are common in pea gravel roads and playgrounds, too, so you can start with that for free.
Think red, orange, or of associations with blood, war, passion, etc. Carnelian is a great fire stone (its own associations are with blood, passion, and the heart, and it's a fiery red-orange in color). Other options include obsidian and other volcanic products--they've been there!
Think blue, or of associations with the emotions. Sedimentary stones, formed in water, seem to recall the element well. Visit a watery place--river, pond, whatever's close, and see if you can find something good just under the water near the shore. You might even find a sedimentary bit with a fossilized aquatic animal in it (mussel shells are pretty common, actually, once you start to look), which is what I use. (Aquamarine is an obvious water stone, but very expensive!)
The color for earth, for many people, is green, and many of the stones associated with earth are green as well. Metallic colors also find their way here, because of the association with money. Of course, any stone is an earth product, so this is a great place to put the stone you find that you want to use but don't know where, at least until you figure out what to do with it! Malachite is a very pretty earth stone, and some folks like pyrite because of its blocky structure (cubes also call to mind the Earth element.) I do use malachite on occasion, but honestly, I prefer a plain brown "rock" (never mind the identification; you don't need it for this one!) that's about as down-home "earthy" as you can get, and with enough personality to draw attention to it on a walk through the woods!
Here is one category where people will often disagree. I do like amethyst here, and many clear crystals (quartz, even selenite, etc.) seem to belong here as well. Turquoise, too, is so multi-functional that I put it into this "integrative" category. Definitely trust your intuition here!
Yes, they have all kinds of different associations for all of this, and there are those that also account for a fifth element, the Ether, form whence all of the others come out and is called the quintessence of all the others.
I like the color associations of the first group,. the most!