It is suggested that you work with each element for an equal amount of time, either dedicating each week in a month to each one or trying each for a day and perhaps repeating the cycle. The whole-week method is better for really living in the element and giving it some time to get to the core of your being, but some people will stagnate if they spend too long trying to commune with one element, especially if it is an element they don't have a particular affinity for or have fears of or disagreements with.
Here, each element is going to be outlined with explanations on how to commune with and understand it better. For each, you can do all or some of these things:
Also, it is very useful to maybe take a week before you start the elemental exercises, just to begin to identify what each stands for. Plan for your weeks, at least vaguely outlining each, so that you can have what you need in the house or planned as activities ahead of time (i.e., if you wanted to have, say, a hang-gliding adventure for Air week, a barbecue for Fire week, a canoeing trip for Water week, and a hiking outing for Earth week, having them booked already is a very good idea, since the whole point of each week is LIVING in the element, not having to worry about the next one). During your preparatory week, you can do things like identify aspects of your life that would serve for each element; a good exercise is listening to your favorite music, and categorizing each song as representative as one of the elements (i.e., light and airy songs go to Air, passionate and heavy songs go to Fire, dreamy, slow, or dark songs go to Water, and straightforward, earthy songs go to Earth). It gets your brain turning in the right circles ahead of time; if you are better prepared overall, you will have a more enjoyable time. You might even consider choosing a convenient week for each element spaced out over the year, doing each element during its appointed season (i.e., do Fire in the summer, Air in the spring, etc.) and taking time off from work or during vacations from school to dedicate specifically to this for a few days each.
GETTING TO KNOW EARTH
Earth is probably the most elusive element to unlock, because it is so the root of our being that we can't separate it from ourselves. It is the element of the body and the physical world, of practical matters, of protection and growth. It is associated with the direction of NORTH, the color GREEN, the season WINTER, the time of MIDNIGHT, and the pentacle as its main magickal tool.
When communing with Earth, wear tones of green, brown, and/or varying shades of tan, in practical and unadorned styles.
Eat breads, carbohydrates, vegetables that grew in the soil, heavy foods, nuts, anything made with flour, organic foods.
When making offerings to this element, deliver them by burying them in the soil.
Focus on practical matters, like your financial life and your career, and planning for the future. Do things you meant to do a long time ago but got distracted from.
Perform spells for prosperity and security and any domestic occurrences you wish to happen.
Find a place to walk barefoot on the face of the earth and step slowly, absorbing earth energy through your feet.
Make a special effort to share what material wealth you have, such as contributing to charities in any way you can (time, money, intellectually), or buy a friend a much-needed surprise or uplifter.
If you can, do some gardening; if no garden is available, commune with some plants that are already planted, doing some watering and fertilizing, or arrange stones around them as an offering.
Make a special effort to sagely listen more than you speak.
GETTING TO KNOW AIR
Air is all around us, and we breathe it in and out constantly; it is literally our breath of life. It is the element of the intellect and the higher arts, of learning, of expressing, of knowing. It is associated with the direction of EAST, the color YELLOW, the season SPRING, the time of DAWN, and the wand as its main magickal tool.
When communing with Air, wear yellow, gold, and light colors, lightweight fabrics that billow, and any jewelry that includes feathers or depicts birds.
Eat light foods like salads, light and sweet fruits, foods with air in them like carbonated sodas (preferably light ones like ginger ale or carbonated waters) and fluffy cakes and biscuits or rice cakes. Don't eat anything that makes you feel overly full.
When making offerings to this element, let them scatter on the wind.
Focus on intellectual matters, like schoolwork or higher academics. Read lofty subjects you always meant to study more. Communicate your scholarly opinion on paper. Try to approach everything in an intellectual way, a bit disconnected from earthly affairs.
Perform spells for knowledge and high art and any mental occurrences you wish to happen.
Open your windows or sit/walk outside on a day when the wind can be felt. Let it in and bask in it, letting it move through you and purify your mind and body so that you can be light and clear.
Listen to music, preferably music involving singing or woodwind instruments. Let the music appeal to your higher mind, let it speak to the part of you that thinks and knows.
Think carefully before you speak, totally considering the validity of your statements.
Breathe the air itself consciously, and do breathing exercises combined with meditation or yoga to let it fill you and sustain you. Sing if you're so inclined.
A suggestion from a source who wishes to remain anonymous: In a closed room with no drafts, attempt to connect with the air enough to entice it to come to you. See if any wind stirs up.
GETTING TO KNOW FIRE
Fire is the spark of life in our bodies; it is the electricity that powers our neurons and the attitude behind our survival. It is the element of the will and the passion, of anger, of change, of transformation. It is associated with the direction of SOUTH, the color RED, the season SUMMER, the time of NOON, and the athame or sword as its main magickal tool.
When communing with Fire, wear tones of red and orange, and flashy, daring styles.
Eat hot foods, spicy foods, foods cooked over an open flame. Foods with lots of pungent herbs or foods that were toasted are excellent.
When making offerings to this element, deliver them by burning them in a candle flame or bonfire.
Focus on your own wishes and passions. Focus on your own desires and make special efforts to make them known and taken care of.
Perform spells for change and passion and energetic power.
Observe open flame. A bonfire or campfire is preferable, but a candle flame (or cauldron-contained altar fire) is acceptable. Get close enough to it to feel its heat, try to affect its flickering, and become one with it.
Go with your passions, and have outbursts if you feel you should. Don't let people walk all over you; fight for what you want.
Light a circle of flaming candles and dance around it or inside it, preferably while singing, chanting, or shouting. Get your blood moving and feel the electric juice of being alive.
Lie outside and soak up the sun's rays (with appropriate sunblock, of course; just like the passion it represents, we must insulate ourselves from damage from fire!).
Be decisive and direct about your wording; say what you're thinking. When you mean something, be forceful and don't use hesitant language.
GETTING TO KNOW WATER
Water is in our blood and makes up most of our bodies, and covers most of our planet in a blue blanket. It is the element of the emotions, of purification, of intuition. It is associated with the direction of WEST, the color BLUE, the season AUTUMN, the time of TWILIGHT, and the chalice or cauldron as its main magickal tool.
When communing with Water, wear tones of blue or blue-green, and flowing, smooth clothes, and any sea-oriented jewelry or imagery.
Eat food that contains lots of water and liquid, like soups and watermelon, or fish if you eat it. Drink as many glasses of water as you can a day.
When making offerings to this element, deliver them by dropping them into running water or throwing them into the ocean.
Focus on emotional matters, like your love life and self-examination. Pay attention to your dreams and listen to your inner voice, and get in touch with your intuition.
Perform spells for divination, emotional results, and purification.
Take a walk in the rain or swim in a pool or the ocean, or wade in a brook. Let the water element become an extension of yourself.
Pay special attention to your own emotions and "hunches" about everything, writing them down if necessary. Cry whenever you feel like doing so; laugh whenever you get the urge.
Go with the flow without making too many ripples, more intent on observing than affecting. Speak softly when you do speak, after consideration that what you are saying truly represents what you want it to.
Take a bath every day if you can, or at least a shower. Try adding water-oriented sacred herbs to the bath and let its healing presence engulf you. Lie in the water and let your mind unwind, being honest with yourself and letting the child in you speak.
See the Elemental Correspondences for some extended ideas.