The elemental spirits are primitive and chaotic beings of fire, earth, air or water. They were some of the first creatures to inhabit the nascent worlds of the waking universe.[1]

Elemental spirits are the source of shamans, geomancers, trancendents, and pandaren brewmasters powers and the origin of much of their knowledge. The spirits of the elements are the shaman's to command.[2] The Spirits are neither patron deities, such as Elune, nor are they a force to be tapped, such as the arcane. Rather, they are cosmic partners. Every world has its own elements, its own powers to call upon.[3]

Elemental spirits are by nature chaotic and destructive, but also capable of reasoning and clever actions. The Earthen Ring was actually formed to keep the elemental spirits in check. They work to prevent the elemental forces from wreaking havoc on Azeroth,[4] otherwise, the world would be in danger. The group works hard to keep the elementals pacified, by talking to and dealing with them, thus ensuring they do not cause trouble in the world. Its main goal is to maintain the balance between the world and the elementals that dwell upon it. In this manner, the Earthen Ring prevents elementals from engaging in the chaotic destruction that would otherwise ensue.[5] The Twilight's Hammer venerate the Old Gods and study the elemental spirits under them.[6] They work to anger the elementals and embolden them. The Earthen Ring believes they are not only unwise but also a great threat to Azeroth and their most dire enemy. Anyone who seeks to maintain the fragile balance of nature by keeping the elemental forces in check an ally.[7] They also take similar actions on Outland eliminating or pacifying agitated or corrupted elemental spirits.[8]



As related by Nobundo, the Spirits are universal, existing upon all worlds which bear life. They stretch across the Void to these worlds, connecting them in ways unperceived by mortals. There are however, many worlds where the Spirits have no power, because true life does not exist on those worlds that have been consumed by the Burning Crusade.[citation needed]


The Spirits care nothing of the battle between order and chaos, and have only a passing interest in the conflict of good and evil[citation needed]. Their role is one of cosmic balance[citation needed], and the shamans are the mortal maintainers of that balance.[citation needed]

Recently, however, the Spirits appear to have taken sides: With the Burning Legion rampaging across the universe, the Spirits have revealed the secrets of shamanism to races who oppose the Burning Crusade; of Azeroth's inhabitants, the orcs, the trolls, the tauren, and the draenei, amongst others, may become shamans. All of these races hold a sense of balance and are dedicated to stopping the Legion from consuming their world.[citation needed]

Orcs and tauren take a more symbolic approach to spirits. The spirits they encounter on the wild plains of Kalimdor are less specific, cover a wider range, and are more likely to be spirits of earth and fire than the essences of trees or animals.[9] Orcs and tauren believe that plant-spirits, nature-spirits and earth-spirits exist, and that everyone must treat these spirits with respect. One who denies the reality of nature spirits severs her connection with the earth.[10]

Tauren culture

Tauren live in careful balance with their environment. They worship the spirits and elements of the plains on which they live.[11] Instead of negotiating with individual spirits, tauren carve representative imagery on their totems and draw power from acting in a particular spirit’s name.[12]

Earth Mother

.[13] Tauren revere a spirit they call the Earth Mother.[14] The Earth Mother is the tauren ideal of all the spirits of nature. The Earth Mother lives in the rivers, trees, plains and mountains of Azeroth. She is the embodiment of nature. All lesser nature spirits come from the Earth Mother, and return to her upon death. While individual spirits represent a particular location, animal or object, such as the spirit of a single tree, or the spirit of a valley, the Earth Mother represents the land. River-spirits, sea-spirits, tree-spirits, rock-spirits and animal spirits all reflect one facet of the Earth Mother. She is everywhere life and nature is. The only spirits separate from the Earth Mother are the spirits of sentient creatures.[15] When a tauren says life is sacred, he’s talking about a kind of spiritual energy that permeates the natural world. The Earth Mother represents that big spirit, and little spirits all inhabit rocks, trees and the like. That's why the tauren don't like mining and deforestation; it disrupts all those spirits and disrupts the Earth Mother.[16]

Lightning and fire spirit

A dwarven shaman

Dwarf and orc culture

Wildhammer clan dwarves have very close ties to nature and thus the Elements. Shamans are common in their culture many trying to understand the elements true role in the world. They are actually the only clan of Dwarves to hold the elements and shamanism close.


Thrall, an Orc Shaman

Orcs have a less organized philosophy than tauren; they see all spirits as individuals connected in a greater whole, like members of a great clan.[17] The shamans of the orcs find their power in the spirits of nature, forming an intimate connection with the very world that surrounds them. This awareness has led to even more revelations of their race’s true nature, as the orcs realize that they live more in harmony with the world itself than many of the races of the Alliance who would claim otherwise.[18] The orcish spirits of the wilds work in harmony with the magic of wind, water, sky, and land.[19] The earth and elemental spirits desire to aid and protect those who speak to them. Orc shamans have the power of nature in their fists, and earth, wind, and fire come to their call.[20] Shamans call upon the power of the elements, which will only be granted if it suits the purpose.[citation needed]

The Spirit of Earth

The Spirit of Earth[21] is called upon to help crops grow and destroy enemy strongholds. It is warm and nurturing in personality, as well as a firm and persistent presence. Its voice is deep and slow.[citation needed]

The Spirit of Air

The Spirit of Air[22] (also known as the Spirit of the Air,[citation needed] and the Spirit of the Wind[citation needed]) may grant a gentle breeze to a trading ship or a violent tornado. It was the wind who answered the prayers of Nobundo. Personality-wise, Wind is generally calm and talkative, endlessly whispering in the ears of the Shaman. At other times it can be as forceful and powerful as Fire.[citation needed]

The Spirit of Fire

The Spirit of Fire[23] is the most outwardly destructive though it has lighter sides such as a hearth or candle. Under its domain, shamans can call on the aid of heat, flame, and lightning. The Fire is also the granter of visions, thus Far Seers scry using campfires. Fire tends to be the most unpredictable and undisciplined of the elements, barely deigning to speak to even seasoned Shamans unless it wishes to. Its voice is usually loud, passionate and rumbling, prone to outbursts.[citation needed]

The Spirit of Water

The Spirit of Water[24] is a nourishing element that can quench the thirst of a weary traveler or drown an army. Water tends to be least affected by severe cataclysms, adapting quickly. Water is perhaps the most personable of the Elements; calm, clear and possessing a wry sense of humor and mirth.[citation needed]

The Spirit of the Wilds

The Spirit of the Wilds[25] is most nebulous and complex of the spirits of the wilds. In fact, no one is entirely certain of what the Wilds represent. It seems to embody the living souls of all living things, from the most humanoids, to animals to plants and even stones. The Wilds is by far the best friend and greatest enemy of the shaman; the Wilds can heal broken bodies and even restore beings to life... but only if it suits the balance. It is the Wilds that can make the shaman think he is a god - and show him that he's still mortal.[citation needed]

Pandaren culture

WoW RPG Transcendent Pandas by UdonCrew

Pandaren veil their beliefs in the trappings of a mystical and ancient method called geomancy. Geomancy is shamanistic.[26] Geomancy teaches that the land is a reflection of the spirits, but that spirits are also a reflection of the land.[27] The fierce powers of the elemental spirits are for the transcendents and brewmasters to gain and command. They learn to channel the power of elemental spirits.[28] Tales say that spirits and energies are at work in the cosmos — spirits and energy that define the essence of reality, and from these vital sources all things are formed. This is one of the central philosophies of pandaren geomancy, and no one is more intimate with these energies than the pandaren transcendent.[29]

When the pandaren transcendent uses one of these abilities, her appearance changes to match the spirit she channels. For example, when she uses channel earth, her clothing becomes brown and she moves with slow and stately grace; when she uses channel wind, her clothing turns light blue and her movements are swift and airy. Many other possibilities exist. Upon attaining the power of the transcendent body, the pandaren transcendent finally learns to master the elemental spirits and energies under her control. Transcendents swear no loyalty other than to serve the pandaren and the spirits of their people.[30]

Spirit of wisdom

The spirit of the universe. Pandaren revere transcendents as embodiments of wisdom made flesh, residing in the shell of a pandaren host.[31]

Spirit of earth

The power of earth is that of resilience and malleability. A transcendent channels the spirit of earth to become an invulnerable juggernaut against all but the most potent weapons.[32]

Spirit of metal

The power of metal is also resilient and malleable like the spirit of earth. A brewmaster channels the spirit of metal to become invulnerable against most weapons.[33]

Spirit of fire

By summoning the spirit of fire to her breast, the pandaren is wreathed in flame.[34]

Spirit of thunder

By calling on the spirit of thunder the pandaren gains uncanny reflexes and can charge the air around her with voltaic energy.[35]

Spirit of water

The healing properties of water are well known to the pandaren, for this is the spirit of regeneration and well-being.[36]

Spirit of wind

Elevating her speed to an uncanny level, the pandaren wreathes herself in a vortex of living air.[37]

Quilboar culture

Quilboar thornweavers call upon vengeful spirits of nature, eschewing the peaceful spirits and the gentle side of the Earth Mother that most tauren revere.[38]

Elemental spirits in World of Warcraft

WoW Icon 16x16 This section concerns content exclusive to World of Warcraft.

The "Furies"

Bc icon This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.

All these elemental spirits reside in Nagrand, Outland.

Ancient spirits

Mists-Logo-Small This section concerns content exclusive to Mists of Pandaria.
  • Dafeng <Ancient Spirit of Wind>
  • Huo <Ancient Spirit of Fire>
  • Shu <Ancient Spirit of Water>
  • Wugou <Ancient Spirit Earth>

Other named

Known generic types

Icon-time This section concerns content that is out-of-date.


  • Storm spirits, elemental spirits found in the Elemental Plane, and summoned as Lightning Guardians by Shamans.[39]


  • A shaman can learn to capture an elemental spirit within a weapon he wields. A shaman can imbue a weapon with either flames or frost.[40]
  • Like the shamans of the Horde, hunters call upon the spirits of the land, wind, and fire to aid them in their hunts and tasks.[41]
  • With an imperious blow of an tauren totem, one can command the spirits of air and earth to batter his opponents.[42]
  • A mighty blow to the ground from a tauren totem frightens the spirits of the earth, causing them to shake the ground in their haste to escape.[43]
  • Ancient tauren shaman learned the secret of channeling nature spirits into creatures to boost their abilities or grant them temporary physical changes.[44]
  • The tauren have tales of legendary kodo beasts, gifted by the spirits of the sky and bound to the power of the storm. These legendary beasts are known as lightning lizards or thunder lizards.[45]
  • Tauren claim the existence of salamanders is further proof of spirits of the elements on earth, representing the burning fury of fire.[46]


  1. ^ World of Warcraft: Chronicle Volume 1, Introduction: Cosmology
  2. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, page 94
  3. ^ Unbroken, page 38
  4. ^ Dark Factions, page 148
  5. ^ Dark Factions, pages 148, 149
  6. ^ Dark Factions, page 165
  7. ^ Dark Factions, pages 148, 149
  8. ^ Actions at the Throne of the Elements
  9. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, page 126
  10. ^ Horde Player's Guide, page 91
  11. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, page 52
  12. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, page 126
  13. ^ Horde Player's Guide, page 35
  14. ^ Horde Player's Guide, page 92
  15. ^ Horde Player's Guide, page 92
  16. ^ Horde Player's Guide, page 148
  17. ^ Horde Player's Guide, page 92
  18. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, page 46
  19. ^ Lord of the Clans, pages 105, 106
  20. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, page 155
  21. ^ Lord of the Clans, page 176
  22. ^ Lord of the Clans, page 177
  23. ^ Lord of the Clans, page 161
  24. ^ Lord of the Clans, page 182
  25. ^ Lord of the Clans, page 178
  26. ^ Manual of Monsters, page 79
  27. ^ Dark Factions, page 16
  28. ^ Dark Factions, pages 56, 57, 71, 72
  29. ^ Dark Factions, page 69
  30. ^ Dark Factions, pages 71, 72
  31. ^ Dark Factions, page 69
  32. ^ Dark Factions, page 71
  33. ^ Dark Factions, page 57
  34. ^ Dark Factions, pages 57, 71
  35. ^ Dark Factions, pages 57, 72
  36. ^ Dark Factions, pages 57, 71
  37. ^ Dark Factions, pages 57, 72
  38. ^ Dark Factions, page 35
  39. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, page 315
  40. ^ World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, page 72
  41. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, page 82
  42. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, page 115
  43. ^ Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game, page 112
  44. ^ Horde Player's Guide, page 98
  45. ^ Horde Player's Guide, page 219
  46. ^ Horde Player's Guide, page 219
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