Most of the superpowers in the series seem to be related to two concepts, namely Elements and Maken. There are exceptions to this, like Himegami's Shikigami, but Elements and Maken are both referenced frequently, and they seem to be how most of the characters fight.
However, neither one was really explained, at least in the anime. It isn't really clear to me what either term means, and how they're related. It is clear that every character has a Maken, which is basically a unique ability or power, but there's a lot that's still confusing. For instance, for some characters, their Maken seems to be an item that they use in combat, while for others it's a power inside them. Haruko's Maken is said to be contained in a different dimension, and it opens a gate to the real world, and seems to almost be a living thing.
What are Maken, and how do they work? Also, what is the relationship between Elements and Maken?