The Elements &
Elemental Forces

 

The Elements have been a part of man's ancient and arcane lore since its inception in pre-historic times. Different traditions associate them with various things.

Chinese Theory uses Five Element - Wood, Earth, Water, Metal, Fire .

Taoists, Buddhists, Native American Indians and most Earth based tradtions respect the elements of creation and the directions.

Most religious / spiritual practioners respect at least one direction (eg. East - Mecca).

The Directions symbolize, among other things, the movement of Spirit and Creation and the god's or protectors that guard them.

The Elements are said to symbolize God made manifest.

Physically we are made up of the elements - Hydrogen, Carbon, Oxygen - star dust.

We are made of mainly water H20

As Lao Tzu states in the Tao Te Ching:

Chapter 8 - Tao Te Ching

 

The Highest form of goodness is like water
Water knows how to benefit all things without striving with them.
It stays in places loathed by all men
Therefore it comes near the Tao.

also in other chapters of Tao Te Ching-

'why is the Ocean the king of the rivers,
because it is below them'

paraphrased.

All respect the elements and directions.


OUR LIVING PLANET
Our living planet consists of four major elements: Water, Fire, Earth and Wind.

WATER - Is that of all liquid matter: lakes, oceans, rivers and rain.

FIRE - Is that of energy matter: solar energy from the sun's radiation and energy which the sun creates through the thermonuclear process.

EARTH - Is that of solid matter: the ground we stand on, rocks, mountains and sand.

WIND - Is that of oxygen matter: the circulation of our atmosphere.

ELEMENTAL CHART

WATER (Liquids)
WIND (Oxygen)
EARTH (Solid matter)
FIRE (Energy transformation) WATER (Dissolving)
WOOD (Growing)
EARTH (Solidifying)
FIRE (Evaporating)

Water - Hydrosphere
Fire - Solar sphere
Wind - Atmosphere
Earth - Lithosphere

Each element has it's own natural individual strength which usually counterbalances it's opposites.


Water's natural strength: tidal waves, rain storms, whirl pools etc...

Wind's natural strength: wind storms, hurricanes, tornadoes etc...

Earth's natural strengths: earthquakes, land slides, volcanic eruptions etc...

Fire's natural strengths: heat waves, forest fires, droughts etc...

 

Each element can cause great destruction individually, but inmost cases the destruction they cause is only to maintain the balance of the world. The harmonious flow and balance of the elements combined is what creates and sustains life as we know it. An element in excess could cause destruction, just as it would should there be a lack of that particular elemental power.


Each element must work in moderation in order to maintain balance. Should man or nature itself unbalance one or more of the elements, the consequences would be reflected back to mankind in a form of destruction from that particular effected element, or from the remaining elements trying to maintain balance. Examples of counterbalancing the elements:


Excessive wind (oxygen) can be balanced with excessive fire (energy transformation),
excessive fire with excessive water (liquids) and excessive water with earth (solids).


This principle also applies to the balancing and counterbalancing of each element's individual power of destruction. An unbalanced element could thus be counterbalanced by it's opposite element or by several elements combined, as for example: excessive fire can be countered with water or earth, excessive oxygen or lack thereof. In order to attain a better understanding of the counterbalancing of opposite forces one should study the following diagram.

Earth

WaterFire

Wind

 


 

The following list of correspondences comes from Starhawk's "The Spiral Dance."

AIR:

Direction: East. (Synchronic moment - as editing this section , guy on TV says 'east' in Madonna Film 9:13pm, 22/1/02)

Rules: The mind, all mental, intuitive and psychic work, knowledge, abstract learning, theory, windswept hills, plains, windy beaches, high mountain peaks, high towers, wind and breath.

Time: Dawn.

Season: Spring.

Colors: White, bright yellow, crimson, blue-white. Zodiac: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius.

Tools: Athame, sword, censer. Spirits: Sylphs, ruled by King Paralda. Angel: Michael. Wind: Eurus. Sense: Smell. Jewel: Topaz.
Incense: Galbanum.
Plants: Frankencense, myrrh, pansy, primrose, vervain, violet, yarrow.
Tree: Aspen. Animals: Birds. Goddesses: Aradia, Arianrhod, Cardea, Nuit, Urania. Gods: Enlil, Khephera, Mercury, Shu, Thoth.

FIRE:

Direction: South. Rules: Energy, spirit, heat, flame, blood, sap, life, will, healing and destroying, purification, bonfires, hearth fires, candle flames, sun, deserts, volcanoes, eruptions, explosions. Time: Noon. Season: Summer. Colors: Red, gold, crimson, orange, white (the sun's noon light).

Zodiac: Aries, Leo, Saggitarius.
Tools: Censer, wand.
Spirits: Salamanders, ruled by King Djin.
Angel: Ariel.
Wind: Notus.
Sense: Sight.
Jewel: Fire Opal.
Incense: Olibanum.
Plants: Garlic, hibiscus, mustard, nettle, onion, red peppers, red poppies.
Tree: Almond, in flower.
Animals: Fire-breathing dragons, lions, horses (when their hooves strike sparks). Goddesses: Brigit, Hestia, Pele, Vesta. Gods: Agni, Hephaestus, Horus, Vulcan.

WATER:

Direction: West.
Rules: Emotions, feelings, love, courage, daring, sorrow, the ocean, the tides, lakes, pools, streams, and rivers, springs and wells, intuition, the unconscious mind, the womb, generation, fertility.
Time: Twilight.

Season: Autumn.
Colors: Blue, blue-green, green, gray, indigo, black.
Zodiac: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces.
Tools: Cup.

Spirits: Undines, ruled by King Niksa.
Angel: Raphael. Wind: Zephyrus.
Sense: Taste.
Jewel: Aquamarine.
Incense: Myrrh.

Plants: Ferns, lotus, mosses, rushes, seaweed, water lillies, and all water plants.
Tree: Willow.
Animals: Dragons (as serpents), dolphins and porpoises, fish, seals and sea mammals, water-dwelling snakes, all water creatures and sea birds.
Goddesses: Aphrodite, Isis, Mariamne, Mari, Tiamat.
Gods: Dylan, Ea, Llyr, Manannan, Osiris, Neptune, Poseidon.

EARTH:

Direction: North.
Rules: The body, growth, nature, sustenance, material gain, money, creativity, birth, death, silence, chasms, caves, caverns, groves, fields, rocks, standing stones, mountains, crystal, jewels, metal.
Time: Midnight.
Season: Winter. Colors: Black, brown, green, white.
Zodiac: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn.
Tools: Pentacle.
Spirits: Gnomes, ruled by King Ghob.
Angel: Gabriel.
Wind: Boreas, Ophion.
Sense: Touch.
Jewel: Rock crystal, salt.
Incense: Storax.
Plants: Comfrey, ivy, grains: barley, oats, corn, rice, rye, wheat.
Tree: Oak. Animals: Cow or bull, bison, snakes (earth-dwelling), stag.
Goddesses: Ceres, Demeter, Geae, Mah, Nephthys, Persephone, Prithivi, Rhea, Rhiannon.
Gods: Adonis, Athos, Arawn, Cernunnos, Dionysus, Marduk, Pan, Tammuz.

SPIRIT/ETHER:

Direction: Center and circumference, throughout and about.
Rules: Transcendence, tranformation, change, everywhere and nowhere, within and without, the void, immanence.

Time: Beyond time, all time is one.

Season: The turning wheel.

Colors: Clear, white, black.

Tools: Cauldron.

Sense: Hearing.

Plant: Mistletoe.

Tree: The flowering almond.

Animal: Sphinx.
Goddesses: Isis, the Secret Name of the Goddess, Shekinah.

Gods: Akasha, IAO, JHVH.

Contributed by ra_bleather

http://www.students.stir.ac.uk/98/o/to07/web/s_wbookofshadows.html

 

"Embrace the Negative/Yin and Positive/Yang in you" As water embraces fire and can transform into steam power, the YIN/NEGATIVE AND YANG/POSITIVE within can help us find a THIRD TAOIST CREATIVE POSSIBILITY of appropriate wise action. On a physical level, this creative tension has to be distributed evenly and smoothly as the body goes through the Tai-Chi and Chi Kung movements.

The Six are the six forces of Nature.

They are types of energy. They are the dynamic quality or characteristic of a planetary Logos. They are the life force of a Heavenly Man directed in a certain direction.

These "shaktis" are as follows:

  • Parashakti - Literally, the supreme force, energy and radiation in and from substance.
  • Jnanashakti - The force of intellect or mind.
  • Ichchhashakti - The power of will, or force in producing manifestation.
  • Kriyashakti - The force which materializes the ideal.
  • Kundalini shakti - The force which adjusts internal relations to the external.
  • Mantrikashakti - The force latent in sound, speech and music.

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