Elements: Connecting Each to Us and Us to the World
This is technically my second E post for the Pagan Blog Project, but I’ll probably write a third since I’m posting this second one so early. I wanted to write on the elements first, but I couldn’t find the words. When I pulled out my old spiritual journal, I reread some of the pages and found what I wanted to say.
To write this blog, I actually had to finish writing in my physical journal. Some would call it a “Book of Shadows,” but I don’t like what the word shadows implies to those not “in the know,” so I just refer to it as my religious/spiritual journal. I’m one of those “not in your face” Pagans, as I wrote about previously. I enjoy being one of those people who works to change minds from the inside out by being the best version of me that I can be so when others “make the discovery,” they are forced to challenge their preconceptions.
Kemetics are big on the past and never forgetting where you’ve come from, and as a Kemetic, I am no exception. My past comes from a history with Christianity and Wicca, and I continue to learn from those traditions as I move forward in my faith as a Kemetic. My formal ritual format is much less ceremonial than that of Wicca or what I like to call “basic-non-defined Paganism” where corners are called to cast a circle as a protective measure for magical workings.
As a Wiccan, I followed the rules and called the corners, but my callings always felt strange. I had a love of the elements of Air, Fire, Water, and Earth, but I don’t think I ever truly understood them. There was the common information about Air corresponds with yellow and the East, but I didn’t know why. Then, one day, I bought a new journal and decided I wanted to write in it with my research and a experiences, not just my experiences. I had two books with “Elements” in the title: The Elemental Tarot by Caroline Smith and John Astrop and Elemental Witch by Tammy Sullivan. These books talk about the personality of the elements, which allowed me to finally see a connection with them.
Even after leaving Wicca, I still felt a deep seeded love for the elements, and I wanted to find some way to work them into my practice as a Kemetic. My research led me to the understanding of the elements and how you can work them into your every day though process, not just in formal ritual.
In a formal ritual, the elements are called to raise a protective shield. Some traditions call north first, and some call east first. The spirits of each element are asked to come in to protect the practitioner in his or her workings and create a connection between this world and the spiritual world that allows for magical workings to take place. Finally, Spirit or the Gods are called and then the circle is closed/cast and the actual working of the spell or ritual can begin. Afterwards, the Spirit/Gods and the elements are released in reverse order and thanked for their help.
“Magical Workings” and the works of the Gods happen every day in our lives. We perform “magic” each day through the choices we make and how we carry ourselves. What if we could bring the power of the elements with us every day and use those powers to help us in our work?
Air – East, Yellow
Air is the first element generally called in a ritual. It’s towards the East. I use to always think about yellow being an odd color for air until I thought about the Sun and how it’s technically yellow, and each new beginning of each new day begins with that yellow Sun rising in the East.
Air is about beginnings. It’s about thoughts. It’s about life. Think about this: when a baby is born, all the elements are present (Earth in the body, Water in the blood, Fire in the heat of the pulsing heart), but it isn’t until that baby first takes it’s first breath and cries that we celebrate it’s new beginning and new life in this world. When my Goddaughter was born, I bit my lip until I heard that baby’s first cries. I didn’t relax until I knew that baby had air in her lungs, breathing into her new life and new experiences.
When we want to begin something new, we have to first begin with an idea or a thought. What do you want to accomplish in this life? What do you want to see happen next? Every new thing that happens to you started with an idea. When we call the element of Air first, we are recognizing that idea and allowing the idea to come first. To call Air in our daily lives, we simply have to think on that idea and recognize it’s importance in all new beginnings.
Fire – South, Red
In an Air first ceremony, Fire is the second element called in a ritual. It’s towards the south, and works in what is known in the Northern Hemisphere as a positive clockwise direction. When you are working to create, you generally move clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. For us, south is towards the equator. The further south you go, the hotter it gets. That was a fairly easy conclusion for myself to draw about fire.
Fire is about passion, strength, and intensity. In the rotation of elements, it’s easy to see why Fire comes second to Air: You need passion and strength behind your ideas to make them happen. No idea goes anywhere without the desire to make it something. When we stop in our daily lives to work with the elements, stopping at fire is recognizing that there is a passion and desire to make sure that our ideas will come to fruition.
Air is the idea, Fire is the will to make it so. But with all good ideas and desires, we have to make sure that our passions don’t get the best of us. Fire may be an element of creation, but it is also an element of destruction. Without the balance, disaster could strike. It’s important when we reflect on the element of Fire that we make sure or passions are there but that they are so manageable and being managed.
Water – West, Blue
When Air is called first, Water is called third. Water’s direction is west, and I always remembered that because they both started with W. Where I live in South Carolina, going to the east is towards the beaches while going to the west is towards the mountains. For me, water has a cooling and a calming affect. The mountains represent that for me, while the beach represents fun and action. When I want to relax, I go to the mountains, when I want to have fun and maybe party a little, I go to the beach.
Water is reflective and it represents our emotions, generally the emotions behind a desire or idea. When we think of an idea and we get the passion behind it to want to see it come to fruition, we need to stop and think about why we want our ideas and thoughts to happen. Do we want them to help ourselves or others? Are we seeking out revenge for the wrongs caused against us by someone else? Are we struggling to make ends meet and desiring a way to come out from debt? Why do we want what we want?
We have to realize that when we put energy out there, it will affect all things around us, including ourselves. Our interactions with others create a reaction that has an affect on us. According to Newton’s Laws, all reactions have an equal and opposite reaction. If we put energy out there, we get energy back. You hear this a lot when people talk about living a positive and happy life or surrounding yourself with positive people. The idea is simple: If you put out positivity, you get it in return.
If you look into a pool of water, you see yourself reflected back at you. Since water is reflective and represents our emotions, water is the opportunity to reflect on our choices and the underlying emotions behind them. When we reflect on water, we reflect on our own emotions and on ourselves.
Earth – North, Green
Earth is the final element called when an individual begins with Air. It’s towards the north. And it was usually just the last one, so I remembered it through the process of elimination. As an air sign myself, Earth is my exact opposite, but needed necessity to help me stay grounded. Earth represents the tangible and physical aspects of reality, but it also represents acceptance and understanding. It’s often associated with grounding and the saying “down to Earth.” It represents rationality and all things concrete.
When Air is called, we think of an idea. When Fire is called, we realize the passion and drive to see that idea come to fruition. When Water is called, we reflect on our emotions and intentions behind the idea. And when Earth is called, we accept and understand to see the idea become concrete and tangible, to move from the spiritual world into the physical world.
When we send out our ideas and thoughts and energy, we lose control of them. Our intentions must be thoroughly thought out so that there aren’t any unexpected consequences. Earth represents the understanding and acceptance that once we follow through with our thoughts and energy and actions, moving our ideas into reality, that we lose control over the reactions. It’s an understanding that we have carefully crafted our thoughts, ideas and plans to carry out a certain task so as to minimize the consequences of our actions in undesirable ways.
After we reflect on Earth, to full close and become full circle, we return to East and to Air. It was the beginning, but now it is the final step in creation. We began with the mere thought or idea and we end with the screaming of new life.
These ideas don’t just apply to the formal ritual of casting a circle, they apply to our every day lives filled with every day actions. When faced with a big decision or even a small decision, taking the time to reflect on the elements will not only draw clarity towards you, but the energies that you wish to have for you to accomplish your task.
Posted on March 3, 2014, in Balance, Pagan Blog Project, Paganism, PBP, Positive, Religion, Spirituality and tagged Balance, E, pagan, Pagan Blog Project, paganism, Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.