Poetic Exploration of the Heart

The Elements

The Elements


Alchemical Symbol for FireIn alchemy, the chemical element of sulfur was often associated with Fire and its alchemical symbol and its symbol was an upward-pointing triangle. In alchemic tradition, metals are incubated by Fire in the womb of the Earth and alchemists only accelerate their development.

Fire as an element in ancient Greek philosophy and science was commonly associated with the qualities of energy, assertiveness, and passion. In one Greek myth, Prometheus stole fire from the gods to protect the otherwise helpless humans, but was punished for this kindness. The ancient Greeks distinguished the destructive (aidelon) fire, associated with Hades, from the creative fire, associated with Hephaistos.

Agni is a Hindu and Vedic deity. The word agni is Sanskrit for “fire” (noun), cognate with Latin ignis (the root of English ignite), Russian ogon (fire), pronounced agon, and ogni, pronounced agni (fires). Agni has three forms: fire, lightning and the sun.

Agni is one of the most important of the Vedic gods. He is the god of fire and the acceptor of sacrifices. The sacrifices made to Agni go to the deities because Agni is a messenger from and to the other gods. He is ever-young, because the fire is re-lit every day, yet he is also immortal. In Indian tradition Fire is also linked to Surya or the Sun and Mangala or Mars.

In magick, Philosophus (1=10) is the elemental grade attributed to fire; this grade is also attributed to the Qabalistic sphere Netzach and the planet Venus. The elemental weapon of fire is the Wand. Spiritual beings associated with Fire are the archangel Michael, the angel Aral, the ruler Seraph, the king Djin, and the fire elementals salamanders.

Fire is considered to be active. Fire personalities are believed to have good leading qualities, and also tend to be extroverted, rebellious, passionate and enthusiastic; however, they can also be moody, hot-tempered, snappy, uncontrollable and angry.

In most Wiccan traditions, fire is associated with:
* The South,
* The Summer
* The color red on the physical plane.
* The athame or ceremonial dagger.
* In covens that use the sword, it is often associated with this element.

Other correspondences include blood, candles, the guitar, rubies and incense. Fire represents energy, inspiration, passion and masculinity. It is sometimes represented in writing by a red upwards triangle.

In rituals, fire is represented in the forms of burning objects, love spells, baking and lighting candles or fires.

The manifestations of the element are found in the sun, lightning, fire, volcanoes and lava, and all forms of light. Cats of all types, especially the lion and tiger, are also thought to personify the element of fire, as are all predatory creatures, such as the fox.

The astral creatures of fire, known as elementals, are the salamander, phoenix, drake/dragon and, occasionally, the falcon.


Alchemical Symbol for EarthIn alchemy, the chemical element of salt was associated with Earth and its alchemical symbol was a downward-pointing triangle, bisected by a horizontal line.

In ancient Greek elemental concept, the Earth was commonly associated with qualities of practicality, restraint and materialism, and with the physical, sensual aspects of life.

Prithvi (Sanskrit: pṛthvī, also pṛthivī) is the Hindu earth and mother goddess. She is the personification of the Earth itself and its actual mother, being Prithvi Tattwa, the essence of the element earth.

As Prithvi Mata, or “Mother Earth,” she contrasts with Dyaus Pita, “father sky.” In the Rigveda, earth and sky are frequently addressed as a duality, often indicated by the idea of two complementary “half-shells.” In addition, the element Earth is associated with Budha or Mercury, who represents communication, business, mathematics and other practical matters.

In magick, Zelator (1=10) is the elemental grade attributed to earth; this grade is also attributed to the Qabalistic sphere Malkuth. The elemental weapon of earth is the Pentacle. Spiritual beings associated with the Earth are the archangel Uriel, the angel Phorlakh, the ruler Kerub, the king Ghob, and the earth elementals gnomes.

Earth is considered to be passive; it is represented by the symbol for Taurus. Earth personalities tend to be calm, practical, pragmatic, responsible and cautious; however, they can also be stubborn, intolerable and inflexible.

In Wicca, earth is associated with the North (or East in some variations), Winter, and the color yellow (or green in some variations) on the physical plane. It is sometimes represented by its Hindu tattva (a yellow square), or by a downward pointing triangle with a horizontal line through it, and may be symbolized by the following: percussion instruments, animal fur, coins, a pentacle, milk, a heartbeat, jewelry, bones, or a staff. Earth represents strength, abundance, stability and femininity. In rituals, earth is represented by burying objects in the ground, herbalism, and carving images out of wood or stone.

The manifestations of the earth element are found in plants, trees, mountains, forests, caves and gardens. The stag, boar, bull, sow, bear and snake are also thought to personify the element, as are all burrowing animals, such as the mole or rabbit. The astral creatures of earth, known as elementals, are the Satyr/Faun, Gnome/Goblin, and Sylvestre/Dryad.


Alchemical Symbol for AirThe alchemical symbol for air is an upward-pointing triangle, bisected by a horizontal line.

The ancient Greeks associated Air with the octahedron; it was considered to be both hot and wet. They used two words for air: aer meant the dim lower atmosphere, and aether meant the bright upper atmosphere above the clouds.

In Hinduism, Vayu, also known as Vāta, Pavana (meaning the Purifier), or Prāna, is a primary deity, who is the father of Bhima and the spiritual father of Lord Hanuman. As the words for air (Vāyu) or wind (Pavana) it is one of the Panchamahābhuta the “five great elements” in Hinduism. The Sanskrit word ‘Vāta’ literally means “blown”, ‘Vāyu’ “blower”, and ‘Prāna’ “breathing”. In Indian tradition the element Air is also linked to Shani or Saturn.

In magick, Theoricus (2=9) is the elemental grade attributed to air; this grade is also attributed to the Moon and the Qabalistic sphere Yesod. The elemental weapon of air is the dagger, which must be painted yellow with magical names and sigils written upon it in violet. Spiritual beings associated with Air are the archangel Raphael, the angel Chassan, the ruler Aral, the king Paralda, and the air elementals sylphs.

Air is considered to be active; it is represented by the Man and the symbol for Aquarius, and it is referred to the upper left point of the pentagram in the Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram.

Air personalities tend to be cool, intelligent and superficious.

Air as one of the four elements appears in many neopagan traditions. Wicca in particular was influenced by the Golden Dawn system of magic. Gerald Gardner, one of the founders of Wicca, was in contact with Aleister Crowley and incorporated elements of Crowley’s works into Wiccan rituals. Many practicing Wiccan traditions therefore use attributions inspired by the Golden Dawn, but there are many variations as well. Common attributions include:

* The cardinal direction of east.
* Yellow, or pastel colors. (Some associate air with green or even a light blue.)
* The wand or the athame.
* Woodwind instruments.
* The suit of Swords in the Tarot Minor Arcana. (Some Wiccans associate air with the suit of Wands, as the ritual wand is often associated with air.)
* Mind, intellect, consciousness, study, communication.
* The alchemic notion of Azoth.
* Sunrise, childhood, spring, beginnings.
* Incense.
* Birds, insects, flying creatures.
* Masculine energy.
* Many gods and goddesses, including Aradia, Athena, Hermes, Mercury, Nuit, Shu, Thoth, and Zeus.


Alchemical Symbol for WaterIn alchemy, the chemical element of mercury was often associated with Water and its alchemical symbol was a downward-pointing triangle.

As a classical element in ancient Greek philosophy and science, Water was commonly associated with the qualities of emotion and intuition.

Ap (áp-) is the Vedic Sanskrit term for “water”, in Classical Sanskrit occurring only in the plural, āpas (sometimes re-analysed as a thematic singular, āpa-), whence Hindi āp. The term is from PIE hxap “water”.

In Hindu philosophy, the term refers to water as an element, one of the Panchamahabhuta, or “five great elements”. In Hinduism, it is also the name of the deva, a personification of water. The element Water is also associated with Chandra or the Moon, and Shukra or Venus, who represent feelings, intuition and imagination.

In magick, Theoricus is the elemental grade attributed to water; this grade is also attributed to the Qabalistic sphere Hod and the planet Mercury. The elemental weapon of water is the cup. Spiritual beings associated with the Water are the archangel Gabriel, the angel Taliahad, the ruler Tharsis, the king Nichsa, and the water elementals Undines.

In Wiccan tradition, water is associated with the West, autumn, and the color blue on the physical plane. It is sometimes represented by a white crescent, a downward pointing triangle, the chalice, the bell, shells, sapphires, lapis lazuli, tears, and the cauldron. Water represents emotions, wisdom, the soul, and femininity. In rituals, it is represented in the forms of pouring water over objects, brew making, healing spells, ritual bathing, and tossing objects into bodies of water.

Water personalities tend to be emotional, kind, nurturing, sympathetic, empathetic and intuitive; however, they can also be needy, sentimental, over-sensitive and irrational.

The manifestations of the element of water are rivers, oceans, lakes, wells, fog, all drinks, and the rain. Animals, especially the dolphin, seal, turtle, frog, and all types of fish, are also thought to personify the element of water. The astral creatures of water, known as elementals, are the Ondine/Mermaid, Oreade/Naiad, and Sea Serpent/Dragon. Water’s place on the pentagram is the upper right point.


loveThe fifth element. There are a number of different Greek words for love, as the Greek language distinguishes how the word is used. Ancient Greek has three distinct words for love: eros, philia, and agape. However, as with other languages, it has been historically difficult to separate the meanings of these words. Nonetheless, the senses in which these words were generally used are given below.

* Eros (ἔρως érōs) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “(romantic) love”. However, eros does not have to be sexual in nature. Eros can be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia love of friendship. It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage. Plato refined his own definition. Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. It should be noted Plato does not talk of physical attraction as a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, “without physical attraction”. Plato also said eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth. Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros. The most famous ancient work on the subject of eros is Plato’s Symposium, which is a discussion among the students of Socrates on the nature of eros.

* Philia (φιλία philía), which means friendship in modern Greek, a dispassionate virtuous love, was a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, philia denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers. This is the only other word for “love” used in the ancient text of the New Testament besides agape, but even then it is used substantially less frequently.

* Agapē (ἀγάπη agápē) means “love” in modern day Greek, such as in the term s’agapo (Σ’αγαπώ), which means”I love you”. In Ancient Greek it often refers to a general affection rather than the attraction suggested by “eros”; agape is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for a good meal, one’s children, and the feelings for a spouse. It can be described as the feeling of being content or holding one in high regard. The verb appears in the New Testament describing, amongst other things, the relationship between Jesus and the beloved disciple. In biblical literature, its meaning and usage is illustrated by self-sacrificing, giving love to all–both friend and enemy. It is used in Matthew 22:39, “Love your neighbour as yourself,” and in John 15:12, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you,” and in 1 John 4:8, “God is love.” However, the word “agape” is not always used in the New Testament in a positive sense. II Timothy 4:10 uses the word in a negative sense. The Apostle Paul writes,”For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved (agapo) this present world….” Thus the word “agape” is not always used of a divine love or the love of God. Christian commentators have expanded the original Greek definition to encompass a total commitment or self-sacrificial love for the thing loved. Because of its frequency of use in the New Testament, Christian writers have developed a significant amount of theology based solely on the interpretation of this word.

* Storge (στοργή storgē) means “affection” in modern Greek; it is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family.

* Thelema (θέλημα thélēma) means “desire” in modern Greek; it is the desire to do something, to be occupied, to be in prominence.

compiled from wikipedia

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