Here are some thoughts I wanted to share about the elements we often invoke at the cardinal points of our circle and what it really means.
Use of Elements in Ritual
Many ceremonial magicians and wiccans practice small rituals as a form of centering, protection, cleansing or even banishing. Quite often, the ritual places an entity associated with each of the four elements at cardinal points. For example, a certain book on the evocation of spirits brings Uriel (Earth) to the North, Raphael (Air) to the South, Michael (Fire) to the East and Gabriel (Water) to the West. The spirits are there to watch and protect during ritual and as a source of raw power. Some authors change the entities and even swap the elements from East to South. What remains consistent however is the use of the four elements and how the ceremonial magician is at the center of party. Of course, you might remind me that spirit is the fifth element, and I would assure you that I have not forgotten the most significant of all the elements! Spirit is often seen as a light cast down unto the magician from “above”. The light may be from Metatron, the Sun, or even Lucifer, depending on personal preference.
What may escape the neophyte, is that a point of any ritual that calls upon the four elements and places the magician at the center serves to underscore the balance between all the elements that exists within magician. It is only under the most precise and, frankly divine balance of the elements that life may exist. Only under the most balanced physical conditions may life exist and thrive. It is also the balance of elements within the psyche that grants the magician a level of control over his/her life. It is this balance and the exploitation of the attributes of each element within the magician that makes magick “work”! The magician is the Goldilocks Zone between all elements invoked in his/her circle.
It is up to each magician to find deep meaning to each of the elements. It is also up to each magician to do his/her own research and find their own uses for the elements. Here are some basic “starter” points to get you on your way:
Physically speaking, elemental earth is matter from rocks, metals to even gas. Everything that contains atoms also contains “earth”. Mentally, earth is unmoving and stable. When you solidify a point of view or take a stand against something, earth is involved. When you feel sluggish, you may have a surplus of earth. When you feel over excited and not grounded, you are lacking in earth. To ground yourself, visualize yourself breathing in the element “earth”. You may see it flow from your lungs, through your feet and to the Earth. You may also simply breath it in and keep it within yourself. If you are feeling sluggish, return your earth to the Earth by breathing it out.
Physically, fire is pure energy. It is this energy that gave birth to stars and is at the heart of all motion. It is the same energy that your body takes from bananas and lets you work all morning. Fire also represents passion, be it love or hate. Love and hate are the same emotion, just different ends of the ruler. Controlling the fire within helps you keep calm in stressful situations and can light a fire under your butt when you are feeling lazy. To bring a little spark in your life, imagine yourself breathing in elemental fire. To help calm yourself, imagine breathing it out.
We normally consider air to be a gas, but from a classical element standpoint, air can also be viewed as space. All plants, animals and all matter have a degree of air in them. Just like all things have fire, water and earth. Mentally, air is not terribly focused in some cases. It is also the gaseous attribute of air that gives it the ability to go everywhere and make it terribly difficult to resist. If you are feeling light headed and lacking in focus, visualize yourself expelling elemental air while breathing out. To help lift your mood and not take things so seriously, see yourself breathing in elemental air.
The universal solvent. Given enough time, both a tree and a dead frog will look the same when soaked in a pond. Water is patient. Water is time. When you need calming down, see yourself breathing elemental water. When you need to act, see yourself breathing out water. Water helps people in an argument find compromise. Water is wise.
Now thinking back to the Goldilocks Zone as the fine balancing act between all elements invoked within the magician at the time of ritual. Based on the simple examples above what does it mean to find ourselves balanced between Earth and Fire, Air and Water or Fire and Water? A lifetime of contemplation can be dedicated to this. Hopefully in a few hours of meditation on the elements, you can find a set of elemental transformations that will serve you in your alchemy.
Each element provides the magician with an infinite potential to turbo charge his/her magick.
So, what happens in the Goldilocks Zone in the middle? You got it. Spirit happens.
Think about it.