In ancient times, scientists, philosophers and magi divided matter into four basic elements: Air, Fire, Water and Earth. It has been said that these elements are building blocks of life.
A scientist and philosopher named Empedocles set this foundation for science in Sicily during 5th century B.C. Empedocles belonged to tradition of "Root Cutters," which means that he was an herbal magician and healer. He defined these elements, or "roots," as not only physical substances, but also as "spiritual essences." He even assigned gods and goddesses to these energies: Air - Zeus Fire - Hades Water - Nestis (also known as Persephone) Earth - Hera
About a century later, Aristotle assigned properties of hotness and coldness to elements: Air - hot/moist Fire - hot/dry Water - cool/moist Earth - cool/dry
Mystics throughout ages have recognized these elements as four spiritual modes of being. Air, Fire, Water and Earth are represented by four suits of Tarot - Swords (Air), Wands (Fire), Cups (Water) and Pentacles (Earth). I have seen that a dominant suit in a card spread can be very telling. You will also find these elements in astrology: Air - Gemini, Libra, Aquarius Fire - Aries, Leo, Sagittarius Water - Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces Earth - Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Alchemy, Hermeticism and Gnosticism hold understandings of four elements, too. We can see them in Jungian theory of four personality types - thinking (Air), intuiting (Fire), feeling (Water) and sensing (Earth). Even our modern Meyers-Briggs personality test shares this four-fold concept.
The idea is that nature and Self are equal. The four seasons of a year can be compared to four stages of human life - birth, growth, maturity and death. We can utilize four elements as dimensions of psychic and spiritual growth. The natural way would be to strive to achieve an equal proportion of each. Understanding psychic energies of these elements can help us balance our lives and experience greater harmony. If you know which elements to call upon and how to connect with them, you can manage whatever life throws your way much more easily.
AIR Season - Spring Time of Day - Dawn Direction - East Color - Yellow Archangel - Raphael
Every time you think or communicate, you are drawing on element of Air. Our connections with others are formed through Air. Air is most elusive of all elements. It is uncontainable, unseen, and changeable. Whenever you seek insight, discover a new idea, change your mind, clarify a vision, develop a plan or concentrate on your breathing, you are becoming Air. Air is intellect, Truth and wisdom. If you have difficulty making decisions, taking action, understanding or being understood, Air can help you.
To awaken your connection to Air element, open your windows and clear air around you by burning some incense or smudging your home with sage. Play music that inspires you. Or go outside and feel wind on your face. Pay attention to way it masters its own destiny, moving constantly. Its flexibility makes it unstoppable. Try to block it with your hand. It will only go around.
Singing or toning, whistling, even dancing are all Air activities. Crystal singing bowls and tuning forks are useful tools for invoking Air energy. Inventors utilize element of Air. Read biographies of inventors to understand inner workings of Air.
FIRE Season - Summer Time of Day - Noon Direction - South Color - Red Archangel - Mikael
Have you ever really, really wanted something? That's fire. Fire is desire. It is dynamic, passionate, bold, enthusiastic, active and hopeful. Fire is life principle. It provides heat and light. It is element of Spirit. Fire is charming, flamboyant and inspirational. Fire transforms. If you would like to improve your sense of humor or build courage, confidence, or motivation, look to Fire. To open up to power of Fire within you, you can light a candle and see what living flame has to show you. Watch a sunset and take in brilliance of this vital element. If you really want a mega-dose, try dancing around a campfire and watch way fire dances with you. Let heat of Fire element penetrate and warm your soul. Competitive sports and games are also good ways to stimulate spark of Fire in your life.