Secrets of Magic 26: Balance the elements

Air, fire, water and earth together make up a whole system. Air surrounds the globe of the earth. Water runs on the face of the earth, burrows deep beneath the surface, circulates from sky to ground and back again, and sits at each of the poles in the form of ice. Fire flares unpredictably across the surface of the earth, and makes up the molten center of the world, emerging at times to erupt up into the atmosphere.

The power of earth, fire, air, and water combine to make up our physical being as well. Most of our body is water, although when we remove the water, an irreducible salt remains. We circulate air constantly. Just as the earth has a fiery core, heat sustains us at the center of our bodies.

The elemental powers affect us on a spiritual as well as a physical level. These too work best when they come together as a system. Many of us have an affinity with one or two elements and find the other elements less attractive. However, each element has its negative side when it is emphasized over the others.

Air: we express the power of air when we approach the world with a childlike spontaneity and playfulness. Air also describes the power of our minds, which can soar in flights of imagination. However, when we develop intellect without grounding in the physical world, we can become detached from the sources of our life.

Fire: We describe our passions as fiery. We touch the spirit of fire when we are filled with enthusiasm or energy. At times though our passions escape our control, consuming us with rage or obsession.

Water: helps us to touch down into our emotional selves. Our tears wash away our sorrow and express intense joy. When there is too much water in our lives we risk being swept away in the flow of excessive emotion.

Earth: grounds us by wicking off excess energy or emotion. Earth focuses us on physical reality and on being dependable. Too much earth though can leave us rigid and brittle.

When we turn our conscious attention to the action of the elements in our lives, we can act to bring them into balance. We develop our intellects, fuel our passions, let our emotions flow freely, and remain grounded in the physical reality of our lives.

Affirmation I balance the elements in myself.

Practice: Exploring the elements
Think about the four elements. Which of them seems most comfortable to you? Which is least attractive? Collect all four of the colored affirmations you have made for the four elements. Which worked well? Which would you like to rewrite and try again?

If you have many journal entries, you can re-read them to look for the actions of the elements. Count the number of entries which seem intellectual or airy, passionate or fiery, emotional or watery, grounded or earthy. If you have used the list of questions in the practice, there is one question relating to thinking, one to passion, one to feeling, and one to the state of your body. Which of the elements do you write about most often, and which least often?

Make an effort to connect with the elements that seem less attractive. If you are too grounded, try doing something spontaneous. To ignite fire in yourself, think about the last time you were really excited, and let that suggest a practice for you. If you discover you are ignoring water, try writing a sentence about what you feel emotionally each day for a week. To ground yourself, pay attention to your body, for example by doing gentle physical stretches each day for a week. With each practice, make a record in your journal.

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