The four elements are connected to many ancient cultures and healing modalities ranging from Astrology and Ayurveda medicine to Feng shui. Most of them list earth, water, air and fire and some of them list a fifth element, aether. Other ancient cultures such as Greece, Persia, Babylonia, Japan, Tibet, and India had similar lists, which some would refer to the local languages to “air” as “wind” and the fifth element as “void”. The ancient Greeks believed that the four elements were what everything was made from in varying degrees of each element. According to Western Astrology, the universe was formed by the same four elements. Most of us are familiar with the basics of astrology and what your sign is, but each of the signs are divided into three that are a part of the elements. For example, I’m a Leo (which often surprises people!) which is a fire sign, that is also shared with the signs Aries and Sagittarius. According to these ancient cultures, everything in the physical world was observed and had a combination of these four principal qualities – hot, cold, dry and moist. A combination of hot and dry produced Fire, hot and wet resulted in Air, cold and dry gave Earth, and cold and wet combined produces Water. So, you can see how they are interconnected and a vital part of our existence.
What of the four elements are you drawn to the most?
When we feel grounded, we’re relaxed and calm. You might be wondering what I mean by “grounding” or “grounded” and how to do it and why. It’s a simple technique that is often used in meditation, there are also other simple ways to do it. In meditation you sit with your feet on the ground and visualize that you have roots coming out of your feet that go deep into the earth. Another way to ground yourself is to stand barefoot on a sandy beach or walk slowly along the shore. You can also just stand barefoot on the ground, when your bare feet touch the earth, you feel more connected and emotionally stable. Now that summer has fully arrived you can try some of these techniques this week and see how it feels. When we’re connected to nature our overall health is so much better.
When I think of water, I think of the constant movement it provides, and how our emotions continuously change throughout the day. When we feel overly emotional or sensitive, we create tears which gives us a release that comes from the water in our body. Emotions can run deep like the ocean, swirling around and sometimes making us feel overwhelmed and anxious. But, when we allow our emotions to ebb and flow, we’re able to be more in touch with them and express ourselves in a way that is healthy and healing. Our body is almost 70% water and the earth is 71%. So, you can see just how much water is important to the flow life. Water has a cleansing power both physically and emotionally that is mystical and spiritual that we rely on inside and out.
Air is the breath of life. It’s the first thing we do when we come into the world and the last thing we do when we exit. Without it we wouldn’t be alive. Haiku is often referred to as “one breath poetry” because it is such a short and brief form of poetry. It is known for reciting it between the in-breath and the out-breath. Since air is invisible and we can’t touch it or hold onto it, it has a mysterious quality to it. Even though you can’t see the air, it does take up space, it has volume and exerts pressure. Our bodies are filled with air, our lungs help us breath so effortlessly that we don’t even think about it. Clouds form in the sky when air is forced upward at areas of low pressure which sometimes gives us rain. The air in the atmosphere is constantly changing. It swirls, moves and changes in the direction from the wind.
The fire element is considered to be the first element that was born when the universe was created. Fire provides heat and light but cannot exist on its own. It represents, courage, strength, passion and leadership in astrology, but it also has an element of danger. Too much heat or fire can cause harm and destruction. The intensity of a fire can vary because it is dependent on the oxygen, fuel, and heat being used. When all three of these things are in a controlled situation we are not in danger, such as candles burning or a contained campfire. But when one or more of these things are not controlled, such as in a wildfire or a burning building, fires can easily become very dangerous. Fire is associated with the summer season and the ancient symbolic representation is a triangle pointing upwards.
You can see how all of the elements are interconnected. When clouds form in the sky from low pressure in the air it can create rain, which is the water element that falls onto the earth and can put out fire.