Back to basics – The 4 Elements part 1

Monday is the day I write about an aspect of my spiritual life and today I through I would take things right back to the basics of my path and take a look at the 4 Elements.





I’ve had many a long conversation about the elements and their corresponding directions etc, but I have to say every time I keep coming back to the traditional directions of the western mystery tradition. I was trained in ceremonial magic long before I discovered the Druid tradition so I guess they have become a part of how I see the world.

For those who don’t know the directions (for the northern hemisphere) they are:

Air – East

Fire – South

Water – West

Earth – North

But it is when I add the other correspondences that this beautiful wheel really begins to make esoteric and physical sense.

Air – East – Spring – Sunrise – Birth/Childhood – Inspiration

Fire – South – Summer – Noon – Adulthood/Prime of life – Passion

Water – West – Autumn – Dusk – The age of wisdom and experience – Emotion

Earth – North – Winter – Night – Death – Stability and security

This then becomes a wonderful map of life.

I know that the ancient Druids were said to have only revered three of these elements as Land, Sea, and Sky. I’ve tried this and it just doesn’t work for me. And although I’ve also been told that they revered fire as the element contained by all of the others, again that just doesn’t fit my world view as all of the elements can contain the other elements – this is also another enlightening aspect of their teaching. We also know that the ancient peoples revered the Sun, a great big ball of fire responsible for life here on earth – I just cannot exclude fire from the pattern. No matter how un-Druidic that may seem to some I’m sticking with the 4 as an equal cross.

So how do I work with the 4 Elements? I do this every morning as part of my daily practice with this little prayer. I also find that, during those times of disconnection that can sometimes happen, meditating on the 4 elements is a powerful way to find my centre, and my place within the world.

Just an introduction today. I’ll write in more detail in the next post.

3 responses to “Back to basics – The 4 Elements part 1”

  1. I know how you feel! I appreciate the meeting of Land, Sea and Sky but without the light of the Sun then I wouldn’t be able to see them. I’ve always looked at the classical elements in a scientific way. Earth being Solid, Air being Gas. Water being Liquid and Fire being Plasma. Viewed in relation to the states of matter somehow for me seems to really make them feel like the building blocks of life in both magic and matter.

  2. perhaps, Land, Sea and Sky is more about a spiritual space/place, and the elements, earth, air, water and fire are physical constructs… (or visa-versa) so together they are between the worlds.

    also if you go to a beach where the earth, sea and sky meet, and build a fire.. you have all the elements, and given that beaches are pretty liminal space, they already have the energy of between the worlds of land and sea.. it is not difficult to see them as also representational of the between the worlds as well…

    *ponders things*

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