Sunday, January 22, 2017

Weekly Wicca 3: The Five Elements

My incense has been lit, so let's delve into this week's topic; the five elements. They've been with us since the dawn of time, and before religion, they were with us. These elements are Air, Fire, Water, Earth and Spirit. There are many words and interpretations of the last one. The Celts held Earth, Fire and Water sacred, that's why you see that three swirls symbol on their sites.
All the elements are separate beings, but all come together in some way. They work together to create the world we live in. That's why we regard the fifth element; Spirit, to be the one that binds them all together.

Symbolizing each of these elements is very important in witchwork. In our sacred circle we place a physical thing to symbolize them in a compass around it. We thank and honor them, so they can give us energy. This is often symbolized by the pentacle, the five-pointed star.

Air - East - Yellow - Rational thought
Fire - South - Red - Willpower, courage
Water - West - Blue - Emotions
Earth - North - Green - Physicality
Spirit - Centre - Purple or white

Working with Air
Air is represented by the color yellow, wind-chimes, feathers, birds, airborne seeds, scented herbs (lavender or mint), and wands. Sometimes Gods like Athena and Hermes (Mercury) are associated with it. Air is in the east of the circle, so this is where we burn our incense. Symbolic functions Air has are reason, learning, intellectual knowledge, communication, the law, movement, expedition and language. While the physical ones are breath, wind, sound, scent and memory. Focus on some of these when you meditate and work with air.

  • Focus on your breath, relax and slow your breathing. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth three times.
  • Take a breath and imagine that it's your last and hold it. How does that feel? Remember the last time you had a clogged nose or something. What did that feel like?
  • Take deep breaths and make different sounds as you breathe out. Now try to make sounds / words without breathing. What happens?
  • Take a walk on a windy day. Look at how the speed and power affects everything around you. Concentrate on everything you feel.
In the east, the element of Air; communication, reason and memory, our first breath and our last, you are honored in this circle. Be present at our rites and bring to this circle your gifts of clarity, teaching, learning and understanding. Hail and welcome!

Working with Fire
Fire is represented by the color red, candles, lamps, carved dragons or salamanders, flowers, herbs, spices, gums (frankincense, cinnamon, cactus, coriander), and athames (a type of knife we use for rituals). Sometimes Gods like Brighid and Belenos are associated with it. Symbolic functions Fire has are inspiration, willpower, courage, activity, energy and empowerment. The physical ones are flame, combustion, electricity, warmth, light, body heat and Sun rays. Remember this throughout your everyday life and pick your symbols for your meditation and work.

  • Take a walk on a sunny day, and feel the warmth and light, even when your eyes are closed.
  • Think about how everything in the world is affected by the Sun.
  • Take an evening where you shut off all electricity and spend the night by candlelight or a bonfire outside.
  • How does no electricity affect you? Think about how it helps you in your everyday life.
In the south, the element of Fire; inspiration, passion and courage, the spark that ignited our existence, you are honored in this circle. Be present at our rites and bring to this circle your gifts of willpower, daring and creativity. Hail and welcome!

Working with Water
Water is represented by the color blue, glass pebbles, depictions of sea creatures, herbs, flowers (roses, hyacinths, myrtle, lovage) and a chalice. Sometimes Gods like Rhiannon and Yemana are associated with it. The symbolic functions Water has are balance, healing, love, emotions, mystery, birth, women's cycles and knowledge. The physical ones are cleansing, moisture, cooling, quenching and bodily fluids. Remember how important water is to us, and focus on that and symbols.
  • Find a place in nature with a body of water and look at it. See how it moves.
  • How has the water affected the landscape around you? And the humans? How do they use it?
  • Do some research on tides in your area.
  • Meditate while feeling your pulse. Feel your internal rivers and concentrate on it.
In the west, the element of Water; intuition, dreams and emotions, seas, rain, rivers and the primordial waters of birth, you are honored in this circle. Be present at our rites and bring to this circle your gifts of love, balance and healing. Hail and welcome!

Working with Earth
Earth is represented by the color green, living plants, wood, crystals, stones, fallen branches, images of forest creatures, herbs, gums, oils (patchouli, cypress, yew, mandrake), and a pentacle. Sometimes Gods like Demeter and the Green Man are associated with it. The symbolic functions Earth has are manifestation, fruition, fertility, embodiment and solidity. The physical ones are sensation, physicality, food, shelter and protection. Acknowledge the significance of matter in this world.
  • Go out into nature and discover the shape and texture, as well as animals living there.
  • Meditate and imagine you are one with the ground, rooted far beneath you.
  • When you rise, imagine you are a moving mountain. How does that feel?
  • Touch the grooves of your body, and compare yourself to a mountain. Have you thought of this before? How you are a part of nature, and at one with the earth?
In the north, the element of Earth; fertility, stability and practicality, rock, crystal, soil, bones and body, you are honored in this circle. Be present at our rites and bring to this circle your gifts of sheltered protection and manifestation. Hail and welcome!

Working with Spirit
Spirit is represented by the colors purple and white, spiderweb symbols, quartz crystals, threads and distaffs. Sometimes Gods like Hecate and Changing Woman are associated with it. Spirit is connection, change, transformation. It's not physical, but we know it's there, like with love and courage. It connects everything in the universe. When you are ready to become a Wiccan, Spirit will show you a connection, truth and a way forward. The answers will come to you in time. Meditate and nurture your own Spirit, and it will reveal itself to you.
  • Think about how many people you come into contact with in a week. Then how many they come into contact week. You will see that we all are connected somehow.
  • Keep going with that thought and think about it in a larger state. Will you somehow affect other people far into your web of outer contacts?
  • Think about the air we breathe, the heat we create, the water cycle and human genetics. Are these connected in a similar way, you think?
  • World Wide Web - how I'm connecting to you right now. How has it affected you, and how do you affect others with this tool? Think about the consequences of your actions.
In the center, the element of Spirit; connection and magic, water and web, you are honored in this circle. Be present at our rites and bring to us your gifts of transformation. Hail and welcome!

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