Prompt: “What elemental system do you ascribe to? What are the correspondences of the elements in the system you use? What is associated with the elements? What are some other systems you know? Do you ascribe to more than one system, and if so where do you use/incorporate which?“
My faith is a four elemental system.
Earth is plants, soil, growing things, material things, the physical world, manifestation of items to the physical plane by creativity or spellwork. It includes our earthly pleasures like food and wealth. Its direction is to the North. The energy is solid and calm. The element of Earth is dark and still, nurturing and heavy. Grounding lives here among the tree roots. This element is the one that is most within our control and is filled with foundational strength.
Air is air and ether, wind and turbulence, strategy and thought. Communication and ambitions live here until you act upon them (then, once action is applied, they move to Fire). It’s direction is to the East where ideas rise from the depths of our mind like the sun rises over the horizon. The energy is ever moving and never still, restless. Although we can control our thoughts to a point, there is an element of lack of control here that is not present in the previous element.
Water is for wet, and is refreshing and welcoming. Comforting and soothing. Its direction is to the West. Emotions and the flow of creativity reside here, as well as intuition and the subconscious. Spirits of those that have passed often linger here in this energy. As emotions are far less easily controlled than thought, so Water becomes the third element as we get further from the earthly plane and closer to divinity. Centering oneself lives here in the depths of still waters and quiet calm among pondweed and cattails.
Fire is for flames, heat, and enthusiasm. It’s direction is to the South. It is what lights us up from within and pushes us to act. Too much fire will burn your life to the ground, too little leaves your life empty and listless. It’s energy dances and sparks, for it is through action that this element is most commonly expressed. It is the fervor of our lives, and is where our ethics and principles stand tall. Pride also lives here. Within this element, we have the least control, for it is where our soul sings out to speak of what is right for us… and what isn’t.
You will note that although the four elements above climb a ladder from what is most in our control to what is least in our control, there is no element here for divinity. Each of these elements holds their own spirituality within them. Divinity, for me, resides beyond and “above” these elements and is best defined as the energies of creation, evolution, and balance. I do not feel that it is an element, so much as the beginning and end of all things… and all that lies between those two points as well.
Having been raised Wiccan, I am of course very familiar with Wicca’s five-element system (earth, air, fire, water, spirit) of that faith. I am also familiar, through my father and research, with the Japanese Gogyo system of five elements (fire, water, wood, metal, earth). Although the Wiccan system is similar to what I use now, I don’t use either of these systems in my practice at this time.