THE 4 ELEMENTS & THEIR ASSOCIATED POWERS
Each element – Air, Fire, Water & Earth has an OUTWARD EXPRESSION & INWARD EXPRESSION.
The outward expression of an element is the visible, active expression of unseen, subtle elemental forces.
The inward expression is the non-visible, receptive, internal process and manifestation of the element’s subtle forces.
AIR – THE POWER TO KNOW & THE POWER TO WONDER
Air – Outward Expression = power to know.
Knowing represents the acquisition of rational understanding of the world around us. The areas of knowledge, communication, education, learning, thinking, and speaking are all ruled by air.
Imbalance = we may appear flighty, talkative, overly analytical, hyper cognitive, exclusively rational, and only able to experience the world through mental understanding.
Air – Inward Expression = power to wonder.
Wondering has to do with the relinquishment of knowledge. Wondering is about unlearning your life and your relationships to everything and everyone. Wondering is experiencing the wisdom that emerges when you release opinions and judgments about life. What is there to know?
Life is fluid and movable. Fixing your opinion, knowing a fact, and then sticking to that knowledge only creates rigidity and powerlessness. The power to wonder allows you to discover truth as it reveals itself in each moment without resorting to fixing perceptions, cognitive understanding, or mental anticipation. It’s learning to tap into your intuition, your 6th sense, your ‘gut’ feeling about something.
Imbalance = we may appear inattentive, spacey, sleepy, easily distracted, dense and a bit ‘doff’ or dull-witted.
FIRE – THE POWER TO WILL & THE POWER TO SURRENDER
Fire – Outward expression = the power to will.
“Willing” means actualizing one’s personal desire. The active expression of fire centers on movement, action, passion, directness, attentiveness, strength, and assertion.
Imbalance = we may appear hostile, angry, rageful, aggressive, destructive, hyper sexual, nervous, over-assertive, impatient, demanding, back biting, competitive, or vengeful, and may result in only being able to relate to the world through action and achievement.
Fire – Inward Expression = the power to surrender.
Surrendering is about aligning your personal will with the universal or the divine will. It is an attitude of not striving: it is about not insisting on the energies of your life flowing in some preconceived way. When you surrender, you live in harmony with the flow of life energy; you live in accord with whatever circumstance arises. Surrendering comes from a deep understanding that life energy does not need to flow in one way or another, since that energy is what you are already.
Surrendering is also about letting go. It may mean letting go of physical stress or tension, or letting go of emotional tension. It may mean releasing your grip, your insistence on getting your own way. It may mean leaving a job that pays well but makes you miserable. It may mean releasing your hold on a relationship that is no longer functional.
Imbalance = we may appear lazy, depressed, dependent, inactive, idle, indirect, and perhaps dangerously passive or unable to act.
WATER – THE POWER TO DARE & THE POWER TO ACCEPT
Water – Outward expression = the power to dare.
In its active, outward expression water brings forth a power of fearlessness. Water does not recognize formal boundaries. The ocean does not distinguish one drop of water from the next, nor does it discriminate. It accepts all forms of water. Water’s power to dare encourages you to go beyond human constructed, socially accepted and institutionalized boundaries. If you dare, then just as naturally as water, you glide across that artificial line drawn in the sand by culture, gender, ethnicity, family, or by any other arbitrarily assigned conventions.
The area of dreams, visions, empathy, compassion, understanding, cycles, and lunar mysteries are all ruled by water in this active expression.
Imbalance = we may appear weepy, sad, depressed, fixed on the past, brooding, secretive, emotionally reactive, and inappropriately empathetic.
Water – Inward expression = the power to Accept.
In its receptive expression, water governs the power to accept. Since waters’ natural expression is a free flow in any direction, the complementary, “reversed” aspect of water focuses more on the container of water than the water itself. The heart of ‘accepting’ is defining and honouring the boundaries. It is the power of the cup, the chalice, the cauldron that gives shape to water.
In practical terms, accepting is about grounding yourself in the circumstances of your body, your environment, family, friends, work, life, etc. It is fully knowing where you are right now and determining how to get to where you’d like to go. There is power in acknowledging the whole truth of your life, the pleasant and the unpleasant. How honestly can you assess your advantages and limitations? Although discomfort may be involved in such a prospect, accepting is a golden doorway of opportunity. It invites you to take effective action in your life that can lead to significant change.
Imbalance = we may appear rigid, hyper-alert, self-deprecating, demanding of boundaries, needy of high structure and order, or only able to relate to what can be defined.
EARTH – THE POWER TO BE SILENT & THE POWER TO RESONATE
Earth – Outward expression = the power to be silent.
The power to be silent is the earth’s outwardly expressed, dynamic energy. The earth is, after all, a silent presence. Silence is an energy of stillness and rest. Through this energy the body, mind and spirit find a sense of opening, broadening, and deepening. The stillness of silence also represents the void. This void is, as the yogis of India called it, Shunyata, the original emptiness of all things. The energy of emptiness is also one of potential; the void is eternally ready to manifest as new forms – trees, birds, streets, people, in a sense then, emptiness is also fullness. The usually receptive energy of stillness is also the active energy of readiness, and of unlimited potential (how awesome is that?)
In its active expression, the element of earth rules material gain, wealth, prosperity, riches, work, service, strength, fortitude, honesty, practicality, pleasure, comfort, music, and art. Earthy people enjoy the simple pleasures of life such as good food, good sex and a nice place to live. They are grounded and practical in their approach to what some people consider to be complex issues.
Imbalance = we may appear rigid, stubborn, pessimistic, conventional, cruel, worrisome, inactive, possessive, stupid, slothful, greedy, or covetous.
Earth – Inward expression = the power to Resonate.
The element of earth governs the power to resonate in its inward, more passive expression. The power to resonate sounds vibrant and active, but resonance is the energy the EMERGES FROM SILENCE. Resonance represents the ‘interconnectedness’ of all reality. It is an energy that widens your perspective to understand that there is no division between you and anything else. The receptive energy of earth connects you to the undulating pulse of the universe, the spiritual vibrations that underlie all of existence. Sometimes, in moments of silence, we can naturally connect to this energy and we feel the pulse of life throbbing all around us and can experience the divine as it manifests in the world. When you tap into resonance, the darkness of earth renders itself luminous, weightless and effortless. When you strongly align with this power to resonate, spontaneity guides your actions; the energies of life itself guide you.
Imbalance = we may appear light headed, detached, disoriented, and out of touch with ones’ surroundings / reality.
Thank you to Cathrine Langwagen of cassiopeiaart for the beautiful and inspiring Elements artwork
Love & Light