Perhaps I should rephrase the topic of elemental magic. It would be more “applied elemental philosophy“. The practices in question rely on perhaps a simple observation that has even been made by science. That there are a finite number of states of being. Not only that, but these states constitute broad domains of energy and activity. I will begin with the platonic elements, but will discuss other elemental systems as appropriate.
In physics, there are 4 nuclear forces, and more easily observed, there are four states of matter. These are often referred to as the classical elements, and in western alchemy there was a 5th element, the prima materia in Latin. The prime matter from which all the others originate.
Perhaps we should get to how this is useful in our real lives. The elements actually show up in our activities and psychology as well as in literal states of matter, and in fact, recall of connections you have had with the elements can reproduce the state you experience in dealing with them.
For example; Earth for the most part has qualities of stability and sustenance, and we perhaps can all name someone who seems “down to earth”. Who seems stable and generally are very reliable. They tend to be very focused on constructive activity and invested in how things “grow”.
Fire has the quality of energy and transformation. It is defined in physics even by its tendency to spread its energy and “lose” energy to its environment. Though, in fact, there is no such thing as energy loss. It’s just more transformation, but we probably all have some experience with someone we could call fiery. They are very energetic and passionate, and although they are prone to fits of temper, they likewise are the most driven to reconnect and reconcile any differences between themselves and others. Fiery people tend to be the big reformers. The rebels who actually most often do have a cause. This is why they often call visionaries fire or torch bearers.
Is it always linked to your astrology sign? Oh, no. Your elemental characteristics are very likely independent of your astrological chart. I liken the astrological influences that may have been in motion when you were born to a weather condition.
It’s more about the temper we are born with then? Yes. In fact, it was originally believed that states of matter like flesh could only exist as combinations of the four elements. Even in Christian mysticism it is said that the body of humanity was made from the earth, but did not acquire life until it received the breath of God, and that only by the Holy Spirit (which is symbolized by a flame) can we transcend our lower natures. That’s one view of things.
The elements in every system are observed to act on each other in two different patterns. This is universal across elemental systems. There is a creative cycle, where one element seems to support the activity of another and exchanges energy in that direction. Then there is also a destructive cycle, where one element seems to interfere with or stop the activity of another.
How does the observation of these two elemental cycles apply to the practice of elemental magick? It does on many levels actually. In part, it can show you a way for dealing with anyone you encounter. Either to counter hostile activity on their part, or give guidance on how best to support their activity as well. It can also give guidance about disconnections between you as an individual and elements of your environment.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.