Well, I really think the egg came first. Divinity was laughing so hard at the idea of creating this reality, it laid one.
I will wrap up the subject of Elemental Magick with addressing the mystery of the fifth element. I have found wuxing to be the best model for explaining it. Pronounced wu-shing. It is Chinese alchemy/hermeticism for lack of a better parallel. In it, they do not use the element air as that corresponds to chi or the primal matter. Instead they use earth, water, fire, metal, wood, and air is the space between. It is the void element that gives form to these others.
Wood would correspond to the body principle in western elementalism, actually. Metal would be the presence of resistance. The principle of opposition. Earth and water would have the same meaning as they do in the western system.
Is fire the same in both models? Ah yes, fire is the great transformer empowered. This is why the mystery of forging was considered so profound in China and Japan. The transformation of the principle of resistance was considered the essence of all strength.
When dealing with the 5th element, which is non-individual and thus is what gives rise to the four tendencies, it behaves more like yin and yang. The receptive air and the resistant metal. Definition versus accepting awareness. Day/night cycle applies to all the four elements. There is day earth and night earth, day air and night air, etc.
When we perceive a greater order or guiding hand in this great exchange of elemental energy, it is this principle at work. Even if you won’t choose to seek balance, the 5th element acts on your system to balance you. It can be seen as synonymous with the higher self or guardian angel. This essence/spirit/force has had a lot of names and been depicted in a lot of different forms.
Chi? Yes, it is chi. The “breath of God”. The fifth element is spirit. It is what gives intelligence to the elementals.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.