Wednesday, 20 June 2012 13:41

Elementals and energies

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Magic is fluid. There are so many ways one can apply the technologies that there is constant innovation to be done.  I recently read this article about a non-traditional definition of elementals at Taylor Ellwood's site, in which he expands his definition of elementals beyond the four classical elements to include the elements of love, gravity, emptiness and other forces of nature.  It was a thought provoking article, and has left me wanting to explore the concept more. 

The four elements and their elemental spirits and energy have their place in my paradigm. They're one level in the spectrum, defined by a certain broadness of scope. Not everything belongs specifically in one or the other; love, if it's going to work well, needs to have characteristics of all four elements and its own characteristics, too. Yet, these broader definitions represent broader spiritual dimensions, and they're so very useful for staying oriented, physically and spiritually. If you don't know where you're facing, you don't know where you're going.

The four elements exist with the four directions. South, west, east and north, know which direction going forth. Knowing where you stand is important. Anywhere you stand on this planet, or any other planet, you will stand at a crossroads of four directions - the windswept heights and the mysterious depths, the solid and ancient and the ever-changing.  A compass stays with me in my bag of magical tools; I'd better always know which way north is when I'm doing magick.  A good witch always knows where she stands.

I agree that there are countless other elementals and their associated energies, beyond the four classical elements.  They exist in addition to, not as a part of, the spirits of the four quarters. A spirit of love would be very watery in it's nature, due to the association of water with romance.  It'd be very earthy, for a good relationship needs patience and respect. It'd also be very airy, because a good relationship needs communication and reason.  And it'd be fiery, because a good relationship needs passion and hot sex.  After a while, it becomes a bit tedious to try to ascribe everything into elemental boxes, so I describe the spirit as it is, an entity with its own unique pattern of energy, it's own spiritual DNA.


With that in mind, there are infinitely many spiritual energies that one can work with.  While the planets hold qualities of certain elements, some baffle us, like Jupiter, which is associated with both air and earth. Same with the sephira, the chakras, the runes, the major arcana, the Hebrew alphabet, and on to infinity. Invoke each energy for what it is, knowing that all of them are available to us - we just need to tune in and receive them.  The many different energies, be they planetary, elemental, or very specifically defined entities, all have a place on the spectrum, a tier where they fit, be they larger and more abstract, like the elemental energies, or specific and focused, like a particular crystal's energy.

Breathing in the energy from the classical elements of the four directions is excellent for balancing and centering oneself, as well as it is excellent for invoking certain necessary characteristics into one's pattern. However, any energy out there can be invoked, breathed in, and channeled through the body.  Try breathing in a planet's energy. Right before writing this article, I took a few minutes to locate and breathe in Mercury, to prepare myself to communicate more effectively in my writing.  Like the elemental energies I described in my article, "Powerful, Potent Pore Breathing," planetary energies can be useful for a number of applications.

To breathe in a planet's energy, first locate the planet in the heavens. Google Sky for Android and iPhone is an excellent way to quickly locate any heavenly body, and has quickly become one of the most used apps on my phone.  Alternately, Stellarium is an excellent free program that can help you find planets, stars, and constellations in the sky.

Reach out your wand, held upside down, with the pommel end of the wand pointed in the exact direction of the planet, and use it as an antenna to form and solidify a connection to the planetary energy.  Hold your pentacle in your receiving hand and draw a line from the planet to the pentacle, the tip of the wand pointed directly at the pentacle.  The pentacle is like a satellite dish, collecting that planetary energy from millions of miles away and concentrating it in one place.  When doing this, place the pentacle somewhere on your body (wearing a small one on a chain against bare skin is effective), so that it may diffuse the planetary energy throughout your body, weaving that energy it has collected with your own pattern.  You can likewise do the same with the energies of the zodiac by locating them in the sky, aiming your antenna at them and channeling them into you.

Working with planetary, zodiacal, and other cosmic energies appeals to me because they are locatable in the universe around us.  The wand and pentacle add the dimension of connecting to and receiving directly from the source.  When I'm scanning around my wand toward the planet, I hear squeals and pops, and finally some nice harmonic tones as I tune the radio to the planet's energy. The geek in me loves the technical imagery of the antenna and the receiver dish. I even plug in my satellite dish to my energy pattern via a port in my body that I open up, Neuromancer style.  Receiving incoming transmission...

Other energies, such as the sephira or the Tarot trumps, have no specific location as their starting point.  Then there are the elementals of love, gravity, courage, emptiness, wealth, the wilderness, and so on, that each have their own essence, and their own energy fields that can be connected with. With these, I approach them more like elemental energies, reaching out into the air around me and feeling for them, then drawing them inward through all of the pores on my skin. 

If I'm having trouble connecting with them, or any other energy or spirit, I find that burning incense along with a full-body relaxation is an excellent way to open that channel. If you are in Memphis, Ebbo's on Madison has this excellent spiritual love incense that I love to use when working with the love elementals.  It's ruby red and resiny and smells like pure delight.  It attracts them beautifully.

The spirits are all quite the same as elemental spirits, each with their own hierarchies based on how condensed and refined the elemental energy that comprises these spirits is. Approach with the same amount of care and respect.  Their preferred colors and fragrances probably need to be discovered on your own, but some magical formularies might give you some good ideas for starting points. As with a lot of my magick, the process of innovation is enjoyable. I discovered that my love elementals love ruby red cherry scented candles.

So many spirits, so many energies, and so much to explore.  Working with more specific elemental energies, as well as using pore breathing techniques to collect energies from non-classical elemental, planetary, and other sources has given me a broader array of paints with which to color my magical canvas.