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Kraheera
April 2nd, 2009, 10:30 PM
So this came up recently in a circle I go to every week. We were planning our Ostara ritual, and the High Priestess said rather calmly that she was going to have me call Air, because I just seem to work well with it.

So this got me wondering...

Upon research, I found out I do have A LOT of air and fire signs in my astrological chart, and I do tend to show a lot of characteristics for Air and Fire. I'm wild, a bit chaotic, passionate, burn myself on both ends of the candle, etc...

And it made me wonder if perhaps this is why my spells/rituals having to do with anything involving things ruled by these two elements usually work out spectacularly, but other works involving more Earthy / Stable things tend to... well.. not.

So Here I Am... asking for the experiences/thoughts of those with greater wisdom in elemental things.

Jenett
April 3rd, 2009, 07:39 AM
I think we've all got natural inclinations in one direction or another. That said, my own path focuses on bringing things into balance: if we only ever focus on the elements (and their associations) that are easy for us, we're never going to develop comfort working with the others.

When I started out, I'd often prefer to work with the things that were easier for me (air and water), but during my own training, my teachers had me spend an extended period of time (at least six months) calling the elements that I had a lot more trouble with. (fire and to some extent, earth.) It helped a lot with finding a better balance, and in giving me more ways to approach ritual, magic, and different goals/interests.

Lunacie
April 3rd, 2009, 10:00 AM
I think we've all got natural inclinations in one direction or another. That said, my own path focuses on bringing things into balance: if we only ever focus on the elements (and their associations) that are easy for us, we're never going to develop comfort working with the others.

When I started out, I'd often prefer to work with the things that were easier for me (air and water), but during my own training, my teachers had me spend an extended period of time (at least six months) calling the elements that I had a lot more trouble with. (fire and to some extent, earth.) It helped a lot with finding a better balance, and in giving me more ways to approach ritual, magic, and different goals/interests.

My story is similar, except that I continued to take the easy route until I was elevated to leader of my group. Gave me whole new perspective. One of my coven mates was having trouble drawing earth energy. Cosmic energy was easy for her, but I know from experience that drawing only one or the other leaves one unbalanced and less protected. So I did some reading and came up with various exercises for her (along with the whole group) to do to be able to call on both kinds of energy, to have them mingle in the Center, and then push them out to form a shield or balance their chakras or whatever was needed.


Edited to add: we had been working on exercises as a group to attune to all of the elements, but I generally ask for volunteers to call each direction instead of assigning those parts.

HetHert
April 3rd, 2009, 12:57 PM
Our natural inclination and talents in one or more elements is a wonderful thing. It's like your favorite pair of jeans, you are familiar, happy, and content with all the things they do for you and how relaxed you feel in them. They are a perfect fit.

But to be a well rounded magician it would benefit a person more to become proficient with all elements as working with them also tends to help us balance out our mundane lives as their influence is through and through.

To do this there are a couple ways. i've heard some groups advice a student to inundate themselves with the element and it's characteristics for an entire year. I'd probably be happier with a 3 month round in each element and then the next year work on grouping and melding and weaving the elements and then balancing and harmonizing them through works.

I'm a big advocate of balance and harmony.

monsnoleedra
April 3rd, 2009, 04:03 PM
I think the notion of being well rounded and balanced with all the elements is sort of a farce actually. Yes, one may be able to utilize and or call upon the elements equally but I do not see that as balance and equality with them in usage.

My primary element is water. As a Pisces it is my birth sign. It's influenced my life, 23 years in the Navy is sort of hard to not recognize a water connection. One of my primary guides is the Heron, which is clearly a water bird. It is the element that is always the center and base of any working I do. Its very presence is often the source of inspiration for me. Heck, if I am troubled or dishearted then I find I will end up near it. Doesn't mater if it were a lake, a pond, a river or an ocean, I end up there.

Does not mean that I do not use or have an affinity for other elements. The dragon is my symbol and has been their since my birth so Fire is a strong one for me, but it never has nor ever will have the encompassing hold that the element of water does. Yes, I simply love to stare into it and watch the flames dance and the images that play before my eyes. To feel the heat from it and watch it consume its source of fuel as it begins as a faint flicke before expanding to a bright flare. Even to watch as it looses its hold and fades into smoldering coals to mark where it once burnt in all its glory.

Yet to me I also wonder if people do not fail to grasp the notion of boundary points. Fire is the opposite of water yet steam, mist etc is the meeting point and product of that meeting. Yet many do not seem to recognize that in their usage of the elements. Sort of like mud and or quicksand is the meeting point between earth and water, mist and vapor the meeting point between air and water.

I think to have balance is to be able to use them at the meeting points and create a stable point that is reflective of one, two or all of the elements where they meet. I tend to think anyone can call the individual componets of a thing but the compound result of the merger of energy and power that seems to me to be the point where balance is achieved.

I suppose it's like I see salt water as the equal balance of land and water, salt of the land and water its self. Put them at the meeting of solid land and water add air and its the frothy crest of waves that break upon the shore, add a bit of heated earth like magma and the result is grandeur as it is creation and destruction all at one spot and in one instant of time.

Even in being unbalanced by volume, they are balanced in action and reaction.

But maybe today I am just missing the whole picture and focus of the thread in question and under discussion.

Kraheera
April 3rd, 2009, 04:28 PM
These are some great points, but I think I kinda agree with MonoSno on some things.

If you are truly born to a certain element, doesn't that mean that the particular element will have a greater hold not just on your life, but your personality and essence? The "vibe" of you, so to speak?

I think that no matter how balanced I may get, and trust me, I'm striving to get a bit more centered, I will always be a bit flighty, and I will always have a bit of chaos going on.

It is part of who I am, and that is greatly directed by my fire and air, I think.

I guess I'm trying to find a way to balance myself enough so that I don't keep flying amongst the clouds and forget the basics in life, like stability and peace.

Jenett
April 4th, 2009, 09:25 AM
If you are truly born to a certain element, doesn't that mean that the particular element will have a greater hold not just on your life, but your personality and essence? The "vibe" of you, so to speak?

Well, yes. But that doesn't mean there aren't other things there, too - after all, as human beings, we have water in the blood in our veins (and our tears). We need air. We produce our own warmth, and we need the light of the sun (at some level) to survive, and we've got a lot of very physical processes going on.

The same thing is true of my intellectual life. I'm strongly drawn to academic work, and to a particular kind of intuitive 'this is the place to look' processing. (I'm a librarian, which is partly a science, but also partly an art in how you decide where to start looking for an answer, or what questions to ask the person who's trying to find information.) But I also need the stability and practicality of earth in managing the things I need to get done, and the determination and willpower of fire.

And it's certainly true of my Craft life, especially now I'm a coven leader: the typical water all-intuitive model leaves things out, the air-focused intellectual thing can get very tedious for others, and I need passion and desire, as well as practical skills, to make things work.

A good friend of mine (who is a Leo, and about as fire centered as I am water-centered, naturally) has for a couple of years been giving me gifts that specifically focus on the combination of forces, and the idea that learning how to work with them together gives you *many* more options than each one alone.

I run all of those through the filters of the elements I have a natural preference for (water and air), but they're much more balanced than they used to be. If, when I started, you mapped them on a 10 point scale, they were probably like this:

Air: 10
Water: 7
Earth: 4
Fire: 2

(an 8 point spread between the highest and lowest, and a substantial spread in the middle.)

These days, it's a lot more like:
Air: 8
Water: 8
Earth: 5
Fire: 5

(a 3 point spread, total).

I've not only got the air-water stuff in slightly better balance (because for me, that feels like a very specific kind of polarity that I spend a lot of time with), but I've got a much less uneven foundation in the other two. They'll probably never be my first choice for an emergency - but they're a lot more solid and regularly used than they used to be.

And for me, getting the water-air thing more even turns out to have had a big impact on my life: I have long-time good friends, but these days, many of these relationships are a lot better balanced: we're not just spending time together because of an intellectual shared interest, but because of caring, emotion, and other related things.

Obviously, it isn't perfectly balanced - and like you, I don't know that I ever want it to be. But it *is* balanced enough that I can comfortably call any quarter in a ritual with balanced connection, and enough that I can teach students whose strengths are in other elements well, without constantly struggling with the differences, and those things are both extremely important to me.

Lunacie
April 4th, 2009, 09:46 AM
(snipped)

I've not only got the air-water stuff in slightly better balance (because for me, that feels like a very specific kind of polarity that I spend a lot of time with), but I've got a much less uneven foundation in the other two. They'll probably never be my first choice for an emergency - but they're a lot more solid and regularly used than they used to be.

And for me, getting the water-air thing more even turns out to have had a big impact on my life: I have long-time good friends, but these days, many of these relationships are a lot better balanced: we're not just spending time together because of an intellectual shared interest, but because of caring, emotion, and other related things.

Obviously, it isn't perfectly balanced - and like you, I don't know that I ever want it to be. But it *is* balanced enough that I can comfortably call any quarter in a ritual with balanced connection, and enough that I can teach students whose strengths are in other elements well, without constantly struggling with the differences, and those things are both extremely important to me.

:lol: Laughing because that's what I used to think, that fire wouldn't be my first choice of elements to use in an emergency. But then came the ice storm and I was worried about someone who would be driving home on icy roads, and I found it natural to draw on fire for help in protecting him and getting him home safely.

And I agree that as I've focused a little less on my strengths and more on the other areas, I've become more well-rounded and better able to relate to other people. But perhaps we need to spend time and effort on our strengths before we can begin to work on the things that don't come as easily to us, that gives us a strong foundation to build upon.

JimSte
April 9th, 2009, 05:37 AM
First I like to mention a thank you for the creation of this thread.

About Natural elemental attunements... pros and cons:
Some people may like to look into venn diagram for inspiration in how to get the pros of natural element attunements.

Maybe some of you even want to find out your own "skills" inspired from venn diagram, "skills" that are at the same time along your spiritual path.


JimSte

PS. Poetry: "A muddy passage of a path, dancing with moonlight."

cydira
April 11th, 2009, 09:34 AM
It's an interesting thread and I'm with JimSte - thanks for starting this thread. :)

I'm going to just throw out a thought here and I don't know how well it's going to be received. Here's hoping that it goes over well. :)

I find that Elemental correspondences are convenient but not necessary. I am comfortable working with the concepts associated with the Element of Water but once I realized that the entire Elemental correspondences and associated concepts were a classification system it became alot easier to work with the concepts associated with the other Elements.

Now, I'm not saying that the spiritual beings known as 'Elementals' don't exist. I'm saying that by focusing upon the Elemental correspondences and associated concepts alone in how we interpret and make sense of the world is setting up false limitations upon what we can do. It is my theory* that we gravitate towards the Element that we're most naturally inclined towards, given how the Elemental correspondence system is presented to us.

Additionally, I propose that there is a tendency to focus upon the form of Elemental correspondence that we were initially introduced to as being the 'correct' form to use. In doing so, we limit our worldview and the options that we may have in understanding how things interrelate within the world. I believe that this is something that is actually harmful to the development of the magical/metaphysical arts (skills/sciences/ what is the best word for that thing we do, anyways???).

While the classical Elemental correspondence system and it's associated concepts are good for introductory work, in my opinion, it is equally if not more important to develop a degree of mental flexibility that allows us to consider things from outside of this frame of reference. Once this is done, I believe that we should develop our own independent system of correspondences and references for our efforts because it makes it much easier to access, work with, and control the more subtle aspects of the arts (for lack of a better term) that we are engaged in.

I think the focus upon the classical Elemental correspondences, while useful for communicating ideas (generally) shouldn't be upheld as the rule for how to approach the arts. And when we encounter situations that can not be communicated via the classical Elemental correspondences or similar frames of reference, an effort must be made by the community at large to devise a way to communicate the details of these situations and to discuss them in a fashion that is not dependent upon those methods of organizing one's worldview.

I, however, am something of an odd duck.

*Only a theory, mind you, and my studies into this haven't yet proven every aspect of this conclusively.

Sparkles
April 15th, 2009, 11:52 AM
To me, correspondence lists and elemental associations are a great starting point. They are, after all, available because they have mostly worked for many others in the past. That does give those correspondences some power, even if it is only perceived power. Belief is power, and believing that those correspondence are effective goes a long way in making them effective. *wink*

However, they are a starting point, a reference tool that can offer some direction to us. In my opinion, it is more important that we each get to know the elements personally, in detail. I have done this and continue to do this through meditation, through attempting to *become* each element and experience the many shades of variations and extremes of the manifestations of each element's energy effects. Yes, we may begin with the "elemental representations" that we are taught when we first call our Quarters or work with each element, but as we explore each of the elements and their different effects, we should be refining our "mental picture" of each elemental representation in accordance with our own experiences with that element.

To me, this deeper "relationship" with each element adds quite a bit to my ability to connect with the sympathetic energies to be found in those lists of correspondences that I compiled early in my studies. At this point, after over six years of these meditations, I have been able to validate some of those entries, modify some to be more in line with my personal experiences, and delete some because I find that my personal experiences are not in accordance with those of others. In other words, I have made my correspondence lists more in line with how I *believe* they should be.

My astrological sign is a Fire sign, and during my first "elemental absorption" meditations, I had the *most* difficulty connecting with the element of Fire. Obviously, at least for me, there is more to my elemental connections than the information found on correspondence lists compiled by others. And my connections to date seem to be more dynamic in nature than "set in stone." I feel an easier connection to some elements at some times, and then the connections seem to shift at other times and become more difficult. Maybe these connections need to be treated like a physical exercise routine, where exercises are varied to prevent the muscles from becoming accustomed to a certain workout.

Interesting thread!!

Amilee
April 15th, 2009, 12:21 PM
You know I'm totally, completely attuned to only one element. Does it damper my lifestyle or my rituals heck no. I'm fire, all fire passion, creativity, temper, emotions, drive. I communicate on all levels of the flame spiritual or otherwise.

When I was younger than I am now I used to hate that I was attuned to just one. I really did and even tried to deny it, but now, I know this is where I belong and it's just somthing I don't question.

Balance with all four elements is great and if you can do it go for it. But just being attuned to one element has powerful benefits as well. I love that I have an endless well of creativity at my fingertips any time I want it. If you focus on only one you learn all the great and wonderful things you can do with that element. Taking all four means studying all four and that means that you just don't have the same control and learning curb that you would with focus on only one of the four.

The only draw back is also having an endless (almost obsessive) anger streak that can get a little out of control at times. :cutie: still, I wouldn't trade this attunement for anything.

*oonagh*
April 16th, 2009, 10:22 AM
i *really* wanted to be connected with water...but i'm just not. i am an air witch. 100%. i just do not connect with the other elements at all. it's that simple. there is balance in the universe and that has nothing to do with which element one is drawn to. one person does not have to balance all the elements in order to be in balance with all that is. that is just part of existance.

Ivy Artemisia
April 17th, 2009, 07:58 PM
I must say, I'm very jealous of all of you who connect with air easily. I have the most difficult time with air. I don't know if its because its something I can't really usually 'see' physically, or what, but my chart has almost NO air in it at all. I'm mostly earth, followed by water, then fire... and I really am working on air.

Sparkles
April 17th, 2009, 08:54 PM
*smile* The next time you fly in a plane, get a window seat, and meditate. I have my best Air meditations at 39,000 feet!

*oonagh*
April 20th, 2009, 01:45 PM
I must say, I'm very jealous of all of you who connect with air easily. I have the most difficult time with air. I don't know if its because its something I can't really usually 'see' physically, or what, but my chart has almost NO air in it at all. I'm mostly earth, followed by water, then fire... and I really am working on air.

and i just *can't* connect with earth at all. so, if you think about it, all of us together create balance...no?

~Belladonna~
April 28th, 2009, 11:58 AM
I think we all feel an affinity to a certain Element, I know I do :uhhuhuh: and that Element for me is Water. My actual Birth Element is Earth as I was born May 6th, and it's the other Element that I feel particularly drawn to (though not as much as Water). Fire and Air being the two I feel less drawn to.
I know that to be truly in balance, or attuned as you suggest, with the Elements we need to get to know them all and to find our strengths and weaknesses with each one. However, this is no easy task and IMO someone that is 100% in balance with all of the Elements is someone who is on their way to Enlightenment - yeah, no easy task and something that comes with much hard work and self development on all levels. Many people don't even reach this stage in this lifetime (I think this says it all really) :uhhuhuh: However, this is just my opinion on the Elements and I understand they mean different things for different folks.

It's a lifelong journey and one that I'm enjoying taking because the more I learn about each Element the more I learn about myself and what my personal strengths and weaknesses are :)

Kraheera
April 30th, 2009, 12:02 PM
I must say, I'm very jealous of all of you who connect with air easily. I have the most difficult time with air. I don't know if its because its something I can't really usually 'see' physically, or what, but my chart has almost NO air in it at all. I'm mostly earth, followed by water, then fire... and I really am working on air.


Well, since I'm an airhead apparently, I have no problems with it. But I did suggest a meditation to a friend... the next time the wind is blowing, stand outside, and just close your eyes. When you breathe in, imagine the air is a silver light pouring into you... and when you breathe out, imagine it running from your head to your feet.

P.S. I suggest you not be standing at any great height when you do this. So far, 5 out of 5 times, people get dizzy and a bit... er... erratic minded. >> Yep. Almost like doing a Faery Meditation, they aren't entirely grounded, if they are grounded at all.

Aidron
May 31st, 2009, 09:22 PM
I must say, I'm very jealous of all of you who connect with air easily. I have the most difficult time with air. I don't know if its because its something I can't really usually 'see' physically, or what, but my chart has almost NO air in it at all. I'm mostly earth, followed by water, then fire... and I really am working on air.

You are the reverse me, but probably with better skin and minus the jealousy.