E is for Elements
The standard 4 cardinal elements of earth water air fire, with the "quintessence" of medieval alchemists being variably Spirit or Love. The Chinese system adds a fifth element as metal then further subdivides the elements into strong and weak (and places these around 8 points of a Pa Kua compass thus relating it to the I Ching; these 8 directions also representing Michael Moorecock's Star of Chaos beloved by post-modern chaos magicians).
All five of the cardinal elements are contained in Blood and Semen which is why they are such sacred elements used in so much ritual. While on the topic; female sexual fluid (from "squirting") has been analyzed and verified as chemically exactly the same Fructose as found in fruit.
I referred in a previous blog to musical elements;
the ASDR Attack Sustain Decay Release factors by which musicians talk about how sound waveforms can be manipulated. Attack is a rate for how punchy or soft the sound starts, Sustain and Decay are similar in that they measure how long the body of the sounds waveform goes on for, and Release is if the sound ends abruptly or has a tail; how long it takes for it to fade out after you take your finger off the keyboard. As energy is measurable as waveform the ASDR grid is useful to know about. It is used to shape the waveform to some extent, without altering the original tone.
I feel that a much better way to describe soundwaves in terms of energy is the analogue wave shape. There are four major types and the symbols for these correlate directly to the classical cardinal element symbols, used by Hermetic groups and which are themselves rooted in primal indigenous shamanic culture all over the world from way back in history to the very first cave paintings. This itself reveals a remnant of a once unified global consciousness using the same symbols for the same concepts, in pre-history as today.
Zig Zag = fire = saw-wave (percussion)
Castelation = earth = square-wave (bass tones)
Oscilation = water = sine-wave (synth pads)
Rise&Drop = air = sawtooth (synth sweeps)
"first you get the pressure, then you get the pressure drop" Wendy James, Transvision Vamp
Note that while there are other musical waveforms, which I have not yet bothered to assign to the traditional elements, Tarot students will recognize that each waveform type relates to one of the four suits;
triangle = fire = diamonds = pentacles/coins
square-wave = earth = clubs = staffs/wands
sawtooth = air = spades = swords
sine-wave = water = hearts = cups
"Reality is constructed of Waveforms"
Why this becomes important is that Quantum Science now claims that everything in reality is made of waveforms of energy. That the universe is holographic and responds to subconsciously programmed will is something that chaos magicians and new-age spiritualists have been explaining for decades. These waveforms can be understood on many levels of reality from electromagnetic aura's that we emit, to the Songlines (read Bruce Chatwin). The very best resource I have found exploring and explaining How It Works in practical terms, is a science fiction novel called 'Quarantine' by Greg Egan, and I recommend that you read Kim Stanley Robinsons 'The Memory Of Whiteness' directly afterwards if you can maintain the context waveform you will see what I mean and ready yourself for a treat.
Some links for further research into sound waveforms;
McGregor Matthers, Order of the Golden Dawn
The Cardinal Elements correlate to the 4 Watchtowers NESW; however my being a student of Egyptology, you can expect that my imagination is filled up with pyramids.
"As Above; So Below" ancient maxim
The trinary system of Alchemy might be associated with the triangle-wave Fire element if we base our interpretation purely on geometric symbolism. As Chinese year of the fire-snake this seems instinctively obvious to me.
It utilizes three major components;
Salt, Sulphur & Mercury (a catalyst for change).
This is one part of what is meant by the phrase 'Hermes Trimajestus'.
An necessary Aside on Deification
Another interpretation of what is meant by the phrase Hermes Trimajestus that perception is three-fold within the Hermetic system; that there are three levels to it. Hermes is the Greek name for Thoth an ancient Egyptian deity.
NB a 'deity' is not the same thing as a 'god' in the superhuman nor christian sense. I will have to explain that in another blog. For now suffice that properly a 'deity' is a personification of a concept that we devote faith and meaning to, to empower it. Such mythopoeic imaginal entities may later become manifest gods as they take on a life of their own and are unquestioningly worshipped as Facts. There are several books on the creation of such magickal entities, typically using sigils. This basis forms the foundation of most human archetypal cultures and references, as we apply it to everything we add a label to. Logos into Logo.
The triple-layered interpretation of Hieratic symbols (hieroglyphs) is essential and was intended by their creators to offer deeper insight into the original intended meaning. I can teach that aspect better in relation to translating Cartouche, which takes us beyond the simple scope of this blog. See my Opus Magi www.webjam.com/Auriglyphica (work in progress) for further information regarding all of this paragraph's content.
Since beginning writing for the Pagan Blog Project, I have made a list of the utensils or tools that I use in my magickal practice. This goes hand-in-hand with the Elements involved. I will include the list in the T is for Tools or U is for Utensils blog, later.
Since a Newport south Wales policY officer confiscated a 2.5 inch folding blade that I had found in a forest only hours earlier before my return to the city, thus ending my fledgling wood carving career, I now use only crystals as my athame for most of my ritual work; a different series of elements dealing with light, where crystals are 'salt' in alchemical terms (salt, sulphur, mercury). Therefore Sulphur becomes the element I relate to air-fire and fire-air.
I use incense and tobacco in my ritual work. Incense not only to tone the environment through pleasant fragrance but also to both feed and banish spirits; White Sage is expensive but necessary in my line of work, I find it more thorough than the more available, more affordable honey and sage smudge-sticks. Tobacco is never intended to be inhaled. The Peace-Pipe ritual to make good medicine between mine and thine spirits is not something that I have performed for a long time and when doing so, chillums and reefers and bongs full of skunkweed were by far the preferred ally. I have since given up smoking altogether as my habit was costly and I had achieved physical immunity from being able to get stoned any more anyway. Last time I tried it after a few years of being clean, I had an OBE during which I was shown Jose Arguelles Rainbow Bridge is already there, and advised by an ascended master to plant as many vegetables as possible all over the place, as soon as possible.
Tobacco is intended to be burned in prayer; for petition & offering, tin hanks & to request of the Great Spirit. When the tobacco smoke spirals, spirit is listening. It is a very peaceful ritual. I find that it attunes me to nature and aligns me to the more subtle planes, and is highly protective. I also use this to bargain with and pay energy to various spirit entities with whom I communicate, who require such. The Sunworker Mayan shamen advise that we perform such ritual blessing on a daily basis. They tell us that it is our forgetting to do so that is Koyanisqaatsi, turning of the world out of balance.
Generally in the house I will have a candle burning at all times for similar purpose; protection and communion with those more human spirits that come and go as they please. The flickering indicates spirit movement in a windless environment. That is a flame ritual rather than for smoke. The atmosphere it creates is conducive to the mystical mood and perceptions. I have sufficient water in my body to count for that element, and water is linked to mood is linked to perceptions; the subtle shifts within, of instinct mood and mind, are by far the strongest part of my magickal workings; what is truly meant by Witchery, the creative process of drawing subconscious information into liminal awareness.
I am lucky in that I attract what is called Record Keeper crystals. These (typically quartz, occasionally amethyst) can be identified by triangles appearing raised up on one or more of the surfaces. These are said to have been programmed by the ancients to be a conduit for channeling. Discovering how this functions in practical terms is a part of the experiments we have been set to task. It branches.
Crystals constitute Salt in the alchemical trinity.
Stillness: the Calm of Storms Eye
a.k.a. Eye of Horus ritual
(analyze the sigil for the method)
a.k.a. Zoning Out
The Primal Elements are those associated with Survival Lifestyle, however we utilize them from choice and mistakenly we call it being civilized, a roman word meaning 'to have been made to fit into the city'; which means to have been dominated and tamed. A better word to describe the ritual use of primal sacraments is refined.
The scent of matches, the ice cold of a splash of water holy from the living earth, the grain of stone in our fingerprints. Rhythmic trance state as the mind zones-out and goes into self-space, the inner calm and balance, our central nervous system amplifying this out into the particles within our aura and setting them to the calm of storms eye required to work our desire by design.
This is the reality, non too harsh like camping with soggy, grubby fingers and freezing toes in a fresh forest at night, face stung by fire-flecks and lungs burnt by wild woodsmoke, eyes streaming and physical exhaustion from dealing with harsh elements and the hard ground, because the body is soft and used to city comfort, cushions and processed sugary food stores and central heating and fluoridated hot water on tap, spiked electric and internet and cancerous cellphone rays to distort our energy field and program our minds with flicker-rates too quick for the conscious mind to fathom.
This is the reality, of entering the Magickal Universe by ritual focus. Matter less what ritual we perform this night, it is the silent space we make for ourselves that is the key, the freedom from all other peoples awareness and designs. All strands of self connecting us to others are severed or calm and invisible, their attention elsewhere. This is the skill most worthy of teaching; it is protection and peace, it is powa and living, breathing instinct flowing through as perception. This is the initiation from where Will may be achieved. All mantra’s made within this space take hold without distortion.
We need this; as individuals, locked into glass and metal, concrete and petro-chemical plastic city lives, slaves worshipping the ruling god money, disturbed by the disfunction fields of emotionally fatigued peoples daily urban grinds. We need this time alone to steady ourselves and remember what we are when we are. We need the stillness. This itself is an element, should be considered as such and mastered before any real progress can be made.For this is when we step out of time and into our own Becoming.
"Yes Spirit, but which is the father and which is the son?"
We have seen here how a world is made of elements set as a particular order. The more advanced our understanding of material and spiritual/perceptual science becomes, the more we observe the ancient principles of 'as above so below' or 'inner mirrors outer'.
External reality experience manifests according to preconceptions.
This unifies the a priori Songlines (Intent before Event) with posteriori Observation based (label what we find).
Summarized thus; "the Observer Affects the Observed."
That we comprehend era's in terms of different symbolic series equally making sense of both inner and external realities, to describe a context, hinging around the core principle, give the sorcerer of any given era an infallible method of setting himself free of the Order of the Day, and accessing levels of alternative consciousness. The results as the new belief-structure . It is these symbols containing internal referencing framework to construct a stable cohesive paradigm or otherwise, that can correctly be called its Elements.
But you knew that all along.
What matters next is not so much the context by which we define and manifest versions of reality, all of which are equally as equivalent and unique; what matters is how much individual powa can be gained to manifest and maintain a reality-belief waveform. Self-belief is one aspect, Group-consensus is another. Here we face the age old issue of Individual verses Society.
The sorcerers art is to slip free of all the context grids.
Knowing them to be illusion, he seeks reality.