Tag Archives: elemental

Make Space

Like a liver, make space. Like a space, make time. Like Jupiter, make one love.

In alchemical traditions from various cultures, the quintessential element is what the four elements emerge from and to. In Daoist alchemy, the fifth element is called 木 (mù) which is translated as wood or tree. In Hindu and Buddhist traditions, the fifth element is known as आकाश (akasha), meaning space. In ancient Greek traditions, which serve as a foundation for western mysticism, the fifth element was identified by Aristotle as unique from the classical four, and this fifth element became known as Αἰθήρ (aether).

3, 2, 1, Animism

Elemental ingredients

Every one has mind, body, spirit

Every being expressed by Mind, Speech, and Body

That is:

Archetypal essence, idea, consciousness

Pattern formation, design, name

Specific presence, action, physicality

3, 2, 1, “It’s Alive!”

3, 2, 1, “Hello, hi” (go ahead, talk, like talking with a pet)

“May peace be upon you”

Solarpunk Snapshot: O Sunny Days, Reflections on Heat Waves

Journal entry, JD175, YR2174
Location: New Heartwood, Great Lakes water unit East 37.

Heat waves

The mainstream still grows a harder gap to cross. It meanders more turbulent and wider. Its degraded soils worsen the waters. Bridge building continues, bank stabilization continues (thank stars for the willows), and inland waters are being healed. On days like today, I can’t help but think of all the heat and friction in the mainstream. Those high temperatures can hardly hold any dissolved oxygen, and life is slowly choked out. May the ocean of histories heal and renew.

I knew today would be like this. Most are. Hot. Dry. Dry. Even the winters are feeling drier. And even the good days are reminiscent of conditions in the mainstream now that I think of it: when we get water, it is heaved violently, it thrashes and impacts, it erodes. The waters crash down and wash up, and as they pass the ground is lost to downstream. The waters are like reflections from history, and those remaining islands and land bridges around the mainstream are generational systems, built on . . .

I won’t go on. Much progress to be made here and on the shorelines of the mainstream. Ladders, lamps, lifeboats . . . It is better inland, and I hope more life will find its way out of the mainstream and onto land, onto the earth element.

Despite being of a different world than that of the mainstream, we are still in the same world. Same goes for all the different niches in the mainstream, which fight so fiercely against each other and themselves to squeeze out what life is left.

Life is better here. Where we are a regenerative part of the landscape and not degrading or even dominating it. Where as many of our knobs are turned, as are the dials of ecosystem conditions which we try to control. Where the ways and wisdoms of the local first peoples are followed, and where we all connect with our own first personhood. Where there is ecological mutualism. Where generations behind us and ahead of us grow with us, actively in mind as we steward life and vice versa, in succession.

Life is mind, and may peace be upon yours.

Visions of Love, Gardening with Theurgy: An Imaginative Practice to Empower Plants

Plants are people that participate in our world in wondrous, mutualistic ways. Plants serve as the foundation of our human lives, in so many ways, grown by Solar rays of a very high Source. Plants bridge us and the Sun. How can we serve plants? A mystical practice, known as a type of theurgy, is one way to empower plants to give greater gifts as they go forth in life, using the power of human mind to imagine and visualize colors and light.

Definitions of theurgy tend to be vaguely described, as hints of it seep out from the mysticism of various traditions. Definitions often include compelling or querying supernatural beings and deities. I offer this definition based on my learnings and experiences on alchemy:

Theurgy is the mental animating of matter, so to bring out more of matter’s inherent qualities and potential capacities, without imposing a state or process on the matter that is not in harmony with its nature and natural laws of cause and effect [1].

There could be a lot to unpack here, but I will leave that to your own inner and outer inquiries. I raise this work to share an ecological application of it. Based in imagination, it is the use of visualization and color to enliven objects with their vital three-part nature.

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Elemental Story Suggestions

Select texts on analogs of the five classical elements. For a more extensive list of book recommendations, see the (Audio)Books page. Some examples of topics covered in this list:

Water: water resources, aquatic biology, subconscious and reception, health
Fire: energy, fuel, consciousness and action, will
Air: communication, meteorology, breathing, movement
Earth: physics, ecology, agriculture, shamanism
Essence: philosophy, alchemy, Hermeticism
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Breathing Exercises for Wellness

Breathing is an essential element of health. The following breathing practices improve body, emotion, and mind. Practice a little bit regularly, and stay grounded.

Full Breaths

Full breathing:
Breathe easy, be content.

Inhale slowly and fully by letting your chest rise, then your solar plexus, then expand your belly (pull your diaphragm down) to pull air deep into your lungs. Air will fill all the way down to around your naval all the way up to your throat.

Exhale slowly and completely by relaxing. Let your diaphragm relax and rise naturally, your lungs will release air. To remove stagnant air and exhale completely, compress your abdomen gently at the natural end of your exhale so that you force out any remaining air you have (be gentle so to not disturb your insides, you are doing this to help refresh them not stress them).

Four-Fold Breathing

Some call this square breathing, 4×4 breaths, four-way breathing, grounding breaths.

Begin by exhaling completely.
Inhale as described in the full breathing comment. As you do count to 4. This count should be comfortable for you, it is not 4 seconds, it is just breaking up the natural time it takes for you to inhale fully into 4 sections. 1, 2, 3, 4 at your pace. Whatever the pace is, keep this same pace throughout this exercise.

Hold your breath in for the same pace count 1, 2, 3, 4.

Exhale as described in the full breathing comment. 1, 2, 3, 4.

Hold your exhale out for the same pace count 1, 2, 3, 4.

Repeat this process 4 complete times with your awareness following the breath and the count. This will help you with energy.

Basic Qi’gong Form for Four-Fold Breathing

Mindful body movements can be added to this ‘4 square breathing’ as in Daoist qi’gong exercise.

Begin in basic qi’gong posture. You can learn simple and comfortable qi’gong forms in videos or local instruction. Legs shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, feet straight forward or slightly angled. Relax and practice good posture, as if a golden string runs from your tailbone up through the back of your head and out the top of your head to support you.

Inhale as you bring your arms from resting position up to shoulder-height with relaxed full arm length outward. As you raise your arms, also raise your body by straightening your legs, but keep your knees at least slightly bent at all times.

Hold breath in as you gently drag your hands close to your chest (near where your chest and shoulders meet), letting your arms calmly fold at elbows to do so. Try to keep your hands at a constant elevation – comfortable shoulder height – as you draw them near.

Exhale as you smoothly lower your hands from near your chest to near your hips, keeping hands near your body (~1″ in front of you). Let your body ease into gravity, bending your knees as you sink into a slight squat.

Hold breath out as you move your hands forward, near hip-height, until your arms are in a relaxed full extension.

As you begin the next cycle with an inhale, raise your arms in front of you to shoulder-height as in the beginning. Continue with four fold breath and hand motion, slightly straightening upward with inhales and squatting downward with exhales.

Complete the practice with an exhale that presses your attention and qi into the ‘lower cauldron‘, storing energy in one’s center of gravity, at the location three-finger-widths below one’s belly button and within mid-way between front and back. Relax as you release that exhale and continue relaxed, down-to-Earth breathing. Feel gravity and peace, and give thanks to all practitioners of all time in service to all.

Daoist Microcosmic Orbit diagram
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Elemental Organ Healing Exercise: Sounds, Visualizations, +++

I share the following lesson with much thanks, ultimately to the Source of All. This came to me as an introductory exercise. At the time I began practicing it, I also practiced basic soft qi’gong exercises daily, which you can learn at local workshops. However you integrate this practice into your life over time, be sure to stay grounded in the moments that makeup life: feel gravity, feel humility, enjoy and be thankful with the world. May peace be upon you.

The elements may be experienced in anything and direct awareness of such will allow for alchemical awareness and incredibly enhanced simplicity in all matters of life. The following is the element, the synonymous organ, color, and sound. The practice is to feel the individual organ, radiate the color, and vocalize the sound. You will understand the purpose after performing it.

Fire – Heart – Red – HAW
Air – Lungs – White – SSSS
Water – Kidneys – Blue – CHUY
Earth – Spleen – Yellow – CHUW
Ether – Liver – Green – SHHH

After feeling, visualizing, and vocalizing each of these you are to visualize each of the colors forming a ball of energy above your head. This ball will be black, or a dark light, and this dark light is the secret substance by which all things are a product of and is the key to all things. You will visualize your aurora as the colors of the five elements, and a second aurora above that which is that dark light. The dark light will find its way into your crown, at the top of your head, and into your brain.”

[The incorporation of the 6th element into this ritual is unnecessary; personally I practice it as instructed above, but I have been advised that, for most folks not coming from the Orient, the visualization of only the 5 colored aura to wrap up the ritual is more appropriate.]

“To briefly explain the elements (and by no means comprehensively but you’ll have to do the work of recognizing them yourself):

Fire – consumes, radiates, illuminates, destroys.
Air – carries other elements, change, the result of Fire & Water.
Water – flexibility, depth, fluidity.
Earth – grounding, the result of the other four elements combined.
Ether – that which holds all together. the OM if you will, sound, frequency, spirit, etc.

The passive elements, those subject to their surroundings, are water and earth.
The active elements, those which initiate change, are fire and air.

This may be observed in all things. Let me know how this goes for you.”