A Study of the Elements
© Frank Howell - "Dakota Visions"
Guided by Spirit
Foundations of the All
Union of permanence and simplicity
Held in the rapture
by R. Fennelly
Spirit is often referred to as the “fifth element.” This idea traces back to Aristotle’s concept that the celestial world was composed of a fifth element (quintessence), ether, ; highly refined matter that is not physically seen on earth. Spirit stands apart from the four physical elements. Air, Fire, Water and Earth form the foundation upon which manifest and un-manifest work is done. Spirit has no specific correspondences or defined boundaries and categories as it is the flexible container that expands, contracts, opens and closes in response to everything that surrounds and contains it. Spirit manifests in everything and is everywhere. To say that everything contains spirit is to try to articulate something that cannot be limited by words, analogies or truisms.
Spirit is often equated with the higher parts of our being. Those highly refined and spiritually attuned energies which each hold within. Just as we are part of and one in the same of the basic four elements, we are also part of the energies and elements that comprise Spirit.
If we use a bit of numerology, the Four elements correspond to the numerologic association of FOUR being the place of solid, equilateral foundation. The square (which is also the geometric shape we are creating when we call the energies of the quarters into sacred space) forms the container for which the energy of the magick can flow. If we add one more of something to this stable base of FOUR, we arrive at FIVE. Five causes disruption to the stability. It changes the pattern and shape of whatever that four-thing is. It can be likened to the agent of quickening; similar to yeast being added to the basic ingredients of bread dough to assure that it expands and grows. So, Five elements (or components) now provide the opportunity for growth, whether it be spiritual or manifest.
If we also hold that the place of Spirit is the highly refined element of our spiritual SELF. That part of our being which is part of the greater whole, the earth we inhabit and the greater cosmos; than as we draw ourselves as Spirit into the central place of influx from the four basic elements of air, water, fire and earth of which we are also composed, it would stand to reason that this is the alchemical equation for spiritual growth; awakening of magick and much more.