Earth Day and the Importance of Earth

It’s no secret that Earth is one of the four basic elements along with Water, Air, and Fire, but it’s often a mystery to me as to why it’s an oft-neglected element in the occult community. Perhaps it’s that desire for distance from the “earth-based” pagan religions like Wicca and a drive for distinction. Or maybe it’s more that most people don’t realize that without a firm foundation, one cannot provide manifestation. Without manifestation, you cannot perform basic acts of Will–let alone magick.

Did you know that in the Hermetic Qabalah, Earth is considered to contain all of the elements within it? This is because it is the element of foundation. There are reasons why houses often have four walls: four is the number often associated with a solid foundation, and without balancing all of the elements,one can’t have that. This same principle of a firm foundation weaves its way through all aspects of life. What is the point of being able to meditate for 30 minutes or perform the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP) if one cannot balance one’s checkbook, maintain good health, and take care of all aspects of themselves in the physical world? Is it from the erroneous assumption in the subconscious that the spiritual world must abandon the material? Have people forgotten the old adage “As above, so below”?

All acts of alchemy and magick derive from the same idea: the key to transformation is in manifestation. Ideas and dreams are just that: ideas and dreams. That is, until they are made concrete in some form or another. Spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical well-being are all interconnected and we must remember this not just on Earth Day, during the LBRP, or meditation but during every waking moment of our lives. We must strive for mindfulness all at times.

Where does one begin? At the start where things take root: thoughts and ideas. Begin by taking the idea that one must be grounded, eat right, and be able to take good care of one’s physical health. What does it mean to be grounded? How does one ground oneself? Everyone is unique in how we most connect to ourselves and the world around us, and while some are more visual others require physical stimuli.

Here are some ideas depending on what suits your personality best:

1) Meditate on becoming balanced in all elements. One of my favorite meditations is to imagine myself on the beach: the sand beneath me, the hot sun over my head, the wind on my face, and the water lapping on my toes on the shore. There you go, all the elements right there: Earth, Fire, Air, and Water.

2) If the above isn’t enough, go to a location that suits the description and spend some time there in quiet repose or meditation.

3) Exercise. The very act of being in touch with one’s physical body is often enough to ground. I highly recommend yoga as both a form of exercise and great way to meditate. Ashtanga and vinyasa style yogas are my favorite.

4) Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Becoming attuned to the element of Earth means not succumbing to the temptation to eat nothing but fried food, chips, red meat, and candy. Listen to your body’s needs. Eat when you’re hungry. Stop when you’re not. Drink plenty of water and get plenty of rest.

5) Invoke! Do whatever best practices are in your chosen tradition for getting in touch with this element, whether it’s a god or goddess associated with the element, an invocation rite to the appropriate spirits, et cetera. Research the correspondences. Find out what herbs, planets, colors, shapes, and various other correspondences exist that are associated with the element of Earth.

I chose this day to write this post not just because it is Earth Day, but because it is my birthday and it is a topic near and dear to my heart. I believe in the power of manifestation and without it, we cannot perform anything in our lives from miracles to fulfilling basic needs. Being in touch with ourselves and the world around us is a necessity to being healthy, whole individuals.

Embrace it. Live it. You can’t begin to take care of an entire planet until you can take care of yourself.

Happy Earth Day! 🙂

Love & Magic,

Adrianne

http://www.adriannebrennan.com

9 thoughts on “Earth Day and the Importance of Earth”

  1. Good recommendations. However, if I may make a point that is somewhat peripheral to your main argument. When focusing on being “balanced” in the elements, one should not attempt to achieve what would be tantamount to a 25% each (for a total of 100%) balance. Astrological and magical tradition going back thousands of years recognizes that each person has in *individual* balance, which may be different than everyone else’s. This is seen in the doctrine of the humors and the temperaments, and is, in fact, one of the problems with modern medicine, that is, they treat everyone as if we were the same, and *should* have the same balance. This is treating the disease and not the person.
    So in our meditations, we should attempt to achieve our *own* balance elementally, which will keep us healthy.

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  2. I don’t forget the earth, but I do believe in five elements and not four. I believe the fifth is energy/spirit/ ethereal or whatever one wishes to call it. Most ancient cultures celebrate five but I think the fifth (the self and or spirit) became lost in translation when people started to connect four elements with four points—North, South, West, & East. I am only guessing, though, lol I don’t know for a fact lol. Good post! And happy Earth Day!

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  3. I’m also a “five element” gal, but also believe that Spirit is like Earth in that all elements are contained within it. One is a reflection of the other. “As above, so below”.

    🙂

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  4. The use of Five Elements in ancient cultures is completely different than the addition of “spirit” to the four elements mentioned above. Earth, Air, Fire and Water were considered by the ancient Greek philosophers as states of *matter*, and it was Aristotle who posited “aether” as the quintessence, that is the one unchangeable element. But this is very different than what today is considered “spirit”. Certain other ancient cultures used five elements (Chinese, Japanese), but these again were different elements than the ones that came through the Greeks. Many used four (not necessarily the same four as the Greeks, however), for example, Buddhist, Hindu, and some Japanese traditions. So the consideration of four elements (E,A,F&W) and maybe the fifth (spirit) is really only one small point of view among many ancient pagan systems.

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  5. Hi Chris,

    Yes, I am well aware. The concept of the elements as we know of them today came about by a name named Empedocles in 5th century BC. Much of what we know of today through Wicca and the neo-pagan movement in regards to the elements was derived from their correspondences within the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which borrowed from influences such as Eliphas Levi and what-not for their alchemical system.

    Although that wasn’t what my blog was about, thank you for your intense interest. 🙂 I actually wrote a paper on the subject and have given lectures locally. Are you a student in the Western Mysteries by any chance, or just interested in the topic?

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  6. I am a practitioner of Medieval Astrology, and a modern pagan. So much of this is part of the Classical/Medieval astrological/medical tradition. But as you know, it is very Greek/Mediterranean/Western.

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    1. Polytheist for nineteen years, Greek polytheist past thirteen years, and initiate of a few Western Mystery trads past ten years. There’s a lot of mingling and borrowing but the influence from the Graeco-Egyptian past is unmistakable. Are you familiar at all with the Greek Magical Papyri in Translation?

      I can’t help but think you’d love one of my books. The main char is a Classical Studies grad, devotee of Apollo, and a total occult geek. 😀 I confess a degree of personal influence…

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