Inspired by a Photo: A Brief Exploration of the 4 Elements of Life

To me, this featured photo encompasses representations of the 4 major elements that are the foundation to life: fire, water, earth, and air. You’ll find that these elements are important to occult practices (5 elements, if you include that of the spirit). You come across more representations of these elements when we explore the zodiac signs, and when looking at the basics of alchemy, voodoo, wicca practices (and others).

But on the most basic level, these elements are important in our daily lives and I wanted to take a look at how they relate to us in a simple physical and spiritual interpretation.

Elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, Earth

Fire: Though the sun (as depicted by the sunset rays in the photo) is a ball of gas, it’s heat reminds me of warmth from a burning fire. Fire represents our ambition, the passion that keeps you going. Fire keeps us warm, it cooks our food. A hot temperature in our bodies indicates a temper; an indication of inflammation/infection in the body. In the zodiac, the signs of Aries, Leo, Sagittarius. The wands family in the tarot deck.

Water: Represented by the Hudson river in this image. H2O molecules. The vital element needed for the functioning of our human bodies. A life force and renewing energy. Connection to the womb and to birth. Also, to rebirthing (think of baptisms — think of how good you feel after a shower, a good swim). It represents the flow of things, going where nature intends. In the zodiac, the signs of Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces. The cups family in the tarot deck.

Air: The invisible force that surrounds us. The nitrogen and oxygen that we inhale. The carbon dioxide that we exhale. Our breath. Our lungs and respiratory system. The representation of communication, of our mind. The throat chakra. Mercury. In the zodiac, the signs of Aquarius, Gemini, and Libra. The swords family in the tarot deck.

Earth: The ground beneath us. Our foundation and all that supports our habitats, that supports growth, nature, the trees, and even water. The earth is our connection to staying present in the moment. Using our senses to interact with the world around us, connectivity. Our root chakra. Our feet and legs — staying connected to what’s below us and not getting to lost in the clouds. The pentacles family in the tarot deck.

Featured image captured by me in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

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