In the last three lessons we have been examining the archetypal magickal elements. In this lesson we will continue the pattern by studying the last of the four elements, Fire. I remind you that there is a fifth element, Spirit. The reason it is not discussed in the same way as the other elements is because it is the source of the four archetypal elements. The way to come to know Spirit is by a thorough knowledge and understanding of Air, Earth, Fire and Water. The element Spirit is nothing less than the Spirit (Ruach, energy or Shakti) of Divinity. It is only through those manifestations of Divinity of which the Godhead wishes us to become aware that we can come to know the ultimate deity. The infinitude of the Divine Source of All is beyond the comprehension of our finite minds save the ways in which the Godhead chooses to be revealed to us.
According to the Sepher Yetzirah, Air emanated from Spirit, Primitive Water emanated from Air, and Fire emanated from Water. Earth comes from a division of the Primitive Water into Water and Earth, although some say it is a combination of the other three elements.
If you are not satisfied with your familiarity with any of the three previous elements, continue to work on the exercises for those elements for another week or two, and then as you will. But be sure to begin the exercises for Fire immediately.
The element of Fire has the qualities of being warm and dry.
The following exercises will help you to become more aware of this magickal element in your daily life.
EXERCISE 1. Observe those things around you which have the combined qualities of heat and dryness. Compare the heat and dryness of a fire to that of the Sun. Interestingly, the burning core of the Sim is frequently referred to as "plasma" and is spoken of in terms resembling the way water would be described (such as flowing). Steam has more fire than does ordinary water. Ordinary water has more fire in it than does ice. Thus, to a degree, fire and water can coexist. Yet, they are considered to be total opposites, and should be able to cancel each other out. How can they exist together when they should destroy each other? The answer is in the percentage of each. Much water destroys a little fire, and vice versa. But even a small amount of fire changes water and a small amount of water also has some effect on fire. Try to observe fire in its various combinations with the other elements around you. Keep a record of this in your magickal diary. Do this exercise daily for at least one week.
EXERCISE 2. Find a place which is extremely hot such as a desert or dry sauna (not a steam bath). If those are not possible, find a place where a roaring fire is going. Such a fire could be in a fireplace or a barbecue pit or grill. Remove all of your clothes (or as much of your clothes as is reasonable) and get as close to the heat source as possible without risking a burn. If you are on the desert, make sure that you have an extra heavy layer of sunscreen on any sensitive parts of the body which are exposed. This is especially true for the genitals and, if you are a woman, the breasts. These areas can become painful and hypersensitive when sunburned. This must be avoided.
Once you are in a situation where it is uncomfortably hot (but not painfully or unbearably so) and your perspiration is freely flowing, do the Relaxation Ritual. This may be difficult due to the heat, but it will test you to see how well you can do this ritual. Then focus on your breathing and feel the heat-laden air going in and out of your lungs.
As before, imagine your entire body is nothing more than an enormous breathing apparatus. Imagine that every part of your body only has the function of breathing and nothing else. Know that your skin is a vital part of this system. As you physically breathe in air, imagine that every pore in your body's skin is also breathing in heat and dryness: elemental Fire. Feel the Fire course through your body, cleansing and purifying. Then, as you exhale, feel it leave through your pores, taking with it the body's toxins, pains and sufferings. Repeat the pore breathing until you have mastered it.
Caution: Only do this exercise next to a real fire or in a place like a desert once. Do not, under any circumstances, spend longer than 10 minutes doing this exercise in real heat. When doing this type of work it is all too likely that you may lose your sense of time. Have an alarm set to sound after ten minutes or have a friend come and pull you out of the heat. Immediately drink one or two large glasses of cool (not cold) water. Get out of or away from the heat. If you have physical problems dealing with heat, consult an M.D. before doing this. This caution is for your health and safety, and neither the author nor the publisher will be responsible for your errors in this exercise.
Remember, the purpose of this exercise is to pore-breathe the magickal element of Fire. It is not to get you burned to a cinder. After you have done this exercise once next to or in a real heat source, you may repeat it by imagining the heat. Do this at different times of the day and at different locations. Try it in the cool of the night and even in a rain. If you start to perspire, you are being successful. Practice this for up to a week initially, then as you will.
EXERCISE 3. Spend a period of up to three minutes, once a day, imagining that you are the element Fire. Feel the heat and your ability to transmit that heat. If you have a regular lover, ask him ot her if your kisses are "hotter" (more on this later). Feel the dryness and as a result, perhaps, stop your perspiration if you are perspiring. Know what Fire feels like, what Fire is. Practice this exercise for one week.
EXERCISE 4. Now that you have learned to "be fire," the next step is to learn how to consciously control this magickal element. Take a moment and again imagine yourself to be fire. Bring the feelings you had in the last exercise into your awareness. Next, hold your hands 912 inches apart with the palms facing each other. Visualize between your hands a bottle, cylinder or small cask. Next, as you exhale, imagine all of the Fire element which is in you going out with your breath and being deposited in the container between your hands. Three to five times should be enough to fill it. If it gets too hot to "hold" between your hands, move your hands farther apart. Once it has been filled, simply obsenre it for a short space of time. Then, with three breaths, inhale it back into yourself and return to your normal consciousness. Spend about a week with this exercise.
The Test. Here is the simple self-test which will allow you to learn whether or not you have become not just in unison with the magickal element Fire, but also if you are its master. This test is to prove something to you, not to me or anyone else. If you do not pass the test, that is okay. It merely means that you need to do more work on the above exercises. Then you can take the test again. In fact, take the test as often as you wish. Just be sure to always record the results in your magickal diary.
The next time you feel as if you are bursting with an overload of energy, so much that it is hard to concentrate due to the fiery energy within you, try this: Form the container of fire as described in the previous exercise. Once you have done this, visualize a large "black hole" in the air in front of you. Now, "throw" the container of fire into the black hole and then see the hole close so that nothing can return. Do this "black holing" three times. Your excess energy should be gone, but you should have enough energy left to do your necessary tasks. Never do this black holing with fire more than three times in one day. Otherwise, you could become so drained that your physical body could be weakened. This could open you up to disease.
The next time you are feeling listless and have a total lack of energy (or for that matter, a lack of desire to do the necessary things in your life), form the fire container, but this time inhale all of the contents of the container. Within a few minutes you should feel energized and revitalized. Try this instead of your morning cup of coffee. If you find that you have too much energy, black hole the excess as already described.
When you have passed both parts of the test to your satisfaction you will know that you are the master of the magickal element Fire. In fact, since this is the last of the four elements, once you pass this test and have passed the other three as well, you will be a master of the elements. To prove this to yourself, here are some suggestions to try:
1. Sit in a room which has no air circulating. Light a candle and place it in the center of the room. Become one with the fire of the candle. Now, move the candle flame by your will, just as you might move your arm. For many people this is surprisingly easy.
2. Become one with the moisture (water) of a cloud. Now add fire to it so that it expands in all directions. The cloud should disappear.
3. On a windy day, find a high spot such as a hill or the top of a tall building. Become one with air until you can almost feel yourself going aloft. Then, start to bring some of the slowing power of Earth into you, and expand it into your environment. The wind should slow or cease in your area. Don't try this for the first time during a hurricane! Try it with a light breeze. Later you might want to try a storm.
You can probably come up with many more experiments to test your mastery of the magickal elements. Notice, however, that I am suggesting rather minor phenomena, not major changes in the environment. This is for two reasons. First, the test needs only to prove to you that you are capable of controlling the elements. Second, causing maj or changes in the environment is Grey Magick. To affect a large area means that you are interfering with the lives of other people as well as the plans of Mother Nature. You may want a dry day for your picnic and work to end a rain shower. To the farmer awaiting rain it could spell disaster, and ruin the farmer's life. It might also increase the prices for a grocer and even result in some people having to go on welfare to pay for the increased prices of food. A magician must never take his or her actions lightly, especially when they influence or might influence the lives of others.
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Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.