The Four Elements

The ancient Greek philosophers saw the world in terms of four elements: fire, water, air, and earth. These elements were not the literal things themselves, but poetic expressions of the ideal qualities of these things. Nearly everything could be classified by its nature as related to

Symbol

Element

Characteristics

A

Fire

warmness and dryness, and the quality of expansion

V

Water

coldness and wetness, and the quality of contraction or shrinking

A

Air

warmness and moistncss, and the quality of lightness

V

Earth

coldness and dryness, and the quality of heaviness

Table I. The four elements and their characteristics.

Table I. The four elements and their characteristics.

\ti I I ur New Hermetics Program

SPIRIT

The Four Elements Combined
Figure 2. The four elements combined with spirit.

these four elements. The four elements contained the essential natures of everything in existence. Their qualities are shown in Table 1 (see page 29).

These four elements were said to be accompanied by a fifth element, spirit, or aethyr, which was said to hold them together and combine them, but always retaining their individual character (see figure 2 above).

Everything was made up of combinations of these elements. Of course, modern science has found other explanations lor the physical world, but the ancient elements still play an important role in otir psychology and in our spirit. The element of earth can be considered the animal needs of the human mind; the element of water, the emotions; the element of air, the intellect; and the element of fire, the will. It will later be seen that there is a strong correspondence between this and the first four bio-cir-cuits of Timothy I.eary's eight-circuit model of consciousness.

The first four levels of the New Henneries largely introduce us to these four elements as spiritual models and teach us how to use these models effectively to help us understand and creatively change the way that we behave and think. You will learn how to re-engineer or reframe the way thai you feel about all aspects of your life in order to maximize your personal pleasure and power.

Ancient Models f or l:he New Hermetic« 31

Also, the lour elements correspond to tendencies in our personalises. By balancing these tendencies, we can achieve a greater level oi per-nal equilibrium. In ancient times, these elemental personality types ere called the four humors: phlegmatic, choleric, melancholic, and sanguine. As you look at Figure 3 (below), you can see that you have certain positive and negative character tendencies that correspond to the elements.

You will notice that right now you tend toward one or two of the elements more than the others. This represents an imbalance in your rsonality. What's more, for every positive quality, you undoubtedly ossess the negative quality corresponding to it. You at least have the tential lor these negative qualities in some small degree. In the New Icrmctics program, you will redress these imbalances and fully actualize all of the positive elemental qualities in yourself. There are, of course, hire - Choleric i w'lf-«n<ni rp)uin\ huiinlii/Eitiublr Tagrou*

•;.otuic uctive •m|«iinc •livr ji-.I olipii.il ' Iiciul

Nocui»

Imt.ililc quick toanger Monoimiiiacal Macho

OIwbîm aivJ jralnu,

VCVifluholic

.Srvobbuli l'iii wlf-MlnlKxl Critical of <uIktv «<uk lîlilUoiiom md ior.Mioi.nj;

Air - Sanguine

Nqyitiv imuinciilii.ii.il [Big picture uricmcd iblc Lenient

Curxm,. |>rin'iijiiii|: Indrfiriulriil CJIUJ! Inicipu-iivc Dnpicilut ililc ImrlliMii it

Antisocial Sloppy, vfipvh- .J l-ul.iiii' endurante Uncaring Ciiuipinj; I 'iiikpfmliM.-Fkklr I H>liviin( Flaky. «»rd> Stuck m Ix.iii

V Water- Melancholic l'oiilivc

N"

Ndf-awjic I ranquil Adaptive Moden

Kmpatlirlic, uhpuvvrMivr

Devoted Rfllctlivr Aiiihriim Imrpjiing

CiMp«jlivr

Low wlt-fRfcni Stagnant

AjUllli-li. (luH'JIlill' J Jtlnl. vrimllv jdil ined

OnluliMt. liillimvi I itty

Srll'-doubiinp. Imitative Ncrilv Jiid dr|Kitdcni

V Earth - Phlegmatic

1'ivMtivr

Negative

Rr>pt\uMr

I'Iwm»ii|>S. deiailorienicd

Suldr

Tciucimi»

Caulxiu*

Reliable

Serious

Objective

Piuicnul

Pf^tilJ

CHerlv coiivc'iitkinii, lupciticial

I'rilruioniu

Knlnunt

Stubborn

Citable 111 take action

I'olinp,

Compul*ivc l.'ncrcaiivr f'uvlmililc

Mcitkilh- J ni".

ligure 3. Positive and negative characteristics of the humors and their corresponding elements.

32 The New Hermetics Program many other character traits that 1 have not included here, but these lists should give you an impression of each element.

The four elements also correspond to the four suits in the tarot:

Fire Wands

Water Cups

Air Swords

F.arth Pentacles

Moreover, they correspond to the four worlds and parts of the soul in the Qabala, which we will explore briefly in the next section. Suffice it to say that the four ancient elements are some of the most important spiritual building blocks of the entire New Hermetics.

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

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.

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