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As many of you are no doubt aware there are many schools of thought on why we use elements to perceive and use forces.  I'm curious if you believe strongly a particular fashion.  Or perhaps you embrace more options or define the concept of 3 Elements (Air, Water, Earth or Sky, Sea, Land) as means of working within those boundaries; And 4 Elements as Air, Water, Earth and Fire as then having different boundaries.

A question.. :)

Firewae

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As many of you are no doubt aware there are many schools of thought on why we use elements to perceive and use forces

Before this, it's important to understand the parallel philosophies between the universe and the individual using the elements (micro/macro) otherwise what can be accomplished?

Please go on, Firewae =)
Do tell,PAV......
This is one of my most favourite areas in alchemy, Lass. For the most part, I follow the Classical Greek modality. I'll expound as time goes on.
Well,I shall be looking fiorward to it,then......
Before this, it's important to understand the parallel philosophies between the universe and the individual using the elements (micro/macro) otherwise what can be accomplished?

Just about anything... I don't think the point of control is that precise. Well thats not true entirely, because it can be very precise. But I don't think that such an understanding is necessary the most important aspect.

... wait .. the forces perceived are unimportant to the working, just points of focus. So the concept that working within specific forces has boundary, but only if you allow the limitation.

Its all in the point of totality of a sphere.
Just about anything... I don't think the point of control is that precise. Well thats not true entirely, because it can be very precise. But I don't think that such an understanding is necessary the most important aspect.

Yes, I get this but don't you believe people need to be versed in a school of thought regarding the elements. I believe people can be intuitive about all this without having even seen an elemental square, but I think that can go either way and be limiting or lead to an innate understanding.

... wait .. the forces perceived are unimportant to the working, just points of focus. So the concept that working within specific forces has boundary, but only if you allow the limitation.

It wasn't my meaning to talk in terms of boundaries (C.f., Aristotle's Square of Opposition > Llull's Cycle of Triumphs) - Sorry if my post was a bit obtuse =) This can be a rather recondite area for understanding and I often have myself tied up in knots, especially when I'm looking at the elements in terms of the soul and how to align all of this within the modalities of dæmonolatrous thinking (see picture).

Picture:


Its all in the point of totality of a sphere.

I think I understand this, but for sake of clarity and conversation, could you expound on this point a bit more, Firewae?
Pavlor,

The world and its supporting structure is both very simple, and a myriad complex. To interact with a small stream we can move a rock and alter its flow, but does that address how the clouds will move today? There are dozens or hundreds of distinct systems within every small space which impart some of their essence, in each moment. When you interact places and systems this structure becomes rapidly more complex, but we are only discussing what should be considered foundation building blocks, present and need not be understood completely to see the next larger picture. We started with a small stream and now we are looking at the whole valley. Is it any different if we stood upon a mountain top and looked down upon 60 miles in every direction of dozens of valleys, all of which contain a few streams? Looking down from the mountain top is closer to totality, but each component system is in itself contained.

So elements... are parts of a system that make a stream possible. Using magick of elements we might move the stream, stop the stream, make the stream into a river, or any of a number of possibilities. But do we need the element of water to do this? Lets say I'm standing on a mountain top and engage the totality, everything in the 60 mile radius I can see. And within that certain knowledge that there will be a river within the moment at a place of my choosing, comes and understanding that we need not work in elements if we are engaging the larger sphere. Whereas if we engage the stream isolated from the greater system, one might well indeed use only an element such as water to affect change. The universe need not be given specific instructions, bounded by specific forces when engaging the totality, the whole sphere.

Lets say we engage something fairly simple, a stream in a small valley at the base of a mountain, in a range that crosses a continent, one of seven on a planet, the third planet from a sun in a group of 9 or so.. the numbers aren't important, however, the totality of the sphere .. this solar system is one of millions in this galaxy.. Totality is the sphere you can hold. So about that stream... boundaries this stream at my feet, extending from the valley to my right, and meandering to my left. The stream may be deep, it may be shallow, but right now the place before me will have some depth and run wide and slow. My sphere of contact is the stream, and I am engaging a single system which will require specific forces if acting directly, or miscellaneous forces if indirect. Or none if working from the point of totality, because elements are like gods, they diffuse and simplify, provide a focus for, and ease use of bounded systems. Elements are little more than a means of differentiating in yet one more method the totality, and making simple a means of interacting with .. well with everything or more important to the moment, with the stream.

Firewae
because elements are like gods, they diffuse and simplify, provide a focus for, and ease use of bounded systems.

Could you please explain "bounded systems" and how you view the concept, Firewae? I don't believe in bounded systems as for a system to work, we need to know how it works; this comes from study *and* intuition, but from intuition alone, one does not have a full grasp in my opinion.
If we waited for full grasp though, the world would pass by... events would pass by. We might well fail to participate in what is now, for better and worse. Life is a participation event! :) And then we might look back, at events which had passed, ignored, and feel regret for failing to try.

A bounded system is a narrowing of the affected region and medium. The stream for example, could be bounded to 10 feet in any immediate direction, its entire length, a single pool way over there, or everything that has ever touched it; Every moment of the stream. Each bounding changes just slightly what will be done with or around the stream.

You would be correct that bounding is not absolutely required for making something change, I certainly didn't mean to imply that it was the only way.

Firewae
I dont wait often. I prefer to "JUMP IN" in many different venues of life. if one "thinks" something through too much the opportunity is gone....
:) I jump in too, and rarely regret doing so. Its the times when ... something happened, and I look back and think, "You know I could have done better with that, Firah, where is your compassion why did you let that one go?"
I personally like the 4, Earth, Air, Fire, Water, elemental makeup. My following on it has always made sense to me.

However I do see how others and I believe druids, use a 2 system method. From my understanding, land, sky, and sea, were different paths of our lives and fire was regarded in a higher manner, more like a deity.

Again from some things I've read, feel free to enlighten me. :)

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