(My thoughts are following the article)
Wicca is not a religion that can be learned simply by reading books or listening to people talk about it. There is so much about it that must be experienced to be understood.
Experience strengthens our connection to Deity and the spirit of the world around us. I talk a little about that in my article The Mystery of Wicca. In this article I would like to explore more about experiencing the Elements.
So what kinds of things can I do to experience the Elements?
There are many books that contain meditations and exercises to work with the elements. I highly encourage anyone who wants to learn to not just read them, but to DO them. For a few ideas, there are some links to a few books with great exercises at the bottom of this article.
However, I want to talk about what you can do on your own.
Start off by journaling about the following questions. (You may want to think about writing some of this in your magical journal.)
What does each element make you think of? List as many things as you can think of.
How do you feel when it is windy? When there is no wind? When it is a gentle breeze?
When it is hot and Sunny? When you look at a campfire? In a candlelit room?
When it rains? When you see a stream? River? Ocean?
When the ground is cold and barren? At the first growth of spring?
Your thoughts and feelings about the elements can show you a lot about how you experience your world. After this, move on to more tactile and simple methods.
The most obvious way to experience the elements is to be in or near them (not IN fire please!!). For example, go into the kitchen and turn on the faucet. Let the water run over your hands, what does it feel like? Fill a glass and take a drink. What does it feel like now? How does it taste?
You can do similar things with earth. Go outside and put your hands on the ground. What does it feel like? Take a shovel or garden spade and turn some dirt over. Now what does it feel like? What does it smell like? Taste like? (Yes I said taste! I am not saying you have to take a big spoonful but a little touch to the tongue won’t hurt you.) Observe the plants and wildlife around your neighborhood.
Fire and air are a little different because it is much harder to be “in” them. You can light a candle or a campfire. How are the flames different? Feel the warmth. See how much heat one little candle can give off. Stand outside on a breezy day. See how the wind moves the trees. Make a pinwheel or fly a kite and see how the power of the wind can move them.
Now think about the energies that each element represents.
Air – Intellect, Thought, Creativity, Inspiration
Fire – Passion, Action, Creation/Destruction
Water- Emotion, Feeling, Intuition
Earth – Stability, Foundation, Growth, Abundance
What are your thoughts and feelings about each of these qualities? How do you see them relate to the elements? How do they relate to your experiences? How can you use the elements, or representations of them, to bring these qualities into your life?
Each of these small experiences leads to a greater connection with the elements. The more you work with them, the more you can learn about them. And the more you learn, the more you will be able to connect to your path. So have fun with this!
There is nothing more wonderful than dancing in the rain…? staring into a fire… feeding the fire with bits of leaves or sticks… watching the wind dance through the trees… or playing in my garden…
Energy comes from all these things and more. The lightning the other night, the thunder shaking the earth, the wind, the rain, all the energy.. it was sensational!
Yes, it is important to experience the elements.. not just be IN the element but to experience them and give them the credit they deserve. Don’t just think about how windy or wet things are, think about how life would be lacking without them. Play in the dirt or sand… at a beach, next to a river, watch the trees move, the plants move.
I sat next to the lake one day near where I work, and the wind was creating beautiful designs in the kansas grasses on the side of the damn. Spirals… waves… it was the most unique thing I have ever seen. Totally untouched and uncreated by man… only the elements could have created such a experience… It was hypnotizing.. it was beautiful… my lunch hour flew by WAY too quickly that day, but I shall remember that time for eternity.
I gotta stop thinking about the bad and start thinking of the good. And there IS good in every day.. some days I have to look harder than others, but it is there and I have to start remembering to see and feel and listen and taste..
Perhaps returning to the basics will help me in more ways than one…