Air and the East
Hello! This is the second entry in our series on the natural elements. In this series, we’re going to have short entries on the main cardinal elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. We’ll explore their connections with other aspects of the craft, such as color and direction correspondences.
We’ll start with those basic correspondences, then move on to tools of the craft which are used to represent these elements. Then, we’ll follow that with various activities one can do in relation to the elements and finish off with elemental connections to the Zodiac.
I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on this series, so be sure to leave comments and say ‘Hi!’ on the Facebook page!
Air and the East
While I’ve never seen a ritual opened in the East, I’m sure there are some traditions which do just that. In any case, since most traditional rituals begin in the North and move clockwise, Air usually follows, placed in the Eastern corner.
I couldn’t say for sure why Air always follows after Earth, but my own theory is that this is due to the actual rotation of the planet. Earth is the dominant element because, well, it’s our home. And because of the Coriolis Effect (a phenomenon that pushes air and water currents either clockwise or counterclockwise depending on the hemisphere) we in the Northern Hemisphere—where Wicca and similar crafts originate—naturally follow the clockwise direction.
So, that explains why we move from North to East, but why is Air associated with the Eastern corner? I think this may bear a slight stretch of the imagination. If you’ll allow me, I’ll take you through what’s running around in my head.
Picture yourself in space. It’s large and infinite, but no air moves there. There’s no atmosphere. Now, see yourself floating downward, safe and unafraid, towards Earth. You see Earth and know it’s there, so it influences your senses even before impact. Then, you enter the atmosphere. Air is the next element to influence your senses as it breezes across your skin.
So, in this macro, zooming-in sort of scenario, Air follows Earth because it’s the second we come into contact with. And, since East follows North, Air resides squarely in the Eastern corner.
Of course, that’s just my theory, and there are a ton more from a million other sources. I’d suggest looking into your own path or paths that catch your interest to see why they associate certain elements with a corresponding direction.
Since I’ve pretty much explained why I believe Air corresponds with the East in this section alone, I’ll tell you some of the reasons I think Air is a wonderful element of the craft.
Air is Uplifting
Have you ever been out on a nice day, where the sun wasn’t too hot and the breeze was just right? Those are the kinds of days in which nothing can dampen my mood. Because I spend so much time inside sitting at my computer, I prefer the days I do go out to be nice.
Of course, living in my city means “a nice day” differs depending on the season. Still, my favorites are those bright-but-not-too-hot Fall or Spring days when the wind is blowing just hard enough to make my skirts dance. Just as the breeze raises my skirt, it also lifts my spirits. Those days are often good-mood days, barring something terrible happening.
The buoyancy Air offers to birds, balloons, and plastic bags can be tapped into energetically. We can use that symbolism to raise our spirits and heighten our vibrations to improve both our lives and our magick.
Air is Calming and Cool
Sticking with our weather example, there are days in New York when the heat can be truly oppressing. It sticks to our skin like paste, and all we want is a cool breeze to bring sweet relief.
Or, say we’re in a crowded station and the proximity of hundreds of people begins to overwhelm us. Our chest tightens and our anxiety is suddenly through the roof. All we want is to be able to take in a nice, clean, full breath of air.
Air has a way of soothing our discomforts. It can cool our heads when we’re angry if we take a walk. It can calm our overactive minds through meditative breathing. We can use air to create balance before our rituals through breath exercises, through dance or moving through the air, or through meditation with incense smoke. We can use air to bring a sense of peace and focus to our rituals, as well as a bit of levity to counteract the somewhat “heavier” elements.
Air is My Element
The main reason I love the element of Air is that it’s the element associated with my Zodiac sign. We’ll get into the Zodiac in a future article, but I will say that I resonate pretty deeply with the generally accepted Air sign personality traits.
For one thing, Air signs are known to be big on communication. As a writer, singer, occasional actress, and Pagan teacher—pretty much everything I do relies upon my skills as a communicator.
It took me years, though, to get to the point where I could speak up for myself, let alone for or in front of others in any capacity. I was in my mid-twenties before I finally grew into this aspect of my sign. Now that I’ve found a voice for myself, I want to use it to free myself of old mindsets and help others do the same.
Of course, that long and ever-growing resume is yet another trait of my sign. Constantly moving from one project to another, taking on more work than I probably should—not because of some societal declaration that I must do so, but because I have an endless stream of ideas running through my head and they’re all super exciting. Those are the traits given us by Air.
Before I learned about my signs and numbers—the various charts that can help us understand ourselves—I lived in a state of resistance. I followed a path I thought I was “supposed” to follow and it led me into depression and confusion. I struggled so much with my identity. Then, I began to really understand my charts and explore sides of myself I’d suppressed. After all—art doesn’t pay. Writing isn’t a job. So, why bother?
Now, I can happily say I am definitely an Air sign. Letting myself pursue the things I love, instead of doing the things everyone else wants me to do, has provided me with balance and freedom like I’ve never known before. Yes, I have taken on more work than might seem normal, but I’m doing what my soul directs me to do. And just knowing that leaves me feeling light and airy.
How do you use Air in your ritual work? Do you use it for more mundane things, like calming panic attacks or just cooling yourself down? Do you associate any other directions with Air? Let me know in the comments!
With infinite blessings,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA
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