The full classification of all 18 Elements as designated by the ancient codification of Hermetic Law. Used to differentiate when speaking of the 18 true elements as opposed to the classic 4, 5, or 8 “elements” commonly used in cruder occult systems.
Foundation Elemental Class:
Communicative Elemental Class
Expressive Elemental Class
Relational Elemental Class
Formative Elemental Class
A living energy body can manifest as any element or combination of any element featured in the first four classes.
The Formative Class manifests as non-sentient substrata that defines and guides reality, whereas the rest of the elements seem to infer sentience and manifest both in non-sentient energy as well as all sentient collections of energy and energy bodies.
Crude occult systems arose independent of the ancient understanding of energy systems, which sought to describe how energy manifests but on a more base level.
These systems are valuable in that they provide a window into an understanding of elementism, but they fall short of elemental mastery as found in the Elementia.
Let’s take a look at the commonly recognized but incomplete understandings of the elements.
The Western Elemental System
This system is the one most people are familiar with.
While this system does a respectable job of outlining elemental classification as it relates to the physical states of matter (which are themselves derived from the Foundational Elements, of course), a lot gets left unsaid.
Specifically, there’s a total lack of how elemental systems manifest as communicative states, as well as how they manifest “through” and “between the lines” of basic energy systems.
Due to the limitations, sages in these traditions lump together Nature and Earth, as well as Water and Ice, which diminishes the subtle nuances of the Divine Feminine Polarity as represented in these elements.
While these feminine energies are marginalized, some of the more masculine elements of potency and power are done away with completely. Lightning, for example, which some traditions group either with Fire or with Air, gets completely lost in translation.
Love of course, being an extremely powerful element in its own right, either gets reclassified as “Spirit” or gets lost completely.
Of course, the Expressive and Relational elements are not represented in this system at all, which is why many modern day occultists and sages struggle with understanding light and dark, and lack the ability to properly move and relate to energy on the deepest levels.
The Eastern Elemental System
This system is more subtle and understands a bit more about elemental classification rather than simply defining elements by their physical manifestations.
It does however fall short in several respects.
It is implied that Fire is also spirit, and possibly represents Love, but this is rarely spoken of.
Earth works to describe Matter to a certain degree, and Wood gives proper acknowledgement to the Communicative Class, but very little else is represented.
Metal does correlate to the Element of Steel, which is sometimes referred to as Metal, but treats it mostly from a physical perspective and doesn’t go into its relational qualities.
The presence of Wood, Water, and Earth makes the system lopsidedly Feminine without a proper counterbalance.
While the Western Elemental Class helps in understanding the way physical matter manifests, the Eastern helps in understanding our “feelings” or emotional interaction with the manifestation of elements. The connections of the five elements in this system are based on emotional or instinctual interpretation rather than metaphysical elucidation, at least from the standpoint of deeper Hermetics.