Everything that belongs to the natural world has an affinity with one or more elements, which are a part of what constitutes its quintessential meaning. Being self-aware means learning what this affinity is and how it affects your actions and choices.
This topic may be familiar to you if you are already a student of Hermetics. There are certainly many ways to explain elementism, ranging from scientific to superstitious, so I will break down the fundamentals and clear the air.
What Are Elements and Why do We Have Them?
Everything natural, to one degree or another, possesses an electromagnetic field.
In the case of living creatures, this electromagnetic field first forms when you are born. The moment you separate from your parent, or “germinate” for the first time, you garner your own subtle field of energy that is generated by a combination of the minerals and your body and how they react to the Earth’s own magnetic field.
This energy field is very subtle, compared to other more commonly known forms of electromagnetism. However, it is very real.
The electromagnetic field is technically an extension of a being’s auric field, or etheric body, also known as its subatomic body.
As with all energy, the nature of this electromagnetic field can differ due to a variety of environmental, gravitational, and astronomical factors.
Throughout history, it has been the sages among us who have catalogued the differences in our electromagnetic fields, studying what exactly determines affinity, moods, preferences, behaviors, vices, and the like.
Various sciences arose to explain and expound upon these findings. Most people today have a working knowledge of astrology, which is a watered down Hermetic science dealing with the affinity of living creatures and how the electromagnetic fields of planetary bodies affect them at birth.
True Elemental Hermetics is somewhat more complex and therefore has not been as popular in mainstream circles. Astrology, to its credit, tries to place everything into only a few nice neat boxes and is comfortable with the conclusions this simplicity reaches.
Sages of deeper paths understand that astrology has its limits, and is based off of relatively incomplete information.
For example, astrology as it has existed largely in mainstream and neo-occult circles in the West for the past thousand or more years has never strayed from a 4 element system of Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water, and has made do with giving no subatomic descriptors to all of the various combinations of elements that arise when you look at a composite electromagnetic field.
This means, an adept mystic may understand deep truths regarding a person’s sun sign as well as their moon sign, but has never once developed a way of thinking about these two elemental affinities when combined with one another, to form a greater picture of the whole.
To truly understand elemental affinity, you first have to break away from the primitive 4 element model, which was developed in crude times, under less-than-ideal circumstances, removed from deeper bonds with nature and the world around us.
Elements are technically descriptors that were developed to give meaning toward an umbrella of traits, powers, and behaviors. The 4 Element System does this rather well, given that the natural world is exceedingly complex. However, if you really want to dive deep into knowledge of Self, it is a limiting system.
Part of the reason for this is, there are far more than just 4 Elements. You might say that Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water could be called the Foundational Elements, but even this is somewhat inaccurate.
Some refer to these as the Prime Elements, because they represent the four Prime States of metaphysical matter, so in a way you can kind of stuff everything that exists in nature into one of these four categories.
This is the known Western system of metaphysics that people have been relying on for hundreds of years, so it’s no wonder why so many people, even self-proclaimed mystics and wizards, are still floundering in the dark, searching for answers and meaning in the world.
Elemental systems that use the planetary bodies as a point of reference for charting elements, naturally deal with 12 of the 18 core elements. 12, because there are 12 Houses of energy, for all creatures living on this planet.
These are, Fire, Earth, Wind, Water, their essential extensions Love, Nature, Lightning, and Ice, the Core States of Light and Dark, as well as Color, and finally Steel.
The deep hermetics of interplay between these elements can reveal much more about your Self and the world around you than the basic Western model.
You also have to factor in energy signatures. If you have ever done energy work and you’ve met a person who doesn’t quite fit the feeling of a fire sign, yet they are a Leo, you just have to chalk it up to the astrological cocktail of moon signs, rising signs, and other factors.
The truth is, once you shift your awareness to encompass more of the true elements, you are able to more accurately “peg” a person and nail down their energy signature.
Discovering Your True Elemental Affinity
Your deeper elemental affinity goes beyond what House you were born under. Most of us are a composite of elements and attributes derived from the fusion between our Ascendant and Moon signs, while using our Sun signs as a point of reference.
That being said, you can learn a bit more about your Self simply by applying advanced hermetics to base astrology, as so:
Earth / Nature / Steel
Wind / Lightning / Color
Water / Ice / Dark
Fire / Love / Light
As you can see, these elements much more accurately describe the 12 Houses, so much so that it is difficult to return to the watered down 4 Element system.
Knowing your true element can help you better understand who you are, and walk correctly on the Path.
Most of the time, an individual loses nothing by assuming they are a “water” sign when in fact their element is Dark, but in matters of deep self-mastery work, problems and confusion may arise.
It’s important to recognize these subtle differences because in matters of mastery, the first step is knowing your Self completely. You cannot move past your limitations if you are not fully aware of them. Trying to affiliate with an element that you are not fully connected to can cause inner frustration, lack of focus, and an inability to be at peace. This can affect all development work, from raising personal energy, to manifesting goals, to disciplining the body.
I am putting together a resource for truth seekers who want to know more about the elements and how to find their attributes as well. Knowing your Self on a deep level is one of the best tools of personal empowerment, and as such, deserves more attention.
The founder of Digital Sages, Matt has an extensive background in self-mastery and has authored several books on the subject. His goal is to demystify important esoteric subjects and help people transform their lives through self-awareness and personal empowerment.