Together these elements create the fundamental parts of which anything in our world can exist.
As I looked out onto the vast horizon of Pennsylvania's Delaware Water Gap in front of my eyes, the cool wind tossled wavy strands of hair. I leaned back onto the dense rock composing the cliff in which my body perched atop. Down below the river seemed still and crystalline as the sun's glowing rays blazed upon the entire scene. Then I glanced over to the tattoo inked above her left elbow. Triangular figures seemingly meaningless to the mere passerby permantently etched into her peachy freckled flesh. Any individual with a magical spirit and underlying interest in alchemy knew these triangles were anything but meaningless. They represented the balance we seek out day after day. These four elements are essential in an endless cycle of hot and cold, solid and intangible, calm and destructive, and inertial and transforming. Without one of these four essential elements our world becomes chaotic. The cycle in which they work becomes disrupted. More than most literally representing the earth's makeup, these simple symbols represent divine powers that can also be posessed by the human psyche. We learn to develop the ability to harness their unique qualities through our own disctinct character.
Air is quick, energetic, and vigilant. It's purpose in nature is to make things finer, lighter, and more delicate. Therefore, air creates the ability to to ascend into higher atmospheres. Air allows breath to move in and out of the body and causes the mind to make room for clear insight.
Earth is heavy, solid, and fixed. It is situated at the center of our existence in nature. Earth represents the physical state of most matter. It is grounded and only changes over long periods of time.
Water can be deep, cool, and mysterious. It is easily dispersed to a variety of bodies, shapes, and locations. It can assumes any formation without permanency. Water can flow like the air or remain still like the earth. Nonetheless, it is undeniably essential to life.
Fire is destructive, temperant, and powerful. It has the capacity for both good and evil. It harnesses the very light from the earth’s sun. It can even be said that fire is so powerful that it gave rise to all the other elements.
With the four elements constantly working together to remain balanced, centuries of civilizations have argued that there must also be a fifth element: a quintessential element that transcends above all the qualities that we can experience of the other elements. It is said to arise higher than the air we can breathe, lower than the earth we walk upon, cooler than the water we drink, and hotter than the sun we soak. It is an unexplainable life energy.