General Blog Description: Exploring Southern Hemisphere neo-pagan practice and culture from the point of view of a progressive witch living south of Perth, Western Australia.
The Element of Air: Breath, Smell and Song
The elements feature heavily in my magical practice and since my interpretation of the elements is heavily influenced by my sense of place, I thought I would do a series of posts that illustrate how I connect with each of the four directional elements both locationally and spiritually. Let's begin with Air.
Air is the breath of life, the song of spirit, the inspiration that comes on the winds. When I cast circle, I stand in the East, where the sun rises above the Darling ranges and the golden light spills over the country each morning. The hot winds that come from the east contribute to Air being a solar energy in my practice. Secrets can be carried on the Easterly wind, which is never a breeze and more of a torrent that scrapes the land barren and carries with it summer seeds.
Even if I lived on the Eastern coast, where some Australians instead choose to call in Water, I would still call to this direction for the element of Air. The rising sun and the currents of the planet speak to me in a way that denominate this quarter as definitively Air, but each to their own.
The Eastern Quarter, and Air, is a place of invocation and great potential. The animals of the East are the birds that fill the air with song; the magpie is my favourite creature at all these winged friends! Magpies are incredibly intelligent and I love to watch them interact with each other. They seem to group in small clans and they come together to warble intricate songs that fill my heart with hope, inspiration and passion. They kindle something special that I have also felt connected to ever since I was small. They are beautiful birds. They hang out on an electricity pole outside my house and communicate deeply to each other at length. It does not seem to me to be a mating call or anything similar, but simply a congenial conversation amongst friends! The magpie reminds me to be filled with mirth, to be thankful for my family and my friends, to be selective and discerning, and the carefully evaluate that which I protect.
For plant correspondencies, Air is associated with the everlasting daisy (sometimes known as the strawflower or paper daisies) which comes in many varieties and colours, including white, yellow and pink. The flowers pop up in proliferation in the Spring. Due to their everlasting nature, they are perfect flowers for altar and shrine adornment and they speak of eternal beauty and steadfast loyalty. I always feel so inspired when I come across a crop of everlastings.
Ritual food and offerings for this element include the humble egg, fresh herb-filled salads, freshly picked beans and peas from the vegetable garden, and sprouts - lots of sprouts! My coven places a lot of emphasis on preparing seasonal food suitable to each direction and Air calls for foods that pack a lot of nutritional potential into a small space.
Most of all, Air dominates the realm of communication and the tenet that knowledge is power. The domain that is covered by the computer, the pen and the paintbrush, three realms where I spend a lot of creative time, is ruled by Air and Air magics. While the passion, drive and content for these creative endeavours may come from other elements, it is the power of Air that initiates and proliferates these domains and breaths into them life.
I call to you, element of Air. Hail and Welcome!
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