Can you feel it?
The element of Earth has suddenly become quieter as more of us stay home.
The element of Air is clearing with reductions in travel.
Less pollution will also help the element of Water.
But the element of Fire rages on.
When I teach about the elements and how they relate to herbalism, I put a number of objects on a table that are associated with the elements to help students understand plant energetics. Each plant is assigned to an element based on its temperature, range of humidity, and direction.
Here’s how it goes:
“The seashell represents Water, the feather represents Air, the rock represents Earth, and the candle, wait a minute, who left their car keys on the table…”
Yeah, that would be my silly joke. My car represents the element of Fire. And I go on, connecting phones, computers, microwaves, hot water, to the element of Fire.
Fire. The element we burn and burn until the Water suffers, the Air suffers, and the Earth and all its peoples suffer.
The Earth may be a bit calmer with the softer rumbling of interstates, but the Air nearly crackles as the frenzy moves from the streets to the information highway.
As many of us step up our screen time to maintain connection, to make a living, to order things we need, and want, the electric fabric of the interwebs is sagging. And here I am adding my 2 cents.
And yet I wonder – what would happen if we put the phones down for an hour, 2 hours, 3.
What would happen to the element Spirit, sometimes called Ether or Vitality?
Would there be a moment of clarity? A moment of enlightenment? A soundless void? A vivid moment of understanding?