Air - East
Take a deep breath into your heart, and let it out. As you breathe in, take a moment to ponder the mystery of this ocean of air we live in. We and all the other animals breathe in the air and remove the oxygen so that we can live...we use it to extract energy from our food. The waste product is Carbon Dioxide, which we breathe out. Our cousins the plants take in the Carbon Dioxide and use it to trap the energy of the sunlight, so that when we eat them we extract this energy. The plants give off oxygen, which they breathe out...and the cycle of life continues...giving and receiving so that we all live...like your breath...in...and out...
The element of Air is associated with the East in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the where the Sun rises, so this thinnest and most etherial of the elements is associated with Sunrise...and new beginnings. It is associated with Springtime and the wonder and curiosity of childhood.
Think of the joy you feel as the sky lightens in the East. Think of the sense of potential you feel as you see the clouds take on the glorious colours of the beginning of a new day. Of course, we feel the same sense of potential, of awe at the beauty of a life beginning when we hear the cry of a newborn babe, or when the winds of Spring blow the scents of the thaw and the bursting blossoms our way...
The element of Air is, of course, associated with the sense of smell. While there are scents we associate with each of the elements , the scents of Spring flowers come to mind. And the scents we use for cleaning the air...lavender, lemongrass, and pine. Incense is the magical tool of the East and the Air.
Think for a moment about how scent can effect your mood... your state of mind. How does the memory of cinnamon make you feel? ...perhaps you remember apple pies your mother used to make...it can make you feel loved and nurtured. And roses...late summer evenings...romantic interludes. And lavender...your grandmother's house...a sense of age and cleanliness. Frankincense and Myrrh...churches...sacred spaces...
The element of Air is also associated with music. Of course, sound is transmitted through airwaves. But Air provides the songs of the wind rustling in the trees. Of all the songbirds. Of flutes and whistles. Of our own voices raised in song. Certainly, one can associate certain types of instruments with each of the elements, and we will, but Air is the element of that first creative urge to create beautiful sounds...
Some morning when you are awake early enough to greet the dawn, make a point of really listening to the birds as they sing their joy at the coming light of a new day. In fact, get up out of bed and go outside...before coffee or anything else. Listen to the riot of song around you, and take part if you wish. Call back to the birds. Maybe offer them some seed. Really feel the joy of interacting with these creatures of Air at the time when Air's energy is highest...
Creatures Associated with Air
Eagles, Hawks, Nightingales, Larks, Hummingbirds,
Wrens, Chickadees, Sparrows, etc.
Butterflies, Dragonflies, Bees, Ladybugs
Flying Creatures from Myth
Air Dragons, Fairies, flying horses
Angels are also associated with Air, although there are angels specifically associated with each of the elements. The Archangel often called as Guardian of the Air is Raphael.
Raphael's name means "Healer of God." He is robed in gold, yellow, and blue. He carries a caduceus, the wand entwined by two serpents used as a symbol of healing. He rules science, knowledge, compassion, and healing.
Another Being who carries a caduceus, of course, is Mercury, messenger of the Gods, who rules intellect, verbal expression, science, synthesis, and research. Mercury is another Guardian of the Air.
The realm of Air is the mind and mental activity. Air rules the ideas that come "out of the blue." It offers the gift of clarity...the ability to perceive what is relevent and useful in a given situation. It rules the process of sythesising ideas and concepts from many different sources or disciplines into something that is cohesive and comprehensive. It rules the communication of these ideas... writing and verbal expression. It rules teaching. And it rules poetry.
Some sunny morning, perhaps in the Spring...get up early and go to some point, perhaps a hilltop somewhere where you are near the sky. Sit for a moment and enjoy the view. Feel the wind on your skin and in your hair. And take out a large notebook. Ask for the guidance and help of Raphael or Mercury if you wish. Start with a word, any word, maybe "beauty." And let the wind blow ideas, images, and associations into your mind. Write them all down...just jot them down, maybe in little clouds like in the comics...bursting out from the original word. For now just make as many connections and associations as you can. Fill up a few pages. Then take a few deep breaths, read what you have, and use the ideas and images to construct either a story, paragraph, word picture, or poem, whatever is easiest to you. Then stand and read it aloud to the wind...and know that you have received the gift of inspiration from the element of Air...and returned the gift of your own creativity.
The elementals associated with Air are called Sylphs. These are among the easiest elementals to see, especially as a flash from the corner of your eye. They look like small winged creatures in pastel colours who ride the airwaves..often they are called fairies. They tend to be attracted to those who are quick thinking and quick moving. They can be mischevious...blowing things about...rustling through your hair...making sounds that distract you.
They can also help you with all of the following:
Magical Goals Aided By Air:
Tests and Examinations
Writing...Prose, Poetry, or Music
All of the exercises offered above will help you attune to the Element of Air and its elementals, the Sylphs. Focussing on breathing, timing magic for dawn and/or Springime, attuning to and befriending birds and/or flying creatures, writing, singing, making music, reading anything that makes you think, burning incense or otherwise offering lovely smells to the air (perhaps as essential oils). When you chose to meet the Sylphs, try to find a hilltop where the breazes fly around you. At first, just meet them and share joy in their gifts and beauty. Offer them a present...of a song, poem, or scent. Befriend them.
You might wish to make an altar in the eastern part of your house to honour the Element of Air and the Sylphs. Drape it and decorate it in pale blue, yellow, and white. Offer feathers, dragonfly wings, pipes, pale blue stones, incense, herbs sacred to air. Welcome the Element and the Sylphs to make this their home. Then light the candles and incense on this altar when you read or write or study.
It may help when invoking the Element or elementals of Air to use the symbols offered in the background of this page. An Air Invoking Pentagram Starts in the upper right, moves to the upper left, and continues around to repeat this line. Air can also be invoked using the circle with a dot in the middle, or a plain blue circle. To release the element, draw the Air Releasing Pentagram shown in the bottom left corner, which is a reversal of the Invoking Pentagram. If you use the blue circle or circle with dot, see the winds blowing out through it, then see it folding in upon itself and disappearing.
Psychological Qualities Associated with Air
Teaching AbilityImbalanced Air
You can ask the Element of Air, or its Guardians or the Sylphs to help you develop any of the postive traits listed above. To balance any of the negative traits, you may need to appeal to the other three elements to help balance an overabundance of Air.
You can also call upon the Air elementals when you wish to work on healing for the air or the atmosphere...ask them to help remove pollutants, to repair the ozone layer, etc.
Herbs Associated with the Element of Air
Lemon VerbenaLily of the ValleyLindenMace
Slippery ElmSouthernwoodStar Anise
Gems and Stones Associated with the Element of Air
4 parts Benzoin
2 parts Gum Mastic
1 part Lavender
1 part Wormwood
1 pinch Mistletoe
(mistletoe is toxic, if used, burn outdoors)Air Oil
5 drops Lavender
1 drop Lemongrass
1 ounce carrier oil
Other correspondences include the astrological signs of Libra, Gemini, and Aquarius, and the Planets Mercury and Uranus.
Air rules the suit of Swords and is associated with the Magician, Justice, the Wheel of Fortune, Temperance, and the Star in the Tarot.
A Sample Invocation to the East and the Air Element
Guardian of the East, wise and gentle Raphael:
Hold this corner of our circle and let the Air blow into it.
Send to us the beautiful Sylphs to help in our healing work.
Bless us with the music and strength of the winds,
The inspiration of the Sunrise,
The clarity and perception of the soaring eagle,
And the clear communicating power of language.
We feel you and welcome you.
Blessings of the Air to you...