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Elemental Wicca - Redefining the 4 Elements

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#1 ChaosTech

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 05:37 PM

In the patriarchal religions, the Infinite is see as a male deity, even in China and Japan and other asian countries, where the Infinite is seen as a genderless force, Yin/Dark, is feminine and Yang/Light is seen as masculine. Although this may be a later corruption, as in early China Dark was originally the color of the upper and so Life, and Light was the color of lower and so Death.

It's in the spirit of the original Yin/Yang and the Lord and Lady of Wicca that I have been inspired to write this for the magical practioners and Wiccans wishing to hone their alchemy to the true placements therefore in the Cosmos.

In Judaic-Muslim-Christianity, and some other patriarchial based philosophies and religions, the Light elements, Fire and Air (half light), are seen as predominately male, while the Dark elements, Water and Earth (half dark), are seen as predominately female.
This is incorrect alchemy. Like I have noted before, Earth is a mixed element (an inversed triangle with a line through it), and Water is a pure. So Darkness and the last or bottom element is not Earth like in traditional and hermetic Kabbalism and Ceremonial Elemental Magic, and in Aristotle's thesis of the order of the 4 elements, but the last middle element. Water is the last element proper. Counterclockwise (linear, or objective reasoning), you can follow from West, Water on the compass, to North, Earth, East, Air, and finally Fire, South. Akasha or Spirit, is the center of the compass as it touches but is beyond (transcendent), of all 4 elements.

Wicca teaches the Lady is in the Heavens and Light, and the Lord is on the Earth and Darkness (Underworld). Even when the Lord rises as the sun god, he is the light bound under darkness, a sphere surrounded by a void, and so Sol, Christ, or Apolo, the sun (son, of the Goddess) god.

The other aspect is the Lord as the Green Man, Herne, Pan, or Cernunnos, who rules over nature, and is the Lord of the wild. This is the Lord in the center of the earth element, where as in the upper he is Christ.

In the lowest of the Earth and in the whole of Water, he is Hades, Lord of the underworld, or Christ fallen. Many Pagans sacrificed the sun god, so Christ is just a popular (but tanted heavily from it's meaning), name/archetype/incarnation.

The Goddess is the Lady of Light, which is proper as Fire is pure feminine (Spirit is non/both gendered), where as Darkness, Water is pure masculine.

It is in the mixed elements, where they come together for love, or war. Air or Earth, respectively. The Goddess as Earth Mother, Gaia, or Mother Nature, is an abstraction from the pure readings of the 4 elements. Earth is primarily masculine, though it has a feminine aspect, like Air has a male aspect. Earth as a mother is less popular throughout cultures, than as Earth as a father and so hard, or difficult. The father role though is usually not anthropmorphised, except as the Devil (a negative borrowing of the Lord as Pan), as the Lord of the World.

Anyway, Artemis/Athena as the Warrior Goddess is the primary attribute of the Air element, but the Air element is also giving and so the negative side (Dark part), is often seen as Christ (yes properly this is the high Earth), or Buddha, or another sacrificer for many.

I hope you enjoy this alchemy lession, when dealing with the anthropmorphised aspects of Yin and Yang, Light and Dark, and the proper order and placement of the 4 elements.

If you don't like this, you still can use the time honored alchemy, just be aware that this is a more subjective ordering (which can be at the ultimate anything), and not a literal objective analysis of the proper order of the 4 elements. Which I have spent my life to decoding and applying to the Cosmos, micro and macro, to truly align and balance reality to the power of Spirit, and eventually transcend all creation, which is the eventual destiny of the whole cosmos. As the more linear creation (the 4 elements) is just a part, not the whole, of reality.

One person asked in another thread, what was the purpose (goal) of Wicca? I think it's obvious and been written, to become one with nature while corporial and one with the entire cosmos in general. This is no different than the esoteric of any religion, magico-religion or not.

The Lord and Lady can been seen throughout the year and zodiac, like the 4 elements plus Akasha, and understanding of this connects us deeper in our spiritual quest.
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#2 Caliban

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 10:43 PM

If we are taking Wicca properly speaking as our point of departure, I would say that the Goddess is related most closely and specifically with the traditionally feminine elements of Water and Earth. Going back to the early strata of Wiccan liturgy, namely Doreen Valiente's revision of Gerald Gardner's rites as they stood at the time of her initiation in 1952 or '53, we read:


I who am the beauty of the green Earth, and the white Moon among the stars, and the mystery of the Waters, I call unto your soul to arise and come unto me, for I am the soul of Nature that gives Life to the Universe.

The relation to the Horned God to Earth as the domain of the Underworld (echoing the role of Pluto as lord of the riches of the Earth as well as ruler of the underworld afterlife) figures specifically only in the liturgy of the Second Degree initiation, where it occurs in the Legend of the Descent of the Goddess. This in turn clearly derives from the myth of Innana, the Queen of Heaven, who descended into the Underworld to confront death. In that much older myth, the realm below the Earth and dominion of death is ruled by a goddess, Inanna's own sister, Ereshkigal.

But in the Wiccan liturgy based upon this the role of Lady and Lord are not Elemental, but dualistic in representation of Life and Death, in which Life triumphs over Death through submission to him as a condition of her being (everything that lives must die), but with the reincarnatory promise central to Wicca - "An ye shall meet, and know, and remember, and Love them again." - as the resolution of the enacted legend.

I am grateful that this is not a liturgy with which I received my second initiation, which I would therefore not be able to discuss. But this material does occur in the known writings either transmitted (as he claimed) or invented (as the circumstantial evidence of textual analysis strongly indicates) by Gerald Gardner, received and amended by Doreen Valiente, who cleaned up and replaced a lot of blatant borrowing from Aleister Crowley.

It is from Gardner, and the historically well-established Bricket Wood Coven, that the term "Wicca", describing a pagan, religious revival of the practice of Witchcraft comes to us. In origin then, all Wicca is Gardnerian in origin, while Witchcraft can be and is more broadly defined, even as Wicca has come to embrace a variety of diverse traditions. All of these, however, share the notion of Wicca as a pagan religion, rather than laying stress upon Witchcraft as a practice of magic.

Astrological and alchemical ruminations are quite useful tools in establishing a personal paradigm inclusive and supportive of magic, and is to be commended. However, arguing from the standpoint of a religious current without regard for its origins and most well-established liturgy is something I really cannot endorse. Your mileage may vary.

"There is a crack, a crack through everything. That is how the light gets in." -- Leonard Cohen

#3 ChaosTech

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 11:28 PM

I was more refering to the Wicca which relies on Margaret Murray, as the prehistoric peoples who worshiped the "venus statue," goddess, and the horned man of the hunt.
I've seen ALOT of wicca which puts the Lady in the Heavens and the Lord on Earth, so I wouldn't say ALL Wicca is Gardnerian, if that is how Gardnerian Wicca is practiced.

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