Air - Elemental Philosophy

Wicca Natural Magic Kit: The Sun, The Moon, and The Elements, Elemental Magic, Moon Magic, and Wheel of the Year Magic - Lisa Chamberlain 2018

Elemental Philosophy

In contrast to the visibility of Earth, Air is the Element that we cannot really see at all.

We experience it mostly through our tactile and audial senses, feeling the strength and temperature of a breeze, or hearing the howl of the wind during a storm. Of course, we are in constant interaction with Air via the breath, even though most of the time we’re not conscious of it. In fact, you might say Air is the Element we notice the least, unless and until we don’t have enough of it!

Air is a traveling energy, not limited to the ground-level perspective of Earth inhabitants, but free to rise and move over great distances. Air inhabits vast realms we have no access to, though recently we’ve been able to glimpse Air’s domain via planes, helicopters, and space shuttles. Because its light density renders it relatively “immune” to gravity, the energy of Air is detached and instantly changeable. Though its quality can be tempered by the presence of the other Elements, Air cannot ever be truly contained.

Air carries sounds and scents from nearby locations, and so informs us about our surrounding environments. We also communicate by pushing air through the lungs and throat in order to speak or sing. Air energy is therefore associated with the qualities of intellect, mental clarity, and communication, and represents the source of knowledge and ideas. It is also the Element of imagination and inspiration—indeed, we speak both literally and figuratively of “needing fresh air” when our indoor environments, or our lives, have become stagnant. We also talk of surprises as coming “out of thin air” or “out of the blue,” as if to recognize the link between the invisible forces that influence our lives and the air itself.

Air personalities

People with Air personalities tend to enjoy a higher degree of emotional detachment and objectivity than those with other dominant Elements.

Their “bird’s eye view” on life can help them see patterns and possibilities that others can’t, and thus avoid the pitfalls of short-sightedness or “stuckness” that people with other personalities might struggle with. Air people tend to have very active minds and feel at home in the realms of abstract thought. They have a knack for discovering new ideas. They are socially energetic and take an interest in the ideas of others, but their dynamic nature and need for movement and free expression may keep them from hanging around in one place for any length of time. They don’t want to miss anything by being away too long from their regular, broad-perspectived perch.

The challenge for Air people, then, is to balance their flightiest, high-level energies with more grounded, fixed energies, or else all of that intellectual potential may stay unmanifested in the material world. Just as having one’s “feet on the ground” is considered a positive attribute, we tend to speak of having one’s “head in the clouds” as something to avoid, at least for too much of the time. “Flighty” is another descriptive word with less-than-positive connotations to describe people who seem to lack focus or substance. Air people need to learn to appreciate the value in being still, as well as being in touch with their emotions, which can often be an uncomfortable realm for them. Getting regular exercise can help them move some of that mental energy to the rest of the body, creating a balance that allows those Air qualities to manifest in more grounded ways.

Ways of connecting with Air

The simplest, most instantly available method for attuning to the energies of Air is through conscious attention to our breath. There are many different meditative breathing exercises, practiced in a range of spiritual and healing traditions, that are worth exploring for their many health benefits. But you can also simply sit with your eyes closed and notice how it feels to breathe.

Another way to spend some time with Air is to watch how individual leaves on a tree interact with the breeze. Anyone who has paid attention knows that leaves and branches don’t all move uniformly in response to the push of wind—although in particularly strong winds, this may appear to be the case. Most of the time, if you watch closely, some branches will bend lower than others, and some leaves will flip and flutter much more vigorously than others. Observed in this way, the unpredictable intricacies of Air’s movements can be fascinating.

Simply focusing your attention on how Air feels on your skin can be reenergizing, particularly on a hot day when a cool breeze comes sweeping in, even for just a moment. Burning incense is another potential way to bring the positive qualities of Air into your awareness. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area that offers views from high elevations, spending some time in such places is great for refreshing your perspective. Mountain locations are ideal for this kind of communing with the Air Element, but rooftops, particularly on tall buildings, can also work wonders. Finally, resurrect that childhood habit of looking for shapes in the passing clouds. (If you never did that as a child, make up for it by starting now!) Notice the pace at which the clouds are moving, whether crawling or racing across the sky, and how their shapes are in constant flux, even when they appear to be relatively still. Cloud-gazing can, with practice and intention, become a powerful method of divination for those able and willing to receive information in this way.

Even when the wind blows hard enough to cause inconvenience, and even though temperatures may be too hot or cold for your liking, be sure to appreciate and thank the Element of Air for its effortless availability in sustaining your life.