What do the elements have to do with our own personal experiences?
I believe that the elements as we experience and see them in the outside world, in nature, are not separate from our internal nature, they are like a mirror. We all have fire, water, earth, and air, as a part of our structure, both in our physical body, and also energetically. As the Tao says, ‘What is outside is inside, what is below is above”, and the same goes for the elements.
I think the way we relate to them the most is by trying to continually balance and find harmony within ourselves. If I tend to be fiery – active, quick-thinking, and sometimes a bit aggressive – I might approach the world and my emotions with a lot of energy and not shy away from confrontations. On the other hand, if I’m more watery – calm, and go with the flow – I’ll probably handle things in a more relaxed way. Sometimes there is too much or too little of one quality, then we can take action to find equilibrium.
What does each element represent to us?
Fire is the element of alchemy, transformation for positive change. Related to manifestation and willpower. Fire has also been used forever as a way of gathering, warming, and nourishing.. It accelerates, the mind, and our actions, but only to a certain point as it can become aggressive, and then we need to counterbalance it, which brings us to water.
Water is the element of creation, the essence of life, and also represents emotions and cleansing. The nature of water is flowing, it always leads somewhere, and it lets go. Like a river, it is open, and so are our emotions. People are always drawn to water, it harmonises the constant changes in life. If it doesn’t flow, it is stagnant, or stuck.
Earth is the element of stability, our grounding, our roots, our foundations. It’s our bones, our structure, and our ability to deal with survival, food, and shelter. It’s very primal – our instincts, touch, smell. Too much earth, like too little water, if doesn’t move, it becomes rigid.
The air element is that of expansion, and also unity. It balances the earth element, and gives space and openness. It moves things that are stagnant and brings perspective. It is life, it is the breath, when you are inhaling, the whole universe exhales. The air is shared by all of us, at the same time, everywhere. It connects us to the infinite, the heavens, and represents the connection between earth and sky, and the beyond.
It’s easy to see how they are interconnected and represent qualities of our inner world.
What kind of simple rituals can we try out to better embody this understanding?
When we are aware of what is present or unbalanced, we can use this internal ‘logic’ or knowledge about the elements to find harmony. For example, if you need more grounding or centering, you could jump, and shake the body, your bones, creating some vibration. Walk barefoot, look at a mountain. If you are overly reactive and even tend to be rude, there may be an excess of fire, so going to a river, taking a bath, or mindfully showering can help balance that. It’s about feeling inside and noticing what is present.
Visualisations are a very powerful tool as well. You can lie down or sit, visualising nature. Imagine you are in the water, floating, immersing, imagine you are on a big cliff with a beautiful view, feeling perspective, expanding the mind. By visualising nature, we bring in the energetics and frequencies of the elements.
Especially if you are living in the city, it’s important to take some air, take some space. Go to a park, somewhere with some green. You’ll notice that even after five minutes of walking you’re already a little calmer. If you can’t go outside, close your eyes and you can listen to some nice music of water rolling or the sounds of the sea. So by simply connecting with the elements, you are in that harmonic healing field that they create.
What made us forget our connection to the natural world?
As a society, we rely on an excess of the fire element, and it seems that the way the world runs is dependent on it. It’s often driven by manipulation, control, and ego, resulting in an imbalanced focus on capitalism and the economy.
An excess of the fire element has caused our hearts to close and our actions to become more self-centered, rather than heart-centered, literally burning the earth. We celebrate excessive productivity and consumerism and prioritize values that are different from those of living in harmony with nature, further distancing ourselves from it. The need for growth and expansion, even in our jobs, leaves us with little time to follow the rhythm of nature, we might just see a forest on our screen because we don’t have time to enjoy one regularly. This unstopping need for growth has twisted our relationship with the environment as if nature were an endless supermarket for our production and waste.
Why do we feel a natural interest in this topic at this point in time?
I think our current interest in this topic is because as humans, we tend to follow trends and topics but also, these interests often arise for a reason. The pandemic has played a big role in our heightened awareness. It has brought us to a point where we recognize the urgency to reconnect, not just with nature by physically being in it, but also by remembering our inner primordial wisdom. This inner wisdom is becoming more apparent, and we are beginning to understand its potential through practices like nature ceremonies and rituals.
The more we focus our thoughts on these connections, the more they energetically manifest. For example, if someone experiences the serenity of a river and then encounters a water-related ceremony, they make an unconscious connection and then may wish to continue working with water. People who may have previously seen practices as too ‘out there’ or only for certain groups are now realizing the benefits. They find that participating in ceremonies, like those involving water, helps them cultivate qualities like calmness and fluidity, which are associated with the element.
What tools do you suggest to connect to the elements?
The key is keeping it simple. Begin by closing your eyes and considering how you can connect with each element. For water, focus on your breath while near water, and observe its flow. With fire, sit calmly in front of a candle, paying attention to the flame as it dances and changes. Incorporate conscious drinking rituals by leaving a glass of water under the full or new moon and drinking it with love and intention. For the air element, practice deep breaths, imagining open spaces or birds flying, and using long exhales to calm your nervous system.
You can also connect with Earth by holding a stone or hugging a tree, feeling its stability and grounding energy. Visualize your roots connecting with the tree and the Earth beneath. Trees serve as a powerful symbol of stability and nourishment from the Earth. Remember, even the simplest practices can be deeply meaningful and effective in connecting with the elements.
What are your intentions, and some of your methods, in helping others connect to the elements and their inner wisdom?
It’s by sharing what I personally nourish and heal from. I follow what I feel in my body, whether it’s the Earth, the sun, or the wind, and I offer these experiences to those who resonate with them. Everything I share, I learned from practicing.
Sound is my primary tool, as it allows for expansive connections in various practices, including breathwork, yoga, dance, movement therapy, tantra, and meditation. I believe in combining different approaches as they come to me, if people need to jump, or to sing, we do that. Sometimes I use aromas, cacao, or visualisations. I emphasise that we all enter through the body, in whichever way we can. This cohesion is essential to me, ensuring that everyone can access a meditative, heart-centered space. My work creates energy journeys, where sound is an essential container, as it allows us to shift the mind’s thinking state towards a meditative and connected experience.