So much of the fracturing, I see in my clients, and in the collective, comes from one fundamental illusion: the feeling that we are separate from nature. Ancient cultures all over the world lived in deep reverence for the natural world and saw all of humanity as an interdependent part of the whole. Within this deep respect for plants, animals, the sun, moon, and stars, there was also a deep respect for the elements. The elements represent us. They represent different aspects of who we are and the gifts we carry. When they are in balance, we are in balance.
The elements represent us. They represent different aspects of who we are and the gifts we carry. When they are in balance, we are in balance.
Fire represents the spirit, the flame, and the creative passion we all have. Our fire is our childlike desire to play. It is also our unbridled passion and our tenacious ability to transform what is no longer healthy for us or others. Fire purifies us. The practice of gazing into the flame of a candle in a dark room cleanses our eyes and perhaps, our energetic vision. We work with fire when we want to release something. Fire teaches us that rather than throwing something away, we can surrender it to our Spirit to let it be transformed into something new.
Water represents our intuition, our receptivity, our openness, and our ability to go through or around anything. Water is our emotional intelligence, our subtle senses, and our imagination. Water supports us by helping us find compassion. Our bodies are over 70% water, and all of life on earth is nourished by water. In ancient times, sacred wells and watering holes were where people gathered to heal themselves. Water teaches us to reflect and see everything around us as a sacred mirror.
Air is the element of communication. It represents the wind carrying our prayers and hopes to the heavens, our ability to sing and express and clear the air when we seek connection and understanding. Air also represents the intellect, which can support and transmit our creative dreams when it is working in harmony with the other elements. When we stand in a strong wind, we may hear it whisper to us. When we let wind dance all around us, it cleanses us and helps us to let go of what we are grasping.
And lastly, the beloved earth is the element of our bodies. It is the element of the plant and animal kingdom, the stone people, and our ancestors. Earth is our fertility, the warm embrace of nutrient-dense soil that protects the seeds that have yet to grow. The earth element helps us to ground our spirit, helps us to slow down, be patient, and listen. The earth element teaches us slow transformation built by maintaining healthy habits. It teaches us creativity and sensuality. The earth is the home of decomposers, mushrooms, and mosses that are thousands of years old. The redwoods and the mountains teach us about the stillness and silence available to us when we know who we are and trust our own wisdom.
The earth is our body, the water is our blood. The wind is our breath and the fire is our spirit. When we respect the natural world, it brings us healing. When we respect ourselves, and every element within us, we can become a vessel for healing the natural world, and the spiritual world, and remind ourselves that we are so incredibly connected.
Perhaps you have an affinity for one element more than another or even a resistance to a specific element. The beautiful thing about the elements is that they are meant to work together. When we balance the elements within us, we find peace. When we have a lot of mental chatter, we can work with the earth by moving our bodies and grounding ourselves by putting our feet on the roots of a tree, and allowing that mental energy to move. When we have a lot of fire, we can work with the air element by journaling onto paper what our spirit is desiring and wants to transform, or we can cool ourselves with a cup of water we have blessed by holding it in our hands while focusing on who and what we love most in this world. When the water element within us overwhelms us emotionally, we can work with the fire of the Sun to warm us and bring us back up from the depths of our grief. We can also transmute our feelings with the element of air by singing a song.
You see, we are the elements. The earth is our body, the water is our blood. The wind is our breath and the fire is our spirit. When we respect the natural world, it brings us healing. When we respect ourselves, and every element within us, we can become a vessel for healing the natural world, the spiritual world, and remind ourselves that we are so incredibly connected.
One of the simplest ways to begin to connect to the elements is to prepare a ritual bath. To inspire you, here is a bath from my book, Ritual Baths.
I Am Nature Ritual Bath
When we talk about getting grounded, what we are really talking about is returning to the source, returning to the truth of where we come from, returning to the earth. This bath is designed to help us remember the truth of who we are. Follow this bath with a walk outside. If there are certain ingredients that you do not have on hand, don’t worry. Your intention is the most powerful part of this ritual.
- Red clay, mixed with bentonite clay and Graviola powder, nettle leaf powder, or matcha
- 1 cup black lava salt
- 1 cup pink rose petals
- 1 bunch of fresh rosemary
- 10 drops each of rose and rosemary essential oils
- All of your non-water-soluble crystals
Mix clay and plant powders with spring water to create a thick paste. Cover your body head to toe with the mixture. If you have the luxury, go outside naked, covered in the mixture. Stand in the sun. When the paste begins to dry, rub it off your body. It will create a fine, very exfoliating dust. Notice how grounding and awakening this practice is. If you cannot go outside naked and covered in green mud because your neighbors will be convinced that the zombie apocalypse is here, then prepare your bath while you’re letting the mixture dry. Place all the other ingredients in the bath at a temperature of your choosing.
Light a candle. Create a smudge using white sage by putting it in a nonflammable tray of some kind and igniting it. Waft the smoke around your body using a feather you have found. Step into the bath and dunk your head underwater. Place the crystals on your body wherever your intuition is guided to place them. Sing this song (original author unknown):
Earth my body. Water my blood. Wind my breath. And fire my spirit.
Take ten deep, grounding breaths. Sit and soak in the medicine you’ve created.
- Fire represents the spirit, the flame, and the creative passion we all have.
- Water represents our intuition, our receptivity, our openness, and our ability to go through or around anything.
- Air is the element of communication. It represents the wind carrying our prayers and hopes to the heavens, our ability to sing and express and clear the air when we seek connection and understanding.
- Earth is the element of our bodies. It is the element of the plant and animal kingdom, the stone people, and our ancestors.
Deborah Hanekamp aka Mama Medicine is a *Seeress carrying over 16yrs in the healing arts as an Initiated Amazonian Shaman, Reiki Master, and Yogini. Guided by the present moment, Deborah has facilitated Medicine Readings and Medicine Reading Ceremonies all over the world. Her work has been featured in Vogue, New York Times & Marie Claire Magazine