Utilizing the witches’ elemental lessons of Earth, I’ve found ways to improve my overall balance, not just my physical wellness, because the layered aspects of myself are interwoven. As above, so below; As within, so without.
This series began with A Five-Pointed Plan of Balance
A holistic approach to wellness is based upon the interconnection between consciousness and the body. A magickal approach to wellness works for a harmonic balance between many subtle layers of the self. The mental, emotional, will and spiritual bodies form a lens through which you experience your physical body, and vice versa…This concept is symbolized by the Pentacle, an encircled five-pointed star, and is a symbol of modern witchcraft.
The Mechanics of Magick
The Hermetic Principles of Polarity informs us that everything in the universe has an inherent balance throughout the range of it’s spectrum. This idea is symbolized by the Yin-Yang. While there may be a dominant attribute, there must also be that spot of it’s flip-side, and vice versa. That is the occult mystery–it’s hidden wisdom–and that “spot” that some might view as a weakness, is actually the key-hole to unlock its power.
The Hermetic Principle of Gender takes this idea of polarity one step further, and states that everything in the universe also has masculine and feminine attributes. This speaks only in small part to biology. Masculine attributes include projective qualities and are actualized through air and fire. Feminine attributes include receptive qualities and are actualized through earth and water.
Just like polarity, gender cannot be an either/or situation, but an infinite rainbow range of possibility. They are a cosmic dance–each side held in that tension that I like to call the Divine Love of the Two Who Move as One–they just can’t exist without each other; light and dark, outer and inner, projective and receptive, god and goddess.
That lesson of gender is true for the elemental forces, too. Though earth, air, fire and water may express a dominant gender, the key to their true power comes from the occult wisdom that they also express their flip-side. THIS is the key lesson that will keep us in balance so that we don’t fall into madness and self-destruction. Not many books on witchcraft mention this, which is why I intend to write one, starting here.
Point 1. Element of Earth – Physical Wellness
So, Earth is primarily feminine. The projective lesson of Earth is To be Silent, or as I like to phrase it, to hold the space. This is the active part of doing nothing…the active form of non-striving. In our go-go-go society, this may be the hardest lesson of all. Yet, from the funeral at Samhain to the re-birth of Yule, we are asked to rest, just like a stop in the underworld, while we reflect on what we’ve accomplished over the previous year.
After nine months of the Great Work of Magick, I stop, shut up and pay attention to what effects are coming into being as a result of my actions. The Hermetic Principle of Cause and Effect informs me that everything in my life is the effect of a cause that I can affect, even if that source isn’t obvious down here on the physical plane. If things suck, I ask “why?”
In other words, I create my reality. So, if this reality is not one that I’d like to continue, how might I change my actions to manifest a new one? Remember what Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”
On the flip-side, the receptive lesson of earth is to Resonate. Here in-lies the paradox: to resonate is like playing midwife to the void of potential–that space you’ve been holding–then from the rebirth at Yule to the re-dedication to the Great Work at Imbolc, you come up with a new plan of action. You state exactly what new reality you intend to manifest, then do whatever it takes to get every layer of yourself resonating in harmonic balance with that intention–physical, mental, emotional, will and Spirit bodies must all be engaged. Its like twisting the gears on a channel lock–they all have to be in alignment, open and creating a “birth canal” between your personal Will and the source of power through your Highest Divine Will.
See now why balance on all levels is of dire importance to maintaining your wellness, and as the first step to becoming an effective magickian?
In regards to the balancing of my physical body, I must understand that all the layers of myself are mirrors of each other, and because they are interwoven, the “cause” of my physical dis-ease may not have a physical cause at all–it may originate in my thoughts or emotions, etc. What is the “cause” of this “effect?” From what aspect of my self does this cause originate? My fears, ideas, emotions, actions?
However, the physical realm that I can touch is one of the easiest realms to manipulate because we are raised to it–here, cause and effect are easy to see–I push it, it falls down, etc. Magickians use “sympathetic magick” – symbolic acts that manipulate the physical realm, so that we can mirror changes up through the non-physical realms.
So, what physical things down here in the world of matter can I do to improve my balance on all levels of self? The creative possibilities are endless. Here are a few practical ideas I’ve employed in my own life.
“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”
By now, this Zen Buddhist saying may seem cliche, but it’s good advice. When times are hard, like you’re loosing your existential footing, pull-back, and go focus on mundane survival tasks. There is more than just enlightenment to be found through our day-to-day labors. Don’t just survive, thrive through each moment. This is often referred to as mindfulness.
Here are some ideas for ways to elevate survival to a magickal art form.
Exercise: Operation “Gourmet”
You have to eat, this we know, but that opens up to many choices. Good health will only be as “good” as the quality of food you feed yourself. Junkity self-worth –> junkity food –> junkity experience of life.
Go find a delicious new recipe–something fancier than you normally attempt to cook. Watch a YouTube video on how to prepare it, if necessary (mental). Go to the market on a special mission for the ingredients (Will). Energetically awaken each thing and set it to it’s spiritual Work, just like any other Spell. “Spirit of Carrot, awaken now to your powers of sustenance and enrich this working for my highest good…etc.” (Spiritual)
Prepare that nourishing food and plate it up like you are royalty (physical.) Now, set a beautiful table fit for Martha Stewart, with just as much attention and ceremonial importance as you would lay out your altar for a Grand Sabbat. Light the good candles, and then enjoy the hell out of every bite (emotional.) Savor it, breathe deeply, chew slowly. Each bite is an offering of Self to the Spirit within. You are a God/dess, may you never hunger!
For this exercise, going to a restaurant won’t cut it. If YOU figure it out, do the work, and conquer all the obstacles to create not only what you need, but what is beautiful, then you are magickally creating the necessary changes on every level of yourself, not just your tummy.
Click Continue for more practical and magickal exercises…