The importance of Earth, Air, Fire and Water reaches well beyond the obvious basics of our earthly environment. These elements are the nature of who we are as human beings, and can become out of balance on the physical, spiritual and emotional levels.
While the four primary elements have been a part of the picture of health and diagnosis in Chinese Medicine for more than 2,000 years, considering earth, air, fire and water in creating Sacred Space is also a powerful tool for truly integrated health.
How you create your home environment can be just as important as how you tend to your physical body.
If you take a moment to reflect on the elements, you will probably understand quickly what might be missing in your personal space, and what you could invite more of to bring balance to your life.
A Soul Altar is a great way to integrate the aspects of the elements needed to support the current challenges of your life and your health as both a metaphor and a spiritual tool to create change.
Consider the properties of earth, air, fire and water, and how their absence or presence may affect your mood. For example, you may feel agitated when there’s too much wind or Air around you. Bu tAir also represents a sense of freedom and flow.
If you tune into the nature of Water, you are likely to think of movement, flow and perhaps the cleansing quality of water.
Fire on the other hand, often represents passion and heat, which can manifest in our lives as a deficiency in the case of depression, or in excess in the case of mania.
Earth is a grounding force that brings a sense of stability and anchors us with a sense of purpose on the planet.
So when you consider these very basic elemental properties, what speaks to you the most? Do you experience a nice balance of all of the elements in your life? Is there too much of one, or not enough of another?
If you’re lacking fire and feel apathetic and dis-empowered, you may want to practice the Yogic breath of fire, light candles on your altar and display a photo to call forth a more fiery presence in your life.
If you are you rigid and having a hard time flowing with life’s changes, you may need to bring more water into your space; perhaps a fountain to circulate water.
For altar placement, you may also consider the directional associations with the elements. Indigenous cultures who have accessed spiritual powers by calling in the four directions have been keen to the elements forever. In Native American traditions, East is Air, South is Fire, West is Water and North is Earth.
These are just a few ideas to enhance your temple space, both in your home and inside your body!