The Four Elements
I've posted this as a series of articles on Medium. In summary, this four-part model is as follows:
EARTH: It begins with an understanding that as humans, we are composed of matter and occupy a physical form in a world of energy, physical forces, phenomena and change. This place we occupy in the material world is symbolized by the Earth Element and it is our first task to achieve at least a basic level of mastery of this element. Most of us do that naturally via our growth through adolescence but somewhere along the line we get stuck or become confused.
AIR: Once we have mastered the Earth Element sufficiently, our bodies are in a position to acquire knowledge and think rationally. These insubstantial capacities of mind are symbolized by the Air Element.
FIRE: With a well-functioning body and a mind, we are ready to be presented with the initiations of aging, sickness, trauma or suffering and dissatisfaction of whatever kind. Struggling through these initiations, as symbolized by Fire, is what occupies our attention for most of our life.
WATER: But the great promise of this model is that we can have the fire of these struggles extinguished by Water, which is the symbol for intuition, baptism, and, by extension, love. And through this reawakening into love, we discover the benefits of a good life that were promised long ago by the alchemists of old.
So in this series we are going to look at each of these stages in the progression towards a life built on love and see what they have to teach us. You can read them in order or jump to the one that interests you the most.