On Monday 26th October, I did a session at the Community Garden at Tate Modern Community Garden together with Carole Wright from Bankside Open Spaces Trust to celebrate Apple Day.
Imagine a fire burning. You hear a crack and a spitting sound. This is the presence of Water. The smoke that arises and ascends is Air. The flames that penetrate the wood are Fire, and remaining after the fire burns out is ash, the Earth.
It has, been suggested that the Greek philosopher Empedocles (c490-430BC) may have simply watched a fire burn and realized that everything natural consists of four basic elements: Earth, Water, Air, and Fire.
Earth is solid like a rock. It is heavy and considered the center of everything. It draws all the other elements to it. Earth is immobile, fixed, and stable.
Water is flowing. Water fills in space, It is soft, and has no boundary within itself. Water relies on other Elements to contain it. It is heavy and condensing, but easily dispersed.
Air is fight, active and ascending. Air lifts up and can act as a vehicle for fire.
Fire is penetrative pen·e·tra·tive
1. Tending to penetrate; penetrant.
2. Displaying keen insight; acute.
Adj. 1. penetrative , purifying, and active. Fire is represented by the stars, is light in weight and is illumination. Fire transforms.
A pond in the winter is frozen. The water is cold and constricted con·strict
v. con·strict·ed, con·strict·ing, con·stricts
1. To make smaller or narrower by binding or squeezing.
2. To squeeze or compress.
3. ; the molecules are brought together and bound. It is heavy but moving under the frozen surface. This is Water. The rock and stone around the body of water is solid. It is heavy and lasting, it will hold its own form, and the form of the water in a pond. This is Earth. In the spring, the sun shines down, producing heat and fight. This is Fire. The Fire Element transforms the ice into tiny molecules of precipitation, which evaporate and ascende as Air.
// Aristotle and Plato brought fame to the concept of the Four Elements. In order to identify each Element more precisely, Aristotle developed a system of descriptive personalities considered to be the Primary Qualities of each Element. By using the sense of taste, touch, and smell, the predominate Element is more easily recognized. These qualities consist of Hot, Cold, Moist, and Dry. Each Element is made up of two qualities. In this way, there is always an opposite quality to flow into, to be transformed by. Everything is rolling in and out of each other in a state of homeostasis homeostasis
Any self-regulating process by which a biological or mechanical system maintains stability while adjusting to changing conditions. Systems in dynamic equilibrium reach a balance in which internal change continuously compensates for external change in a feedback .
The Earth is cold and dry until it rains, and the cold moist Water fills in the space of dry. The sun comes out. Hot, dry Fire pulls the moisture out of the earth, and into the Air. The hot, moist Air releases Water and once again fills in the dry, cold Earth. It is a continuous cycle, a circle of life.
Greek philosophers used this theory of transformation and mutable mu·ta·ble
a. Capable of or subject to change or alteration.
b. Prone to frequent change; inconstant: mutable weather patterns.
2. change to explain the existence of universal life. Ever)thing natural, even the stars and galaxies, are built from the qualities and characteristics of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. All life is dependant upon commonality. One element cannot exist without the next. Our bones are solid minerals, compost for the Earth: our bodies are 65 percent Water: our blood transports Air; and our spirit is the spark of life Spark of Life is the eighteenth episode in the of the popular American crime drama , set in Las Vegas, Nevada. Summary
Grissom, Sara and Greg work a case where a bushfire kills a man and burns a woman, who survived. , our Fire. We are microcosms playing a role in the creation of a universal macrocosm. The Four Elements consecrate con·se·crate
tr.v. con·se·crat·ed, con·se·crat·ing, con·se·crates
1. To declare or set apart as sacred: consecrate a church.
a. everything in nature. Everything is in balance, or coming into balance. Every action has a reaction related to its primary qualities and its fundamental element. We are the Earth, we are the Air, Fire, and Water, as are the plants, the animals, the stars….
The Four Temperaments system of classification is built upon the balance of the Four Elements. The constitution of each person is recognized by build, spiritual attributes, physiological self, personality, and lifestyle. In Traditional Western Herbalism, the imbalances are found through diagnosis of the Elements and qualities within the client that are out of balance. These disparities are corrected using plant medicine or other therapies with a predominate quality opposite of that imbalance. A hot condition would call for cooling plants, a cold condition would require hot.
These Temperaments are broken down into four categories: Sanguine, Choleric chol·er·ic
1. Easily angered; bad-tempered.
2. Showing or expressing anger. . Melancholic mel·an·chol·ic
1. Affected with or being subject to melancholy.
2. Of or relating to melancholia. , and Phlegmaticphlegmatic /phleg·mat·ic/ (fleg-mat´ik) of dull and sluggish temperament.
phleg·mat·ic or phleg·mat·i·cal
1. Of or relating to phlegm.
….. Click the link for more information.. Most people are a combination of two of these groups.
Sanguine is Air, Hot and Moist. Sanguine people are happy people. The season of Sanguine is spring. This is a time of renewal, rebirth and childhood. Joy is the emotion of Sanguine. These people are not fat or lean, but healthy. They like to sing and dance, and as Nicholas Culpeper puts it, ‘Loves mirth and music, and cares not what comes after.’ Sanguine imbalance may well come from overindulgences of “women and wine.’ They are typically emotional people who would sooner cry than become angry. They do not,. however, hold onto grief, and they fly on to the next plaything in life. This season of carefree living is considered the most favorable of the Four Temperaments, and is what one strives to hold onto, or to become.
Choleric is Fire, Hot and Dry.
A Choleric person is fiery. The season associated with Choleric is summer, representing youth. The reckless time of life when anything is possible. A Choleric person is usually athletic, and not tall or short. They are quick to become violent, and just as easily consoled. They are decision makers, thinking from their gut. Imbalances are predominately hot and dry. They often develop inflamed conditions, like boils and ulcers.
Melancholic is Earth, Cold and Dr)’. The season of the Melancholic temperament is Autumn, representing middle age. It is a time of change, cold and dry. A time to contemplate the past year. Depression is associated with Melancholy. Nicholas Culpeper describes Melancholic people as ‘naturally covetous cov·et·ous
1. Excessively and culpably desirous of the possessions of another. See Synonyms at jealous.
2. Marked by extreme desire to acquire or possess: covetous of learning. , self lovers, cowards, afraid of their own shadows, fearful, careful, solitary, lumpish, (and) unsociable.’ They are usually tall and lean, and tend to hold onto anger. Imbalances are usually dry and cold, like arthritis or eczema.
Phlegmatic is Water, Cold and Moist. The season of phlegmatic is winter. All is still and frozen. Packed together and waiting. This is the season of old age. The phlegmatic person is usually overweight, and slow moving and slow-witted. They tend to stay close to home and take great pride in doing one task very well. They do not anger easily, and do not hold a grudge. Phlegmatics are prone to moist cold conditions, such as chronic upper respiratory issues