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Earth (Classical Element)

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Earth (Classical Element)

Post by CJWatso on June 25th 2009, 7:33 pm

Earth (classical element) -Earth, home and origin of humanity, has often been worshipped in its own right with its own unique spiritual tradition.

Greek and Roman tradition
Earth is one of the four classical elements in ancient Greek philosophy and science. It was commonly associated with qualities of practicality, restraint and materialism. It was also associated with the physical, sensual aspects of life.

Earth was one of many archai proposed by the Pre-socratics, most of whom tried to reduce all things to a single substance. However, Empedocles of Acragas (c. 495-c. 435 BCE) selected four archai for his four roots: air, fire, water, and earth. Empedocles’ roots became the four classical elements of Greek philosophy. Plato (427-347 BCE) took over the four elements of Empedocles. In the Timaeus, his major cosmological dialogue, the Platonic solid associated with earth is the cube which is formed from six square sides. This places earth between fire (four triangular sides) and air (eight triangular sides). A highly un-spherical solid, these clumsy little cubes cause dirt to crumble and break when picked up, in stark difference to the smooth flow of water or air.

Plato’s student Aristotle (384-322 BCE) developed a different explanation for the elements based on pairs of qualities. The four elements were arranged concentrically around the center of the universe to form the sublunary sphere. According to Aristotle, earth is both cold and dry, and occupies a place between water and fire among the elemental spheres.
In Classical Greek and Roman myth, various goddesses represented the earth, crops and fertility, including Ceres, Demeter, and Persephone or Proserpina.

In ancient ancient Greek medicine, each of the four humours became associated with an element. Black bile was the humor identified with earth, since both were cold and dry. Other things associated with earth and black bile in ancient and medieval medicine included the season of fall, since it increased the qualities of cold and aridity; the melancholic temperament (of a person dominated by the black bile humour); the feminine; and the southern point of the compass.


Symbol for earthIn alchemy, the chemical element of salt was associated with earth and its alchemical symbol was a downward-pointing triangle, bisected by a horizontal line.


Indian Tradition
Main article: Prithvi
it]Prithvi (Sanskrit: pṛthvī, also pṛthivī) is the Hindu earth and mother goddess. According to one such tradition, she is the personification of the Earth itself; according to another, its actual mother, being Prithvi Tattwa, the essence of the element earth.

As Prithvi Mata, or "Mother Earth," she contrasts with Dyaus Pita, "father sky." In the Rigveda, earth and sky are frequently addressed as a duality, often indicated by the idea of two complementary "half-shells." In addition, the element Earth is associated with Budha or Mercury, who represents communication, business, mathematics and other practical matters. Earth is also associated with the south-west direction.

In Modern Magic

Ceremonial Magic
Earth and the other Greek classical elements were incorporated into the Golden Dawn system despite being considered obsolete by modern science. Zelator (1=10) is the elemental grade attributed to earth; this grade is also attributed to the Qabalistic sphere Malkuth.[3] The elemental weapon of earth is the Pentacle.[4] Each of the elements has several associated spiritual beings. The archangel of earth is Uriel, the angel is Phorlakh, the ruler is Kerub, the king is Ghob, and the earth elementals (following Paracelsus) are called gnomes.[5] Earth is considered to be passive; it is represented by the symbol for Taurus, and it is referred to the lower left point of the pentagram in the Supreme Invoking Ritual of the Pentagram.[6] Many of these associations have since spread throughout the occult community.


Wicca
In Wicca, earth is associated with the North (or East in some variations), Winter, and the color brown (or green in some variations) on the physical plane. It is sometimes represented by its Hindu tattva (a yellow square), or by a downward pointing triangle with a horizontal line through it, and may be symbolized by the following: percussion instruments, animal fur, coins, a pentacle, milk, a heartbeat, jewelry, bones, or a staff. Earth represents strength, abundance, stability and femininity. In rituals, earth is represented by burying objects in the ground, herbalism, and carving images out of wood or stone.

The manifestations of the earth element are found in plants, trees, mountains, forests, caves and gardens. The stag, boar, bull, sow, bear and snake are also thought to personify the element, as are all burrowing animals, such as the mole or rabbit. The astral creatures of earth, known as elementals, are the Satyr/Faun, Gnome/Goblin, and Sylvestre/Dryad. Earth’s place on the pentagram is the lower left point.


Astrological Personalities
People born under the astrological signs of Taurus, Capricorn and Virgo are thought to have dominant earth personalities. Earth personalities tend to be calm, practical, pragmatic, responsible and cautious; however, they can also be stubborn, intolerant and inflexible.


[edit] Other Traditions
In East Asia, metal is sometimes seen as the equivalent of earth and is represented by the White Tiger (Chinese constellation), known as 白虎 (Bái Hǔ) in Chinese, Byakko in Japanese and Baekho (백호, Hanja:白虎) in Korean. Earth is represented in the Aztec religion by a house; to the Hindus, a lotus; to the Scythians, a plough; to the Greeks, a wheel; and in Christian iconography, by a bull.

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Fire of the Dragon, Water of the Naiad, Air of the Pegasus, Earth of the Minotaur, Light of the Sun, Shadow of the Moon

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