When we first began, it seemed appropriate that an event based on the four elements should begin with their invocation. Or at least, it did to me, with my pagan witchy roots, and the same could be said of the core members of the team who were helping me make this new vision manifest.
Two years on, the circle has to be two people deep in order to fit into the venue, but still we turn together to the East, West, South, and North, and invite the elements of each quarter into the space. The participants are encouraged to notice each element as it manifests outside of them, and also as it manifests within. Later, they will find their way to the spaces inspired by and infused with each element; they’ll dip strawberries in the chocolate melting in Earth, join a cuddle puddle in Water, boogie down into their bodies on the dance floor in Air, and frolic and make love in Fire.
And this is just one of the rituals I hold of which the four elements form a core ingredient. In the last few years, I’ve found myself blessing and binding couples with them in handfastings; calling upon them to cleanse the recipient of a rite of passage as they stepped through a ritual portal into their new identity; and, as my second and final year of Interfaith Ministry training gets underway, I find them making a seemingly inevitable appearance in my every ceremony assignment.
But what I’m reflecting on today are the ways in which I’ve noticed Air, Water, Fire, Earth entering into my personal practice again; how they support and sustain me, the gifts they offer when I seek to be cleansed, healed, and nourished. And so I wanted to close this loose triptych of posts about finding spiritual and sexual healing in the face of this mad year with something of an ode to those elements, and a reminder to lean back, to breathe, drink, surrender, and ground yourselves in them. (more…)