To understand Elemental Balancing as described within spiritual practices, we first need to understand what the Alchemical Elements are.
In alchemy, there were believed to be four elements – fire, earth, air, and water – that were present in all matter, including the human body. These elements were seen as symbolic representations of different qualities and characteristics, with fire representing transformation and purification, earth representing stability and grounding, air representing movement and communication, and water representing emotion and intuition.
In addition to these four elements, alchemists also believed in three additional elements – sulfur, mercury, and salt – that were seen as essential components of all matter. Sulfur represented the soul or spiritual essence, mercury represented the mind or mental aspect, and salt represented the physical body or material aspect.
While these alchemical elements may not have a direct correlation to the essential minerals and nutrients found in the body, they do represent different qualities and characteristics that are important for overall health and wellness. For example, maintaining a balance between stability and movement (earth and air) can help prevent injuries and promote physical fitness, while balancing emotion and intuition (water) can help promote mental health and wellbeing.
Similarly, maintaining a balance between the spiritual, mental, and physical aspects of the self (sulfur, mercury, and salt) can help promote a sense of wholeness and balance in life. While these elements may not have a direct impact on physical health, they can certainly play a role in overall wellbeing and happiness.
Therefore when we consider Elemental Balancing, we have to consider the entirety of the energetic bodies, which includes the physical body as an energy body, after all, it is made up of atoms which vibrate and are therefore energy.
One way to maintain a balance is to incorporate something like Ayurveda. The Ayuvedic principles are not just aimed at a good diet, but a balance between all states of the body and bringing them into alignment with the natural energy flow that is found around us.
Ayurveda is a traditional system of medicine that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago. It is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Ayurveda seeks to promote this balance through a variety of means, including herbal remedies, diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes.
According to Ayurvedic principles, each person has a unique constitution or “dosha” which is determined by their individual characteristics, including their physical and emotional traits. The three primary doshas are Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and they correspond to the elements of air, fire, and water, respectively.
The goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to help individuals achieve optimal health by bringing their doshas into balance. This can involve a variety of practices, such as dietary changes, herbal remedies, yoga, meditation, and massage.
There are several other ways that we could balance the Elements, some of those being:
Elemental meditations: These meditations focus on visualizing the different elements (fire, earth, air, water, sulfur, mercury, and salt) within the body and balancing them to promote optimal health and well-being. For example, one may visualize the element of earth in their bones and muscles, air in their breath and communication, water in their emotions and intuition, and fire in their transformative energy.
Elemental rituals: These rituals involve creating a sacred space and using elemental symbols, such as candles or stones, to help balance the different elements in the body. For example, one may light a red candle to represent the element of fire, a green candle to represent earth, a blue candle to represent water, and a yellow candle to represent air, and meditate on balancing these elements within their body.
Elemental yoga: Yoga poses can be used to balance the different elements in the body. For example, grounding poses such as Tadasana (mountain pose) can help balance the element of earth, while invigorating poses such as Urdhva Dhanurasana (wheel pose) can help balance the element of fire.
In regard to the meditative and ritual aspects we could look at the exercise that is mentioned in S. Connolly’s books which incorporates a meditation and visualization of removing the Elements from the body which may be exhausted and in ruin from the inclusion of negativity, placing them in a box and discarding those sick or diseased Elements, and then filling the box with new, fresh and sparkly clean Elements and pulling into you.
Apart from meditation and visualization, another great way to do Elemental Balancing is through breathwork and the assignment of the alchemical Elements to the areas of the body. In this method we find Air in the head, Fire in the upper torso, Water in the lower torso and Earth in the groin and legs, although some systems swap Fire and Water because Fire is found in the gut with the digestive system and Water is emotional and therefore associated with the heart. However, we can also say that Fire is passion and much of the digestive system that requires a balancing of the Fire Element is found in the upper torso (think acid reflux and heartburn), whereas Water is in the gut because this is where we find all of the soft and watery organs such as the intestines and bladder.
Once you have the location of these Elements within the body, you can then use visualization to surround yourself in a particular Element, and then using breathing techniques, pull it into the body and use it to balance an area of the body. If for instance you suffering from acid reflux, you may have too much Fire in the upper torso, you can then pull in Water and direct it to that area to balance the Fire. If you are not feeling grounded and your legs are feeling weak, you may have a lack of Earth in the area of Earth, and so you can pull more Earth into your legs.
The applications are endless, and they reach beyond the physical. If you are studying and finding it difficult to retain the knowledge, then you may want to work with Air or Earth in the head. If it is a matter of your mind racing and not being able to concentrate then you may have too much Air in your head, in which case you could ground those thoughts with Earth. If you are however just “drawing a blank”, you may need to increase your communication, and therefore may have a lack of Air in your head.
We also need to consider that within all of the areas of the body, although we assign an Element to each part, all of the Elements exist within all parts, therefore, even though we may focus on Fire being in the upper torso, this is just the main Element within that area. Another Element may be causing a problem, such as Water coming in and quelling the Fire in the chest, bringing in emotional instability, therefore we need to dry up some of the Water with opposing Fire to bring the emotions back into balance.
The first thing to do is to understand the Elements on all levels; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, and then you can figure out how to counter an Elemental imbalance within yourself, pinpointing which level it is on, which Element you need to work with, and if that Element is in overdrive or in lack. If it is in overdrive, you can decrease the Element by removing some from the body or countering it with an opposing Element. If it is in lack, then you simply pull that Element into the body to bring everything back into harmony and balance.