Picture the blue of the sky on a clear day. Nothing is more essentially blue. The sheer brightness of it makes you stand taller, feel larger. Meditation on the wideness of that blue sky, with a white cloud thrown in for good measure, expands your consciousness. The blue isn’t a ceiling. The sky isn’t a limit. You can expand through it and touch the nearest star. There you can find your truth: you are stardust, a child of the Universe, and at one with it.
Truth is the first quality of the Air Element. It is about finding your own essential truth, the truth of who you really are. The realisation that we are unique expressions of Spirit is a powerful one. But it also brings responsibilities. We are all called upon to live with integrity. We have to learn to be that expression of Spirit as purely as we can, as purely ourselves as the sky is purely blue.
Realising that truth also means we need ensure that it’s possible for others to express themselves freely as well. We have to guard over the freedom of all human beings, and all living things, to find and express their own truth. Justice is the second quality of Air. We should watch over it as carefully as we can.
But the sky can be clouded, too. Dark thoughts and feelings often trouble the human mind. Clarity about our truth, and the strength to hold on to that, can be a great help through most of the troubles Life brings our way. That kind of mental fortitude is another quality of the Air Element.
Elemental Air is also the playful wind. The summer breeze plays with foliage and makes each tree sing its own tune. It plays with my hair and strokes my cheek. It makes plastic bags dance in city streets. Air plays and dances with us. And it carries the scent of sunlight on young foliage, or of trees blossoming. And sometimes, around the Equinoxes especially, the wind can turn destructive. It sweeps clean the Earth, ready for the new season.
The Air Element is associated with the Easter Quarter of the Wheel, the Quarter of morning, Spring and youth. In this quarter of the sky, the Sun rises. It is the place of hope and new beginnings. Every morning we start a fresh day, with new opportunities to learn and grow, with a new chance to celebrate Life. We leave the private sphere of our house and go out to do our work.
Spring is a time of new beginnings in just the same way. The dreams and plans we have thought about in Winter are now waiting to be realised. In the middle of this season, at the Spring Equinox, Nature bursts in to Life and realises the potential it held all Winter. We are called upon to do the same, to leaf and flower in our own way and make our dreams real.
Youth is the time when we leave the safety of our parental homes and start to explore the wide world for ourselves. We learn who we are by interaction with our peers. And we try to find out what our work in this lifetime might be. Young people need all the support they can get in this exciting but difficult time, but also the freedom to learn from their own mistakes.
Air is associated with thought and language. We receive from it the very breath of life. In return, we can offer it our clear thinking. Each of us must find out our own truth and live by it. But Air is also honoured by storytelling and music, and by any writing you may do to express your personal inspiration. Anything you do to tell your own story and thereby heal your soul also honours Air.
The colours of Air are the colours of Spring: bright sky blue and the white of wispy cloud. The yellow of the rising sun. The pale green and tender pink of new foliage and blossom which clothe Bride, Goddess of this Quarter.
On my altar, a feather I found in the park (common pigeon, I believe) represents the Element Air. For my magical work I use a beautiful steel knife with a wood and copper handle. It helps me to define sacred space, but also does any cutting I need done in my ritual practice. It is also used for meditation when I need a sharp mind.
The aerial, leafy parts of vegetables are appropriate for this Quarter. Greens extract nutrients directly from Air to grow. Crispy, delicately flavoured salads make my body feel light.