On Symbolism and Air

IMG_4165The windy days of April are here. I love the wind, it is always both cleansing and energizing.  Right now, it is melting the ice outside my door, precipitating change and pushing the Earth into a spring frame of mind. Wind is, of course, air. Air is one of the classical elements. In ancient times, four elements were used to describe the different forces at work in our world. The other three elements are: earth, fire, and water.

In astrology, these elements still aptly describe not only personality types but how our physical universe behaves on the surface. There is a lot of symbolism attached to the classical elements in metaphysical teachings. The intellectual side of us can study and comprehend a great deal of our environment but symbols and symbolism go beyond thought to a kind of instinct, allowing a deeper journey into the meaning of all things. Sometimes, under a basic keyword there are concepts that at first glance, don’t seem to match up. Then we have to stop and think. This is what I love about symbolism; it allows us the space to look at something in a whole new way.

In metaphysics, as in astrology, air is associated with:

  •  Breath
  • Intellect
  • Logic
  • Thought
  • The Mind
  • Communication
  • Variety
  • Change
  • Adaptability
  • Learning (Basic)
  • Talk
  • Writing
  • Objectivity
  • Cooperation
  • Concepts
  • Theory
  • Synthesis
  • Clarity
  • Movement
  • Unpredictability
  • Sense of smell

 This list has many things that logically (pun intended) fit together.

All things that have to do with the mind and thought processes. Air is equal to thought and things related to thought because they both have very little material essence.   

 Some of the other concepts listed are related to changeability.  Unless we have a wind, air is light, almost imperceptible. We can push it around. It is flexible and it changes easily. In a person, this translates as someone who loves variety and is adaptable.

 Then we have communication.  

For people, communication is connected to things like talking, writing, reading, etc. These items are usually used in conjunction with the mind, uh, if we are lucky.  

 For rest of the animal world communication is commonly made by a combination of unique sounds each species makes. Most animals need air or breath to make a sound and communicate but what about plants? In what way does air/wind help the plant kingdom communicate?

 Our atmosphere is an ocean-like bubble of air around our planet. Within this sphere, things lighter than air, like chemicals and pollen float along until they are perceived by another. Pollen is an amazing form of communication. It is a way for one plant to actually touch another and when the conditions are right, fertilize each other. Plant pollen touches us too but in our case we just get Hay Fever. Still, we notice, don’t we? Some chemicals are called scents. When we smell a flower that flower has communicated with us. What is the flower saying? Well, it might be calling out to insects to come and pollenate it and we just intercepted it. If you have cut them and put them in a vase they might actually be yelling at you as you have caused them stress. It’s a terrible thought, but probably true. Perhaps we should try and enjoy flowers on the plant.

 It is odd to think of the air around us filled with invisible messages to be read in one way or another. Thanks to the plant kingdom, we can now see how the concepts of synthesis, smell, cooperation, movement, and communication all interrelate and belong under the keyword of air.    

There ya go: clarity.