Tuesday, July 19, 2011

At One With The Force

Okay, I know the title sounds very Jedi-like of me but don’t write it off just yet.  The Jedi order (well, George Lucas actually) was really onto something there.  As Obi-Wan Kenobi described it, the Force is “an energy field created by all living things.  It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together.”  The follower of the Force, a Jedi, can tap into its energy to create change, to gain strength, to gain wisdom, to heal, to know, to will.  When you take into consideration that George Lucas based the concept of the Force on the main principles of several world religions, ancient and modern, it no longer seems far-fetched.  Returning from a galaxy far, far away, in our world, the Force is the life force of all living things and the energy created by their interconnectedness, their interdependence and their cohabitation.  The question then is:  How does one find or create balance with this Force?  In reply to this, I can offer only my personal knowledge and experience.

In working with the elements of this life force, I have found a fundamental shift in my own life and that of my family.  The four elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water, when brought into balance in our own lives and in the world around us, create a connection with the prime element of Ether, or Spirit, which is present in all things.  Earth nurtures us, Air moves us, Fire transforms us and Water shapes us.  When one element is more dominant than others in our daily life, we are not, for lack of a better phrase, at one with the Force (Ether).  To bring elemental balance to our life, we must first work with and understand the individual elements and their properties first.

The element of Earth corresponds to the direction North, the season of Winter, to and night and to the sense of touch.  It is a feminine energy.  It is associated with forests and woods, gardens, fields, soil, gnomes, rocks, crystals and salt.  Earth grounds us, centers us and nurtures us.  It manifests in our lives as abundance, stability, fertility, prosperity and wealth.  People born under the Earth signs of Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are practical and realistic, hence the phrase “down to earth”.  They are great home makers and can exhibit great patience.  Unfortunately, they can also be stubborn and fiercely resist change.  There are many ways to connect to Earth’s energy.  Try working in the garden or starting some seeds indoors.  Sit under a tree with your back against the trunk.  Cook a dinner using fresh herbs or vegetables from your own garden.  Build something from wood.  Take a hike on a wooded trail and see how many trees and plants you can identify.  Get a rock tumbler and polish rocks found on nature walks.  Learn how to ground and center yourself through a tree meditation, where you visualize or imagine roots coming out of your feet and growing deep into the ground below and pulling energy and nourishment from the Earth.

Air corresponds to East, to Spring, to dawn, and to the senses of smell and hearing.  It is a masculine energy.  Air is associated with wind, clouds, the sky, birds, butterflies, garden faeries, music and learning.  It manifests through freedom, intelligence, imagination, dreams, psychic abilities and new life and beginnings.  Air inspires us and moves us.  Those born under the signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius are rational and intelligent.  They are great communicators, both spoken and written, and are very clever.  These air signs tend to think before they act, making them great peacemakers.  Sometimes they can be forgetful or absent-minded and can be accused of having their heads in the clouds.  Air’s energy can be accessed through some very simple things like listening to music, smelling flowers, working with aromatherapy or watching the clouds roll across the sky.  You can create a garden to attract hummingbirds and butterflies or just add a birdfeeder to your yard to attract the birds in your area.  If you have children, play a game of Concentration or 20 Questions.  You could also just sit outside on a breezy day and daydream.  See what comes on the wind.

Fire corresponds to the South, the Summer, , youth and the sense of sight.  It is also a masculine energy.  It is associated with the Sun, stars, volcanoes, lightning, bees, salamanders, dragons, rainbows, and candles.  Fire manifests itself as love, strength, courage, passion and leadership.  Fire is the divine spark.  It purifies us, illuminates us and changes us.  The fire signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are usually passionate and sexual people.  They are very courageous and are born leaders.  However, they can be impulsive and prone to violent tempers and fits of rage.  Fire’s energy is also easily accessed but be careful if working with actual flame.  You can bake bread or a cake.  Light a candle or a fire in your fireplace or outdoors in a firepit or chiminea.  While you’ve got the candles or fireplace going, make love with your partner.  Or scry into the fire and see what images are revealed to you in the flames.  Plant flowers in your garden that attract bees.  Start an exercise routine for physical strength and endurance.  Take the kids outside at night and see how many constellations you can see.  Make a game of it and award each child with something for knowing the names of those constellations.

The element of Water corresponds to the West, Autumn, twilight or dusk, maturity and the sense of taste.  It is a feminine energy and therefore is associated with the moon, as it sways the tides.  Water is also associated with oceans, lakes, streams, rivers, rain, seashells, fog, fish, cups and mirrors.  It manifests itself through the emotions and wisdom.  People born under the Water signs of Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are natural empaths as they can feel the emotions of others.  They are very sensitive and graceful.  They can also be moody and are often prone to depression.  One of the best ways of tapping into Water’s energy is by taking a bath or swimming.  Relax in a warm bath on a chilly night or take a refreshing dip in the ocean on a hot Summer day.  Add a birdbath or fountain to your yard and make an iced herbal tea to enjoy while watching the birds frolic.  Water your plants and talk to them as you go along.  For children, collect seashells while walking on the beach.  Buy an aquarium and fill it with a few fish and some live aquatic plants.  The sound of the water going through the aquarium’s filtration system is like having a little bubbling brook in your very own home.

Ether, or Spirit, is the space in which all four elements exist.  It is the circle, the ever turning wheel of the year and the cycle of life.  It corresponds to eternity.  Ether has no gender.  It is represented by the color white and manifests as joy and union.  Without Spirit, Earth, Air, Fire and Water cannot connect.  It is the place where all becomes one.  It is the Force.

So, how have I found balance with this all-encompassing Force?  I started by being very mindful of which element’s energies, qualities and associations were presenting themselves in my daily life and activities, like cooking, cleaning, working, gardening, and so on.  I added representations of each element to my garden – a couple of birdbaths and birdfeeders, wind chimes, a firepit, new flower and herb plants – which then brought further representations of the elements to my yard.  In each room of my house, I made sure there was an item that represented each element, whether it was a candle, a seashell, a vase of flowers or a plant, or a feather found on a walk.  Each day, I became more and more conscious of each element and how they were part of my life and made sure I thanked each of them when I could.  If I was gardening, I thanked Earth for the plants and flowers being nurtured by its rich fertile soil.  If I was writing, I thanked Air for its inspiration.  If I lit a candle, I thanked Fire for its illumination.  If I was taking a shower, I thanked Water for its cleansing.  I would also ask the elements to bring their manifesting qualities into my life and the lives of my husband and son – Earth for abundance and prosperity, Air for creativity and inspiration, Fire for strength, courage and passion, and Water for wisdom.  The more I incorporated the elements into my daily life, the more peaceful and positive things began to feel or become.  Hence, Ether entered into my life.  Now, I find myself trying to pick out representations of the elements wherever I am, whether it is at the office or at a friend’s home or even at the store.  I silently call upon each one and it shows itself to me through a physical representation or as a quality or energy associated with it.  I am becoming one with the Force.