Tuesday, 30 December 2008


Today I have decided to look at the element of Earth. Earth is associated with Autumn, the North, the balance of Yin and Yang, the Feminine, Saturn, Green and sometimes Yellow and the pentacle. It is represented by the stag, boar, bull, sow and bear. The Astrological signs of Taurus, Capricorn and Virgo are also earth symbols.

Today we went for a walk at the top of a very large hill at sunset. The wind was blowing hard and clouds were scudding across the sky. Although it had been a clear day a mist started to rise as the sun went down. The hill we stood on was the site of the earliest known habitation in Cornwall. It was the root of an ancient mountain which was part of a chain that stretched down the whole south west peninsula of England. All that remains are some granite hills. Time moves mountains. And leaves behind stacks of granite boulders...

Earth is the most solid of the elements and it draws air and water around it withe force of gravity. Gravity is a weak force caused by the attraction of matter to other matter. The closer you are to matter, the stronger the attraction and the more matter, the stronger it gets too. Gravity lets us walk on the earth, it spins us around the sun for without it our planet would have spun off into space, it drew matter together to make our planet and it spins our solar system around our galaxy and our galaxy around the Universe.

It is not a quick element although it is fundamentally about balance. Plants and animals belong to the Earth and so then does the whole subject of Ecology. In ecology there are cycles of boom and bust, sometimes Earth is bountiful and sometimes there is famine. Sometimes there are major extinction events but these are always followed by times when evolution goes made and species develop to fill the gaps in each habitat. Life is seeking to get more complicated and varied but at heart it's rules are simple, survival.

Resources all come from the earth with metals, stone and gems coming from beneath our feet. Everything else comes from life forms, with plants providing food, clothing, dyes, tools... Earth provides but sometimes it also takes away... So Earth is all about a practical working system which seeks to develop in complexity and resources. It draws things together and provides cohesion and solid ground beneath our feet and for all other life.

Earth is also all about beauty. Landscapes are it's grandest canvas but even on the smallest scale, looking at micro organisms, Earth shows its true face. Much of Earth's stunning good looks stems from symmetry, while others comes from stranger mathematics such as fractals and some seems completely random. Colour is very apparent in nature and earth is the original owner of the many coloured coat.

Famine is not the only sign of Earth's temper. Sometimes the Earth moves and earthquakes, mud slides and rock falls all occur. The Earth is always moving, even if it is too slow for us to see. Continents drift across the world like icebergs, the north of the UK was pushed down by the weight of glaciers and since they melted the north has been slowly rising and the south slowly sinking and then of course the Earth moves round the Sun.

So what does this mean for the Earth personality? Earth is the most supremely practical, pragmatic and stubborn of the elements. It is an element that moves slowly but always seeks to be balanced and is all about harmony. It is a steadfast and solid sort of a personality that thinks of the long term and may be selfish and thoughtless of the little things in pursuit of that. this is not about a lack of empathy, Earth has that in spades, it is all about overall balance and greatest good. It is the most overwhelmingly responsible of the elements and will continue working hard on it's plan with complete calmness, no matter what is going on around it...

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