‘Fire up Water down’ covers the many and varied aspects of the ‘elements’ – fire, water, earth, air, aether/void/space, metal, wood, spirit/consciousness – and related subjects. These elements have been referred to as classical, basic and natural, amongst other names. This is to differentiate them from the chemical elements in the periodic table. My preference is to consider them as the ‘intuitive elements.’ Intuitive because people often know or sense them without the use of rational processes, by using perceptive insight. Something fundamental about the intuitive elements resonates with human-kind. They create and shape the world we live in. For much of human history they have been viewed as the building blocks of nature and the universe. The essence of life. The embodiment of energy. Eastern and western cultures, the ‘old’ and ‘new’ worlds, indigenous cultures, all have embraced them. Despite the recent ascendancy of science and rational thought in the west, the attraction of the intuitive elements persists. They generate a sense of awe and wonder and appear to be an integral part of being human. We are hard wired-in to relate to them one could say.

This blog ranges across diverse topics related to the intuitive elements. These include, or will do, alchemy, astrology, astronomy, architecture, cartography, chemistry, ecology, education, food, indigenous belief systems, magic, martial arts, medicine, music, mysticism, nature, performing arts, personal experiences, philosophy, popular culture (including Apps, video games, clothing and shoes!), psychology, religion, science, visual arts, well-being and witchcraft. The blog explores the wonder and interconnectedness of the elements, their pervasiveness in space and time, and our often sub-conscious responses to them. By tapping into this instinctive response, the aim is to build stronger connections between people and the natural world. The universal language of the intuitive elements has the potential and power to achieve this.

Fire and water, which are described as both complementary and opposite, are often ‘paired’ as elements; as they are in the title of this blog. It is the nature of water to move downwards, to find the lowest point, and for fire to move upwards as the heated gas becomes less dense. Fire up Water down. For those interested in following these elemental explorations, the easiest way is to ‘follow’ my blog(s). In March 2014 when I started ‘Fire Up water Down’ my goal was to compose one post a week on average. While that hasn’t always been achieved I continue to share my elemental stories as often as I can.  I am very much learning as I go. In covering such a broad area there are bound to be slip-ups, hopefully only minor, from time to time!  Please let me know if you pick any up. Once discovered, these will be rectified.

On May 1st 2016 I started a complementary blog titled ‘Elemental Japan‘. This is the elemental topic that I’ve decided to delve into in greater detail. The sister blog is an informal way of sharing my journey to gather research material for a book, or books, along the same theme. It draws principally on my experiences travelling in Japan, seen through the lens of the elements.

Taken on 18 January 2018 on a bus tour in Okinawa, this image shows me introducing the first cherry blossoms in Japan for the year. The fleeting beauty of the Sakura blossoms expresses itself over several months as Spring moves in a wave from the sub-tropics to the sub-arctic.

My name is Jann Williams, the creator of  ‘Fire up Water down’. I am an ecologist with a Doctorate of Philosophy in ecosystem dynamics and the Managing Director of NRM Insights P/L. I am also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia in the ERIE Research Group. I’ve written and spoken widely about biodiversity conservation, fire ecology and management, eucalyptus ecology, restoration ecology, climate change, ecosystem services, linking science and practice and the human dimension of natural resource management. My LinkedIn profile contains more details about my professional career. I really enjoy researching and synthesising material from many sources and making it accessible to a broad audience. Through this blog I can use these skills to share my passion for nature, art, beauty and the intuitive elements.

Unless otherwise stated, all images used in the blog posts are mine. If you would like to use share these images with others, they should be attributed to myself or the original source. Thank-you.

4 thoughts on “About

  1. I just found your blog and enjoyed the ‘Metal, the evolving element’ post. Thanks for mentioning my MOFO performance. Your post described a lot of what I think about with my music. In fact, I often refer to what I do as ‘sonic alchemy.’

    Cheers! ~ MB

    • Hi Michael, Great to hear from you and to learn that my post on metal as an element struck a chord. ‘Sonic alchemy’ is a perfect description for your sound creations. Alchemy is an extremely elemental process as you would know. Having now discovered your gongtopia website I will add a link in my metal post so that people can discover more about your mesmerising music.

  2. Dear Jann, I recently interviewed a student of Malidoma Somé, and I would like to use your image of the five elements as a background shot for the interview, which will be used only for educational purposes in a class I teach on African Traditional Religions. Could I have your permission to use the image you adapted and have on your blog post about Dagara Cosmology?

    • Dear Mary, Thank-you for getting in touch. Including an interview in your class is an excellent idea and will enrich the experience for your students. Malidoma Some is a wise person who has much to share. I’m presuming that you are referring to the image of the Medicine Wheel in my post on Dagara Cosmology? The image I have used comes directly from the malidoma.com site, with no adaptation. I can see why you thought I may have altered it though – my comment about the slight modifications related to the difference between the version on their website and the one in Some’s book ‘The Healing Wisdom of Africa’. I have attributed the source of the image. For your purposes you may like to contact the malidoma.com site directly. The blog on the Dagara has been my most popular post out of the nearly 80 that I have written so far on the elements. It’s encouraging that there is so much interest in African traditional religions.

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