‘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.
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 an Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia in the ERIE Research Group, School of Biological Sciences. Professor Richard Hobbs, the leader of ERIE, and I have had a close association for over 20 years with a shared interest in ecosystem restoration and intervention in natural and modified habitats.
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.