Seven elements, plus one

The Rivered Earth contains four libretti written by Vikram Seth, a celebrated Indian novelist and poet, designed to be set to music by Alec Roth. The final libretti is called ‘Seven Elements’. It is a song cycle that includes seven poems – Earth, Air, Wood, Fire, Metal, Water and Space.

Continue reading

A day in our lives with the elements

The elements are part of our lives in a multitude of ways, some more obvious than others. Today, the first ‘official’ day of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere, seemed a perfect occasion to explore a day in my life with the elements. These experiences are shared and connect us, wherever we are in the world.

Continue reading

Welcome to the world(s) of Elementals

It seems like Paracelsus, the influential Swiss-German alchemist, was onto something. He was the first to use the term ‘elemental’ to describe mythological beings associated with the elements of earth, water, air and fire.  His works were written in the 16th century, around 500 years ago. As you read on, and as shown by the Google images of ‘Elementals’, the idea has caught on!

Continue reading

Ten reflections on my first twenty posts

‘Fire Up Water Down: An exploration of the elements’ was launched on the first day of autumn in the southern hemisphere, five months ago to this day. Now well into winter, we have been experiencing very elemental weather with wild winds, torrential rain, thunder, lightning and pounding seas. Something to be appreciated with awe and wonder.

Continue reading

The elements at your fingertips

I will never see my hands and fingers in the same light again. Many cultures and religions consider that everything in the universe, including humans, are made up of the elements of fire, air, earth, water and (often) space/ether/spirit. Even so, I had not made the connection between the elements and our fingers, and in particular with mudras – those elegant and powerful gestures commonly associated with Buddhism, Yoga (e.g. Raja and Hatha) and Indian dance and drama.

Continue reading

Musical elements

One of the most magical pieces of elemental music I have heard is the air escaping from Arctic glacial ice as it was melted by the sun. Very subtle, calming, beautiful and quite a surprise. Who would have thought of musical ice? I hadn’t until I experienced it directly.

Continue reading

Praktri, an integrated vision from India

Prakrti is a concept I was blissfully unaware of until beginning my exploration of the elements. Praktri has been translated from Sanskrit as ‘nature’ or ‘matter’. I have also seen it referred to as the source of material existence and the primal motive force. It is an important concept that I am pleased to have discovered. To my delight it came into my life through a five-volume work titled ‘Praktri: The Integral Vision’.

Continue reading