Taking care of your body can seem overwhelming with so many rules, supplements, guidelines, helpers, medical solutions, and so much advice! Many of us are aching for the simplicity of intuitive wisdom, and we’re developing ways to get back to the basics. Before the industrial revolution, the basics were the Elements, and the goal was Balance.
Earth, Air, Fire and Water are the four basic elements of our world. They are metaphors, not scientific classifications. Different traditions name the elements differently. The Chinese, Tibetan, Native American and Ayurvedic systems all define and approach the elements in different ways. No system is more accurate than the other. Each system is simply breaking down the grand totality of earthly manifestation into categories, giving name to different flavors of energy so that we might be conscious of the way energy plays in our lives.
I am inspired by the 16 Elements of Ecstasy paradigm as another way to view the elemental energies in the world. By expanding upon the four basic elements, it brings a greater precision and depth to the discussion of elemental balance. In the 16 Elements framework, each of the four basic elements – Earth, Air, Fire, and Water – are divided into their masculine/feminine, and dark/light qualities. Instead of looking at Earth energy as one, we have the opportunity to taste the differences between Dark Masculine Earth, Dark Feminine Earth, Light Feminine Earth, and Light Masculine Earth. While all of these energies are Earth, their qualities and effects are very different.
The distinct differences among the 16 Elements can be experienced in many different ways. In movement, Dark Feminine Water energy might be felt as a fluid rolling of the hips. In the emotional body, Dark Feminine Water energy might manifest in the deep spiritual mourning of the loss of a loved one. In the areas of sensual touch, Dark Feminine Water may be the energy behind a passionate deep-kneading shoulder massage. In the dimension of music, the energy of Dark Feminine Water might be experienced through a mournful violin solo. All of these images hold the same truth of Dark Feminine Water energy, and yet they span a wide range of human experience. The 16 Elements paradigm supports this identification and acknowledgement of the basic energies that make up our world.
All 16 Elemental Energies are balanced in the healthy body, and each of the 16 Elements can be seen as corresponding to a region of the physical body. The root chakra is often seen as the Earth chakra, the root that connects the body to the Great Mother and to physical existence on Earth. The feet are an extension, in a way, of this root. In terms of the 16 Elements, the feet are the Dark Earth, the grounding element that is closest to the depths of the Earth. The root chakra is the carrier of the Light Earth energies, the place of balance and direction. The right side of the body holds the masculine energy, and the left side holds the feminine. So we might imagine the left foot as the location of the Dark Feminine Earth and the right foot as holding the Dark Masculine Earth. The right hip, then would hold Light Masculine Earth, and the left hip Light Feminine Earth. A person with too much heaviness in the hips might be holding too much Earth in the body.
The 16 Elements paradigm is not a science, but an intuitive tool for balancing energies in the body. A person with too much Dark Feminine Water, for example, may feel depressed, with wild emotional swings. A person with too much Light Masculine Water on the other hand may appear overly enthused, riding emotional highs, and losing a clear direction in life. Both of these people have too much Water, but the characteristics of their conditions are vastly different. This is where consciousness of the 16 Elements can be of tremendous help in assessing elemental imbalance with more precision than referring to the four basic elements only.
Working with only the four basic elements, one might look at either person above, who holds too much Water energy, and assume that Fire is needed for balance. But if Dark Masculine Fire, the energy of lustful passionate desire, were added, for example, we might just end up with a sexually frustrated depressed person. It is more likely that the person with too much Dark Feminine Water would need Light Masculine Water – more optimism and joy – to come back into elemental balance in the emotional water arena.
We are moving into a more intuitive age, where even the hardest science is acknowledging that at the end of the Road of Evidence lies the Great Mystery. Balancing our bodies does not have to constantly overwhelm us with detailed tests, logical analysis, and fear. We are rediscovering our intuitive Wisdom around balance and healing. The 16 Elements program is just one more tool for us to identify and work with the energies we all feel and experience. We are naming what we thought was un-nameable, so that we might balance and heal what we once thought was beyond our reach.
Mellissa Seaman can be found at heartwisdom.net