Elements Series - Spirit


 Hi Guys,

So, moving on to our final of the elements this week with Spirit.

Although not considered a classical element, as the other four are (mainly because it is not physical), it is in this series as it is used in Magickal works.

Also sometimes referred to as Akasha, Aether or quintessence (Latin for the fifth element).

It is represented by The Fool card in Tarot.

Its planet is the Sun.

It is linked to the colours: 

  • white, 
  • silver, 
  • gold, 
  • purple and 
  • violet.

Altar items include:

  • Feathers, 
  • Photos of ancestors, 
  • Deity representations, 
  • Pictures of Angels, 
  • Pentacle,
  • Prayer bundles


Animals:

It is very difficult to find animals associated directly with Spirit, as there are Spirit Animals, which is a different thing. I have compiled a small list here of animals associated with spiritual workings and why:

  • Cat - Believed to travel between this world and the spirit realm (especially black ones)
  • Crow - Believed to carry and deliver the messages of the Gods. Also predicts death
  • Raven - Similar to the crow in meaning. Associated with many deities.
  • Dogs - Sees beyond the veil and offers protection
  • Owls - Seeing beyond the mundane, bringers of Godly wisdom, nocturnal
  • Spiders - Weavers of Fate. Some are venomous
  • Moths - Essentially, nocturnal butterflies, but associated with darker works and death
  • Snakes - Blame the Bible for this one! Again, some are venomous
  • Bat - Again, nocturnal, and a flying mammal, so offers the mix of two worlds

Plants:

Some of these are because of their deadly properties, others are considered Holy
  • Basil - seen as a Holy plant
  • Sage - extremely revered, great spiritual cleanser
  • Aloe Vera - thrives even in the toughest conditions
  • Vetiver - Aura cleanser
  • Jasmine - attracts positivity to your aura
  • Rosemary - considered one of the Master herbs
  • Lavender - another Master plant
  • Eucalyptus - Powerful cleanser and attracts lucky ancestor spirits
  • Tobacco - Poisonous
  • Nightshade - Connections to night, also poisonous
  • Mushrooms - Especially ones such as Skullcap and Destroying Angel
  • Hemlock - Poisonous

Crystals:

As always, I will delve deeper into this on Wednesday.

Deities:

Pretty much every deity is associated with the element of Spirit, some more so than others:
  • Hekate - Greek
  • Hades - Greek
  • Pluto - Roman
  • Hel - Norse
  • Kali - Hindu
  • Anubis - Egyptian
  • Ah Puch - Mayan
  • Mictlantecuhtli - Aztec
  • The Shinigami - Japanese
  • Apophis - Egyptian
  • Maman Brigitte - Haitian/ Voudo
  • The Horned God - Wiccan
  • Osiris - Egyptian
  • Cerounnous - Celtic
There are a lot of different gods associated with death and spirit passing in Native American beliefs, there is a list here.

Festivals of the Dead:

There are many different cultures around the world that celebrate some form of ancestor worship. In some cases, these have been condensed into day or weeklong festivals.
  • Hallowe'en - celebrated on the 31st of October in the Northern hemisphere. Once a Pagan holiday (and New Year) this was merged with All Saints Day and All Souls Day on the 1st of November. Also variously called: Samhain, Allantide (Cornish), Calan Gaeaf (Welsh) and Hop-Tu-Naa (Isle of Man). Literally translates to All Hallows Eve.
  • El Dia de los Muertos - originally a two month long Aztec festival, now this is celebrated in Mexico between the 31st of October and the 3rd of November. Literally translates to the days of the dead.
  • Yulan or Zhongyuan, The Hungry Ghost Festival - in China, this festival of the dead is held on the fifteenth day of the seventh (or Ghost) month. Mainly in Taoist and Buddhist religions.
  • Obon Festival - Japan. Sanskrit word for hanging upside down, this festival to ease the suffering of the dead is held on the same day as China's Yulan festival above.
  • Cow Festival - Nepal, sometime in August or September, everyone who has lost a family member processes through the streets leading a cow, believed to help the dead ascend unto Heaven. The cow being sacred in Hindu beliefs.
  • Pitru Paksha, Fortnight of the Ancestors - India. It runs from the first full moon in September until the next new moon.
Most of these festivals involve food and flowers in some way, I believe that Soul Cake was given out to children in Scotland, for example. All of them honour those who have passed, usually in the twelvemonth since the last festival, or those spirits that are unruly, in pain or generally not at peace.

There is a duality in Spirit, some see it as good, some as bad. This is also represented in the items associated with it.

There is much to talk about this week, and little space to do it in (or before my fingers fall off!)

Anything you would like specifically covered, let us know in the comments below. 

Who knows, I might even throw in a few of my own ghost stories....


Kerenza x

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