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Written in 1999, this still holds true but it's a shallow treatment.  I'll go more in depth at some future point. - Jaelle

I function on a five-element system, and no I don't mean the oriental system. Kind of like the old Meyers-Briggs Personality types, I believe people can be related to their "elemental compositions." In order to explain this, let me first describe my views (admittedly heavily influenced by western paganism) on the elements.

  • Earth: Solidity, stability. Able to handle tough loads. When overdone, can be brittle and overly stoic

  • Air: Mentality, intelligence, changeability. Able to flow with whatever comes. When overdone can be the classic airhead, or overly mental and logical.

  • Fire: Passion, intensity. Able to maintain high levels of things like emotions and thought. When overdone can be the one who burns himself out.

  • Water: Emotionality, mutability. Able to feel and sympathize. When overdone can lead to instability.

  • Spirit: Wisdom, spirituality. Able to deal with the unseen. When overdone can be spacey.

These are clearly basic one-liner answers to what the elements mean; at some point I'll get back and elaborate them. I see people generally as having a primary element and a secondary one. For example, I am a fire/water, which means I am fairly intense and tend to throw myself into things, and highly emotional. Tertiary elements come into play as well - my tertiary is Earth, an element I learned to embrace about 3-4 years ago. People can also have primary AND secondary be the same - at one point when I was rather unstable, I was clearly a water/water, meaning my emotions were far out of balance and played too much of a role in my life, running unchecked. Obviously, in my system people can change. Also, the meaning of a combination of elements can be different for different people - an air/air could both be the classic total airhead, or the Mr. Spock wannabe.

From a shamanic perspective I believe in balance of these elements, both within themselves and with each other. Balancing an element within itself means not going too overboard while not being too timid in that realm. Balancing them with each other is just that - making sure no one element is stronger than another.

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