So, I have decided, using my mind, to do my own version of the “A to Z” thing that’s been going around. I will probably have to double up some days or something, but anyway I decided it would be interesting to pick something for each letter of the alphabet to post about.
For me, A is for Air, Air as in the Classical Element Air. It’s one of my two favorites of the four,along with Water, the ones with which I most closely identify. As some of you know, I tend to write a good number of air-magic-using characters, especially in The Universe of the Nine Roads, where Air is a part of the Blue Road.
According to Aristotle (who liked to group the Elements by temperature and moisture levels), Air is wet and hot. In Esoteric Tarot, the Element Air is associated with the Swords suite, considered to be masculine and tied to concepts such as the Mind, Communication, Law, Decisiveness, Independence and Discipline. In many traditions Air is associated with freedom of both body and spirit, travel and movement, wanderlust and a general attitude of not being tied down or restrained.
Air is missing from the Chinese Five Element Wu Xing system of Wood, Metal, Earth, Fire and Water. However, although this system is often referred to in English as the Five Elements, in Chinese thought it is more properly, as I understand it, Five Movements or Phases and is used largely a mnemonic device.
It’s interesting to note that the chief god of several ancient mythologies was an air/sky/storm god, as were several gods who were prominent but not pantheon leaders. These include such worthies as Zeus, Odin, Thor, Indra, Susano-0, Uranus, Nut and others.
In fantasy, particularly role-playing games, magic involving Lightning is often considered Air-magic, since lightning comes from the sky and indeed is often the result of static electricity created within clouds.
I personally identify with Air through its aspects of the mind and thought, communication, freedom and travel. The winds cover all the world, and even beyond our planet there are solar winds that cross interstellar space and “blow” throughout the universe. I’ve also always been fascinated with weather and storms; I love me some windy days. Further, I am something of a talker, and for humans at least it is air that makes our speech possible and carries it to the ears of our listeners.