Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Element of Air

Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius are ruled by the element Air which represents intellect, thought, interest, and movement.  With each breath we take, we breathe in air; it expands our lungs and provides the oxygen we need to live.  Thus, it is  associated with our life force - the breath. It is linked to ideas, and is experienced as intelligence.  Air is a masculine or yang force; it is an outer-directed and active element.  Air is associated with  the East.    Its  music is created with bells and wind instruments. Air is also associated to birds, feathers, insects, clouds, and dawn. When we think of air, we imagine the blue sky and the breeze which brushes across our skin. 

The ancient Aztecs depicted the element of air as a large feathered serpent who swam across the skies.  His name was Quetzalcoatl.  Amaunet is an ancient Egyptian Goddess of Air or Wind.  She existed before the beginning of the world. Lono is the Hawaiian god of wind and storms, and the greeting Aloha means in the presence of wind, breath, or spirit.  In Santerian traditions, Oya rules the wind.  At times, she is the gentle, caressing breeze that brushes through your hair and at other times, Her anger brings forth the hurricane force winds that cause so much death and destruction.  It is said that when there is a tornado, it means that Oya is walking the Earth.  Yaponcha is the wind god of the Hopi Indians.  He blew and blew all the time and would sweep the soil away before the seeds could even start to germinate. 

Uranus was among the earliest of the Greek gods.  He was the husband of Gaia, the  Earth, and the son either of Aether and  Nyx. He was the personification of the sky and was viewed as the husband of the earth,  Gaiam, but he did not love his children, the twelve Titans. He was afraid that they would destroy him so he imprisoned them in Tartaros, the Underworld. Gaia persuaded the children to attack their father, and led by Cronus, his youngest son, they attacked their sleeping father.  Cronus castrated him with a flint sickle. His blood became the Furies, the Giants, and the Nymphs of the Ash Trees. His testicles, flung into the sea, became Aphrodite.

The wind is an  important to the element of air, but they are not the element itself; however the two are inseparable.  In Greek mythology, Eos was the mother of the Four winds. Boreas was the North wind, Zephyrus the West, Notus the South, and Eurus the East. They are controlled by another deity named Aeolus who was the guardian of the winds.  Stormy  Boreas was known to be violent.  He fell in love with the  nymph Orithyia whom, at first, he  tried to woo gently, but could not, and at last he swept her away. Beauty’s poor Beast might be descended from him. Gentle Zephyrus was the lover of Flora, the goddess of flowers.

Symbolized in myths by powerful and revered deities such as Thor, Hera, and Zeus, thunderbolts are also perceived as the spirits of the air.  Once thought of as the god's anger, thunder and lightning were something to be feared.  According to Norse mythology, thunderbolts were missiles that an angry Thor hurled to the ground. In Native American beliefs, the Thunderbird brings the rain. They are the guardians of humans and the great spirits of the air who are credited with saving mankind during the great flood. The clapping of his wings sounds the thunder, while it pumps up the winds. He draws the clouds together and piles them high. He shoots sheet lightening from his eyes, and hurls twisted snake lightning that he carries in his talons.

The presence of air spirits can be seen in whirlwinds and dust devils. It’s felt in sudden cool spots, on riverbanks and down shady canyons. Tall elementals drive the storms, whether of water or of scouring sand.  Sylphs are the nature spirits that inhabit the air.  They are small in stature, transparent, and winged.  They move very quickly.  Sometimes they take the form of birds; other times they may appear as clouds.
Air magic pertains to all of the things that travel through the air...music, thoughts, dreams, spirits, and cloud divination.   As a child, do you remember lying back on the grass and watching the clouds to see what pictures you could see in their fluffy white shapes? You may have seen faces, fantastic landscapes, and all sorts of wonderful images.  Cloud reading is one of the oldest forms of divination.  It was commonly practiced by the Celts and the Druids who determined fortunes by looking at the formations and movements of the clouds.  

Generally, cloud divination is best done on days when cloud conditions are good.  Do not choose a day when there are too many clouds.  The best is when the clouds are thickFind a nice location to lie down and just relax. Try not to focus on any one cloud but rather allow the clouds to drift across your view.  Visions cannot be forced, they will come naturally when the time is right. 

I'd like to share a fun and simple banishing spell I recently happened upon. 
For this ritual you will need the following:

1 black balloon
A small slip of paper
A pen or pencil

Write your banishing goal on the paper and slip it inside the balloon.  Blow the balloon full while visualizing the object of your banishment leaving you and going inside the balloon.  

Tie the balloon shut and say, "With sacred breath, I lay this problem to rest.  Shall it now and forever go to sleep.  Never to return, it ceases to be.  The air has performed a clean sweep."

Allow the wind to carry the balloon away, or let the balloon deflate on its own.
(From "Elemental Witch: Fire, Earth, Water, and Air" by Tammy Sullivan)


  1. What a perfect post for today Mary (well at least in my neck of the woods). They are calling for 40-50 mph wind gusts. Hope a house doesn't fall on me ; O

  2. I've sure felt Air here lately too - wind gusts and snow whipping about.

    I like that banishing spell. It's a nice easy one I can teach my neices. They sure have enough stress & drama to banish in their school lives!

    Thanks for this great post on all the air gods!

  3. Good morning Mary...I'm a Libra and I always thought mine was an earth sign..what do I know. (O: Anyway, my husband is Aquarian so we match pretty well. As for looking at clouds...I do it to this DAY. I always find some inspiration there.


  4. thankyou very much for this banishing spell.. I am going to do this with something i need to banish that is bothering me alot

  5. Mary, I commented before, not sure if it worked.. but I want to thankyou for the banishing spell.. there is something in my life that is bothering me and I can use this spell! ta xo

  6. Greetings from the Sunshine State.
    The natives are COLD!
    It's 50 degrees at this hour. 6:18 p.m.
    I'm in short sleeves and loving it. :0)
    They have sweaters on.