A is for Air

I turn to the East:
The realm of Air,
Where Swords cut through to truth.
Here, the Fool walks toward the precipice,
Ready to begin his journey.Welcome East, Winds of Knowledge!
Blessed be!
- from A Tarot Quarter Call, source unknown*

Air can seem such an intangible thing, and yet its power is amazing.

We can’t physically see Air, but it surrounds us always, and it is absolutely essential to our survival.

As humans, we understand the life-sustaining power of Air. Without it, we would die in mere minutes.

Anyone who has ever tried to stand upright in a strong gale can attest to the raw power of Air. So can anyone who has experienced the destruction of wind during a storm, or anyone who has seen the awesome effects of wind erosion on seemingly-indestructible rock.

Yes, the power of Air is very real. And as with all of the Elements, its power should be deeply respected.

In a magical sense, Air is just as powerful.

Air represents intellect, knowledge, thoughts, communication, and truth. The thoughts that pop in your head – that’s Air blowing ideas into your mind. The words that you vocalize and someone else hears – Air, as well, providing the bridge for communication. And the lies that are exposed – that’s Air cutting straight through to the truth.

Do you have a sharp intellect? Or an analytical or imaginative mind? Are you a good communicator or writer? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you are probably strongly attuned to Air.

In ritual, Air usually corresponds to the East, to the Athame, and to the color yellow. On the altar, Air is often represented by incense because the smoke reveals currents of air and the scent travels through the air. In calling the Quarters, Air is usually the first Element invoked or invited. In Tarot, Air corresponds to the suit of Swords, representing the mind and communication

Meditation for Air

My very first meditation experience focused on the Elements, beginning with Air. At the time, I struggled a great deal with quieting my mind enough to meditate, so I was delighted to find that by focusing on the physical manifestations of the Elements, I was able to transition into a place of inner quiet. Years later, Elemental meditations are still my favorite and I’ve created my own meditations that I use to attune myself to the Five Elements. Today I will share my Air meditation with you.

Choose a quiet location for this exercise. Try to choose an outdoor spot, or near an open window, or somewhere with a draft or gently-blowing fan nearby – anywhere with a soft-to-moderate flow of Air.

Sit quietly with your eyes closed. Begin to breathe deeply and slowly. As you inhale, feel the fresh air enter your nose, fill your lungs, and purify your body. As you exhale, feel the air whooshing out of your mouth or nose, carrying with it all the impurities in your body. Feel how it is cool as it enters your body and how warm it is as it leaves.

Now feel the air on your skin. Does it feel cool? warm? Is the movement of the air gentle, like a breeze? stronger, like a gust?

As you feel the movement of Air, let your mind take you to a pleasant location where the wind gently blows on you. Don’t force the imagery; let the feeling of the air on your skin carry you away into your scene. Savor the sensations the air creates on your skin and allow the air to breathe images into your mind.

See the effects of the wind. Perhaps ripples form on the surface of water, or a kite soars on an updraft. Maybe a pinwheel spins in a child’s hand, or streamers dance in the air, or clouds race across the sky. Take a few moments to enjoy the beauty of Air.

Listen to the effects of the wind. Do you hear a gentle breath of air? a whistling keen? a powerful rush? What other sounds are created by the wind? Do you hear wind chimes tinkling? a flag snapping? leaves rustling? Take a few moments to enjoy the music of Air.

Smell the scents being carried to you on the wind. Do you smell the salt of the sea? the acrid smell of a coming storm? Did you catch a whiff of something delicious being cooked? Or perhaps the scent of wildflowers? Take a few moments to savor the scents of Air.

Remain in your scene as long as you wish. When you are ready to leave, again focus on your breath, deep and slow, and feel the wind from your scene gently blowing on you as you slowly return to your body’s physical location.

Continue to breathe slowly as you become more aware of your body. Thank the Element of Air for sustaining and cleansing your body, for providing delights to your senses and for sharpening your mind. Slowly open your eyes and feel the purifying effects of Air around and inside you.

* I like to give credit where credit is due, but I do not know the author of A Tarot Quarter Call.  I came across it a number of years ago on the blog Asiya’s Shadows, but credit was neither claimed nor attributed.  It has also been published without credit in “How to Read Tarot in 7 Easy Steps” by Frances Osborne.

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3 Responses to A is for Air

  1. Beth says:

    I really liked the meditation.

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