Element of Air

Ancient Symbol for the Element of Air

Alchemical Symbol for the Element of Air

The element of Air governs intellect and all forms of verbal or written communication.  It works with Fire, Water and Earth. Physically it consists of several gases : nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, methane, helium, neon, krypton, hydrogen and many more. It’s invisible. We see it through what it does.

It bends the trees as wind, can carry massive volumes of water in hurricanes. It appears to self propel in tornadoes.

Fire needs air: but a strong wind on a minor fire can soon become a catastrophe. We see it most often when it works with water. The jet stream requires both elements plus heat from the Sun. Clouds are moved. Oceans stirred up into great storms.



The original meaning of Aquarius isn’t entirely clear. It is said that he got the name Water Carrier because he brought seasonal rains. But Aquarius is in the middle of winter and less *wet* than either Libra or Gemini because of it. He’s under the governance of Dry Saturn after all.Even if we take precession into account, it’s still a stretch; and the greatest rains of all are the monsoons that occur n the late Summer.

In my estimation the Water Carrier operates on a far grander scale and is not dependent on the seasons. Air quite literally carries water.Because Air is Intellect, this power can translate to the ability to move people’s thought in concert with the emotional element of Water.Air can stir things up with Earth or feed Fire. We use terms like a breath of fresh air to describe a welcome change, physical or mental.  We might say someone has a breezy or sanguine character Without air, macrocosmically or microcosmically we suffocate.

Air is represented by the sword because of its ability to cut through illusion or confusion. Manjushri is the Buddhist Archetype of Wisdom.  In his right hand he holds a flaming sword, a symbol of cutting through the roots of ignorance, including spiritual materialism. See also the Japanese Sword Dance video

03_TheArchetypeofWisdom_Manjushri_The element is associated with the origins of things and particularly ideas. In ritual, Air is in the East, the inspiration, the Rising Sun. All creative action begins with inspiration.

The Air Triplicity consists of Libra, Aquarius and Gemini, ruled by Venus, Saturn and Mercury respectively. We have discussed Aquarius and there is a fairly comprehensive article published here quite recently

Gemini is the Air Element in Mutable – once might even say Protean mode. Gemini spreads ideas with the speed of Quicksilver.  Ideas can consist of anything, but Mercury the Element and Gemini the Sign like to roll over the surface of things, rather than penetrating the depths. Libra is Cardinal Air.

Cardinal initiates. Libra is both Masculine and Venusian. Sun in Libra is in his Fall here, opposing the Sun’s exaltation in Aries. Libra seek balance before all things and all of the visual and musical arts are a primary form of persuasion through artistic seduction. We’re drawn to beauty and changed in its presence..