The Symbols of the Elements

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Basic explanation of why the elements have the symbols they do.

I'm sure all of us have seen the triangle symbols next to or signifying a specific element. We know the standard full circle is for spirit, but why do the others have triangles and what are the differences between the lines vs. no lines?

Each element has 2 qualities and shares each quality with one other element. Each element is either warm or cold, which corresponds to either male/female. Male qualities are light, warm and active. Female are dark, cold, passive and receptive.

The triangle is determined by warmth or coldness, male or female. Male, warm elements point upwards, ascending towards the spiritual realm. Female, cold elements point downward, descending to the Earth.

The second pair of qualities is either moist or dry. (i.e. Air is moist like Water and warm like Fire, but shares nothing in common with Earth. They are opposing elements, therefore that is distinguished by the bar that crosses through the triangle.

There are also hierarchies to the elements. Starting with Spirit, the highest element, we then descend to Fire, then follow the lines of the pentagram across to Water and down to Earth - the lowest and most material of the elements. The final line between Earth and Spirit completes it.

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Added to on Feb 12, 2020
Last edited on Feb 19, 2020
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