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mixed/odd elements
kahoku
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Post: #1
mixed/odd elements
in magic, philosophy, and science, there are several element listings:

- the 4 "classic" elements (earth, water, fire, air)
- the above, plus "spirit" as the fifth
- the 5 eastern elements (earth, water, fire, metal, wood)
- the hundred-and-something chemical elements
etc.

...but some people also list other elements / mixed elements, like:

- ice
- steam (fire+water)
- light/darkness/shadow
and many more.

wikipedia knows many different meanings of the word "element", from chemistry to programming languages. in most cases, "element" is used for one part in a set of things, where the whole set usually forms something "whole", like a (programming) language, which is a given collection of words. that implies that an "element", in the above context, should be one of the parts that form the world.

how do mixed or odd elements fit into this scheme? or is there another, "esoteric" definition?

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2009-09-07 13:57
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Archer
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Post: #2
Re: mixed/odd elements
I consider an "element" to be a constituent ingredient of something.

In Lego, for example, "elements" are individual bricks - the smallest things a model can be broken down into, and the pieces from which absolutely every model can be made.

In chemistry, chemical elements have a similar role; in physics the scale gets smaller and smaller. In poetry, elements are things like tempo and syllable, in drama the elements are conflict and character, etc etc etc.

Various esoteric element systems - such as Earth/air/fire/water don't seem personally valid to me, because they seem in part an attempt at a chemical/physical science element system and are demonstratably false as such . . . but they may of course have other validities. (Artistically, for example, the Fantastic Four is a representation of how Earth, air, fire and water can work together and become perfection.)

My own personal "element" system isn't something I'll get into here, though it involves five "elements" or as I prefer to call them, properties - one, of course, is darkness. As an energy being I find myself coming from an energetic perspective, and these are five properties that I consider to combine in various ways to make up all energetic phenomena and qualities - I speak of energy in the mystical sense of course, not the scientific one.

As for "mixed" elements . . . to me it's not a term that makes sense. It's like saying "pedigree mongrel" . . . a rottweiler/alsatian mix is not a purebred rottweiler/alsatian, it's a mix of rottweiler and alsatian. Likewise, anything that seems to be a "mixed" element is no such thing: it's either simply a mix of two other elements, or it's a third, entirely separate element. If it can be broken down into other ingredients, then it's not an element. If it can, then it is - to put it simply.

Scale is of course important, though. To go back to Lego - on the scale of Lego, I can't break down a model into anything smaller than individual bricks and those are the elements. On the other hand, if I take it to a lab, I can break it down into oxygen, carbon, etc - but those aren;t Lego-scale elements, they're molecular elements.

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2009-09-07 19:26
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Varkadevi
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Post: #3
Re: mixed/odd elements
The Four classical elements, in my mind, correspond with the fours states of matter.

Fire - Plasma

Air - Gas

Water - Liquid

Earth - Solid

As for odd elements like "ice" or lightning, they strike me more as different manifestations(or combinations) of other elements.

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2009-09-07 21:46
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Seraphyna
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Post: #4
Re: mixed/odd elements
Since Archer typed up my thoughts better than I probably could've, I will simply second what she has written.

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2009-09-07 22:56
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kahoku
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Post: #5
Re: mixed/odd elements
i love varkadevi's interpretation of the elements. <!-- sSmile --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- sSmile -->

in another forum, someone mentioned that things like light and darkness can be used as attributes to elements instead of being elements themselves.

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2009-09-08 8:04
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thetwins
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Post: #6
Re: mixed/odd elements
Now I can't rightly say that I operate with a set group of elements much of the time. I am far more like to choose a set of elements to build a larger image to cover the ritual I am doing. I have used fire of fire, water of fire, earth of fire and air of fire to build up an image of a larger fire for a ritual. I may use them again or next time around I may need to use different elements. But this is part of how I operate, choosing elements not because they are constant building blocks in how I view the metaphysical but choosing them because of how I can tie them together in the ritual.

Which brings us to ice. And the question that came to me eventually while reading this thread. If I was to use ice as an element in a ritual, how would I use it? And it didn't take me too long to realize that I would group it with snow, wind and storm as the points for a winter ritual. Mayhaps even Yule, to set the over arching image for the ritual as a winter's night.

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2009-09-14 3:11
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reynevan
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Post: #7
Re: mixed/odd elements
Usually the four elements are meant in spiritual way as bearers of some attributes as like
active/passive
creative/destructive
...

or to demonstrate duality - fire/water.
In this particular model is air some sort of connection between fire and water and acts like balancer of this two. Have attributes from other two as well.
Earth element is then maked from the fire, water and air and thus is most dense.

Then the model looks like:
A
F+W
E

I like it this way, but it is only piece of puzzle of universe and can be viewed upon many angles. I'm not trying to say here some universal truth. So probably the other systems. Maybe they don't want to become all powerful explanation of everything, but only hints to us or trying to simplify very difficult mechanics of universe.
2009-09-18 15:42
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Post: #8
Re: mixed/odd elements
Archer Wrote:I consider an "element" to be a constituent ingredient of something.

In Lego, for example, "elements" are individual bricks - the smallest things a model can be broken down into, and the pieces from which absolutely every model can be made.
This Lego model has been around for a while, hasn't it? ^_^

Archer Wrote:Various esoteric element systems - such as Earth/air/fire/water don't seem personally valid to me, because they seem in part an attempt at a chemical/physical science element system and are demonstratably false as such . . . but they may of course have other validities.
Well yes, if my memory is correct, I believe that the EAFW system was brought up (first? don't know) in alchemy, which was the root of chemistry as we know it.

As I was speaking about "energy" in the other thread (I can see people trying to dig up the other concurrent thread two years and some months in the future), I realized that the forms of energy that we know -- you were asking if I was referring to energy as used in science or energy as used in spiritual systems -- don't all seem to be the same thing. Like potential energy doesn't really seem to be a form of energy at all, rather a concept which describes a predictable accelerative property due to the force of gravity exerted by an object of given mass, on an object of given mass, over a given amount of space; with a given amount of resistance as proportionate to that part of the object's volume which encounters resistance.

That seems to be a different thing than something like "strong nuclear force" or "weak nuclear force" or "gravity" or "antigravity" or "radiation". (I really can't offhand remember all of the different forms of energy learned in high school physics this long after the fact, though I'm sure Wikipedia will be glad to oblige. Not to mean that I believe high school physics was necessarily accurate...I mean, if they're teaching one in the younger grades that electrons orbit in concentric shells, and later, one learns that this isn't actually the case...)

Archer Wrote:My own personal "element" system isn't something I'll get into here, though it involves five "elements" or as I prefer to call them, properties - one, of course, is darkness. As an energy being I find myself coming from an energetic perspective, and these are five properties that I consider to combine in various ways to make up all energetic phenomena and qualities - I speak of energy in the mystical sense of course, not the scientific one.
I'm interested, but I understand if you don't want to go into it here.
2011-03-11 4:42
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Dreaming
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Post: #9
Re: mixed/odd elements
What a fun question!

I see there being...what was it...15 elements. Atleast--fifteen elements that I rely on, in order to break things up.

Fire - Water, Earth - Air, Lightning - Ice, Light - Dark, Space - Spirit, Nature - Arcane, Time. [In no particular order, unless you wanna put fire next to lightning next to light next to arcane, time in the middle [I see it separate], etc.]

I'll accept any person's definition of elements as their own. : 3 These are just mine.

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2011-03-11 5:54
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Post: #10
Re: mixed/odd elements
I sorta' see metaphysical elements (generic term for 'element not on periodic table') as being a set of sliding scales along separate axes, and the "labeled" elements, like fire, water, etc., as being specific ranges of co-ordinates along those scales... imagine for instance an x-y-z cartesian graph, and part of the graph in a cloudy spherical area is a range of everything that can qualify as 'water', and maybe there is exactly one point in the entire graph that can qualify as 'the particular kind of salt found in the Dead Sea'. Maybe that single point exists in an area that is bounded/overlapped like a Venn diagramme by things that qualify as water, earth, and so on.

I won't say these are the absolute axes, but one scale could be 'kinetic activity/vibration rate of individual particles', another could be 'mass', another could be 'kinetic locomotion/velocity/accelerations of individual particles relative to a single absolute locus'. Another could be 'reflectivity/interaction with other specific particles or light'.
The end result would be essentially a precise description of the constitution and amount of energy in an element, including the differentiation between such things as water and ice, lightning and flame.

Example: an open flame has very high vibration and interactivity with other particles; it has relatively low locomotion unless it's massive like a wildfire. Instead of reflecting light, it emits light in a wide band of frequencies and energy levels, including infrared light as heat. High vibration, high interactivity, low locomotion, high emission, no reflection = fire in some form.
Low vibration, high interactivity, high locomotion, low emission, high reflection, high transmission = maybe a massive glacier on the move. Maybe something else.

*shrug* When I label elements, it's kinda' an overlap of classical and Eastern, a six-element set. I don't treat spirit as an element, since I consider spirit inherent to literally everything and inseparable from anything... it's more something I treat as a matter of fact, something that I can neither add to nor remove from the equation. The same goes for Void, which as I see it qualifies as aether/quintessence/space between particles. As for the six elements (fire/water/air/wood/metal/earth), I think of them as wide ranges of everything that can qualify as fitting those qualities, not as hard-and-fast ideal descriptions of the element.

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2011-03-11 19:00
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