Elemental Imagery

Elemental Imagery

Runa's Oracle ♥

Show me the wisdom of my depths. Reveal my inner world.
~Runa Heilung

Old Soul Alchemy is all about the philosopher's stone of Inner Wisdom. One of the primary tools I use is imagery because it is so powerful. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a word is also potentially worth a thousand pictures, in a manner of speaking. This means that the image is exponentially valuable when it comes to inner wisdom and intuition.

I wanted to come up with a way to describe the different types of imagery that can be helpful to reconnect with your inner wisdom. I will refer to this imagery as signs and oracles. I finally landed on an elemental system which seems to sum up neatly what I am hoping to convey.

Earth Element Imagery

The earth, in elemental theory, is the physical. With regard to signs, it is typically what we can see with ordinary vision. Often this imagery has a universal or culturally agreed upon meaning, although sometimes subject to interpretation.

Let's take the yield sign for example. The upside down red and white triangle is used around the world to let a driver know that while they needn't stop by law, the other traffic flow has the right-of-way. It is a sign that also allows for some interpretation based on the skill of the driver. Some are more comfortable merging into a flow of traffic while others might wait for a larger gap before entering the intersection.

red street signage on focus photography
Photo by James Coleman / Unsplash

Other "earth element signs and oracles" include road signs, billboards (advertising), news headlines (current events), people's behavior (relational patterns), and the sky (weather), to name a few. I consider these to be outer signs, or exoteric.

Thinking in terms of oracles, there are myriad signs, symbols and images that carry metaphorical information. This includes animal symbols, astrological symbols, alchemical symbols, and also Tarot. These signs, symbols, and images are archetypal, meaning they carry primordial meanings and energies, but these meanings and energies are not static but dynamic.

Earth Element - Established - Receptive

Water Element Imagery

Water is fluid. The imagery of this element is also fluid. Traditionally referred to as scrying, it is about seeing into or through something, typically using reflective or smooth surfaced. Perhaps the most famous (or infamous) example of this is the crystal ball.

Contrary to popular belief and Hollywood movie themes, it isn't about evil spirits swirling around inside a ball. The key to scrying, with a crystal ball, or a still body of water, is a relaxed body and mind, a trance-like state, and the ability to calm the monkey mind, and relax the visual focus in order to "see" or receive images of wisdom and healing. In the photo below, you would be looking past the obvious sight of lotus and lily pad, looking either underneath the surface or at the reflections of clouds and foliage on the surface or a combination of these.

Calm your body and mind. Relax your focus and gaze into the water for an image to appear.

You would then apply the image's meaning to some question you are pondering about your life. Scrying was the original "deep imagery" work. (The natural world-earth imagery was used in a more direct and surface sense to determine weather for example, as briefly mentioned above.)

I designed my Old Soul Oracle deck as a scrying tool. Because we humans are, for the most part, no longer accustomed to elemental water imagery for Inner Wisdom, the Old Soul Oracle bridges the gap with fluid and shape-shifting imagery that allows you to "see" what you might not otherwise.

What do you see? Pick an image and click on it to enlarge. Rotate it if you can until you see an image or impression that gives you a feeling of AHA!

Water Element - Fluid - Receptive

Fire Element Imagery

Fire is active and creative. For the purposes of Old Soul Alchemy, Fire Element Imagery is made by the spark of your own imagination. You are in control, but you must exert some effort. This imagery doesn't come sitting poolside, staring into the water. It requires more preparation and some stoking of the coals. But the active and warm benefits of this type of imagery are quite amazing.

You already use your imagination, but you might not always be in control. If you are prone to worry or mere escapist fantasy, you are using your imagination. While we all need escapism at times, most worry is wasted energy unless it prompts action, and frankly we can use our imagination so much more proactively in either case.

Fire Element Imagery is all about creating imagery, including movie-like imagery, with purpose. You can use it for relaxation, for illumination (answers to questions, guidance), as well as for healing transformation. You can use Fire Element Imagery to construct your own inner landscapes that are infused with the sovereignty of your Inner Wisdom. I call it Imagination as Meditation and I have designed a program around it called DayTime Dreaming.

Fire Element - Dynamic - Active

Air Element Imagery

Air - Dreamy - Active
The Air element can be hard to pin down. It flows through us and around us like a breeze through the trees. It takes extra effort to capture the energy of Air Element Imagery, as it takes the work of craftsmen to build windmills to capture the energy of the wind.

Air is the element associated with thought, which is why it best represents the imagery of dreams. They can be elusive, and come and go quickly, just like the wind. Sometimes, you might feel as if there is no wind - the air is stagnant - if you cannot remember your dreams. The truth is that you are always dreaming, usually multiple dreams per night, but lack of attention causes the dreams to drift away like a sailboat on a strong breeze.

Dream imagery can be very powerful imagery. The active part of this imagery isn't like Fire Element Imagery, in the creation of it, but it's in the capturing of it and working with it. This Imagery begs to be brought into consciousness - an invisible messenger, it can be made visible with proper attention.

Air - Dreamy - Active

Using Elemental Imagery for Yourself

Earth Element Imagery is the most common type of imagery recognized in our modern world. For this reason it is perhaps the easiest imagery to recognize and work with, but it comes with caveats. It is primarily through the media that we access (or are bombarded by) this imagery, and often the interpretations are pre-determined and flat. More and more, we are being told what to think and these messages are being drilled into our subconscious minds through the power of imagery. This is not the way to Inner Wisdom.

By using the more esoteric Earth Element Imagery systems such as oracles and Tarot, we can reclaim our natural ability to "see" for ourselves. With practice, the esoteric imagery can help us to regain our ability to "see through" the agendas of others, be they institutions or individuals.

The Water Element Imagery is naturally esoteric and highly individual and helps you further develop your "sight." Learning to see beyond with your eyes open is a skill not unlike that of Dorothy, who saw the Wizard of Oz for who he was, behind the curtain. (Myths and Fairy Tales are excellent examples of both Earth Element and Water Element Imagery, using words to represent universal motifs and themes, but also allowing for your intuition to play along.)

The Active Imagery Practices (Fire Element and Air Element) require more study and dedication, and might be considered advanced imagery practices. They truly challenge you and empower you to know thyself, revealing layer after layer of Inner Wisdom.

If you are feeling disillusioned with the "world as we know it," it might be that you are tired of giving your power away to so-called authorities, who seem to be hell bent on taking away more and more of your power while talking out the side of their mouth, telling you how free you are. You are free, but it isn't a freedom the authorities grant. It is a freedom inherent in your being, and you experience it best when you know yourself.

Imagery is a powerful portal to the soul. It is a window into the psyche if one dares draw back the shades!

What questions do you have about these Elemental Imagery styles? What resonates with you?

♥ Runa