The spindle as a model for the elements

One reason I haven’t been posting very much this year is that I’m currently taking two courses: one in elemental balancing, and the other in fiber creativity.  The elemental one is somewhat Wiccan in flavor, as its teacher is Wiccan, and it has been a catalyst for some intriguing discoveries, not the least of which was a recent exercise to come up with your own model for the 5 classical elements (Air, Fire, Water, Earth, and Spirit) and your own role in relation to them, with the understanding that this role is something that may–and probably will–change from one moment to the next.

In practice, I’ve always favored the pentagram layout for the elements (the pentagram being one of the tools from my Wiccanesque past I have been re-introducing into my practice–as it is a useful one).  But for this exercise I wanted to come up with something a little more creative that would still work for me, and I’m so pleased with it that I can’t resist sharing it here.

This model fits in very well with ancient Heathen thought, in which Wyrd (destiny/reality) is sometimes conceived of as a process of spinning or weaving.  So here we are: the Fifth Element is that which generates the force that moves through me, enabling me to move the spindle; this is a co-creation concept, in which I act as a vehicle and conduit for the Fifth Element and am at the same time powered and directed by it.  I am both the shaft of the spindle (the axis) and the one who moves it, with the help of and in concert with the Fifth Element and the other elements.  The finished yarn on the spindle represents Earth (manifestation), the whorl (the round part that makes it spin) is Fire (impetus, motion, catalytic force), the hook is Air (discernment, selecting and directing the yarn, giving function and purpose), and the wool in the process of becoming yarn is Water (potential, fluidity).

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6 thoughts on “The spindle as a model for the elements

  1. This is amazing! I’ve used spinning with my spindle as a meditative tool, but you’ve gone way beyond that with this! And the illustration is so beautiful. I can’t stress how much I love this. I have been struggling with trying to re-establishing warding procedures that I feel like I’ve lost since moving away from Wicca and Stregheria, and I realized that it was partially due to no longer working with the elements due to no longer using 4 quarters for me. I’ve been eyeballing my old pentacle, but meditating again while spinning with this as a model may work even better. Thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you! I actually messed up a bit on the drawing so I might redo it as time presents; I had colored the lowermost (aka southernmost) sphere for Fire and then realized it needed to be Water because I wasn’t aligning them in the traditional way. But overall I am pleased! (Nope, not a Virgo perfectionist–not at all.) The elements and the pentagram are popularly used because they work; they establish a solid frame for Work that’s otherwise hard to come by. Odin has been pushing me back to using what works; mixing with Heathens made me turn my nose up at far too many useful things.

      • I love the Virgo perfectionists in my life. That is exactly how I’ve felt lately about Cultores. I’m reading Trans-portation right now and realizing how many of the basic tools I’ve already got a firm grip on, that I can still call upon, but I just *haven’t* because they weren’t Roman enough or were too woo.

        • Perhaps not all, but many, recons seem to have some from Protestantism: I think that may be where the compulsion to keep everything pure and by the book stems from.

    • It has been absolutely lovely to rediscover my love for the Elements, and it’s been interesting to delve into them again. That I set that bit of myself down for so long — well, we’re banishing guilt, right? So, none of that, but I do feel . . . badly. Sad, I suppose, to have done so without realizing it. A balance in an elemental practice was my starting point, it was my “in” into paganism, and it’s where I was when Poseidon first showed up, so I’m not sure how I eventually decided that I had to leave it behind. i’ve picked up the pentagram for use in warding, too, though I tend to use other symbols more. And while I adore playing around with circle casting, it’s not what I do generally, and I still incorporate the elements, and it works. So. Don’t be locked into thinking you can’t do it, or that there’s only the one proper format to use, etc. We all know better.

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