This is part 4 of 4 in our The Wild Side series.
Long before we were aware of atoms, genes, molecules, and proteins, humans were trying to understand the building blocks of what life was made of. Many cultures came around to some variation of the “elements” that make the flora, fauna, and earth around us. Within the traditions of D&D and other TTRPGs, these elements are manifested through the natural magic of the druids that summon the forces of nature to their cause.
Typically, these elements are a combination of water, fire, earth or wood, and air. Some traditions also identified a fifth element - which either took the form of spirit, metal, or void. The understanding of these elemental forces is deeply embedded in our culture from the suits of tarot cards and astrological signs to the abilities of heroes found in Avatar: The Last Airbender, Sailor Moon, Captain Planet, and even the Spice Girls.
And much like druids and our favorite pop culture heroes, we can learn to harness the power of these elements for ourselves.* Each element has its strength and and its role to play as a “building block” of our life. When considered as a metaphor, the elements provide a roadmap for understanding our daily lives.
Water tends to explore our emotional landscapes, like the depths of the oceans.
Fire shows where we get excited and let our passions burn.
Earth is what grounds us and gives us a foundation to build upon.
Air is our words spoken between us and ideas that appear out of…thin air.
By focusing on one element at a time, we can focus our personal energy on reflecting and improving that aspect of our daily life.
While it might be tempting to sort our lives out according to the elements, or pick a favorite and follow suit, remember that the premise of these elements is that each of them is found in all forms of life. These elements exist in balance and in cooperation - no single element is more important than any other. In fact, entire D&D campaigns have been created on such a premise - to right the wrong that a single element has priority or dominance over other elements.
When you want to understand the building blocks of your own nature, the elements might not be a bad place to start that journey. By dipping into the mindset of a druid as the master of nature magic, you might discover new powers that are elemental to who you are.
Check back in with your elements periodically!
Autumn & Jerod