The Hermetic Teachings II

The Elements

The Principle of Fire


It has already been mentioned that the Akasha or principle of Ether is the cause of the formation of the elements. According to the Oriental writings, the first element to come out of the Akasha is Tejas, the principle of Fire. This Element, as well as the others, is effective not only on our physical plane, but in everything that has been created.

The fundamental attributes of the Fiery principle are heat and expansion.

That is why, at the beginning of any creation, there is Fire and Light. Even the Bible begins with the words: Fiat Lux – Let there be Light.

Light, of course, has Fire as its foundation. Every element has two polarities, namely active and passive or plus and minus, and this applies to the Fiery element as well. The plus is always constructive, creative and procreative, whereas the minus is decomposing and destructive. When we speak of an element, we must always speak of two fundamental attributes.

Religion has always attributed goodness to the active part and evil to the passive part. Fundamentally, however, there is neither good nor evil; this is all based upon human concepts and the division of unity into duality for the concept of our growth and evolution. In the universe there exists neither good nor evil, because everything has been created in accordance with the immutable laws, and only through knowing these laws will we be able to get closer to our Divinity.

The Fire principle is in possession of expansion as form of expression and attribute; in order to have a better idea of this princiiple, we will call it the electrical fluid. Later we will discover the reason for the analogy between the electrical fluid and material electricity.

This elemental principle of Fire is active and latent in everything created in the entire Cosmos, from the smallest grain of sand to the highest mountain that is visible, as well as All that is invisible.

The Foundation of Light is the Fire Principle. Light would never have come into being without the Fire principle. Hence, light is an aspect of Fire.

Light is Illuminating, penetrating and expansive.

The Principle of Water


Water as an Element is opposite to Fire. Just like Fire, this principle came into being out of the Akasha, the Ether principle. In comparison to Fire, it has entirely opposite attributes, its fundamental properties being coldness and contraction. Here we are also dealing with two poles or polarities; the active pole is constructive, life giving, nourishing and preserving, whereas the negative pole, as with Fire, is decomposing, fermenting, divisive and dispersing.

Since this element’s fundamental attribute is contraction, the magnetic fluid came forth from this element. Fire as well as Water are active in all regions. In accordance with the law of Creation, the Fire principle cannot exist by itself but must contain within itself and antipole, the Water principle.

These two elements, Fire and Water, are the fundamental elements with which everything was created. Consequently we have to reckon everywhere with these two main elements, and furthermore with the electric and magnetic fluids as opposite polarities.

The Principle of Air


Another element that originated from the Akasha is the element of Air. Initiates do not consider this principle as a true element; instead they make the concession of giving it its place as a mediator between the Fiery and Watery principles, whereby the Air principle establishes, so to speak, the neutral equilibrium as a medium between the active and passive activities of Water and Fire. All created life was set in motion through the reciprocal action of the active and passive polarities of the elements of Fire and Water.

In its position as a mediator the Airy principle has acquired from Fire the attribute of warmth and from Water the attribute of moisture. Life would not be possible without these two attributes.

These two attributes also lend the Airy principle two polarities, namely in its positive effect the life-giving polarity and in its negative effect the destructive polarity.

The Principle of Earth


We have been told that the Air principle does not actually represent a true element; this also applies to the principle of Earth. This means that out of the reciprocal action of the three aforementioned elements the Earth element came into being as the last element, which, through its specific attribute of solidification, contains all the other three elements. It is this attribute of solidification which has given these three aforementioned elements concrete form. At the same time, the activities of these three elements have been limited and, asa result, space, measure, weight, and time have come into being.

The reciprocal action of these elements together with the Earth element can be considered tetrapolar; therefore the Earth principle can be considered a tetrapolar magnet.

The fluid in the polarity of the Earth element is electromagnetic. Since all elements are active in the fourth, the Earth element, all created life can be explained. Through the realization which took place in the Earth element, the Fiat – the “let it be done” – came into being.

Regarding details of the specific effects of the elements in the carious spheres and kingdoms, such as the kingdom of nature, the animal kingdom, the human kingdom etc., the seeker will find information in the posts that come to follow.


The foundation of light is the Fire principle. Light would never have come into being without the fire principle. hence, light is an aspect of Fire. Every element of Fire can be transformed into light and vice versa. That is why light contains all specific attributes. It is illuminating, penetrating and expansive. the opposite of light is darkness. The darkness came forth from the Water principle. Darkness has the opposite specific attributes of Light. Light would not be recognizable without the darkness, because without darkness light could not exist.

Light and Darkness came into being out of reciprocal actions of two elements, namely Fire and Water. Therefore, light has as its effect the positive attribute and darkness holds the negative attribute.

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