Balancing the elements

Right before Christmas this year, I was gifted with a raging (and I mean angry) case of poison ivy. I got it the last day of cutting wood before I put the chain saw away and give the forest quiet time between the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox. It looked like my skin was boiling, or that someone had hit me with a blow torch. Fortunately, it was localized to a 6″ spot on my left wrist. I’ll save you the image here, but it was really gruesome…

I have made peace with poison ivy. I have ingested it in ceremony. I no longer go on poison ivy killing sprees. I thank it for protecting the forest, and gently remind it that it is no longer needed, and that I will do everything within my power to protect the forest. There are places it has disappeared because of the ceremonial work I’ve done with the land. Last summer, it completely disappeared from my raspberry patches. It simply vanished…or migrated somewhere else. I know the Earth Mother had some hand in encouraging it to leave me alone. So I was mystified to get such a bad case…and in the dead of Winter to boot…

Then my brother reminded me that I have been burning a hot fire in the basement. It’s been cold, and the stove has been cranked all winter. Suddenly it made sense…the fire element in my life is raging out of control. For the first time in a long time, my temperament was overheated too. I easily got agitated, aggravated and  angryvated! So I began compiling what I knew about the elements, and constructing a meditation to balance them through sound. I cranked up my “sound fountain” (a solar powered mp3 sculpture my brother made for me, that plays the sound of water, that i’ve composed). Bit by bit, the poison ivy healed, and my life came into balance again. There is still a raging fire in my stove in the basement, but I know how to keep the other elements equally “hot.” This is good practice. When summer comes, I will be able to use similar techniques to keep my life “cool.”

So I put together a piece of art which is constantly expanding from the 4 Native American cardinal directions to include the feng shui elements, and also the 4 non-cardinal directions (Inner, Above, Below and Ancestors), a time dimension and four states of being: solid, liquid, gas and energy. It is not scientific. It is conceptual, and it is personal. It has helped me see how elements of life (psyche, emotions, spirit, matter, energy, etc.) fit together to either amplify or attenuate things in the great circle of life. There are far too many correspondences in the chart to articulate with word, but for the most part I have tried to show them through color, arrangment and position. Enjoy, and please feel free to send me feedback or your own ideas!

Elements States and Directions by Paul Rudy

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3 thoughts on “Balancing the elements

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  2. Paul! 😉 How’s the wrist now? I have this great stuff that I brought back from the amazon! Well, the main reason for reply, I need to update my email! Tonyatoday@gnail.com Please and thank you! Hope to see you Thursday!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  3. Thanks Tonya! It’s well, although there is still a little redness. I’ve updated your address on my newsletter, so you should be getting that! Thanks for reading! (oh I presume you mean “gMail” or is it gNail 🙂

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