Air is a masculine element associated with intellect, thought, the mind, knowledge, learning, theory and all things mental. It is associated with the east, dawn and Spring. Air encompasses wind, towers, peaks, and breath. The colors associated with Air are white and bright yellow.
The animals associated with air are birds, especially ravens, crows, bats and owls. The gem is topaz. Incense used with air include acacia, benzoin, lavender, gum, mastic, honeysuckle, frankincense, myrrh, yarrow and vervain. Its tree is the Aspen. The tarot suit for Air is swords or rods depending on your deck. We see the feather, athame, incense and the censor as elements of air that we use on our altar.
When I think of air I always think of it around my face and head. Perhaps that is because when I am out walking my head is always uncovered, whereas the rest of me, especially in the fall and winter is covered and can’t feel the wind. Of course it could also be that Air is associated with the mental aspect of our lives.
Working with Air in magic is good for communication, creativity, the written or spoken word, business endeavors, poetry, and problem solving. When I first started working with the tarot decks I was amazed at how dark many of the swords cards are. This is where a lot of the despair, destruction, and devastation cards are. I have come to interpret this as saying if you only live your life through your head, you are destined for a bleak existence. Air has an alluring call. It is all too easy to be in our head all the time trying to figure out how to get by and what to do next. So much of our society is based on what we do and what we have. For most people those questions are answered from the space of Air. But if you look at the people like Thich Nhat Hanh or the Dalai Lama, they are centered in Water that is well balanced with Air and Earth and Fire. It is the balance that is required to have a full and rich life.
If we are out of balance and weigh to heavily with air we can come across as cold, calculating and uncaring. If our thoughts are disorganized we may be known as an airhead. One way of balancing ourselves with Air is to focus on our breath. I know that all I have to do to calm and center myself is to focus on long, slow, deep breaths and I am instantly calm. This is how I enter meditation and how I work with the not infrequent bouts of insomnia. Fighting air with air. If I am too much in my head, I transform that into prana yama.
In Witch’s work, Air represents “To Know.”
The Sylphs are probably the closest to what we as children considered to be fairies (as opposed to the Fae). They are generally thought of as light, svelte, and able to flitter and fly. Sylphs are said to live in the clouds or on the tops of mountains.
The Sylphs are likely the embodiment of what the Greeks referred to as the muses. They bring inspiration for art and poetry and beauty. The Sylphs also help us with reasoning and logic. They can help Botticelli create amazing art and Einstein create amazing science.
We interpret our life through our thoughts. Given this you could say that Sylphs can aid us if we get to negative or critical in our interpretation. They can also help balance us if we are too dreamy, in other words our head is in the clouds. An overdose of Air may leave us feeling flighty, scattered, paranoid, or hyper-sensitive. Since incense is an element that works with Air we can use clary sage, lemon, lavender or chamomile to calm us. Without air we may be dull or have no creativity, curiosity or imagination. Rosemary, peppermint, parsley, geranium and ylang-ylang can help stimulate our minds.
I now live near the base of Tiger Mountain. It is a significant hike to the top, about a 2200 foot elevation gain and 5K each way. But on top you can see the forest reaching out and you can feel the breeze flow up the canyons and around the crowns of the trees. You feel the boundless space of the air and the sky surrounding you. I expect to become fairly well acquainted with the air up there as well as the earth leading to it.
King – Peralda
According to elementalmagic.com Paralda has appeared both as a quick and youthful man and as a wise and elderly scholar. His eyes are blue flecked with yellow. As a young man his hair is wavy and blond, cut just above the shoulders. As an elder, his hair appears longer, whiter and he also has a beard. The King of Air is tall and pale, with lean muscles built for agility, rather than strength. He wears a white, floor-length toga fastened with a simple cord and sandals. He carries a wand or staff with him, and wears a circlet of light yellow metal. His expression is often pensive, and has a feeling of deep understanding about him. He also has a distinct air of joyfulness about him, and his elderly face bears quite a few laughter lines. Paralda often speaks in riddles and layers, with many of his statements having multiple potential interpretations.
His office is over things such as intellect, raw knowledge, direct communication, gnosis, wind and dust storms. The energy is unemotional, direct, flighty, and playful.
Queen Vayu is tall and thin with long legs and arms and pale skin. Her long, blond hair seems to float weightlessly behind her as she moves. She wears a thin circlet of white metal and carries book without markings in her hand. Her sigil is below.
Archangel – Raphael
Raphael works with magical intention in the areas of business, commerce, communication, and mental ability. His day is Wednesday, which is also associated with inspiration, writers, poets and the written and spoken word. Raphael has domain over study, learning and teaching. As such, if we want to learn about ourselves or improve ourselves, Raphael would be a good Archangel to ask for guidance from.
Raphael’s card is the Magician. The Magician works with knowledge for prophecy whereas the High Priestess works with feelings. An interesting contrast with Archangel Gabriel. Raphael’s symbol is the Seal of Mercury. Mercury is associated with communication and travel, so I can see the resonance there.