Sunday, March 6, 2011

Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings
(Symbolism, Mythology and Folklore)

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious."
- Albert Einstein

Anyone who has read Fairy Tales, Folklore, or Mythology has
come across those magical and mystical creatures referred to
as Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings; two different terms which
represent the same concept and are therefore inter-changeable.

Elemental Beings are often referred to when characterizing the
Four Elements. They are: Gnomes (Earth), Sylphs (Air),
Undines (Water), and Salamanders (Fire).

Nature Spirits are expressed as fairies, elves, dwarfs, centaurs,
mermaids, minotaurs, nymphs, pixies, the Phoenix, the Unicorn,
and yes, even Santa Claus.

We even find a charming and jolly Nature Spirit appearing in
J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Fellowship of the Ring" whose name is
Tom Bombadil.

But what are these Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings? And why
are they so important that we find them expressed in all forms of
mythology, folklore, legend, and Ceremonies in all periods of Time?

Nature Spirits, and Elemental Beings, are the basic essences
which underlie, support, and are responsible for manifesting and
governing, all of the many different aspects of creation; not only
here on earth, but throughout the universe as well. In other words,
Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings are the Divine Principles which
are at the root of all creation.

The Ancient Egyptians Symbolized, memorialized, and honored
these Divine Principles in their Statues, Images, and Idols. They
called these Elemental Essences the Neters; a term we have come
to refer to as gods and goddesses.

Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings are the Divine Laws and
Principles of Eternity which simply ARE. They govern (are the
Masters of) specific aspects of creation and are immune to the rules
and Consequences of both mankind and the physical world.

These Divine Essences existed before any beginning and will
continue to remain after any end. They Truly represent the concept
of "being in this world but not of it".

To get a better idea of what these Divine Essences are, and of how
they interact with the physical realm, let us create a metaphor.

An author writes a story. Within this story are characters, locales,
conditions, plots, etc.

The author existed before the story began to unfold and will
continue to exist well after the story comes to an end.

The author governs the following aspects of his, or her, story:

...who the characters will be in the story;
...the personalities of each character;
...the behavior of the characters;
...the specific locale where the story will take place;
...all of the other elements and conditions which take place within
the story.

In other words, the story is the author's domain. The author brings
the story to life, gives it a life of its own, and sets the rules by which
all of the characters and elements contained within the story must
abide. The author is the sole Master of the characters and
conditions of the story's realm.

Furthermore, the author can change or eliminate any portion of the
story he, or she, may wish. The author can also add new elements,
plots, and characters to the story. Whatever occurs in the story is
at the sole discretion of the author; for this is the author's domain.

But, and here is a most important point, the author can only
make changes which are consistent with the theme and
essence of the story.

However, although the author can completely affect the characters
and elements contained within the story, the story can in no way
have any affect upon the author. The author is immune to the plots,
characters, and conditions contained within the story; for, again, the
author is the complete Master of this particular domain. This is
another very important concept to keep in mind in when considering
this metaphor.

Therefore, in this metaphor, the author is the Nature Spirit, or
Elemental Being which existed prior to the beginning of the story
and will continue to exist long after the story comes to its end.

The author also has complete control of (is Master of) his, or her,
specific realm...the story.

However, the author has no control or power over anything which
does not exist within the realm of the story. Therefore, the author
has no control over how his realm will be experienced by anyone
who enters it and is not a part of the story...the readers!

(We can further elaborate on this metaphor to include the specific
realms of artists, composers, inventors, philosophers, etc. For
these individuals too are, metaphorically, the Nature Spirits and
Elemental Beings of their very specific realms; and of the creations,
elements, and conditions contained within their realms.)

And here is where we come to the most important, and subtle,
aspect of Nature Spirits and Elemental Beings. Nature Spirits and
Elemental Beings are very specific, powerful, and limited Principles
which have complete control of only that aspect of nature, or
creation, for which they have been created to govern. They are
also fully aware of all that occurs within their domain.

They have minimal, if any, power outside the boundry of their
specific realm; save for that personal power which they possess as
a Spirit.

Nor do they have any power over the behavior and Choices of
anyone who ventures into their realm.

Anyone who ventures into a specific realm of a Nature Spirit is
subject to the conditions which exist within that realm. And in
this instance the Nature Spirit becomes simply an Unattached
Observer to the Events, experiences, and inter-actions of any
Traveler who wanders into Its domain.

This is why there are so many Nature Spirits, Elemental Beings,
Divine Principles, and Neters. For each one has a specific
responsibility, role and power; but only within Its specifically
designated realm.

Does this mean that Nature Spirits and Elemental beings are
not held accountable to a higher power? No, it does not.
For each Nature Spirit, Elemental Being, Divine Principle, and
Neter is a specific aspect, mood, or representation of the
One Divinity which, although expressing itself in many different
ways, is the One Power which governs all.

One final note. Although a Nature Spirit may not be currently
expressing itself in the physical realm, this does not mean that
it does not exist. Nature Spirits, and Elemental Beings, are the
underlying essences of all that exists, and can exist, in the
physical realm. These Divine Essences only make their
appearances when the Time becomes appropriate for them to
manifest themselves in a physical form.

Comments and Emails: I welcome comments and emails from
people with similar thoughts and feelings. My email address is
located in the upper-left area of this page. Comments can be
posted by using the "Comment" link located below each article.
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Disclaimer: None of my articles should be considered to be
either advice or expertise. They are simply personal opinions
and no more. Everyone is encouraged to seek competent
advice from a licensed, registered, or certified professional
should such advice or service be required.

© copyright Joseph Panek 2011
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1 comment:

Elle said...

Wow... This is amazing. You have actually inspired me to write.
I felt like a magician holding a pen instead of a wantld! Creating my own realm!