The Apprentice

Module 7: Elements as tools

Although module seven was originally going to be about the Inner Tem- ples, it became clear as I was writing the last module that at this stage you need to work a bit more intensively with the elements, which in turn would build upon the last module.

So far you have learned about the root magical tools, about beings, places, etc, and you have begun to practise the basics of working with the ele- ments, both in a simple alchemical way (water) and by simple communion with their deeper consciousness. Now it is time to expand upon those experi- ences and learn how to work with the elements directly in different ways so that you can apply these techniques in your magical practice.

In truth, the natural elements are the strongest magical tools you can work with in magic, as they have the full force of nature and creation within them, and in a balanced way. But as in all magic, you need to learn both ends of the spectrum in order to produce balanced magic that actually achieves something. As you go through your training, you will work with dif- ferent and deeper layers of the elements. By the time you finish your adept- level training, you will have a full understanding of all octaves of the ele- ments, both in nature and in magic.  

In this module, we will look at the ‘classical Western’ four elements of air, fire, water, and earth. We will also look at time as an element. When you work with time, substance, and consciousness, you create a magical har- monic that is powerful and lasting.

The elements do not exist in clear individual units; rather they are all of each other, and each of the four elements can be reached and found in a single element. In magic we tend to organise them into clean, easy to under- stand single units in directions and with a list of colours and attributes—the usual trap for a magician. In truth, the elements are far more mutable and dynamic, and are a part of a much larger harmonic that includes lots of other forces and dynamics.

The separating out of the elements is a useful tool for apprentices, as is an understanding of the four-directional ‘homes’ of the elements. But as your learning progresses, you will begin to understand the subtleness and complexity of these forces and how they shift around, blend, and entwine with each other. 

Course Study Information

Read before you start the course

 1) Pace yourself. Some modules can be done together, some cannot. You will quickly realise which ones are weekly exercises that are ongoing, and which ones you need to focus on exclusively. Work out a rota of study/experimentation that works for you. There is no clock ticking, and it is not a race.

2) Keep paper and online notes. This is very important. Get an exercise book for each module. Clearly mark which lesson the notes refer to and when you finish that module, put the notebook away. It is important that you work on paper as well as computer. Do your essays and written tasks on computer and store them on a USB stick so they are safe.

If you wish to be mentored through the Initiate and Adept training, these online and paper written notes will be a part of your application. Without them, you cannot be mentored

3) Learn to be flexible and adaptable. If you come across something in the course you are not sure how to do or do not fully understand, take a step back and think about it. It is important to learn how to adapt, experiment and move forward without having every step re explained many times over – if you get stuck, work it out for yourself!

4) Do not skim through the lessons. You simply will not learn and you will not properly develop. Slow down, take your time.

The Apprentice - Module 7

Remember, twenty minutes a day of practice is far better than one or more hours once or twice a week. Little and often is the key.
— Josephine McCarthy