The Fifth Element - Spirit
There is a fifth element that most of us the in the Craft recognize. This is the element of Spirit, known as Ether or Akasha. This is the element that transcends, yet is a part of, all the other elements. It takes the name of Akasha from that place on the astral where the akashic records are held, the accounting of all that has happened in the past, present, and future of the universe and beyond. Akasha is actually an East Indian word meaning inner-space, reflecting our belief that the universe is both within and without ourselves.
The Ethereal element has no direction, yet encompasses all directions. It is the Center, the circumference, above and below. It is beyond seasons and time, yet is all seasons and time.
It is the purely spiritual element, the realm of the All. It is protection and justice, movement and mastery, life and death and rebirth. It is often symbolized by the turning wheel, or the sign of Infinity.
The 'Vaisesika Philosophy,' Fundamentals of Indian Philosophy, by R. Puligandla says of Akasha: "The fifth material substance, namely, akasa (ether), not to be confused with space, is the substratum of the quality of sound. Like atoms, akasa is indivisible, eternal and imperceivable; but, unlike them, it is infinite and all-pervading. Akasa is inferred from the sensed quality of sound."
Table of Correspondences for the Element of Ether
|Direction||Center and Circumference, Within and Throughout|
|Rules||Transcendence, transformation, change, immanence, balance|
|Essence||Underlies all, connecting all|
|Direction of View||Holistic|
|Part of Person||Spirit|
|Word of Power||OM|
|Posture||Back straight, arms sweep, then rest at side|
|Affirmation||I am Balanced. I am All.|
|Virtues||Beyond the concept|
|Vices||Beyond the concept||Time||Beyond time, for all time is one time|
|Season||The turning wheel|
|Spirits||Demigods and Goddesses|
|Wind||Tornado of Power|
|Tree||The Flowering Almond|
|Goddesses||Isis, Shekinah, the secret name of the Goddess, Hera|
|Gods||Akasha, JHVH, Buddha, Zeus|
|Quarter Candle||Silver or Purple|
|Chakra||The Third Eye|