Elements: In Combination

Earth when combined with air in an individual makes for someone well-versed in contradiction. Air lends a certain amount of caution and thoughtfulness to the earthy pursuit of sensation and experience. On the other side of the coin, earth forces air to interact with the world as a whole, not allowing it to deny the value of the senses. If this sort of personality can resolve this particular internal conflict, then it is quite well versed in being able to apply concrete meaning to thought, or rationality to the matters of existence and enjoyment in the physical world.

Air and fire together make for a very powerful, logical personality. With a complete lack of heavy elements, this person can easily detach from mundane living and apply himself to what needs to be done with the full force of fire's energy. Additionally, air mediates fire's somewhat scattered tendencies by channeling them through logic, so that while an air/fire person may be working on any of a number of things, all with full energy and force of will, it is in a reasonable progression, and nothing important will get left behind. While this person is not necessarily deeply involved with the physical world, more often applying his force of will to the mental, he is generally practical, because leaving things be that have to be dealt with will only cause problems later.

Air and water make for another occasionally uneasy grouping. The deep emotional realm of water and the cool logic of air do not fit together easily. However, an integrated air/water personality will be able to care deeply, but with reason keeping it from the greater disappointments that come without caution. Both of these elements are adaptable, and therefore this personality will be able to shift around a problem and regroup from a different angle. However, as both of these elements have a tendency towards the distant, this personality must be constantly on the alert for this effect. An air/water combination may decide, after a particularly jarring emotional disappointment, simply to close off from the rest of the world and nurse the wound. In general, though, water's emotional depth keeps air from becoming too aloof, while the air mitigates water's moodiness and irrationality.

Earth and fire can combine in any of a number of ways. The easiest metaphor for an earth and fire personality with fire in the dominant is that of a lava flow fire's changeability has managed to do the evidently impossible and move stone. This is an almost inexorable combination, as the sheer strength and unyielding patience of earth is charged with fire's passions. If earth is the dominant, the metaphor is more of a quiet volcano, or possibly just an image of the earth itself outwardly calm, inwardly rippling and powerful. In either case, the earth/fire combination is one that will be able to achieve anything it truly sets itself to doing fire's strength will fuel earth's determination, and earth's unchanging grip on reality will channel fire into the correct paths.

Earth and water in combination leads to something very sensual and moody indeed. Without any of the distancing possible from the light elements, this personality is easily drawn into the sensual, the exotic, and the new. While earth does mitigate some of water's tendencies towards mutability, this combination is still somewhat unpredictable, particularly if water edges out earth as the dominant force. The combination of deep-felt emotion and links to the senses makes this person very tied to the world as it is, as well as its experiences.

Probably the most "unstable" combination of elements is fire and water. Both of these are elements given over to passions of some sort or another, and without the possible mitigations of any of the other elements, this combination has a tendency to go a bit overboard. Emotions are never felt more deeply than by someone who is fire and water, as water's depth is powered by the sheer force inherent in fire. However, these emotions are prone to change, often without warning, and without apparent reason. Problems tend to phase a fire/water, as their general inclinations are either to blast through or flow around them and these approaches are fairly contradictory. Others often have trouble dealing with this seeming indecision on the part of this sort of personality, as well as their extremely changable natures.

When together, earth, air, and fire make for a very strong force in both the rational and the physical. While the caution of the earth/air combination is somewhat reduced, this is a person fully capable of acting. This sort of action is often in the physical realm the transfer of something conceived by air into the real world. Additionally, more thought and creative force can be brought back from the actual into the theoretical. This combination is the ultimate engineer the person who understands on instinct not only how something works intellectually, but actually, and has the force of will and creative urge to do something about this knowledge.

Combinations of earth, water, and air are probably most common in the world. This sort of personality has the potential for great depths of feeling, a sound grounding in reality, and the rational instinct needed to function truly effectively in a rationally ordered world. With this triad, a person is not prone to excesses of any of these elements; he will not delve into hedonism, nor will he withdraw from the universe entirely. His emotions are very real things to him, but not overwhelmingly so.

Fire, air, and water together make the ultimate adapter. This person is unbound entirely. While he is still attached to the physical world through his emotional ties, brought by water, he is not attached to the physical itself rather its meaning, as can be intellectual or emotional. He has the changability of all of the flowing elements, and does not have the fixed point that is established by earth. Should the air in this combination be repressed, however, this will cease to be a stable adaptability, and instead turn into the somewhat bipolar tendency of the fire/water combination alone with the added problem of a sort of loss of control.

The last combination is earth, water, and fire. This personality does not detach from the world in the slightest; the full range of emotions and experiences are laid out for it to experience with an incredible set of passions. Depending on which element is supreme, this personality may be changeable or set in its ways should an earth/fire/water become set into a habit, however, it is not going to be easy to change him. This person is tenacious when following experiences, and will often get burned by them. However, undaunted by whatever negative experiences he has had, he will continue to pursue the new.

This is a very rare combination of elements all four, in approximately equal proportions. It is also a very delicate personality to keep stable, for, granted all of the contradictory impulses of the elements in lesser combinations, when they are all incorporated it takes a very strong force of will to remain in control.

Someone who is quarter-balanced has a great deal in common with someone who has ether in his personality. Ether is best considered as all four elements in equal proportion, carefully combined. A quarter-balanced person has not resolved the differences among his elements to the point that he can synthesize ether from them. This contributes to the instability of the elemental setup; however, it gives an additional edge in certain situations. It does not have the distance and experience of ether, this is true, but it does have a greater ability to truly act. Ether is often a reactive element; not so the quarter-balanced personality. Fascinated by all aspects of the universe and still tightly bound to them all, the quarter-balanced person will go out and do things on a regular basis, often just to see what will happen.

This sort of person rarely has an exactly even balance. In fact, were this personality to suddenly achieve a balanced moment within itself, it would likely begin to create ether out of its component elements. Instead, a quarter-balanced personality has one prime element, the one that is most deeply related to his core. He will also have one submissive element, a source of strength that can be tapped, but is not always used.

Therefore, a quarter-balanced person will often seem to be like a triad personality. The submissive element is not anywhere near the forefront, and therefore can be easily forgotten about. This adds an edge of the unpredictable to a quarter-balanced person's interactions it often seems that he has settled into being one of the triads. However, as soon as that last element is the necessary thing to have out, it will appear, often to the great surprise of people who have forgotten that aspect of the personality.

Ether is a special case when involved in combination with other elements. It is most easily seen as a moderative force. It will, for example, put an edge of reason on fire's passionate quests or water's deep emotions, or introduce a slight bit of passion to the otherwise aloof air.

Further, ether reacts to all things slowly. This compounds with its mitigating, wise influence, because whatever happens, it happens over a longer period of time, with much time for reconsideration. This is not necessarily patience; it is a side-effect of the fact that ether is not entirely internally stable. It is a syntheseis of the four elements, and retains enough cohesion to maintain itself. However, if it is presented with a situation where, for example, the easiest reaction would be to follow its earth impulse, it must be cautious to react with its entirety, lest the earth break free and the ether disintegrate into component fragments.

This is a very difficult element to actually live. Because of its grand age and perspective, it is often alienating in and of itself. A person with a large portion of ether within his or her personality must be able to deal with a portion of himself that is far older than anything else. In its own way of dealing with things, ether deals in absolutes and abstractions the Platonic ideal of the tree, rather than the oak over there. While this binds it tightly to the universe as a whole, it is a very cerebral link, that is very difficult to master.

Elements Alone