ART : Helena Nelson Reed
Chant of the Four Elements
Tom Kenyon, M.A., published 2010
First of all, let me address a bit of misinformation. The sounds/words for the Chant of the Four Elements are not of ancient Egyptian origin despite the writings of some individuals.
The Hathors gave me this chant while I was in a meditative state many years ago. And they said that these sounds/words were the closest approximations to the sounds they use to denote the Four Elements. The actual sounds are complex waveforms that are not easily articulated by the human voice.
The use of these sounds/words for the Four Elements seems akin to an ancient understanding regarding the consciousness of matter, and a rather esoteric belief that the Four Elements can, and will, respond to human consciousness under specific conditions.
For those of us in the modern era, such ideas may seem quaint and misguided. After all, the science of chemistry has clearly mapped out the atomic structures responsible for the elements. And this highly practical knowledge is clearly reflected in the Periodic Table of Elements.
In this chemical view of matter, all of the elements in the known universe are comprised of teeny tiny atomic and molecular tinker toys that can be manipulated or changed. Indeed much of our modern technology is based upon the technical knowledge of how to manipulate these minute building blocks of matter at will.
For most scientists, the question of consciousness does not present itself at this minute level of creation (i.e., the atomic and molecular substrate responsible for the elements themselves). Indeed, if you were to ask such a question of most chemists, you would be laughed at for even considering such a preposterous idea.
But anyone who has dabbled in ancient Greek or esoteric philosophies (including European Alchemy) has, no doubt, stumbled upon the concept of the Four Elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water). Perhaps this primitive view of the four elements came about as humans wrestled with trying to understand the world they lived in without the benefit of being able to “see” the hidden structure of matter (i.e., the subatomic, atomic and molecular building blocks that actually comprised the elements around them). And/or perhaps they were inspired in ways we don’t fully appreciate as we are so far removed from our early ancestors.
Before the rise of monotheism, during the high period of paganism, there was a plethora of gods and goddesses, demigods and earth spirits that humans interacted with. And in this deeply mythic and archetypal world, the Four Elements of Earth, Fire, Air and Water could be communed with directly. The purposes of communion between a human and an elemental were quite varied, and evidently included such things as cleansing and purification, the healing of dis-ease, empowerment, and in some cases, prophecy.
In the Essene tradition, whose roots were both pagan and monotheistic, the Four Elements were sometimes viewed as angels. And interacting with these angelic elementals was viewed as a way to temporarily rise up into higher states of consciousness.
I have personally noted that, for me at least, the air element is especially good for this type of thing (the transformation of consciousness). Walking through a windstorm can be exhilarating, enlightening and even healing if you are in the right disposition. When I lived on the Outer Banks of North Carolina for a time, I discovered that storms, gale force winds and even mild hurricanes were great transformers of consciousness. (Please do note I am not suggesting, for a moment, that you go for a walk during a storm or, goddess forbid, a mild hurricane. Such immersion into the elemental worlds is not for the faint of heart and is certainly not to be condoned in our overly protective nanny state where any attempt to step into the wildness of being is held suspect.)
But I have digressed by harping on one of my pet peeves—the imprisonment of the human soul by the soulless ones who seem to be increasing their numbers here in the post-modern era. Putting my little rant aside, let us return to a bit more historical background concerning the Four Elements.
The archetypal understanding of the Four Elements is hardly confined to the pre-monotheistic western mystical or philosophical traditions. It shows up in indigenous shamanism throughout the world as well, and many of these shamanic traditions antedate Christianity and Judaism.
In ancient India, spiritual use of the fire element became a highly ritualized art form. The roots of the Hindu fire puja unquestionably reach backward in time to the early beginnings of civilization. To this day, yogis and yoginis conduct sacred fire ceremonies, or yagnas, in order to transform inner impediments to their enlightenment through communion with the fire element, or agni, itself. And such sacred fires are often used for making offerings to deities, for spiritual purification, Initiations, healing and, under certain conditions, prophecy as well.
Buddhism also uses fire in many of its rituals. Some Buddhist sects use the fire element more than others, and perhaps most notable, in this regard, are the Tibetan Buddhists who use the fire element extensively during pujas, empowerments and many types of prayers as well. I will always remember the distinct aroma of yak butter candles in the temples of Tibet, their warm glow an ever-constant presence.
Moving from the yogas of India and Asia to the western mystical traditions, we encounter a fascinating bit of history. According to some scholars, the Western root of the Four Elements as a philosophical concept reaches back to the Babylonians and one of their primary texts—the Enuma Elis, a scripture written on clay tablets that researchers have placed between the 16th and 18th Centuries B.C. The Enuma Elis describes four cosmic elements: the earth, sea, sky and wind, which, if scholars are correct, morphed over time into the Four Elements (Earth, Fire, Water and Air).
~ Side Bar ~
Note: While it is not salient to our discussion regarding the Four Elements, I thought some readers might find a key element in the Enuma Elis of interest. The text names Marduk as the supreme god among all Mesopotamian divinities, and states that humankind was created for the service of the gods. I personally find this bit of information of great interest since many scholars trace the roots of the Babylonians to the earlier Sumerians. Like the Babylonians, the Sumerians recorded their history and mythologies onto clay tablets, many of which have remarkably survived to this day. It is here in the Sumerian Tablets that an unusual encounter in antiquity is recorded, which seems to locate the source of the Babylonian belief that humankind was created by the gods (perhaps aliens?) to serve them as a slave race. I am not going to discuss this further other than to direct those who are interested in such things as alien encounters in ancient cultures to the fascinating writings of Zechariah Sitchin.
~ Back to the Point ~
When the Hathors gave me their take on the Four Elements I immediately recognized a similarity between their view and the views of various ancient spiritual traditions. But their method for entering into communion with the Four Elements was surprising and unexpected. Ever the pragmatist, I set out for myself to see if what they predicted actually occurred when I meditated on the Four Elements as they suggested. And I can honestly say their method works in profound ways, having engaged it many times and in many different situations.
The Chant of the Four Elements: A Hathorian Perspective
The Hathors, who originally communicated this information to me, say that each of the Four Elements has conscious awareness, though quite different in quality from that of humans. It is possible, according to them, to enter into an energetic communion with each of the elements, thereby opening a portal to other realms of consciousness. And indeed, that is the purpose for chanting this chant to begin with.
As I mentioned earlier, each of the sounds/words for the Four Elements is an approximation of what is, in actuality, a complex waveform. These waveforms cannot easily be reproduced by the human voice since they are continuous tones. The sound/word for the Earth element is EL; fire is KA; and water is LEEM. In the Hathors’ view, air and space are combined into one element and is denoted by the sound OM.
According to them, the Four Elements respond to human emotion, especially those we call appreciation or gratitude.
When you direct your feelings of appreciation or gratitude to the elements during the chant, you open an energetic line of non-verbal communication between you and the elements. It is a mind-altering experience, at the very least, and the longer you engage the chant with feelings of appreciation or gratitude, the stronger the effects become.
There are two phases to the chant—the outer phase (in which you direct appreciation or gratitude to the outer elements of the world outside you) and the inner phase (in which you direct appreciation or gratitude to the inner elements of your body).
The concept of the outer elements versus the inner elements may be a bit obscure for some individuals. So to clarify things… the outer elements refer to all the elements outside your body—the Earth element is the earth itself. The Fire element is the sun or any source of fire/heat outside your body. The Water element is any body of water, or form of water outside your body. And the Air element is the space and air that surrounds you.
Thus when engaged in sending appreciation to the outer Four Elements, you might send appreciation/gratitude to the Earth on the sound EL. When you hear the sound KA, you might send appreciation/gratitude to the sun (even if you cannot see it), or some other form of fire or heat such as a candle, or even a warm radiator. When you hear the sound LEEM, you might choose to send your appreciation/gratitude to the ocean, or to a river or stream, or perhaps clouds (since they are made of water vapor), or even to a glass of water that is nearby. Finally, when you hear the sound OM, you might choose to alternate your sending of appreciation/gratitude to the air around you and then to the sense of space around your body.
The next phase in the chant is to the inner elements. And as with the outer elements, you have a lot of leeway in how you work with this.
When you hear the sound EL, you might choose to direct appreciation/gratitude to your bones (the densest part of your body).
When you hear the sound KA, you might direct appreciation/gratitude to your Solar Plexus—to the etheric fire within you that yogis call Bhuta Agni, or you might choose to direct your appreciation/gratitude to the fire of digestion that yogis call Jathara Agni, since digestion is, in fact, a slow burning fire (oxidation) that releases nutrients and energy. If your awareness is very subtle, you might choose to send appreciation/gratitude to the mitochondria in the nuclei of the cells that comprise your body (with the exception of red blood cells which do not have a nucleus). The mitochondria are the power generators for the cells and they produce a type of fire as well.
When you hear the sound LEEM, you might decide to send appreciation/gratitude to the water element in your body, such as your blood or lymph.
And finally, when you hear the sound OM, you might choose to send appreciation/gratitude to the air element within your body, such as the air that is in your lungs. And when you send appreciation/gratitude to the element of space within you, you might try sending your appreciation to the space between your organs. Or if you have a very subtle awareness, you might send appreciation/gratitude to the space between the atoms of your body!
I have noticed that when I engage the chant in this way (i.e., alternating between the outer and inner elements) for a few minutes, the boundary between my inner world and the outer world becomes blurred. Interestingly, this blurring of personal boundaries is one of the characteristics of certain mystical states of body and mind. Other persons who have worked with the chant have also reported similar experiences.
To use the chant the way it was given to me, send the feeling of appreciation or gratitude to the outer elements first and then to the inner elements that comprise your body. And then turn your attention back to the outer elements, then back to the inner, and so forth. Each cycle of the chant is used to send appreciation or gratitude to either the outer or the inner elements.
As you continue to direct your emotion in this manner, an inner bridge of awareness is established that can profoundly alter awareness and allow you to enter into communion with the more subtle aspects of these elements.
It is my hope that this brief description of the process will serve you as you explore the potency of this chant. In the final analysis, I think it is the union of your appreciation (or gratitude) with your awareness (or contemplation) of a given element (Earth, Fire, Water or Air) that opens the portal between you and the elemental realms of being. In other words, the chant itself is just a device to trigger awareness that it is time to move your attention to another element.
Communion with the elemental realms of being can produce profound altered states of mind and body. And they can open doorways to remarkable fields of knowledge.
Here is a sample of the chant from my CD entitled Ascension Codes: