Kepler's Platonic solid model of the Solar System from Mysterium Cosmographicum

The Elements and the Cosmos

by Alexander Ammonius

The ancient Greek belief in five basic elements: earth (γῆ), water (ὕδωρ), air (ἀήρ), fire (πῦρ)--and later--aether (αἰθήρ), dates from pre-Socratic times and persisted throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. This conception deeply influenced European thought and culture. Each of these five elements was associated with one of the five platonic solids.

The Elements and Cosmos in Plato’s philosophy located in physical world and must have bodily form; it must be visible and hence, its ingredients must include fire and earth. Since fire and earth will have to be combined, there must be at least one other ingredient that serves to combine them. But since fire and earth are solids, we require two intermediates to combine them. Hence, the demiurge created air and water, and arranged all four elements proportionally: as fire is to air, air is to water; as air is to water, water is to earth and there are (geometrical) atoms of which these elements are composed. All it combined together by aether or cosmic fluid, spirit.

Each kind of matter (earth, air, fire, water) and aether is made up of particles (“primary bodies”). Each particle is a regular geometrical solid. There are five kinds of particles, one for each of the five kinds of matter. Each particle is composed of elementary right triangles. The particles are like the molecules of the theory; the triangles are its atoms. fire – tetrahedron, earth – cube, air – octahedron, water – icosahedron, aether – dodecahedron.


represented by Salamandra.
Ignis has been an important part of all cultures and religions from pre-history to the modern day and was vital to the development of civilization. It has been regarded in many different contexts throughout history, but especially as a metaphysical of the world. We can credit Plato with giving Fire the Sacred Geometrical form of the tetrahedron. Plato explained this by saying that fire does not need large numbers of sides to manifest its sharp effect. Consider the intensity of a small grouping of white-hot coals as one example. Fire is believed to be the most fundamental element and gave rise to the other three elements.

This element is considered to be both hot and dry and, is associated with the Tetrahedron.

It was commonly associated with the qualities of energy, assertiveness, passion, compulsion, zeal, creativity, motivation, creation, destruction, and transformation.


represented by Land Dragon.
It has been regarded in many different contexts throughout history, but especially as a mother of the world due to its nourish power. Earth is believed to be an important element and as a giver of life and foundation to the other main three elements.

It was an ultimate feminine principal of the Universe – the Mother Goddess from whom all like comes and returns. She is fertile, nurturing, grounding, strong, and constantly transforming as a way of honoring Nature’s changes. Earth energies facilitate all manner of manifestation by putting down strong roots from which our dreams grow into reality. It offers you a gateway to animal and plant spirits while also providing the stability to keep one foot firmly planted on Terra Firma. Earth provides the stable environment from which all life (as we know it) springs, lives, and thrives. She is our foundation of all things. Earth (aka Mother Gaia or Mother Earth) receives the “seeds” of all other Elements and, in turn, gifts us with.
This element is considered to be both cold and wet, is associated with the Hexahedron. It represents such qualities as heaviness, matter, the terrestrial world, abundance, solid foundation fertility, seasons, crops, underworld, born and nurturing.


represented by Sea Creature.
The profound symbolism of water comes from its two vital qualities – it is most essential for existence and it cleanses and purifies things by washing away impurities. The ever-observant ancient Greeks understood the power of transition water holds. From liquid, to solid, to vapor – water is the epitome of metamorphosis and philosophical recycling.
Symbolically, it is often viewed as the source of life itself as we see evidence in countless creation myths in which life emerges from primordial waters. Our entire being already resonates with Water, it’s just a matter of recognizing it more intimately. This Elemental soaks us with love, and magic worked from a place of love is very powerful.
This element is considered to be both moist and cold and, is associated with the Icosahedron.
it is commonly associated with the qualities of emotion, intuition, intention, devotion, love, happiness, thankfulness, mutability., subconscious purification and psychic powers.


represented by Hummingbird
Aero represents the breath of life. It symbolizes a vast network of vital breaths, from the winds that brought the Universe into being to the first cry of a newborn baby or first breath of life. This source of life can also, at times, become a force of terrible destruction.

Where Earth is “fixed” air is most definitely a mover. The ancient Greeks used two words for air: aer meant the dim lower atmosphere, and aether meant the bright upper atmosphere above the clouds. Air is linked with intelligence and soul (psyche), but other sources claim that his arche was a substance between air and fire.

This element is considered to be both hot and wet, and occupies a place between fire and water among the elemental spheres, is associated with the Icosahedron. Air represents our mental activity such as intellect and the ability to reason, memory, thoughts, knowledge, and comprehension. It’s also connected to the mind, wisdom, spirits, and the soul.

Aether or Cosmos

represented by Night Brute.

Spirit has been associated with the celestial energy that fills all spaces. The Greeks saw it as being higher than the Earth Plane, and also felt that Ether played a role in well-known phenomena like gravity.

In Metaphysical tradition, the concept of Spirit goes much further. It is, in effect, the Monad – the center of the sacred space, the mandala of the Universe and beyond.

In the patterns of the cosmos, Aether is the elusive 5th element that had circular motion vs. fixed Elementals that moved in lines. Effectively, the Spirit Element does not follow any particular rule of energy, but rather it IS the rule. It is the glue of the Gods. Aether – something filled with light energy. Aristotle went so far as to consider Aether something that created celestial spheres.

The basic symbolic values of the Spirit or Aether Element in magic include transmutation, alchemical processes, Divine intervention, eternal nature, and energy in motion. This element consists of all other elements within itself, is associated with the Dodecahedron.

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