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Elemental Theory

I have been developing a particular Elemental Theory since 1996.  Essentially, I reverse engineered Western Astrology to the 4 Elements, the 3 Perspectives, the 2 Poles (yang/yin), and the 1 One.

ET uses the idea of archetype, a version of Whitheadian metaphysics, and the structure of the Zodiac as primary foundation upon which to build 'a theory of All'.  

While the point of entry in my formulation, astrology and astrological language are not necessary for ET and are avoided in this forum by me.  On the converse, once ET is understood, astrology is easily 'plugged in' as an 'app' running on top of the 'ET OS' as all as many other systems.

ET is meant to be a meta-system similar to Integral Theory, but with certain major differences which which briefly are:

Integral Theory covers only only about half  of the picture ET presents — the rational half.  ET avoids the problems of inner-outer distinctions.  ET avoids the problems of perspective by having all perspectives as inclusive, rejecting objectivity and inner-objectivity. 

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Latest Activity: Dec 15, 2018

Elemental Tao

When we look at fig.1, we see that there are four graphical parts to the Tao.  There are two swirls and two dots, a black and a white one of each.  The white represents yang, the active principle, and the black represents yin, the receptive principle.  The swirls represent yang/yin in motion – moving towards fullness – while the dots represent fullness of the principle.

 This idea of growing  towards fullness and old or fullness is seen in the I Ching where old lines are the changing lines.  They have reached their fullness and are ready to change.  

 Thus, we have two types of yang/yin. One set is dynamic and the other is static.

 I suggest these four parts of the Taoist symbol, the Taijitu, are the same as the four Greek Elements.  When we look at the Greek Elements, there are two triangles pointing up symbolic of an active phallus or yang and there are two pointing down with an opening symbolic of a receptive ktenic cup or yin.

The second distinction of in the Greek Elements is line and no-line.  Interestingly similar to the markings put upon lines in an I Ching hexagram to indicate static or dynamic, these lines indicate a distinct quality to yang/yin aside from their active/receptive natures.  I call the dynamic yang/yin being and the static yang/yin relationships.

Discussion Forum

Elments as Time and Space

Started by Caleb Grayson Dec 15, 2018. 0 Replies

Actual/Potential // time/spaceWater — Potential Time Potential Spaceany time any whereEarth — Actual Time Actual Spaceright now right hereFire — Actual Time Potential Spaceright now any where.Air —…Continue

Jungian Types and the 4 Elements

Started by Caleb Grayson Dec 18, 2016. 0 Replies

i have until recently, i now believe, misconstrued the correlation of the Elements and Jungian types and the teri from my experience is a common one based — likely it seems — on a misunderstanding of…Continue

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Comment by Caleb Grayson on April 9, 2013 at 5:21pm

    –––––   growing yang       Fire
    ––x––          old yang       Air
    ––  ––   growing yin         Water
    ––0––           old yin        Earth

Comment by Caleb Grayson on August 8, 2012 at 11:23pm

i'm totally open to lots of variations/integrations of ET with previous elemental thought and other systems, but i want to maintain an openness to an understanding of the elements apart from subtle/gross or grades as well.

i'm thinking 'fractally'.  there's always the one and only the one — the 4 can be separated only in the mind or in abstraction as a functional tool for thinking.  this is the Air or the fire/water/air/earth of Air.  in the Earth there are again fire/water/air/earth which is all that's 'real' or material or actual.  Whitehead would say that while we can think of the 4 phases of concrescence — experience->interpretation->choice->causal efficacy — as being separate, there are actually simultaneous and only ways of talking about the process of concrescence.  the only thing real is the actual occasion.  this may be the Earth perspective and the four phases are the waterEarth, airEarth, fireEarth, and earthEarth.  

certainly all this writing is Air with the truth/assumptions of my writing fireAir, the logic/explanations airAir, the examples of proof earthAir, and the connection to meaning waterAir.

the Air and Earth domains are much easier to think/sense as they are the static pair.  the Fire is known and the Water felt.  

if you wish to talk about God, He has a name and it is masculine.  If you wish to touch God She is nameless and is all around you.  IF you which to know God He will shine and warm you from the inside.  if you wish to feel God...  

all these are words again, Air.  God has no feminine name as Air is masculine.  the divine feminine is not known or thought, expressed or spoken.  she is felt and sensed.  

BTW, since i came to this, ET offers 4 'genders'. a rational masculine/feminine and a non-rational masculine/feminine. 

it really solves a lot of gender issues, i believe — especially when you realize every person has all 4.  every body is feminine — a man's is differentiated from the woman.   every woman's spirit is masculine, the light within that shines ego out.  

Comment by Ophis on August 7, 2012 at 10:25pm
I follow Steve all the way and quite agree with nothing to add. The 5th, ether or ather is the omni all pervading pooling agent a vibratory substance where the other four elements together comingle creatively in variegated differentiation of the cosmic root substance becoming materially manifest. What I understand is that the rarified ather is actually a grosser construct of the even more ethereal akashic substance called the Akasha waters which is the effect of the pure light of the Ain Soph Aur the Holy Spirit of the Most High.
Comment by Ophis on August 7, 2012 at 5:08pm
Thank Caleb for your explanation. Even though it is way over my head. I do appreciate the connection of the 4 elements in relation to the hexagrams of the I Ching. And will reread your work and get a better understanding of the elements in change to our being as being and as relationship to beingbetween each other. I must say I get lost easily but it is quite an intriguing subject study and a new one in seeing how the two work together. At least in soaking my head first I get my feet wet.

Comment by Caleb Grayson on August 7, 2012 at 2:19pm

Trevor W. G. asks: "Please message me or otherwise explain in simple refined terms the essence of your theory,"

difficult! another Fire brother wants the truth, the essence of the idea without all the explanation, Air.  his gut will tell him if this is bunk or not.  know first, understand(Air) second, apply(Earth) 3rd and feel(Water) last says the Fire-man.  or perhaps it's know—apply—understand—feel.  there's are many paths for many kinds of agents.

I think the following are basic ideas that need to be understood first:

archetype— the multivalent/non-rational ego(identity, I) of being

archetype of being vs archetype of relationship— relationships are ratio/rational, the comparison of two or more things.  the essence of relationship is itself a being, therefore we can have 4 beings or archetypes:

Fire/Water are the yang/yin of being beings

Air/Earth are the yang/yin of relationship beings.  

the Elements are the 4 beings (of beings and of relationships)

the Perspectives are the 3 relationships (of beings)

there is an I, We, All of Fire, Water, Air, Earth.

Fire is the essential I Being from which the others branch off — always maintaining unity.

Although not known as Fire until all the Elements have emerged,

Fire—> Fire    —> Fire

    \—> Water —> Water

                    \—> Air

                    \—> Earth


One—> yang —> Fire

     \—> yin   —> Water

                    \—> Air

                    \—> Earth

adding relationship

(that actually co-arises with the 'separation' of Fire and Water as the nature or being of Air)

Fire—> Fire —> Fire      —> I Fire

                                    \—> We Fire

                                    \—> All Fire

    \—> Water—> Water —> I Water

                                    \—> We Water

                                    \—> All Water

                    \—> Air     —> I Air

                                    \—> We Air

                                    \—> All Air

                    \—> Earth —> I Earth

                                    \—> We Earth

                                    \—> All Earth


One—> yang —> Fire   —> Aires

                                   \—> Leo

                                   \—> Sagittarius

     \—> yin   —> Water —> Cancer

                                    \—> Scorpio

                                    \—> Pisces

                    \—> Air     —> Gemini

                                    \—> Libra

                                    \—> Aquarius

                    \—> Earth —> Taurus

                                    \—> Virgo

                                    \—> Capricorn

Comment by Caleb Grayson on August 7, 2012 at 2:07pm

these 4 Elements can be arranged as the Zodiac:

the +/- is yang/yin, ∞/• is wave/particle (being/relationship), the colors represent Fire/Earth/Air/Water.  

this is also the essence of the Zodiac signs Aries(I Fire)—>Pisces(All Water).

(this is a little old as i changed Earth to Saturated Ocher/Brown and reserved Green for the 5th Elements, the Quintessence or the Non-Dual Unity Oneness of the other 4.  this better follows the color space with Red-Blue the light or positive space and White to Saturated Ocher in the negative color space.  

if you mix all colors together in the positve color space you get White Light which is no color in the negative color space.  if you mix all the colors together in the negative color space you get a dirty brown (not black).  i suspect these two color spaces are symbolic of the spiritual(Fire/Water, Light/Dark) and the rational-material(Air/Earth, White/Brown) worlds. )

the aspects in Astrology are derived from the relationships(Air) between the signs(Fire) with Water being the 'space' that the signs and aspects occur.  the planets, as actual occasions(Earth), are the embodiment (as all things are) of the elements, and to unfortunately overly simplify it, can be thought of as a directly correlative to their signs of rulership:

I, self

Mars — I Fire, Aires, spirit (affinity with We Water Scorpio,Firing of Water)

                                  (to ignite the Water with velocity, the river)

Venus — I Earth, Taurus, body (affinity with We Air Libra, Earthing of Air)

                                  (to materialize the idea, the artist, Phi, æsthetics)

Mercury — I Air, Gemini, mind (affinity with We Earth Virgo, Airing of Earth)

                                  (to abstract the material, perfecter)

Moon — I Water, Cancer, soul

We, relationship

Sun — We Fire, Leo, Will  (the application of the self(spirt/body/mind/soul

                                          upon the other as expression(We) of self)

Pluto — We Water, Scorpio, Kundalini (intimacy, connection of souls)

All, collective 

Jupiter— All Fire, Sagittarius (intuition, truth of the all, Holy Spirit)

Saturn— All Earth, Capricorn (cosmos, the Law, the Devil/prosecutor) 

Uranus— All Air, Aquarius (Divine Mind, Heaven) 

Neptune— All Water, Pisces (compassion, meaning of the all)

the planets in Astrology are the Earth of the Elements, the aspects are the Air, the evolution is the Fire and the experience is the Water.  Astrology is a system of 'things' as all systems are.  it's Air of the Earth.  Fire and Water are hard to denote in a system as Truth and Meaning are not rational or systematic/systematizable. they are like the sqaure root of -1 or an irrational number such as Pi that can be symbolized and treated in an equation, but not really analyzed fully.  

Comment by Caleb Grayson on August 7, 2012 at 12:40pm

i'm not sure i follow, Ophis. 

you can think of the Fire and Water triangles as solid and broken respectively.  the Air and Earth are changing lines.  the line through them is indicative of change, or better fullness which itself does not change, but there will be change in the next moment.  

if you had a 4 sided elemental die, you could roll it 6 times to get a hexagram.  

In this way, Fire is yang and maintaining or continuing or growing in it's yang-ness (which requires continuous change) whereas Air is beginning as yang but it changing to yin (which is incontinuous or discrete stability).

The above digrams are reduced for simplification to single solid or broken lines with a circle or x in the middle of the changing (Air/Earth) diagrams.

This is a tricky thing.  perhaps Fire/Water should have the changing digrams to denote change from one(yang/yin) to the other.  Are we talking about change of bing or change of relationship?

for example, imagine there is non-dual Oneness from which all four elements arise simultaneously.  Oneness maintains a balance of 0.  Fire as yang differentiates from the One.  so, let's imagine we posit a +1.  to maintain balance of Oneness, -1 is simultaneously posited.  The +1 is Fire, the being of yang, and -1 is Water, the being if yin. however, there is also a relationship between +1 and -1.  the move from +1 to -1 one is different or yang.  this is the Air element or the yang relationship. 

so we have yang then yin of being with a yang of relationship between them:  yang<yang>yin   because the two beings are different in relationship.  if they were the same, we'd have a yin of relationship between them.

yang <yin> yang <yang> yin <yang> yang       or

+1   <yin>  +1    <yang> -1 <yang> +1


  One:   Fire <Air> Water <Earth> Water <Air> Fire <Earth>| Fire

      0=  +1               -1                    -1              +1               (new moment)

if we were to plot this, we'd get movement to the positive or the negative points on the grid from Fire and Water with the waves peaking out at the upper and lowest points as points. waves and particles.  Fire and Water are the dynamic wave potentials and Air and Earth the static particle actuals.  

anyway, in this sense i feel like the 4 elements co-arise, always maintaining the non-dual unity of Oneness for each moment or actual occasion which consists of a whole period of F<A>W<E>W<A>F<E>.

the whole idea of sequence is an Air/Earth notion. there's no time or space until the 1st Earth, the 1st Actual Occasion or complete concrescence of the cycle. So the Fire and Water are simultaneous and since that's true so are their relationship (Air), so that the Earth must be the 1st moment or marking of time and space.  these drops of experience are the building blocks of the actual world (both physical and trans-physical).

Comment by Ophis on July 30, 2012 at 2:53pm
Not that this relevent or correct. But just an observation. With the triangles for active and passive. The base of the four related triangles and the two lines for air and earth make up 2 trigram lines of a hexigram. Which would make 6 yang for hex# 1 the creative of the I Ching.

Comment by Caleb Grayson on July 22, 2012 at 1:51am

so..  Fire as intuition and Water as feeling are non-rational.  knowing and feeling just 'are' without explanation. Air as thinking and Earth as sensing are rational.  thinking is the comparison of ideas— being in abstraction.  sensing is the comparison of physical stimuli — also being in abstraction.

the 'real' world is full of complex information.  our 5 senses are an filter of that information through our particular 'point in space' with a filter on the information based on the human capacity to see, taste, smell, hear, and touch.  in the spiritual/non-rational world this information has no point in space.  undifferentiated space, or Water, is made into differentiated or rational Earth through the choice of Fire from moment to moment according to the possibilities of Air which are eternal.  the Earth, then, is the particularity or actuality (of occasions of time) that has been made rational by choice of rational possibilities.  

in other words, there is only a sense of our particular sensual view point because all other views (available to the spiritual word) have been filter out of our Earthy experience. the Earth, as yin, is a negation of Fire, Air, and Water.  

Water is potential Time and Space

Fire is actual Time in potential Space

Air is potential Time in actual Space

Earth is actual Time and actual Space.

Water is everything as one before..

Fire is the choice to differentiate from Water.  it is non-ration/non-spacial in that Fire/choice is true for that one moment in all spaces.  the next moment, the choice may change to false — which will also be false in all spaces.

Air is true in every moment or all moments/eternally, but not true in every space.  y=x^2 is only true in certain spaces  namely on the lien of the parabola which y=x^2 describes, however, this equation must be true for all times or at any time.

thus, Fire choses a value for x at a particular time according to the spacial limits set by Air resulting in turning Water into Earth.

Fire chooses 3, Air returns 9, Water(all potential spaces) becomes actualized at the co-ordinates (3,9).  

this is compatible with Whitehead four phases of concrescence:

experience/feeling (Water)

interpretation/thinking (Air)

choice/willing (Fire)

causal efficacy/sensing (Earth) 

Comment by Caleb Grayson on July 22, 2012 at 1:28am

being is not rational(non-rational).

relationships are rational — ratios or comparisons between beings.

a being is alive, dynamic, wave-like, potential

relationships are dead, static, particle-like, actual

as two beings 'be', they generate a new relationship between them at every moment.  

a being is unitary in number and multivalent in nature.

relationships are near infinite in number and unitary in nature.

all language and system is a description of relationships among beings and thus inherently rational and never able to 'get to' the non-rational essence of being itself.  for rationality to work, the rational must be consistent over time.  1+1 must always equal 2 (all circumstances being the same) every time(for all time) for this state me to be true(for all time).  however, being can have one quality this moment and different one the next.

thus, the non-rationality can contain the rational, but the rational can not contain the non-rational.   the rational/material (Air/Earth) are subsets of the non-rational/immaterial (Fire/Water).  the system of the elements ET, however, as all systems is rational.  ET years to included the never knowable(systematically) Fire/Water realm which is desperately tries to systematize.  however, this fact IS known and ET allows for Fire/Water to be what they are without discounting or patronizing them to a submissive place (which most systems do in order to assert their being(truth-ness)).


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