The Elements and Your Ego - Part 3 Earth, Air, Water, and ME.

elements 2

In this series we’ve been looking at our ego (the pervasive sense of ‘me’) through the lens of the astrological elements, exploring the different ways this illusion of ‘me’ is held in place by different psychological predispositions. In the previous article we used the example of fire to understand this process. In this final article of the series we look at the remaining elements of earth, air and water to see how they may colour our perception of 'self’.

If we have a predominance of earth in our personal planets we might find our sense of ‘me’ connected to the practical, tangible, physical world. Our status or worldly position, our home base, our income and possessions, and even our physical body. We may derive our identity, our sense of ‘who we really are’, and especially our sense of value and self-worth from these things. Ego arises when we create the mental concept that if there are possessions, they must have an owner. There must be a ‘possessor’ of these ‘things’!

If we have a predominance of air in our charts we may find our sense of ‘me’ attached to thinking. This concept is encapsulated in the famous quote by the French philosopher René Descartes “I think therefore I am”, as though our ability to think is evidence of our existence. Yet there is so much more to us than our ability to think. When we delve a little deeper into our being we realize there is also awareness. Awareness of thinking. Ego arises with a mental concept that if thinking is present, there must also be a thinker. Yet if we look closely we will never find any evidence of this thinker, beyond an idea of it’s existence. What we find is awareness.

I think therefore I am.

-  René Descartes

If we have a predominance of water in our charts we may find our sense of ‘me’ attached to our feelings and emotional experience. This is encapsulated in phrases such as “I feel great!” or “I don’t feel like myself today”. Our sense of self is affected and influenced by our moods and feelings. Our sense of ‘who we really are’ is attached to a feeling state. Ego arises with a mental concept that if there are feelings there must be a ‘feeler’, there must be a person inside who is experiencing the feelings. Yet again, if we look really closely, we will find no such experiencer beyond an idea of it’s existence.

Some spiritual traditions encourage renunciation in which practitioners renounce worldly life. This has been misinterpreted as an idea that one has to be ‘poor’ to be spiritual. The truth is that one’s spiritual path has nothing to do with being either rich or poor.  True renunciation is a simple practice of choosing where we place our attention so we don’t get ‘carried away’ with worldly ideas. Practising renunciation eventually leads us to re-discover our true nature by turning our attention within, at every opportunity. 

While some practitioners do indeed withdraw from worldly affairs, this isn’t necessary for one’s spiritual practice. We can have a job, a home and a family, and practice ‘renunciation’ by releasing our attachment. This means simply letting go of ego. We will still have experiences, we just keep dropping the associated idea that there is a ‘me’ in here who is acting, having, owning, thinking or feeling the experience!

In dropping the illusory, or false, self you can clearly see your real self as awareness itself. When we are free from chasing after worldly ambition, status, power, wealth, and possessions, we can relax and experience true freedom. If we really watch our mind in each moment, we will see that our daily ‘struggle’ is always connected to establishing and maintaining the idea of ‘me’. When we let go of this idea, it brings freedom. We can rest naturally in our real self and feel at peace.

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Soul Path Astrologer Ruth Hadikin specializes in supporting you on your own greatest adventure: using Soul Astrology to explore your Soul Path and Life Purpose. Read more articles like this in her weekly newsletter.

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