Classical elements are ancient groupings of elements created thousands of years ago by many cultures. The classical element grouping usually consists of five elements, and mirrors the natural rhythms and cycles of nature and relates them with different phases of life.
The 5 Classical Elements serve their purpose by being used as a tool to decipher emotional, physical, spiritual, mental, philosophical, and medical states of being. The philosophy has also been incorporated into cooking, Feng Shui, interior design, martial arts, astrology, music, military manoeuvres and all aspects of life and creation.
The elements connect in a cyclical interaction of generation and destruction, which balances life.
The ancient Greece Classical Elements are:
Earth, Fire, Water, Air, and Ether/Spirit.
This combination of elements form special relationships that are also reflected in Hindu philosophy known as the five great elements, with the only exception being the name for Ether/sky is Akasha, water is Ap, Earth is Prithu, air is Vayu, and fire is Agni.
Labelled with different names the Buddhist, Tibetan and Japanese Classical Elements have the same meanings. The only exception being that the name for Ether is Sky/Void /Space/Heaven, which gives further insight into the meaning of the illusive element Ether.
The energy of life is known by different names in various cultures. The Japanese refer to it as ki, pronounced “key,” Hindus refer to it as prana, and the Chinese refer to it as qi, pronounced “chi.”
Excerpt from ebook Essential Oils and the Five Elelments.
Elemental Painting by Colleen Chafe