Cover image for Earth, water, fire, and air : essential ways of connecting to spirit
Earth, water, fire, and air : essential ways of connecting to spirit
Johnson, Cait.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Woodstock, Vt. : SkyLight Paths Pub., [2003]

Physical Description:
xvi, 201 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL435 .J64 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
BL435 .J64 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
BL435 .J64 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Discover the elemental approach to spirituality--keys to self-healing and re-connection to the earth.

"When we explore and savor and interact with these elements, we are both remembering a primal connection and forging it anew. Welcome, then, to this travel guide for a journey with a particular purpose: connecting with the elements that are so basic and universal to all of us. We will look at the many ways that different faiths have danced with earth, water, fire, and air throughout history, coming to a deeper appreciation of each way's uniqueness and a greater respect for one another's paths, at the same time remembering the commonality of our human beginnings."
--from the Preface

The root of human spirituality is grounded in four elements--earth, water, fire and air. They are common to all people and almost every spiritual path; they are the keys to our understanding of Spirit; and they can help you achieve personal fulfillment and re-connection with others.

This inspiring guidebook explains the role of the elements in different faith traditions and how they've been incorporated into religious practices and ceremonies. You will be encouraged to explore your own spiritual connection to the elements through engaging activities, enlightening meditations and evocative poems and prayers.

Earth, Water, Fire & Air is a celebration of how all people are connected by the elements. You will come away with a deeper relationship to others, your own spirit, and this sacred planet.

You can't help but be drawn into the elemental approach to spirituality detailed in these pages. Identifying the four basic elements as humanity's first ways of knowing Spirit and reminding us of their value for spiritual nourishment, Earth, Water, Fire & Air reveals our human interconnectedness and offers a fascinating look at element-based symbols, traditions and ceremonies.

Explore the spiritual traditions that have incorporated the elements into their practices, including:

Buddhism * Christianity * Earth-honoring paths * Hinduism * Islam * Judaism

Creative activity suggestions serve to enrich our spiritual relationship with each element--both individually and in community with others--and to help us discover how deeply nourishing it can be to live in an elemental way.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Primal sources and connections sometimes run so deep that they become invisible. Here, Johnson (Cooking Like a Goddess) probes the common roots and bonds that lie at the heart of the world's great spiritual traditions. Combining history, opinion, and literature, she invites readers of all stripes to inhale shared values and exhale divisive concerns. In four chapters, each devoted to an element, she explores unifying sub-themes. For example, "The Nurturing Earth," "The Underworld," "The Sacred Stone," and "The Holy Garden Grove" all excavate the shared mysticism of Earth, our common ground. Water pours forth as "The Great Maternal Sea," "The Universal Solvent," "The Compassionate Healer," and "The Deep Creative." Fire and air chapters lack the heft of earth's and water's, but nonetheless maintain a richness of substance. Johnson also offers simple rituals (e.g. washing away fears), meditations (e.g. mentally "burning" off discomfort), and prayers for solo or community worship that can be utilized by anyone of any faith tradition. Much more than a pagan worldview treatise, her effort can be enjoyed by students of comparative religion and anyone who feels a primary connection to these vital elements. Johnson draws primarily from Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and earth-based religions, but the book is also laced with Shinto and Jain ideas. Johnson's easy style, which sometimes reaches too far toward simplification, makes the well-paced content accessible. A rich "Further Reading" list with 85 entries opens the door to worlds beyond this tantalizing primer. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved