Which Work is Worth It: Using the Elements to Decide Where to Focus Your Energy

I’ve been in major creatrix-mode lately. I can’t tell you exactly when the muse began whispering her generative goodness, but I can tell you that ideas are running free and wild in my mind 24/7. This is electrifying, of course, but it’s also frazzling–my thoughts are being pulled in so many directions that I’m finding it difficult to actually do anything. Frankly, I can’t seem to decide which ideas to act on and which to disregard.

This is the curse of inspiration–she gives you fifty blueprints, but leaves it up to you to whittle down your options and build the house. And if we refuse to make the necessary choices, we fail to bring our dreams into being. And that, as any artist knows, is simply not an option.  So how do we choose which projects to pursue and which to abandon? How do we divine which efforts will come to fruition and which will fall flat?

As a witch and a tarot reader, I often turn to the elemental correspondences to help me make such decisions. Each element represents a cluster of traits, and when the diverse traits dance with one another, they work to illustrate aspects of the human experience. Balancing these elements is key to living a healthy, self-loving life. It’s also key to making wise, self-loving decisions. So without further ado, here’s a guide to consulting the elements to decide which work is worth it.

Fire

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Fire is the element of action, swiftness, passion, and desire. When we feel a wave of electricity rush through us as we stumble upon a new and exciting idea, we’re connecting with fire (that “lightbulb” analogy exists for a reason). When we’re driven to action by the prospect of excitement, adventure, or achievement, fire is at the helm. Fire is the spark that inspires us, and it’s necessary to maintain that spark if we have any hope of completing an artistic undertaking. For this reason, it’s important to let your grander ideas simmer before you make any major investments (time, money, or otherwise).

Whenever I stumble upon a “grand scheme” idea, I often dabble with its each of its contingent parts to see if I can maintain interest over time. When I began my tarot business, for example, I dipped my toe into the social media sphere, seeing who did what and what was out there. I made a conscious effort not to get sucked into its vortex because a) I didn’t want to get burned out, and b) because I didn’t want to invest too much time and energy before I even knew which platform jived best with my unique interests and abilities. Likewise, I needed to dabble in blog-writing and video making and see if I was interested in any of those. It’s really important to determine if you absolutely loath a contingent part of your scheme before you’ve placed all of your eggs in one basket. And that brings me to my second element:

Earth

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Earth is the “work” element, the element of manifestation. It represents the blood, sweat, and tears of a project–that which you must do in order to create something. In the dream realm, anything is possible. In the physical realm, however,there are physical limitations, and you must consider them if you’re ever going to bring your vision into being. Before you launch into constructing that earth ship, for example, you have to ask yourself whether or not you’re physically capable of the task. You have to consider how and where you can purchase materials. And you have to reference the zoning laws.

Earth is the element that I grapple with the most. The actual nuts and bolts of a job often elude me, and I underestimate how much I’m going to have to do in order to complete a task. This is artistic suicide–if you get halfway through a project before you discover that it’s physically impossible to complete it, you’ll be forced to abandon ship. The only way to prevent this is to brainstorm, outline, and plan before you even pick up your hammer. which brings us to our next element:

Air

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Air is the element of logic and intellect. We channel it when we give words to an idea and when we apply the process of analysis and logistics to a thought. When it comes to creation, air provides us with the language we need to describe our vision so others can share in its formation.

When we apply words and concepts to an idea, we make it possible to create a practical model to guide us through the process of creation. Ever tried to sew a dress without a pattern? Make a candle without knowledge of the boiling and flash points? Paint a portrait without a working understanding of perspective? When we consider these factors, we can determine whether or not a project is theoretically feasible before we get halfway through.

Water

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I consciously saved this element for last because it represents the cornerstone of any artistic work. Water is the element of emotion, and the extent to which we are emotionally invested in a work directly correlates to the possibility of it coming to fruition.

Personally speaking, I’ve never completed any creative project that I didn’t care about. NEVER. Work that I failed to connect with lacked meaning, and so I simply didn’t see the point in continuing on. Art is an expression of our unique humanity, of who we are. When we face obstacles, failures, and setbacks, it’s our love for our creation that carries us through. So before you set about manifesting an idea, ask yourself this question: do I love it enough to do everything I can to see it realized? If the answer is “yes”, it’s time to get started.

Much Love and Much Inspiration,

Jessi

 

 

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