i am air. and fire.
I am mostly air/wind and a little bit of fire. What does that mean exactly? It means like air, I seek great heights and dispersion. I am fast like wind. I move quickly through processes and processes are what I do. I am transparent and open. I carry messages and seeds. I am floaty and light. So light, I need my husband who is mostly water and earth to bring me back down to earth, ALL THE TIME! But I also have a natural yet smaller fitra or disposition for fire. And like fire, I am again quick. But a quickness that consumes rather than diffuses. I am also flammable and explosive. I ignite quickly but I also simmer down and go out just as quick. I am the recipe for a perfect but productive explosion.
All the descriptions above are exact words others have consistently used to describe me from the very beginnings of my life and my memory. Add to that list: impulsive (wind moves quickly through possibilities and propagation); efficient (both air and fire are very efficient); flippant (I’ve floated away onto something else before most people even realize what happened); clear and direct (I say what I mean and I mean what I say); empathetic (picking things up in the air); extremely sensitive (my mood matches the weather and the environment); adaptable (I change quickly to suit the environment, in fact I am a physical chameleon and can blend into most ethnic groups); everywhere and all over the place (remember that bit about dispersion and diffusion); a human thermometer (my air quality allows me to pinpoint temperatures usually to the exact degree); angry (that’s my fire and my explosiveness from flammable gasses/air).
Side note-- my homeopathic constitutional remedy is phosphorus which is a flammable explosive gas and whose description in the Homeopathic Materia Medica also exactly matches the above description of my air and fire temperaments. So the qualities of air and fire are also found in MY homeopathic remedy—the remedy that resonates my essence! That’s not a coincidence! SA. [Photo: Red Phosphorous Rock]
So how do I know this about myself? And why I am telling you? Well I’ll answer the second question first—I’m telling you because the process of remembering and accepting one’s essence as defined by a science and metaphysics that is in line with the natural order of creation, is liberating and empowering. And I’m telling you about this process so that hopefully you too will be inspired to look inside and see who you are!
In Prophetic Medicine or Tibb Unani (Greek Medicine) or as I sometimes refer to it as Sufi Medicine, human beings usually embody and are dominated by the characteristics of one of the four elements; water, air, fire or earth. Much like in Chinese Medicine which characterizes individuals based on 5 temperaments or in Ayurvedic Medicine which holds that people are a combination of one or more of 3 elements; in the tradition of Prophetic Medicine I am currently a student of, an individual tends to express the characteristics of one dominant temperament of four. Each element is aligned with a season and the person will manifest the qualities of the element and the season both physically and mentally/emotionally. Just like the macrocosm is governed by a natural cycle of seasons and elements, our inner microcosm is also thus governed. And each of us have a unique energetic signature that captures our essence, our truest nature and disposition.
In my case, my dominant element is air/wind, the element of the season spring; with a sub-temperament of fire, the element of summer. This combination yields highly energetic, fast moving and sometimes dangerous qualities, many of which you probably have witnessed in me whether you know me personally or not or you’ve identified it in my description above. You might even be catching it in my tone.
I was graced with the permission to remember and accept my essence through the teachings of Hakim Alex Carberry’s two books Know Yourself : Discover Your True Nature with Ancient Sufic Wisdom and Know Yourself Sanguine (Sanguine is the temperament for spring/air). Know Yourself offers deep insights into the qualities of the four main temperaments and allows you an opening of sight and reception to who you and the people around you truly are. Placing myself within a cosmic cycle, allowed me to see how the relationships I have built around me are not only a reflection of my true nature but they are also worldly or soul agreements I subconsciously made in an attempt to bring balance into my internal environment/temperament. Yet, one learns in the book that like the macrocosmos, all the elements and seasons are within us and true deep healing comes only from balancing within. With a view of one’s self within a larger energetic and qualitative context, one can also see the patterns and pathologies we can get stuck in but that are really a result of a natural disposition to express existence in a certain way. And that is liberating!
Hakim Carberry’s book Know Yourself is liberating. Get it and read it and share it with everyone around you. It’s a quick short read. You can read it in a less than a day or instead of the morning news. But get it! I had my husband read it and we immediately felt the results of understanding each other better and accepting each other as we are. Hakim Carberry, continuously validates who you are in the book and that is also what makes it so liberating. To know that my husband appears slow to me not only because am I jet fast like wind but because he resonates mostly as water; and water generally spreads and moves rather slowly. There is a slow and low dispersion to water and understanding and accepting this as my husband’s true essential nature has allowed me to be a lot more patient with him! I hope [wink].
One can understand the nature of one’s true self by identifying their naturally predisposed temperament(s). And "Who knows one's self, knows one's Lord" according to a Prophetic Narration attributed to Prophet Mohamed (as). The meanings and secrets to this blessed statement are infinite. Yet to put it most simply and practically, knowing one's self also allows you to better understand what lords over you and brings you to a better understanding of the relationships you have with certain people. It also helps to identify which relationships are toxic and which are good energetic matches.
As Hakim Alex Carberry explains, a person’s temperament is hard wired into them, they are just born that way and it cannot be changed. Just like the planet earth, changes in the environment or one's temperament is a sign of disease or illness as it indicates an imbalance in the quality of the temperaments (wet, dry, cold, hot) and/or the humours (each temperament is aligned with particular humours in the body— air; blood, fire; yellow bile, earth; black bile, water). And when you understand your true nature, you are able to manage your life and your reactions much easier. In other words, by understanding the qualities of spring/air, which is hot and wet, I know that I have a natural tendency to “seek growth, movement and expression." That would also be true of my biology and my diet choices!
“By reflecting on spring we may understand air, and by reflecting on air we may understand spring.” And by reflecting on both you may understand me better.
So, now my question is to you... who and how did you show up in this life? I would love to hear about your personal discoveries from the book!
As per my air/fire and very phosphorus quality of sharing everything and spreading everywhere, stay tuned for a personal materia medica of my air/fire + phosphorus temperament where I will go in as much detail as possible as to my symptomology, or physical/emotional/mental profile. A personal materia medica will be my air/fire + phosphorus gift to all of you my fellow homeopathy + natural medicine geeks!