Elemental Subtle Body Activation

Systems of magical training usually begin with some type of subtle body work. It forms a foundation of magical work and training to prepare one to be an instrument for the Divine. The Elemental Subtle Body Activation is one form.

More than Just the Middle Pillar

In Western Esotericism this subtle body work is usually the Middle Pillar. The different Middle Pillar Exercises are related to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Many systems using the Middle Pillar go from simple to complex. Usually by visualizing different colors. Finally adding different names to each sphere. All depending on the “grade” within the system.

Several different chakra exercises are in use by schools of Paul Foster Case. They follow the pattern of the 7 Hebrew Double Letters and planets. Some schools in the Western Mystery Tradition use the Eastern method of awakening the chakras. Each has value on their own. There are several other possibilities to work with the subtle body. They are based on the Sepher Yetzirah and the Hermetic Qabalah. The Subtle Body: An Encyclopedia of Your Energetic Anatomy is an excellent resource to explore different systems throughout the world.

The Patterns of Subtle Body Activation

In the Hermetic Qabalah the Sepher Yetzirah is a foundational document. It is a system of mysticism and magic using numbers and letters. The Sepher Yetzirah explains the formation of the Universe. This is through the Divine Decad and the Hebrew letters. Hebrew is one of the languages of the Hermetic Qabalah. It has 3 mother letters, 7 double letters and 12 single letters. A system of subtle body activation using 3, 7 and 12 is in this post. There will be specific meanings and instructions to experiment with.

Activating the subtle body using 3, 7 and 12 has several implications. O the Lurianic Tree of Life the horizontal paths correspond to the 3 elements. The vertical paths to the 7 planets. And the diagonal paths to the zodiac. The Sephiroth should be used as well and built up at a later point. The Portal of the Hermetic Order the Golden Dawn has the following instructions. The initiate was to “build up in one’s sphere of sensation the tree of life”. The sphere of sensation is essentially the aura. In the Portal instructions, the entire tree is built up. Not just the middle pillar. This may still take place in some Golden Dawn Orders. Most emphasize the middle pillar.

The Subtle Body Reflecting More

We can take several exercises and combine them. Building a subtle body exercise that incorporates the entire tree. Culminating in the entire tree of life in the sphere of sensation. This may seem like a lot of work. But over time and practice it flows nicely.

The following Elemental Subtle Body Activation is to experience the elements in relation to the Human Body. The diagram to the right is a reference. Forms of it are in use by Martinist, Golden Dawn, and Rosicrucian bodies. This exercise is in no way considered to be original. But rather draws from different exercises. They have been found to be a useful part of the Great Work.

The Natural Order of Elements post showed several schools of Qabalah and different traditions of Alchemy use a similar order of the elements. The Human Body is a reflection of the universe as a whole. It follows that these elemental correspondences are in the human body and surrounding subtle body as well.

The 3 Mother Letters and the Elements and Body

In Chapter 3 of the Sepher Yetzirah the 3 mother letters are described. The correspondences to the Human Body are given. The phonetic sound corresponding with each mother letter is a rough approximation. Experimentation with vibration sound and corresponding body will let you find the pronunciation that works best for you. The following list is not complete but a starting point:


The area of the head, the parts of the brain, both aspects of the nervous system.


The area of the chest, the respiratory system, breathing, lungs, air coming into the body.


The area of the abdomen, the digestive system, the liquids of the body and the circulation system.


The thighs, legs, feet, and the skeletal system.

Notes on When to do this Exercise

If performing a sequence of rituals or exercises this is in place of an energy center activation exercise. Such as the chakras or the middle pillar. It also fine to do this on its own. The order of activation given below is using the ascending current, from the material to the spiritual. The descending current, from spiritual to material, is useful for a different effect. Experiment with both. Add elemental symbols, or mother letters, in their opposite colors after being comfortable with the exercise. It is up to the individual. Use your inner guidance for what works best for you.

Elemental Center Activation

  1. Sit or stand in a meditation posture. The legs, feet, hands, or arms should not cross.
  2. Perform a relaxation exercise that works for you.
  3. See the center of the Earth. Contemplate on it for a moment. On an IN breath see a white light reach from the center of the earth. Rising up from the bottom of the feet to the upper thighs.
  4. On the OUT breath see and feel deep earth colored greens. See and feel these colors encompass your legs and feet. Feel the solidity and stability nourishing your physical body.
  5. On an IN breath see and feel the color blue. From your genital region to the tip of your sternum. Encompassing your entire abdomen front and back.
  6. On the OUT breath vibrate Mmmm 1-3 times. As you do so feel this activating the water elements of your body.
  7. On an IN breath see and feel the color yellow. Encompassing your entire chest area, the arms and hands, front and back.
  8. On the OUT breath vibrate Ahhhhh 1-3 times. As you do so feel this activating the air elements of your body.
  9. On an IN breath see and feel the color red. Feel it encompassing your entire neck and head area, front and back.
  10. On the OUT breath vibrate Shhhh 1-3 times. As you do so feel this activating the fire elements of your body.
  11. Sit in peace for a few moments. Contemplating how these elements work in harmony with one another and throughout the universe.


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