Symbolism of Air Elementals
What are Sylphs?
Great question, and this page is one in a four-part series aimed to identify elementals.
As an air elemental, the Sylph's domain is the skies, wind - the air and all it encompasses.
Unlike the other elementals, I can actually see Sylphs (yes, I've had a CAT scan, and have been thoroughly checked by an opthamologist - I'm perfectly sound. And, they don't look like the image I've got at the top of this page either).
When I look out, eyes open, I see infinite sparkly, whirly, zoomy, flashy things swirling around in the skies in a crazy sort of way. Always have seen them. I just assumed they were air energies (Sylphs).
It wasn't until later, I discovered this was a not-so-common thing to see. However, I've read women whilst pregnant have experienced the same visual phenomenon. Curious.
I also find it curious that as Sylphs are air elementals, they are connected with the breath and breathing. I had massive asthma when I was a kid (always in the emergency room). Sometimes I wonder if my luck at seeing Sylphs has anything to do with...well...a lack of oxygen growing up?
My odd, circumspective reasoning aside, the name Sylph (along with the other three elemental kind) was coined by Paracelsus. The term Sylph is derived from the Greek word silphe meaning butterfly.
Paracelsus was a well-respected scientist and metaphysician in the 16th century. Seriously, his thoughts and opinions were considered highly reputable; his word was honored. In his day, elementals were not considered airy fairy.
On the contrary, elementals were considered to be the embodiment of their element. Their presence was unquestioned and merited of heavy-duty respect. Back "in the day," Sylphs would have been thought to be the fabric of their domain - comprising the very stuff of air itself.
In fact, according to Element Encyclopedia of Secret Signs and Symbols by Adele Nozedar, the belief in elemental beings was so entrenched that Charlemagne issued a written edict forbidding Sylphs to show themselves. His loss.
What then, do Sylphs and all their implications mean to the modern mind?
For one, Sylphs gives air a personality. Suddenly, air pollution loses its ambiguity. Proposed ozone damage isn't so obscure anymore, it becomes personal. Sylphs are the actual face, a personification, a sentient being that lives, breathes, and IS air.
And so, seeing the Sylph with psychic eyes, it's harder to blow toxic smoke into her luminous face, isn't it.
Something to think about.
Second, Sylphs can give us a boost in our daily life. As living beings themselves, I believe they recognize we're all in this business of living life together. At least, they've shown me a level of willingness to support life - hey, we breathe air - the stuff they're made of - that's about as supportive as it gets.
Given that mindset, we can take measures to acknowledge, appreciate and communicate with the Sylph clan. Why? Here are a few good reasons:
How can we invoke the Sylph for help in these and other areas of our life? Simple acknowledgement is over half the journey. Genuine gratitude for their function is advisable too.
If you want to get technical, you can hail them from the East, as Sylphs resonate with the easterly direction.
Whether you make an altar, give an etheric offering, invoke from the eastern watchtower, or simply offer a nod of gratitude to the Sylph, to be sure, the Sylph is noble (and quite willing) enough to respond in kind.
I hope you have enjoyed these observations on the Sylphs, Air Elementals.
Check out the other elemental clans:
Also, check out the in-site links at the end of this page for more symbolic meanings in nature. Thanks for reading!
An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings
Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.
This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."
Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)
As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!