Note: This is the introduction to the book, Sylphs, Undines, Gnomes,
and Salamanders.

Copyright (C) by William Mistele.  2000.  All rights reserved. 


When the Brothers Grimm in Germany and W. B. Yeats in Ireland went about
the countryside gathering fairy tales, they wanted to preserve the folk
traditions.  By recording faithfully the stories they were told, they
enriched world literature.  But there is an ambivalence in their work.  
They wanted to remain academically detached so they would not be accused
of promoting superstition or being enamored with occult mysticism.
    With the help of subsequent Jungian and transpersonal psychology,
fairy tales have been set free.  We no longer need to justify them as oral
literature or repackage them as children's stories.  They can be seen as
dreamlike images reflecting the powers and desires which move within us.  
They are not archaic stories belonging to a naive and simpler time.  They
are warnings and signposts indicating the dangers and the treasures hidden
within us.
     Though I have studied esoteric, oral traditions for twenty years, my
stories and dialogues do not belong to any specific locality, race, or
nationality.  These nature spirits are not attached to a holy well in
Ireland, a lake in Scotland, or a mountain over in Bavaria, China, or
Japan.  They are not Moslem, Hindu, Jewish, or Christian.  None of these
spirits are mentioned in any world religion.
     Instead, these elemental beings have a global outlook.  They watch
over the forces of nature which encompass our planet.  They embody not the
wisdom of the past but of what the human race has yet to attain in its
     It is one thing to see a volcano erupting or witness a hurricane.  
It is another thing to envision the history of all volcanos on earth or
the changes in climate over the last billion years.  These elemental
beings have this larger perspective.  They speak of the origins of life
and of our place in the universe.
     Some will insist that the modern mind requires coherent and
reassuring explanations whenever perception is extended into unfamiliar
areas of the psyche or into new vistas of the spirit.  In response to
this, I present four essays on finding the elemental being within
ourselves.  These essays focus on what it would be like to see and to feel
as an elemental being.
     For example, the beings who dwell within water are called undines.  
We do not need to perform an occult ritual or attain a mystical rapport in
order to taste the ecstasy or develop the empathy of these magical beings.  
If we gather all of our sensory experiences with lakes, rivers, and seas,
we can begin to sense the awareness which undines possess.  Water embodies
sensual release.  Its voice invites us to let go, to flow, and to be
enfolded by nurturing tenderness.
     If we pause and stop thinking for a time, we can place our awareness
into water and enter a realm of pure feeling.  We can immerse ourselves
within water's serene magnetism.  The gate to the realm of undines opens
to us precisely at this point where perception and feeling amplify each
other.  Nature revives and renews us in part because we can put aside our
social identities.  We can let go of our daily habits and routines and
feel supported by a world which is alive, autonomous, and self-sustaining.
     Consider these questions:  If water were conscious, what kind of
intelligence would it possess?  What charms would we see if the sea were
given personality?  If the beauty in the waters of the world were embodied
in the form of a living woman, what would it be like to know her, to touch
her, or to kiss her lips?  In this way, our imagination becomes an arena
of experimentation.
     In our time, we are experiencing a spiritual renaissance.  There are
many individuals who are willing to talk about their encounters with the
magical realms underlying nature.  They have been able to see nature
spirits from their earliest childhood.  Or else they meet them in their
groves or during their walks through the woods.
     Scientists also attest to the interconnection of scientific endeavors
especially when it comes to nature.  They know that the health of the
biosphere is essential for our survival.  It turns out our presence on
this planet is tenuous.  We must monitor nature like never before.  The
atmosphere is our breath.  Our genes and fertility are affected by the
fertilizers we use to grow food and the chemicals we release into water.
     If the plankton die in the sea or the ozone layer is compromised,
then we die also.  If the Western shelf of the South Pole melts, if
temperature increases a few degrees, or if the currents in the ocean
change course, an ice age may fall upon us in a few decades.  Science
confronts us with the interdependence of all of life and the necessity of
attaining a new level of harmony.  Why not, then, tell fairy tales and
enchanting stories which celebrate this new found wisdom?  Scientists run
computer simulations of weather, tsunamis, volcanos, and earthquakes in
order to understand these phenomena.  A fairy tale is similar.  It is a
tool which discloses the harmony underlying nature.
     On the other hand, those of a more theological or even occult
persuasion might have a different objection.  They ask, "By what right do
you speak when the voices of the Brother's Grimm, Yeats, and in fact the
bards of all ages have remained silent?  What authority permits you to
reveal the magical knowledge of spiritual realms which has been kept
secret from the human race?"
     This objection should be carefully considered and placed in context.  
Recall that Christianity and other religions are not at all comfortable
with nature.  Let us pause briefly and consider an ancient text which
discusses this conflict.
     According to the Gospel of Matthew, Christ walked on water beside the
boat filled with his disciples.  Peter, who was in the boat, asked Christ
to bid him to walk on the water also.  Christ said, "Come."  According to
Matthew's account, Peter then got out of the boat and walk upon the water.  
But because Peter's faith wavered, he began to sink and so he cried out,
"Lord, save me."  Immediately Christ grasped him and said, "Oh you of
little faith, why did you doubt?"
     In that moment the entire history of theology and of scientific
inquiry suffered a separation of nature from spirit and of empirical
inquiry from inner wisdom.  Sure, Peter saw himself surrounded by the
boisterous wind and waves and had doubts about acting on faith.  I contend
that those doubts arose because Peter and the theologians, philosophers,
and scholars after him were unable to let go of their human identities.  
They could not turn away from the safe harbors of human reason long enough
to listen to what their five senses were telling them.
    They could not imagine a world in which the winds, the waves, the
mountains, and the fires of the earth respond to the spirit that created
them.  They have been unwilling to unite with the divine within
themselves.  Without listening to the still voice within their hearts,
they have shied away from relying upon the power of spirit to recreate the
world through beauty and love.
    The consequence of this act of Peters--of giving into the insecurity
at the core of his being--is that the Church then became obsessed with
ecclesiastical and scriptural authority.  The individual's process for
discovering God within his heart through direct experience was abandoned.  
And when science finally came into its own, it too took a distorted view
of truth.  It declared that faith, beliefs, wisdom, intuition, and ethics
have nothing at all to do with its methods.
     Scientists and theologians share the same weakness.  They limit their
use of direct perception.  What they see with their eyes, hear with their
ears, and, in fact, the sensations of all their senses are censored so
that the information received is incomplete.  What reason can not
understand is either forbidden or else labeled unscientific and
     I have many weaknesses but I am not shy.  I am willing to sit for
twenty minutes or an hour without a single thought passing through my mind
while I wait for an undine to reveal her presence--to place her hand on my
skin and, in that touch, share the mysteries of the sea she has celebrated
and tasted for half a billion years.  I have not found any theologians or
scientists who are willing to sit beside me and see what I see and feel
this beauty.  The same is true for the other elements.
     I can share a sylph's zeal for freedom and independence because I
feel what he feels--the atmosphere of our planet is the most beautiful
among a billion worlds.  I can consult with a gnome whose photographic
memory recalls every event he has witnessed during the millions of years
he has wandered beneath the ground.  I feel comfortable with him and he
considers me a companion.  This is because we share a common appreciation
for silence--in the stillness of the heart, years, ages, eons, and
geologic periods have no meaning--time is dissolved.
     And as for salamanders, the firedrakes, and the spirits who rule vast
lakes of flames and fire upon and beneath the earth?  They share with me
their secret dreams and their quests for power.  They do not do this
because I strike them as charismatic, because my will is more dominant, or
because I speak fierce and mighty words of power.  They respond to me like
a brother.  This is because, like them, I honor and celebrate the forces
of creation which have brought our planet into being.
     But now, at the beginning of the third millennium, the separation
between nature and spirit has begun to dissolve on its own.  When I watch
the weather report and see the satellite radar and computer generated
animation of weather systems, I think to myself that this is a
approximation of the knowledge sylphs possess of the atmosphere.  The
images on TV show three dimensional real time and accelerated movements of
weather systems.  They show images in color and infrared.  Computer models
look into the future with real ingenuity.  Our knowledge of meteorology is
invading the sylphs' realms of faery and the sylphs' knowledge of what
moves the winds.
     In a similar way, when it comes to salamanders, I watch numerous
documentaries on volcanos.  Some of the scientists are not just seeking a
better understanding of tectonic plate movement and volcanic activity with
the intent of warning others about eruptions.  There are a few scientists
whose fascination with fire borders on obsession.  They enter craters to
gather samples of lava in tin cans while hot lava is splashing down upon
the ground around them.  One volcanologist, before he was killed in an
eruption, spoke of his plan to one day ride a metal canoe down a stream of
molten lava.  These men act like they are apprenticed to salamanders like
Pyrhum or Tapheth.
     In regard to gnomes, there is an overlap between our science and a
gnome's approach to chemistry and physics.  Clearly, it is our intent to
know all there is to know about physical matter and its components.  We
know more than gnomes about the origins of the universe and the subatomic
particles which originated with the Big Bang.
     I do not think gnomes are aware that a trillion neutrinos pass
through their bodies in every second.  We set up procedures for measuring
these things.  The physicist Steven Hawkin, for example, has a holographic
picture of the universe inside his mind.  He probes the inside of black
holes and quasars with his imagination.  His mental images resonate with
the universe.  Gnomes have no advantage over us when it comes to
     But of the four elemental beings we are perhaps weakest when it comes
to undines.  When you touch the body of an undine, you can sense all the
oceans of the earth, the silent calmness of the ocean trench, and the
thrilling trill of ice cracking inside a glacier at the North Pole.  But
this is not all.  The undine's love is an introduction to divine
     Their love reveals the longings of our hearts and visions of how our
deepest needs may be fulfilled.  Though oceanography has become a major
scientific endeavor, the study of the empathy and sensitivity which
undines possess is still in its infancy.  Undines barely have a presence
in the literatures and mythologies of our world.  I intend to correct this
     And yet the question remains:  Is the human race ready for a full
disclosure of the magical wisdom possessed by elemental beings?  I believe
this question has become irrelevant.  The entire biosphere of the earth is
now within our power to study and to influence, to protect or to destroy.  
Our fate depends on the extent to which we take responsibility for our
actions.  My stories are not an attempt to turn us away from the choices
we must make.  To survive, we must guard and manage the planet earth not
only with science and ecology, but with love.  My purpose, therefore, is
not only to create a new psychology of nature and to infuse ecology with a
spiritual dimension.  My goal is the responsibility which leads to the
enlightenment of the world.
     If the beauty of the sky, the oceans, the mountains, and volcanos can
be reflected within our hearts, then we can understand any human being on
earth.  If we can taste the ecstasy of the four elements in nature, then
we will seek to be of service to humanity.  If we can find in ourselves
the powers of creation which have shaped and which sustain life on our
planet, then we will also create works of beauty, wonder, and art.  Every
society has the task of unfolding its own vision of the union of nature,
man, and spirit.  This book is my contribution.

The Four Elements and Elemental Beings

The four elements--earth, air, fire, and water--are gates and paths
leading through the intricacies of nature into the mysteries of spirit.  
The beings who reside within the elements embody states of awareness and
capabilities which, though perhaps strange and mysterious to us, are
nevertheless inherent in human nature.  We need only open our hearts to
the universe around us if we wish to taste divine bliss and to discover
the wisdom that has given birth to all worlds and all ages.  Here is a
brief synopsis of the psychological and spiritual qualities elemental
beings possess.
     In the air element is found clarity of mind and the attainment of
freedom.  The air element is so vast and expansive, so encompassing, those
who are illuminated by its wisdom vanquish all confusion and overcome all
attachment.  The beings who reside in the sky, the sylphs, enter each
moment seeking to attain and to abide in complete harmony.
     The modern Czech mage Franz Bardon, though listing the names and
sigils of eight sylphs in his book, The Practice of Magical Evocation,
refrains from describing them individually.  He suggests we go on to the
earthzone where the spirits are not so aloof and provide us with the same
    I, however, grew up spending my summers concentrating daily on wind
flowing through sails as I raced sailboats.  Every nuance of the wind,
wind shifts, temperature, pressure, and humidity became something we
learned to observe automatically.  So, unlike Bardon, sylphs to me seem
friendly.  Their domain is familiar.
     In the fire element, by contrast, is an exuberant power.  The beings
who reside in fire, the salamanders, seize each moment with zeal in order
to dissolve the obstacles blocking their path to fulfillment.  Such fiery
will destroys all fear and apprehension.  For the salamanders, each moment
presents the opportunity to purify, strengthen, and expand the power of
     The salamanders exist within a realm of fire and those uncomfortable
with the sensations of intense heat or the imagery of vast lakes of flames
may do well to avoid these beings.  But power is a divine virtue though
religions often choose to avoid exploring it as a spiritual path.  The
salamanders are enchanted with the magick within fire to heal, to fuse, to
refine, to integrate, to transform, and to electrify according to their
individual inclinations.
     Questions salamanders sometimes explore are:  what is the one fire
which burns without consuming and which integrates within itself all other
kinds of fire?  What is the highest light that exists and what is the
state of mind--the intensity of heat and will--from which it arises?  
What is the nature of sovereignty and absolute power--the ability to
command which arises from being one with what it would control?  
Salamanders are great to work with if you wish to explore the nature of
will on astral and etheric levels.
     At the other extreme is the element of water--something very easy to
relate to as a human being.  In water are love and sharing--the experience
of life giving birth to life and of flowing in and through another.  In
water is the absolute destruction of loneliness, separation, and
isolation.  For the beings who dwell within water, the undines, each
moment is a magnetic sea containing the dreams and the taste of
ecstasy--each moment arises from and resonates with the love sustaining
all life on earth.
     In the earth element--through comprehending shape, weight, density,
and the molecular vibration of minerals and elements--is the wisdom that
banishes depression, sadness, and sorrow.  The most powerful gnomes who
dwell within the earth perceive time not only in terms of centuries, eons,
and geologic ages.  Their perception penetrates into the processes through
which matter is formed and through which it dissolves.
     For gnomes, rocks and mountains do not possess solid and firm edges.  
Rather, their boundaries and shapes are fluid and liquid.  For gnomes,
anything in physical existence is constantly transforming, solidifying and
dissolving again--in each moment matter and emptiness are flowing through
each other like water being poured into water.  And if you listen
carefully with you heart, you can discover that each moment contains a
wonderful silence and a stillness in which you can hear the stars singing.  
The elements of nature which we perceive as solid have been born in the
furnaces of stars and have passed through the emptiness of space.
    The greatest of gnomes possess the ability to taste the union of form
and emptiness in every mineral and in everything physical.  When I began
meditating with the gnome Mentifil, he took me through some basic
concentration exercises with the various planetary metals.  I noticed
after working with him that I no longer experienced sadness or depression.  
He took me to that place where mind begins to probe the roots of matter
through the power of intuition.  And this is a place where depression and
sadness can not go--these feelings have no existence when awareness can
penetrate physical being.
     I am not going to suggest anyone run out and begin evoking or
meditating with elemental beings unless they are sufficiently prepared.  
But when I write about elementals I am always discussing human
nature--what elementals are, all their powers and modes of perception,
exist within us as latent abilities which we can develop.  And the
elemental beings or the etheric and astral energies over which they
preside are the connecting link between the realm of mind and that of the
physical world.  To make our ideals real--to embody them in our lives--we
do well to learn all we can from the elementals' way of perceiving and the
energies which flow through their wills.


There are, of course, many dangers facing those who wish to work with
beings from an evolutionary path distinct from the sciences and wisdom
traditions of human civilization.  One problem is that elemental beings do
not have human ethics.  If you receive a gift for Christmas, you assume
the giver of the gift has your best interest and well-being in mind.  But
a gift from an elemental being may be a gift of pure power.
     I was meditating one time with a partner who said an elemental being
had given her an amulet to wear--something purely of a psychic nature and
not material.  But she found she started hallucinating at odd times during
the day when she had it on.  In this case, the amulet accelerated the
woman's ability to enter the astral plane of the elemental.  Being pulled
into the astral plane is an astonishing experience especially if it
happens when you stop your car at a red light.  When you enter the astral
plane of elemental beings, it is like entering a dream in the mind of a
creature from a different evolution.  There are no references to anything
pertaining to your culture or civilization.
     The elemental does not worry if his or her gift of power is going to
present you with complications or side-effects.  The elemental's intent is
solely to offer you an opportunity to experience its mode of existence.  
Whether this is dangerous for you as a human beings is not its concern.  
Consequently, it is up to you to evaluate whether the experiences you
encounter meet your objectives.  It is up to you to modify the procedures
you are following so that you maintain personal harmony and equilibrium.
     Second, it is necessary to comprehend the kingdoms in which these
beings reign.  The akashic principle which rules the four elements is
itself a divine presence.  The elements arise from akasha and are the
substance which enables spirit to manifest.  To work successfully with the
elements, as with any difficult or challenging situation in life, we need
to be centered within ourselves and clear about the spiritual purposes we
wish to fulfill.
     If your mind is like the sky--a clear expanse free of all
attachment--then the sylph can neither influence nor resist communicating
with you.  If in your heart you can evoke the ideal of being one with all
things, then no undine can distract or ensnare you for you will learn
about love and become love without falling under love's enchantments.
     Similarly, if you identify with the light of akasha, with the divine
presence, and understand that the universe is the product of divine will,
then no salamander can pressure you or undermine your will.  And if you
can see that matter has no inherent or permanent existence--matter is
itself fluid and undergoing change--and the physical universe serves the
purposes of spirit, then no gnome will be able to bind or control you with
gifts appealing to greed.
     In other words, the four divine qualities of spirit--power, love,
wisdom, and consciousness--are ideals we can seek to internalize within
ourselves.  By doing so, when we work with the astral and etheric planes,
we remain focused on what we wish to accomplish.
     I also should note that the elemental beings I describe are
well-acquainted with magicians.  Some claim to guard treasures of spirit
and hidden destinies which world teachers have not yet found a way to
teach mankind.  Some elementals have incarnated as human beings.  Even in
the twentieth century, there are reports of this happening.  This usually
occurs because the elemental has temporarily taken a human lover.  In
other cases, elementals and magicians have formed extremely close ties.  
They have become companions and learned from each other.  For some
individuals, this has been beneficial and for others the connection to the
faery realm has been their undoing.
     When I write about elementals they may discuss with me their
relations with mages, poets, and sages from historical and forgotten
civilizations.  When it comes to cultural myths and legends, it is
sometimes difficult to track down the sources of stories handed down
through the generations.  It may be that a poet or bard can not help but
embellish and add entirely new chapters to ancient sagas in order to
convey a message to his own time.  It is probably wise, then, to take with
a grain of salt the stories elementals tell.  The astral plane is perhaps
even more prone to exaggeration and to the excesses of imagination than is
our own world.
     In summary, the difficulty in working with elemental beings is that
they are from a different evolutionary path.  The elemental beings are
invisible except to clairvoyants.  They do not eat food or drink water as
do we--the energy sustaining them is altogether different.  And they are
not subject to human morality--they have existed for eons before any human
religion originated.
    When these elemental beings think they do not use the lexical items in
our dictionaries--neither the sounds nor the units of meaning they use
relate to the Indo-European or any other human language.  When a "thought"
is placed into your mind by an elemental, it is your experience which
becomes the vehicle for translating that thought into something familiar
which you understand.  If you rush to label your sensory perceptions or
take for granted your connection to elementals, you lose the depth and the
beauty of what is being shared.
    And though the life span of elementals is a matter of speculation, it
is fair to say that many live for countless ages and some have been around
for millions if not billions of years.  And so, when you enter the domain
of elemental beings, you have to create your own reference points.  
Science, history, culture and the works of mankind--these beings do not
need any of this in order to flourish or to practice their arts.
     A relationship with another person often takes a lot of work.  
Working with elemental beings also takes a great deal of effort, patience,
and contemplation if you are going to get anything out of it.  As in
relating to another human being, there are times when you have to put
aside your expectations if you are going to hear what is being said or
make the most of the opportunity standing before you.
     But why connect to nature spirits?  For some individuals, nature is a
source of beauty, awe, and wonder.  It is a place specifically designed to
renew one's soul and spirit.  Consider water.  Water contains a cleansing
power which is not just physical.  If you have ever floated in a mountain
pool or played in the ocean surf, you may have sensed a dreamlike
serenity, a thrilling wildness, and a playful exuberance.  When a psychic
or magician touches water, it is like the element is alive.  It contains
an aura and a magnetic field that invites human beings to taste bliss.
     If you immerse your awareness within this magnetic field, then you
have switched out of the customary human mode of perceiving.  You are
starting to see and to feel as an undine.  Would it not be enchanting to
meet an undine--to encounter an intelligence embodying the pure, wild, and
primordial delights of the water element?
    Yes.  But you are also introduced in the process to a new and vast
dimension of experience which has a little or no practical application to
daily life.  The trick is developing the flexibility to move back and
forth between the undine's world and our own so you are comfortable with
both worlds.  Then you are free to blend them together according to your
desires and as an expression of your creativity.

A Few Introductions

Let us return to direct experience.  Remember the Apostle Peter?  If he
had kept his faith and walked on water by Christ's side, then Christian
theologians would not have coined the word "orthodox" in the second
century.  They would have known intuitively that a written creed has
little to do with the power and the actions of genuine faith.
     And St. Patrick would not have taken a harp away from a bard in
Ireland in the fifth century because the bard could use it to call nature
spirits to enter our world.  Instead, St. Patrick would have added an
addendum to the book of Hebrews in the New Testament.  He would have gone
into detail about the role nature spirits play in the interactions taking
place between angels and humanity.
     Each moment contains an abyss.  This abyss is the distance we cross
when we move from the known into the unknown and also when we use love to
overcome hate and fear.  The heart charts the path across the abyss.  It
does this because the heart understands that the universe exists to
celebrate love.  There is a time to be cautious and to hold back.  And
there is also a time to dissolve the boundaries separating different
individuals as well as different evolutions to attain a greater union and
wisdom.  Our age is such a time.
     I shift my focus in this moment into the sea.  Even as I think to
myself the name "Istiphul" the undine appears to me.  It is a little hard
to say precisely where I am.  Am I projecting my mind "out there
somewhere" or is she present in my room here and now sitting on my bed
next to my computer?
     I have done this so many times I am not sure it matters anymore.  To
call the undine into my room requires I create a field of watery energy
which enables her to appear.  If I project into her domain, I must sit
very still and concentrate on being near her.  My mind is then freed from
receiving impressions through my physical senses and becomes active on the
inner planes.  It seems natural for me to use both procedures at the same
    I take Istiphul's hands--her touch is as ancient as the sea and yet
more youthful and free than anyone I have ever known.  Being in her
presence is an encounter with the entire magnetism of the oceans appearing
in the form of a woman.  Though we do not use thoughts as human beings
think or speak, we automatically continue a discussion I have been
pursuing with her for years.
    Istiphul says to me, "The human race will acquire the love I
possess--the magick and the passions of the sea will find expression
within human beings.  Beyond your wildest dreams, love will seize you and
be one with you even as you experience it with me.  I promise you this."
    Undines, as you may have guessed, have a remarkable intuition--they
feel a part of you;  they flow through you and sense your longings and
your needs.  Even as a dolphin can emit a sound which enables it to see
within and determine the health of your physical body, so too for an
undine the astral body of a human being is completely transparent.  They
sense your feelings as clearly as they sense water and the life within it.  
The empathy of undines like Istiphul is magical--it is a way of being
within and feeling a part of whomever she is with.
    Let us turn our attention to another element.  I imagine I am ten
miles up and surrounded by a blue sky.  I have practiced mental projection
long enough and used different forms of feedback so that it is clear to me
that part of my awareness is indeed at fifty thousand feet.  I can see the
horizon of the earth as one circle beneath me.  I sense the blue light so
I feel a part of it and the entire sky as an extension of myself.
     Now I speak the name "Cargoste."  As Istiphul is to the sea, Cargoste
is to the winds of the earth.  All winds fall within the scope of his
mastery.  For Cargoste, the trade winds, the storm winds, the tornado, the
hurricane--he has absolute command over them.  Cargoste's power of
concentration is astonishing.  He is a master of a clear and open mind.
     If you allow your mind to blend with Cargoste's, you get a feel for
his consciousness.  It is completely relaxed. You sense that everything
that exists is a part of one matrix of life.  There is one field of energy
and within it each being, spirit, and natural phenomenon is unique and has
its own nature.  Yet, however opaque and obscure these may seem, they are
all made from light and this light is one vast, clear stream of awareness.  
For Cargoste, the mind is not separate from this spacious and luminous
openness.  The mind is joined with it.
     When Cargoste is over the Pacific Ocean, he senses the winds of the
North and South poles.  He is aware of the trade winds, the remnants of a
hurricane off Baja, the effects caused by El Nino, the jet stream, and the
ozone layer.  He is aware of the temperature, humidity, pressure, and
electrical activity in the clouds for thousands of miles.  And these many
aspects of the atmosphere he is aware of all at once without relying on
thought or having to change his mental focus from one thing to another.
     Cargoste's mind is like the sky itself.  It is a piece of art
designed by Divine Providence.  It is full of magnificent and awesome
beauty.  To meditate with Cargoste is to move beyond personal desire and
need.  It is to taste absolute freedom and its works change conflict into
harmony and discord into music.
     Now let us turn our attention to the earth element.  I think in my
mind the name "Mentifil" and in an instant the gnome is present in my
room.  I can see him standing several feet to my right.
     Mentifil's aura shines with a brownish black light.  It is as if
silence has taken on a color that glows in the air.  This light embodies
endurance and patience.  When you look at Mentifil's face, he looks
academic like a scholar.  He looks shrewd and clever like an inventor.  
He is detached and questioning like a scientist engaged in an endless
series of experiments.  But still, the aura remains.
     It is as if you could take the essence of a mountain chain and boil
it down, distill, and refine it so that the result is a silence enduring
through the ages.  Mentifil's aura is a magical space.  If you get close
enough you see the events of thousands of years flickering before your
eyes, passing by in a few moments of time.
     I imagine a gnome like this never gets lonely.  His interest and
curiosity never die.  Sights and sounds from eons before are still fresh
in his memory as if ancient events happened a few hours before.  But
Mentifil does not mourn or feel attached to the past.  And though he is
very busy, you can see it in the way he stands--he looks like he has a lot
to attend to and is ready to get back to it the instant we are through.  
Still, he is, always was, and always will be captivated by what is
happening in the present moment.  His concentration is that complete.
     There are stone circles I have entered which were set up five
thousand years before.  The energy in them is still strong.  You can sense
the various rituals which have been practiced in them at different times
in history.  But there are also a few stone circles which do not belong to
the past at all.  They are carefully designed for a future time.  They
await the right person to enter them and say the right words so that they
may be activated and release the treasures sealed within their granite.
     Mentifil's aura is like that.  He is an embodiment of great treasures
and mysteries of the earth.  And like those stone circles, he is waiting
for that time when a race of beings on this planet will come forth.  And
saying the right words, comprehending his mind, and seeing through his
eyes, ancient and unknown wisdom shall be released and celebrated through
all the world.
     The Irish bards of old trained for seven years in darkness. When they
came out of their caves, the darkness and silence remained with them the
rest of their lives.  In their eyes and ears, images and sounds were
wrapped about with enchanting delight because of the austerity they had
endured.  But if Mentifil's aura were a dark cave of silence which you
entered to practice the bardic arts, seven years of training would barely
give you a taste.  No, a different procedure is required.  You have to
learn to think like a gnome--become the solidity and silence of a
mountain, immerse your mind in a precious stone, or join your
consciousness to a element in the periodic table so that there is no
remainder of yourself to be found.
     But I will tell you a short cut which avoids austerities involving
sensory deprivation and the pursuit of occult techniques. You only need to
love the earth.  And then the darkness and the silence become luminous and
full of songs of wonder, endless beauty, and delight.  Mentifil will then
see in your aura a light more precious than gems and more valuable than
the quintessence of nature's elixirs.  He will make working with you his
first priority.
     As I sit here next to Mentifil, his aura begins to blend with mine.  
In a strange way, I feel at home.  I think of the poet who said of his
God, "A thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is passed
or as a watch in the night."  I do not mean any disrespect to the
psalmist's view of God's qualities when I say--in Mentifil's mind, a
thousand thousand years is but a moment though he can recall all that he
has seen of it.  But this gnome's mode of perceiving is best approached in
your own time when you feel comfortable and are ready to work with it.
     There is a philosophy which states there is nothing in human
experience which can not be transformed through an act of love.  If
Mentifil's silence and wisdom were expressed by lovers, they might write a
poem like this:
When the stream falls asleep and dreams of rain
When the mountain forgets its mass and weight
Its cliffs towering 
It roots running deep 
And walks among the stars
Listening to their songs in the night--
I sit against a redwood tree a thousand years old
The smell of the forest drowsy in my bloodstream, 
I sit within a circle
My back to a stone placed five thousand years ago 
I reach back with my palms
And feel its tough endurance
The lichens clinging to its rough surface
The stone rests so comfortably
Within a quiet peace 
Its pulse throbs faintly
To the temperature changes of day and night
The seasons, the ages, the eons, 
It still holds conversations with other times. 
I dream with the stream, 
The mountain, the tree, the stone
Till I awake within your heart to discover--
For this purpose was I created:
To love you 
And to celebrate together 
The stars giving birth to light
The dark womb giving birth to the stars
I am no longer alone
By your grace
My doubts are vanquished
My illusion dissolves
My confusion is gone.
The gust of wind
Its ebb and flow
Holding its breath and letting go,
The waves of ancient seas
Memories sinking down 
Into limestone
Metamorphic and igneous rock
Outcrops twisting and blending, 
Driven by the winds of time--
These transformations, as are my own,
Are woven into one Song
In the silence of the night
By the beauty within your heart. 

Let us go also into fire.  One of the salamanders Bardon mentions is Itumo
and Itumo's interest is in lightning and electrical storms.  I imagine
myself within a thunderstorm.  And this imagination seems real enough.  
It is not so difficult to find a thunderstorm when thousands of them are
raging every moment around the earth.
    There are the violent up and down drafts of wind.  There is rain and
the churning of clouds.  And there is an electrical tension being
stretched and pulled like a strong man bending steel bars with his hands.
    Itumo appears in my room.  This is not a solid manifestation.  I do
not think anyone else would see him except a psychic or clairvoyant.  But
his presence is a brilliant, sparkling light and with it there is an
immense amplification of energy within my throat chakra.
     Itumo's aura is a declaration in and of itself.  It says, "If there
is something you need to get done, I am the conviction and the power that
manifests it."  As I mediate a few moments more, it becomes clear what he
is all about.  He says, "You can find anything if it is what you require
to accomplish your work in life.  To do this, you only need to comprehend
my mind."
     I spend a few more moments attuning my mind to his.  Itumo says,
"What you see around you--the flashes and explosions of lightning--all
this power is found within you.  When you join yourself to a stillness so
complete opposites are united within you then you shall attain all that
you seek.  Make no mistake--I exist to remind the human race that there
are will and power enough to alter any fate and to attain any destiny."
     Meditating with Itumo it is easy to see how the most difficult
problems can be solved and the greatest obstacles overcome.  To bring this
insight into the physical world so it actually changes something takes a
lot of work.  It requires you learn how to amplify and sustain electric
and magnetic energies within yourself.