Elementals and Archons

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Elementals are beings composed of one of the four classical elements: earth, water, air and fire. They go all the way back to the days of the Ancient Greeks when the four elements were the be-all and end-all of creation. But they also feature heavily in other traditions, including Jainism. Jainism originated on the Indian Subcontinent alongside Buddhism as a rejection of Brahmanism, the religion based on the Hindu Scriptures. Interestingly, according to the Jain philosophy, the basic constituents of reality are souls, matter, motion, rest, space, and time. The four elements are the components of matter. Elementals in Jainist tradition are afforded the lowest ethical “worth” alongside plants and single-celled organisms. Jainist ethics organizes living beings into heirarchies based on the number of senses they have. Elemental spirits have only one sense: touch. If you’re interested, according to Paracelsus, the alchemists, the four elemental spirits were called Salamdander, Undine, Gnome, and Sylph. Ever play Secret of Mana? Now you know where those came from.


The word archon is a Greek word that means ruler and it actually comes from the same root as the word monarch. In ancient Greece, the head magistrate of a city state was called an archon. In Gnosticism, a religious and philsophical movement that gained traction in the first and second century, the archon was the name given to the servants of a being called the Demiurge. And this is where Gnosticism gets complicated. Most Gnostics viewed the material cosmos as a mistake not created by the true god, but rather by a very powerful being that tried to become a transcendant, true god. The error of Sophia (the error of knowledge) lead to the creation of the material world. Sophia became the demiurge (craftsman). Sophia took the creation of the cosmos as proof that he had transcended divinity and, in his pride, declared himself to be the one true god. According to the Gnostics, this is the origin of the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. This was NOT a very popular view among adherents of those faiths. Anyway, as servants of the demiurge, the archons were basically angels.