Elementals – Forces of Nature by Rebekah A. Ganiere
There are so many different paranormal creatures to write about today. Vampires, Shifters, Dragons, Fae, Wizards, Mermaids, Unicorns, you name it. And many of them are very steeped in their connection to nature. But none are more connected to nature than those that are made completely of nature itself.
Fae and druids are known for their love of nature as well as their desire to protect it as well as life. They are usually humanoid in form and appearance and they have magic derived from all things natural. They live in and around forests or nature. But they are still different from elementals.
There are four types of elementals originally– Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. However there is also the element of Aether usually used in Steampunk. Today though I’ll focus on just the four.
The 16th century works of Paracelsus named the four elements and assigned them four different bodies. Gnomes: Earth, Undines: Water, Sylphs: Air, and, Salamanders: Fire. He regarded them not so much as spirits but as beings between creatures and spirits, generally invisible but having physical and commonly human bodies. They could eat, sleep, and wear clothes.
Elementals are also said to possess the ability to move through their own elements. Gnomes can move through dirt, rocks and walls. Sylphs are closest to humans. They can move through air like we do, but in fire they burn, in water they drown, and in earth, they get stuck. Undines can move through water such as sea, rivers, even water pipes. And they are partial to wet weather as well. Salamanders can travel through fire or lava or possibly even modern day heating ducts. Paracelsus stated that each Elemental stays healthy in its element, but will die in the others.
Paracelsus also conceived that humans are made up of of three parts: elemental bodies, sidereal spirits, and immortal divine souls. Elementals however lacked the immortal soul. Which is interesting because so many paranormal creatures are thought of as immortal or divine. And most of them have a soul of some sort. Now, Paracelsus also believed that if an elemental married a humanoid they and their children could obtain souls. Wouldn’t that make for an interesting story? I think I might just write that.
Elementals have been shown in many different ways. As humans that have physical qualities that resemble their element and having an affinity for magic within their element. As spirits that embody their element. i.e. A living fire. A whirlwind. A rock monster. Or they can be shown to be completely human with their elemental traits hidden until they use their powers.
But like all paranormal creatures, elementals can come with any mythos you want. They can come from Greek Mythology. Or Chinese Mythology. Several Japanese religions still worship elemental spirits. How you embody them and the characteristics you give them are completely up to you.
No matter how elementals are portrayed they are powerful and protective of Earth. Elementals are rarely portrayed as evil or malicious unless under the influence or command of someone intending evil.
Up till now I think elementals are a species that have been under utilized and might just be the next wave of paranormal books to hit!
I love the idea of elementals being connected to the Earth and the protectors thereof, but also being magic users. So tell me, have you seen many books with elementals in them? What did you think? How were they portrayed? Did you like them?
Rebekah is an Award Winning Bestselling Author currently writing six series. Her trilogy The Society was released by Kensington in 2014 and her new series Shifter Rising is releasing in 2016 from Samhain Press. Her Fairytale Retelling series Fairelle is with Fallen Angel Press.
Rebekah is the President Elect of the FF&P Chapter. In her spare time when she isn’t writing you can find her teaching on SavvyAuthors.com or RWA. Rebekah cosplays with her kids and is a guest speaker and panelist at San Diego Comic Con, WonderCon and Salt Lake Comic Con and several other Comic Cons on the west coast as well as LTUE, RT, RWA, and AAD.