Explanation of the Elemental Figure by Bl. Raymond Lull

bullet1 2- The Situation of the Elements

1. The red line, which signifies fire in the fourth degree, signifies that in a choleric supposite, fire and earth are extremes, whereas air and water are contained by them. The black line signifies that fire and earth are within substance; now as the virtue of substance is greater within substance than in its extremes, air and water in this black line are containers; and this shows that fire and earth are containers by way of extension and contained by way of intensity; the same applies to both remaining horizontal lines, in their own way.

2. Further, fire in the red line, air in the black line, water in the blue line and earth in the green line make up one first vertical line in the quadrangle of fire in a plant which is fiery in the fourth degree, and they represent the disposition of the spheres, where the sphere of fire is above the others; the sphere of air, after the sphere of fire, is above the two remaining spheres, next under it is the sphere of water, and the sphere of earth is the lowest of the spheres.

3. In the second vertical line, air is red, fire is black, earth is blue and water is green, which signifies how one element is accidentally above another element in a mixture; and what is signified by this line is also signified by the remaining two vertical lines that follow it, each in its own way: in the first of these, water is red, earth is black etc. which is accidental, i.e. due to mixture, although it is contrary to the natural order of the spheres, because in the red line of the first quadrangle, fire comes before air, air before water, water before earth; next, in the black line, air comes before fire, fire before earth, earth before water; and then in the blue line, water comes before earth, earth before fire and fire before air; and then again in the green line, earth comes before water, water before air and air before fire. Now this leads us to understand that each and every element in a supposite of the fourth degree or less of fire, and also in other elemented supposites is situated before and after every other element, to signify that every minimal part of every element is in every minimal part of every other element, and consequently every element is totally in every other element, so that by the virtue of such a mixture, each and every one of the four elements is situated in each and every elemented supposite in continuous quantity.

4. There are other, slanted lines in the said quadrangle; now in the first, fire is red, black, blue and green, and in another line slanted in the opposite way to the first, earth is red, black, blue and green; crossing the first two lines, there are other lines in which air is red, black, blue and green, and water is red, black, blue and green, and these signify that each element is situated in every slope and irregularity of an elemented body. And then there are four more slanted lines in this quadrangle, two of which slant in a way contrary to the two others: in the first, air is red, earth is black and air is blue; in the second, air is black, earth is blue and air is green; and in the two lines which are the counterparts of these, the first has red water, black fire and blue water, and the second has black water, blue fire and green water, which signifies that one opposite is contained by the other opposite and conversely, i.e. that a predominantly choleric elemented body is more vehement and virtuous in the inside of substance than its opposite; and if an opposite is contained in its opposite, it surely follows that one concordant element is contained by another concordant element, as shown by the lines similar to these in the quadrangle of air and in the quadrangle of water.

5. Further, the same quadrangle has a center and a circumference; in the center, there is black fire, blue earth, black earth, and blue fire; in the circumference there are four lines, two are vertical and two are horizontal, the two vertical lines are in opposite order as are the two horizontal lines; the first vertical line and the first horizontal line have the same order, and so do the the second vertical line and the second horizontal line, to signify that fire and earth inside of choleric substance have more virtue than the other elements and that they instill their virtue into the external elements according to concordance and contrariety, so that if you diligently consider all the things already said in this Part about the situation of the elements, you can imagine and understand that a choleric elemented body is entirely filled with every one of the other elements in every part of its own being.

6. The things said here about the situation of the sixteen cameras of the fiery quadrangle in an elemented compound which is hot in the fourth degree, dry in the third, moist in the second and cold in the first degree, can be likewise understood in different ways about the degrees of melancholy, blood and phlegm; and in the situation of all the parts of the elements within one another that we described here, the situation of the form and matter of the said supposite or plant are aggregated from many substantial parts of elements comprising the plant's substance; now these substantial and accidental parts are quantity, quality and other things subject to form, so that the things described here show how one degree is situated within another in each and every elemented supposite.