There is huge confusion concerning the three energy systems, earth energy/life energy/group energy. They are interconnected but they are not the same. As you physically generate energy and inject it into the astral it will default to earth energy if it can and you will have a vivid dream involving one of the elements.
What is happening is the earth’s energy grid is attempting to absorb your energy and will have problems at first.
Water in the astral represents free energy that can’t find a home or way to manifest. It represents energy that you have that for one reason or another can’t be used. At one point almost twenty years ago this water element was so strong it would flood through me during the lunar phases, especially the full moon. One time I was riding in a car when it happened and I noted the time. Later I found that it corresponded exactly to the full moon.
Astral dreams with water have always been the most common for me. It has flooded and disolved things. It has been pure water and sewage water. The magickal cup or grail symbolizes this energy but does not have a magickal link to it. If it can be contained and used it is not water energy. Its connection to life energy is emotional energy and sexual energy. In the context of group energy it is something emotionally pleasing that groups of people enjoy such as art, music or dancing.
Fire has mostly been represented in my dreams with explosive weapons and burnt out buildings or landscapes. It is the epitomy of destructive force and the result of two conflicting forces or energies. I have rarely seen flames in astral dreams, only the aftermath of destructive force. Astral warfare is a reality among magick workers, at least until antimonies have been worked out.
Fire links with life energy symbolicaly through astral weapons like guns and bombs but mostly like the athame or dagger often used in magickal conflicts. It has been a long time since I have used my knife in astral battles but at one time it was almost constant. In terms of group energy is in linked to leadership, respect and assertiveness.
Air has only occurred in my astral dreams after I have done some heavy astral meditation or traveling and mentally made new connections. When my mental awareness goes out into the astral it leaves a trail of connections and the consequences of such mind traveling have often resulted in tornado like storms within dreams because energy is traveling new pathways.
This is why air is linked so strongly with mental energy. This of course is life energy and not earth energy. Heavy magickal work does seem to be linked to or create low pressure systems with thunderstorms and rainstorms. I can feel the buildup of pressure and the release when the rain starts. Compared with the destruction of fire and the flowing of water, air allows choice and personal will for the first time. The way things are connected determines outcome and everytime we dream we alter astral connections into new energy patterns. I have found no connection between swords and air unless it is the act of cutting and re-connecting. In groups air represents ritual and common law that all agree upon.
After all these years earth is becomming more predominate in my astral dreams. Perhaps that means I am becoming more realistic in my life experience? I do know that I will dream about anything of significance the night before it really happens. This has become a rule in my life and is no longer open to speculation. Things will happen in the astral before they happen in the physical. We may or may not be able to alter them.
Physical objects and landscapes in the astral represent things that are solidly established and not easily manipulated or changed. There are also levels of phyicality with the lowest levels being the closest to the earth and to manifestation. When you are in a dream that has colors, sounds and smells and objects have weight, you are at a very earth like level of the astral. They represent true energy realities of real physical situations. Life events seem to happen in clusters and events will cluster around one trigger or need to wait until the next event.
Life energy is represented by other life forms within the dream. Plants, animals, birds, reptiles and humans all have their places. We all serve life. At the group level we dream about other people and what they represent and bring into our lives. Every magickal Order or system uses a hierarchal system and some form of group energy. Think about it. The pantacle is simply a symbol of that groups energy and collective thought.
In the context of these three energy systems earth/life/human the traditional tools such as the athame and wand take special significance for males. The wand is the symbol of life energy while the athame is symbol of earth energy. The wand is created from a living tree while the athame is created out of metal. My wand has an elemental spirt bound to it that is human like but of wood. This just happened in a very vivid dream. It was not something I did consciously through ritual or ceremony.
There is a big difference between the athame that asserts my will through destructive force and a nature spirit created as a magickal ally.
The cup or grail and the pantacle or altar have never been very significant to me. This is probably because they are feminine. I would expect that they are just as important to females as the athame and wand are to me. But their use and importance is veiled from my eyes. I can only relate the male side of things as I have experienced them.