Corn represents bodily substance. It is the basic food from which the human body is built up, and is the exoteric "staff of life." Traditionally, corn is a "sacred plant" and is not native to this our world; it is never found, like other cereals, in a wild state. This golden, graceful, prolific and needful plant, it is taught, was never a growth of this earth, but was transported in the dawn of time to our world from another planet, with the dual purpose of providing the staple food of humanity, and of giving man an emblem of his own soul. The human soul, like the corn, is not indigenous to this time-world, but is a native of eternity, whence it has become transported, and sown as bare grain in the individualised patch of earth constituting the human body. Esoterically, corn is the symbol of spiritual nourishment, the "bread from heaven," and is an emblem of spiritual germination and growth: "For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear" (Mark, chapter 4, verse 28).
WINE-POURED IN THE SOUTH
Wine is, so to speak, a fluidic emblem in contrast with Corn, which is solid. It refers to the human mind, which is fluidic, in contrast with the human body, which is static. Esoterically, wine is the symbol of the mind exalted and inebriated by the consciousness of Divine things, even as the juice of the grape is brought to ripeness by the rays of the sun.
OIL-POURED IN THE WEST
Oil is a liquid fire, and is the symbol of Wisdom. It is a combination of fire and water brought into balance and forming a new substance displaying the properties of each. Oil is likewise a lubricant, an illuminant, and a healer. Esoterically, Corn and Wine are related to Body and Mind (the two lower principles of human nature), while Oil and Salt are related to Soul and Spirit (the two higher principles of human nature). Wisdom results when the purified Body and Mind become fused with the "fire" of the Spirit.
SALT-SPRINKLED IN THE EAST
Salt is the symbol of the perfected, and spiritually "inflamed," human nature. Common earth, signifying unregenerate human nature, is dark and incombustible. Salt, signifying regenerated human nature, is white and burns. The synthesis of the three elements of Corn, Wine and Oil is a new "earth," of which Salt is the emblem. In this sense it is written: "Ye are the salt of the earth" (Matthew, chapter 5, verse 13).
At appropriate intervals during the Consecration Ceremony, when the four elements are offered, the assembled Brethren singed this song.