I've been working on the idea of The Hexarc for several years, but never really explained it.
This is the philosophy started by Mata-Nui and his elemental council on the Holy Island of Korrothis in the early years of the Matoran Universe. The elements can be expressed as a wheel with six spokes, with one half in light and the other in shadow. Light and Shadow are opposites. The prime arcs of; Air and Earth, Fire and Ice, Stone and Water are also seen as opposites. These opposites balance each other out, and it is the Duty of all Mata-Nui’s faithful to do what they must to make sure the elements stay in balance.
Another layer is added to this in the form of the Aspects of Creation, which give worshippers goals to pursue in life, such as understanding others and the creation of new things.
The Prime Elements themselves (Air, Fire, Stone, Earth, Ice and Water) arise from The Weave, a complex matrix built into the Matoran Universe by the great beings to help regulate its internal biospheres. In effect, The Hexarc has arisen from ancient terraforming practices which their creations now see as sacred.
Oh, also, I'm not saying any of this should apply to the real Bionicle worlds. This is for the Cyclic Plane, the universe in which my storyline takes place. So there are quite a few differences.
LIGHT -> Plasma -> Air -> Sonics (Breath) -> Music ->O<- Culture <- Jungle/Plantlife <- Earth <- Gravity <- SHADOW
LIGHT -> Lightning -> "Fire" (Heat) -> Spirit -> Dance ->O<- Reason/Logic <- Psionics (Mind) <- "Ice" (Cold) <- "Void" <- SHADOW
LIGHT -> Magnetism -> Stone -> "Iron" -> Artifice ->O<- Restoration <- "Poison" (Blood) <- Water <- "Acid" <- SHADOW
TIME -> LIFE -> CREATION
The legendary elements are seen as fundamental forces driving the Hexarc.
TIME: A "rogue element" outside the circle of the Hexarc, perceived as the force that causes the Great Wheel to turn. Time is one of the Legendary elements, with only a handful of individuals holding power over it, as it requires total balance to control. Matoran of Time do not exist. Example Wielders: Aridike
LIFE: Another legendary element. Very few individuals have ever help power over Life, as it requires total balance to control. Life not only applies in the literal sense, but is better translated as "nature" - power over Life means power over all known matter and energy. Matoran of Life do not exist. Example Wielders: Drothmarr, Ignika
CREATION: The third legendary element. Creation is seen as the central hub of the Great Wheel, the goal of all followers of this philosophy. Creation has six Aspects which are detailed below. Matoran of Creation do not exist. Example Wielders: Mata Nui, Artakha
LIGHT: One of the two overarching elements, alongside Shadow. Light and Shadow are diametrically opposed. Under light are the arcs of Air, Fire and Stone. Light embodies not just light, but all forms of energy, movement and activity. Beings with control over Light can also access some powers of the three arcs below it. Matoran of Light (Av-Matoran) rarely exist outside of Karda Nui. They can be either gender. Example Wielders: Jezeret, Inferax, Takanuva
SHADOW: One of the two overarching elements, alongside Light. Shadow and Light are diametrically opposed. Under Shadow are the arcs of Water, Ice and Earth. Shadow embodies not just physical shadow, but the empty void itself. A cold, desolate but extremely orderly existence. Beings with control over Shadow can also access some powers of the three arcs below it. Matoran of Shadow (Kra-Matoran) rarely exist outside the Shadowcaverns. They can be either gender. Example Wielders: most Makuta, Toa Atarangi
OUTER RING ELEMENTS
These are hybrid elements between the prime elements of The Weave and the elements of Light and Shadow.
PLASMA: An extremely energetic state of matter that exists as a controllable element. It is widely seen as a hybrid where Light and Air meet, though it has changed places with Lightning in the past due to changing philosophies. Beings with control over Plasma often branch out into being able to control violently unstable chemicals, air currents and explosions, blasts of radiation or sparks of lightning. It was thought to be associated with Fire due to its ability to generate fires. Plasma is seen as Air mixed with Light. Matoran of Plasma (Su-Matoran) are rare, but found all over the Matoran Universe. They are mosty male, but some are female. Example Wielders: Toa Antheke, Turaga Poliaz, Pahrak Kal
LIGHTNING: This element embodies the discharge of electrons. Originally seen as a hybrid of Air and Light, but since moved due to its deep association with the Stone arc as well as the Air arc. As with others, the name is misleading. "Lightning" refers to all electrical activity, regardless of source. Beings with control over lightning often branch out into electromagnetic pulses, bursts of fire, plasma flashes and blasts of radiation. Despite Lightning, Magnetism and Gravity representing three of the five fundamental forces of the universe, the Strong and Weak Nuclear forces are absent from the Hexarc, though some beings with control of Life have been thought to be able to influence them. Lightning is seen as Fire mixed with Light. Matoran of Lightning (Vo-Matoran) are rare, but found all over the Matoran Universe. They are all female. Example Wielders: Toa Soleku, Toa Lizena, Toa Tynne
MAGNETISM: This element governs the attraction of metals to others, as well as more advanced physical concepts that rapidly become very complicated. Beings with control of Magnetism can bend metallic objects to their will, but are also able to generate electromagnetic pulses, geokinesis and limited gravitic ability. Magnetism is seen as Stone mixed with Light. Matoran of Magnetism (Fa-Matoran) are rare, but found all over the Matoran Universe. They are all male. Example Wielders: Toa Orabmar, Gahlok Kal
GRAVITY: This element governs the attraction of all bodies to each other, as well as more advanced physical concepts that rapidly become very complicated. Beings with control of Gravity exhibit some abilities to drain energy from their surroundings, move earth and produce magnetic interference as well. Gravity is seen as Earth mixed with Shadow. Matoran of Gravity (Ba-Matoran) are rare, but found all over the Matoran Universe. They are all male. Example Wielders: Nuhvok Kal, Tarthex
VOID: This element governs a curious and perplexing state of nothingness. Beings able to control its power are incredibly rare, and matoran with this element are rarely seen outside of the Shadowcaverns. Void represents the deepest depths of nonexistance, and users are often able to strip energy away from other beings. The few users of Void have expressed abilities to generate thin miasma of toxic, unstable matter, extreme cold, and gravitic pulls. Void is seen as Ice mixed with Shadow. Matoran of Void (Ak-Matoran) are rare, do not venture outside of the shadowcaverns, and are mostly female. Example Wielders: Ozahkura, Lehvak Kal, Vamprah
ACID: A misnomer, this element actually governs all sorts of exotic, unstable, primitive forms of matter, including acids, alkali, simple molecules and even alpha particles, muons, kaons and other unstable materials commonly only found in space or the laboratory. Users of Acid are often mistrusted, as their abilities pose a very significant threat to any environment - moreso than the other five Outer Ring Elements. Acid users can often also use hydrokinetic abilities or ebb into the realm of Plasma manipulation. Acid is seen as Water mixed with Shadow. Matoran of Acid (Ka-Matoran) are rare, but found all over the Matoran Universe. They are mostly female. Example Wielders: Toa Eki, Toa Cydroc, Lehvak
THE PRIME ELEMENTS
These are the six prime elements of the Matoran Universe, as dictated by The Weave.
AIR: Air is an element associated with gaseous materials, mainly air itself. As with the other main elements of the Hexarc, Air users are common and their powers vary wildly. Some do exhibit powers more akin to Water or Fire elements such as summoning rain and creating pressure explosions and conflagrations in midair. Some also have access to enlightened or shadowed variants of Air, giving rise to plasma generation and sonic vibrations. Air is also seen as the element of chaos and a free spirit. Matoran of Air (Le-Matoran) are common, and found all over the Matoran Universe, with the largest population in Metru Nui. Le-Matoran attitudes to gender are complicated, and many consider themselves to be both or neither. Example Wielders: Toa Tenum, Toa Gringat, Toa Lewa
FIRE: Fire is a misnomer. This element has far more to do with heat itself, and imbuing any type of matter with energy. Most Fire users focus more on the Air side of their powers in order to control the direction of burning blasts and pyrotechnic displays, but foci towards the Stone element are not unheard of, with users able to control lava flows or even forge metal with their powers. Some also exhbit the abilities to generate lightning or even harness a little spirit energy. Fire is seen as the element of activity, power, force and emotion. Matoran of Fire (Ta-Matoran) are common, and found all over the Matoran Universe, with the largest population in Metru Nui. They are mostly male. Example Wielders: Toa Gratigan, Toa Tahu, Tahnok
STONE: Stone is an element associated with solid structures, crystals, rocks and sand. Stone manipulators are common, especially among Matoran. Many Stone users also train a little towards the Earth arc in order to focus on the manipulation of both kinds of solid matter. They may also exhibit the ability to control metals. Stone is seen as the element of dependable, lasting things and is the one most commonly associated with creators, as their creations last and are visible. Matoran of Stone (Po-Matoran) are common, and found all over the Matoran Universe, with the largest population in Metru Nui. They are all male. Example Wielders: Toa Cylus, Gaarus, Toa Pohatu
EARTH: Earth is an element associated with solid structures, more akin to organic compounds and decaying life returning to the soil. It has deep connotations with agriculture, mystery and death. Earth manipulators often train in powers of neighbouring arcs to give a measure of control over all sorts of solid matter. Some may also be able to channel gravitational waves or manipulate some forms of organic matter, like wood or bone. Matoran of Earth (Onu-Matoran) are common, and found all over the Matoran Universe, with the largest population in Metru Nui. Many also dwell in the Shadowcaverns. They are all male. Example Wielders: Abarium, Reglas, Toa Onua
ICE: Another misnomer, Ice has more to do with cold temperatures than actual water ice. It is concerned with the exclusion of energy, though many Ice users will train a little into Water arc abilities in order to manipulate water ice. Many ice users are able to focus their minds more than others can, and a rare few exhibit geokinetic abilities or the ability to sap energy from others. Ice is seen as the element of cold, calculating thought and methodical action, lacking in emotion or empathy. Matoran of Ice (Ko-Matoran) are common, and found all over the Matoran Universe, with the largest population in Metru Nui. They are mostly male. Example Wielders: Kohrak, Toa Kopaka, Toa Xalos
WATER: Though in its purest sense this element is concerned simply with H2O, in a broader sense it is concerned with the building blocks of chemicals crucial (or lethal) to life. Water elementalists will often branch out into neighbouring elemental fields, to chill their attacks, create nebulous clouds, or imbue their attacks with chemical traits. Many water manipulators also focus their abilities on healing others. Water is seen as an element of change, but predictable change, and is concerned with the life cycles of rahi, plants and even sentient creatures. Matoran of Water (Ga-Matoran) are common, and found all over the Matoran Universe, with the largest population in Metru Nui. They are all female. Water is the prime element for Akonians. Most Akonians possess some minor Water powers. Example Wielders: Tolus, Toa Matara, Toa Gali
ELEMENTS OF LIFE
The element of Life surrounds Creation (and sometimes includes it). It is split into six elements which are associated with the six arcs. Elements here are seen as hybrids between the pure element of the arc and either Light or Shadow affecting it from the other side.
SONICS: Sonics is an element associated with sound, vibrations and speech. Also known as "Breath", it is associated with the calls of animals and the speech and singing of living beings. Sonic elementalists will often "borrow" powers from neighbouring elements in order to direct their abilities with the wind, stimulate healing, and even interact with spirits. Wielders of this power tend to be softly spoken and make little noise if they can avoid it. Sonic is the element of Air mixed with Shadow and given Life. Matoran of Sonics (De-Matoran) are rare, with the largest population on the island of Poliaz. Like Le-matoran, many are genderfluid. Example Wielders: Toa Krikitt, Toa Krakua, Kohrak Kal
SPIRIT: Spirit is an element associated with the immortal souls of sentient creatures. It is a potent energy that permeates the universe, even inanimate objects, and is intimately tied with emotion, history and death. Spirit elementalists are rare and often ostracised due to the ease with which this element can be used for evil. Spirit is the element of Fire mixed with Shadow and given Life. Matoran of Spirit (Wa-Matoran) are very rare, found in isolated pockets of the Matoran Universe or hiding among Ta-Matoran. They are equally male or female. Example Wielders: Toa Xalos
IRON: Iron is a misnomer. It is concerned with multiple kinds of metals and even some non-metals. Iron is the element of complicated mechanisms, machinery and robotics which composes not only made thigs, but the bodies of most beings living within the Matoran Universe, and even the universe itself. Wielders of this element are known to create beautiful mechanisms that may take decades to fully understand, even for their creators, but also for a level of destruction matched by no other. Iron is the element of Stone mixed with Shadow and given Life. Matoran of Iron (Fe-Matoran) are very rare, with their largest population on the island of Nynrah. They are all male. Example Wielders: Toa Zaria
PLANTLIFE/JUNGLE: Another misnomer. Where Iron is concerned with synthetic constructs and robotics, this element is concerned with organics. Its wielders can theoretically control all forms of organic matter, including micro-organisms and the fleshy components of sentient beings, crippling them with pain. Plantlife users who abuse their powers like this are almost unheard of, however, and the morally acceptable (and easier) use of the power is to manipulate plants they can see in their environment. Some Plantlife wielders practice the control of biomechanical systems or learn how to shift earth and soil. Plantlife is the element of Earth mixed with Light and given Life. Matoran of Plantlife (Bo-Matoran) are rare, and typically live in isolated forest communities. They are mostly male. Example Wielders: Toa Lianyu, Tren Krom
PSIONICS: This element is concerned with the thought processes and imaginations of living beings, though users of this element can also interfere with the programming of machines with their powers. Poorly understood, users of this power are often ostracised by society due to fears that the user is spying on others and stealing their secrets - or even controlling sentients without their knowing. Users are usually harshly logical in their actions due to the intense mental conditioning required to use the power. Psionics is the element of Ice mixed with Light and given Life. Matoran of Psionics (Ce-Matoran) are rare, and typically live together in isolated communities or among Ko-Matoran. They are mostly female. Example Wielders: Toa Ia, Toa Orde, Telzira
POISON: A misnomer. This element is concerned with biochemistry and healing far more often than not, though as the saying goes, "The difference between medicine and poison is the dose." Users are often ostracised due to the capacity for evil this element bears, but continue their work as healers or warriors just the same, equally curing or poisoning others. Poison users typically do not control their element in massive quantities as Water users do, as this is seen as reckless and environmentally disruptive. Poison is the element of Water mixed with Light and given Life. Matoran of Poison (Pa-Matoran) are rare, and typically live among other types of matoran. They are very social, and are all female. Example Wielders: all Visorak, Roodaka
ASPECTS OF CREATION
Creation is an element composed of six parts where he six segments of the Hexarc join and the divides between them blur away.
MUSIC: Music is the ultimate expression of what can be created with the power of the air arc, and is especially beloved and sacred to Le-Matoran. Faith, love and emotions can be expressed through music. To a lesser extent, this element is also concerned with the attitudes and words Hexarc followers say to others in their lives, and this concept is also referred to as "music". No Matoran of Music exist. Su, Le and De matoran often focus more on this aspect.
DANCE: Known as the Great Takara by Ta-Matoran, this is the ultimate expression of what it means to follow the ways of fire and flame. The spirit speaks through actions and movement, and this element is as much to do with acting with faith to the Great Spirit through day-to-day actions as it is to do with actual dancing. No Matoran of Dance exist. Vo, Ta and Wa matoran often focus more on this aspect.
ARTIFICE: Followers of the Hexarc see the creation of items and machines as a sacred thing, and that the creation and construction of new things is essential to a good life. Followers are encouraged to create and build, and to share these things for the benefit of all. No Matoran of Artifice exist. Fa, Po and Fe matoran often focus more on this aspect.
CULTURE: Culture concerns itself with the growing of crops, raising of rahi and physical fulfilment of a worshipper's needs. This aspect takes on very different meaning depending on the species of the Hexarc follower in question. For most matoran in more technologically advanced areas of the Matoran Universe, food is not needed to sustain them, and they lack sexual organs, leaving this aspect as more one of respect for the living world around them. Other cultures will devote themselves far more fully to this aspect. No Matoran of Culture exist. Ba, Onu and Bo matoran often focus more on this aspect.
REASONING: Reasoning is regarded as the pursuit of new knowledge, understanding and abstract thought, just as much in understanding the physical world as it is in understanding other people. Every science and philosophy is seen as equally sacred in the eyes of the Hexarc. No Matoran of Reasoning exist. Ak, Ko and Ce matoran often focus more on this aspect.
RESTORATION: Where Artifice seeks to bring new innovations into the world, Restoration teaches followers of the Hexarc not to forget the past. While the recording and teaching of history is a huge part of this aspect, it also preaches kindness and a drive to repair damage done, be it pysical, social or spiritual. No Matoran of Restoration exist. Ka, Ga and Pa matoran often focus more on this aspect.