Atoms have souls.
The Material is co-created by All Souls together. The Night Spirit and all their Souls. It is an eternal process and we are a part of it.
However, in order for the Soul to create, it needs a reflection of itself in the Material. This is the Mind. We call it by many names such as the ego or soul or physical mind. For humans this is the Mental Body.
Humans are not the only Souls though. There are aliens too. They too have the beginning Mind in the Mental Bodies. This is regardless of spiritual duality. Together we make up the Mental realm.
As we already know, there are higher beings. Tiamat has Mind in a Celestial Body. She is a Celestial being in a Celestial realm.
On a side-note, the book and everything esoteric teaches that the Causal realm is the one higher than the Mental. Technically speaking this is wrong. It is the Celestial. The "Causal Realm" is not really a part of the Material hierarchy but just another name for the Magickal Reality that lies beyond the hierarchy.
It is not important to know this, save for the fun of science. You don't need to know how the light works to turn it on. For practical matters, and for us Humans (humans+aliens) it is convenient to believe that the Causal is the one above the Mental. The Soul of the "Causal" is what its corresponding Mind of any realms should reach.
Anyway we know of higher beings. But there are also two lower levels. The lowest is of course the Physical realm. There are beings that have Mind rooted in the Physical. I'm not talking about the Human body. I'm talking about atoms.
Atoms have Souls. More specifically each atom is an individual Mind linked to a Soul or an Atman. Similar to how the Mental Body of Humankind is Mind. This is why the term 'Mental Realm' is somewhat misleading. Everything in every Realms in the Material is controlled by many Minds of many realms, weak and strong. But again this is nitpicking. For us Humans, Mind is of the Mental Realm anyway.
Why do atoms have souls but not quarks or electrons or any of the subatomic particles? Those subatomic particles are mathematical constructs. "Illusions". It is useful to know quantum mechanics - if you don't, simply know that all Material forms can be separated into energy and matter. The energy creates the probability wave in space-time where matter may or may not exist, while matter is essentially jumping here and there, duplicating in many places and/or teleporting every moment - moving/existing everywhere but in the boundaries of that probability wave.
We humans now all agree on how it's beautifully fucked up, but that's what we helped create, the workings of the Universe. In any case this is basic science that all physicists know today.
Long story short, the basic components of matter are illusions. They exist and yet they don't. When they do they do so only by Mental Will. They can easily cease to exist as matter and only in the realm of possibility as energy.
But only in theory. We all know this is not true for most humans on Earth. There are many reasons. One of them is the Atomic Mind of the Physical Realm. I will call them 1st density beings or Elementals.
Elementals have Will. Atom is the most basic form from which Elementals can learn of desire and pain and love. There is such a thing as a happy state in atoms. Atoms seek to stabilize their outer electron shell by becoming ions or cations. Except perhaps for noble gases, all atoms have to form compounds or molecules with other atoms. By identifying with atoms the Elementals learn the most rudimentary form of connection: love, desire, repulsion, duality, so forth. Even hate and fear perhaps. It is a world of instinct as opposed to its higher world of emotions. Emotions are simply complicated memories of instincts themselves.
Moreso, Elementals can control atoms - just as much as Humans can control their Mental Bodies. Remember that atoms are composed of subatomic matters of probability waves. This possibility wave of the physical realm is simply what we know as the Etheric energies. Elemental souls use Etheric energies in order to experience the life of an atom. It is here where we as humans can intercept and know information of a physical body such as its health, its state, or its past.
Unlike us, Elementals are too basic to have any emotions or reasoning. Their memories are essentially null and they live very literally in the moment.
But they have instincts. And through instincts they have the ability to move. Physicists only see them from the macrocosm so it seems to them that atoms are soulless and mindless, unable to decide where to go and why. But they can, and they do so every moment, just like we do. The static vibration of atoms are controlled by the beings incarnate within them, and this leads to movement across space-time. They seem random from above but they are no more random than what comes up in our own minds.
And through this Etheric energy the Elementals decide where to go, whom to bind or break with and when, and most of all, how to better control their atoms. How to better control their Mind. They are of course limited to the physics of the four forces and by their own Will and Imagination - which is extremely narrow to have any consequences in the macrocosm whatsoever. But essentially this is how they experience and grow in the Physical realm.
Atoms are alive. They're sentient.
All the stable ones anyway. It's possible for an atom to be non-sentient. If we involve nuclear fission and moreover fusion in our weapons and in our own sun, things can get more complicated.
Nuclear fission in particular should not occur. Especially on Earth. It is a destructive force not only for the physical but the emotional and mental. Moreover it is certain "soul death" for the Elementals involved. This is how an ultimate destruction of a Mind/soul occurs. And it is but one of many wrongdoings on this planet...
In general though a single atom in nature will not undergo fission or fusion and remain linked to a Soul who wishes to experience life that way.
This is why it's hard to control the physical realm. Matter is already inhabited by beings with their own agendas and Will. Not to mention the Wills of higher beings, other humans, Night gods, and so forth.
If we want magick to work then we need to get their attention. And the key to that attention is within our Oversouls. The Casual body - the memory deep within our subconscious of when we were One with the Universe.
That Oneness can convince any atoms of doing anything. A force of ultimate creation. Or destruction.