Fire - Elemental Philosophy

Wicca Natural Magic Kit: The Sun, The Moon, and The Elements, Elemental Magic, Moon Magic, and Wheel of the Year Magic - Lisa Chamberlain 2018

Elemental Philosophy

Fire is probably the most attention-grabbing of all the Elements, due as much to its mesmerizing appearance as to its inherent dangers.

While early humans did live without the use of fire for millennia, the discovery of how to create and control it was essential to our evolution as a species. Fire has allowed us to work and play after sundown, cook nutritious meals, and live comfortably in colder climates. Though its ability to consume nearly everything in its reach makes it a potentially deadly Element, it is this quality that also turns raw metals into tools for easier living.

Fire is different from the other Elements in that it must have another Element to consume in order to maintain its existence, and so is constantly at the work of transformation, and always in motion. It is also the Element of illumination, both for its ability to shed light in the dark, and its association with the Sun.

The energy of Fire is associated with passion—physical and spiritual—as well as strength, willpower, courage, and initiative. We see this demonstrated in the phrase “on fire,” used often in amorous contexts, as well as being “fired up” about something one feels to be important, whether a political opinion or a sports team. We also might speak of “feeling the heat” of a stressful or pressurized situation or “putting the heat on” someone in order to get something we want. Fire is also associated with creativity, an energy that lights us up from the inside, as well as the ego, which we sometimes need to watch in order to not let our own thinking get out of control. It is the most active and animated of the Elements, and its power is something we all need to learn to recognize at an early point in our lives, lest we get burned for playing with it.

Fire personalities

People with Fire as their dominant Element tend to command the attention of others. They are generally enthusiastic, vigorous, impassioned, and easily excitable. They make for natural leaders, since they are naturally courageous and willing to charge forth, and they often feel passionate enough about causes or goals that nothing gets in the way of their drive to succeed.

Others are drawn to the light Fire people radiate from the center of their beings. They are often joyful people, and others may feel “lighter” just for being around them. Fire people don’t tire easily and tend not to be comfortable sitting still for very long. This is energy that can’t be truly contained without extinguishing it.

Of course, just as the Element can be dangerous when not carefully managed, the personality of Fire can get to be too much for others. Fire people may sometimes go overboard in expressing their desires or opinions, or be unaware of the need to “share the floor” during conversations. They can be impulsive and somewhat insensitive compared to other Elemental personalities. They may struggle with a perceived need for immediate gratification or have the tendency to be in a hurry all the time. Too much Fire energy can make a person quick-tempered or even prone to rage, and courage untempered by reason and realism can end up backfiring—another word that demonstrates our appreciation for the power of fire.

A balanced approach to living as a Fire person involves learning to ease up on the fuel when appropriate, taking a more long-range view of what will be needed to sustain that energy beyond the present moment. In the days before electricity, households would “bank” their indoor fire overnight, allowing the embers to stay just hot enough to keep it intact for the next morning. Fire people can remember that slowing down and cooling off does not have to mean being extinguished, but can instead be a wise way to ensure success in the long run.

Ways of connecting with Fire

Fire is the one Element that we can’t touch with our bodies without potentially serious damage, including death.

Therefore, attuning to its energy is, in the most immediate sense, a “hands-off” activity. However, interacting with Fire is intense, illuminating, and exhilarating all the same, and one can be just as immersed in its energy as in any of the other Elements. Gazing into the flame of a candle is a wonderful, simple way to take in the power of Fire, and a bonfire is even better, especially on a cool, crisp evening when the warmth of the fire adds an extra layer to its magical quality. A fire enjoyed by friends, families, and/or lovers is one manifestation of the love energy this Element brings, as well as its ability to strengthen bonds with others.

Like clouds, flames can make for excellent divinatory communication, as images may appear either in the fire itself, or the smoke as it twists and curls up toward the sky. Crackling embers and the small bursts of energy they release can also be interpreted as messages from the spirit world, and there are even several methods for divination using the ashes from ritual fires.

Moving the body with vigorous exercise and dance is another way to tap into Fire, stoking the heat of our internal “engines” to match the high frequency and vitality of this Element. This way of attuning has the added benefits of building up strength and clearing toxins and other unwanted energy forms from the body. Spending time outdoors in the Sun is also important, and can be extra magical after a long spell of rain or cold Winter weather. Even though the Sun is technically composed of gas, rather than Fire, the two have always been linked together. After all, the Sun does have the ability to burn our skin, and it can certainly start a fire under the right circumstances!

In many traditions, blowing out a candle is considered disrespectful to the spirit of Fire, and people will wave their hands over the flame to put it out instead, or use candle snuffers as a gentler, more attentive method. Whether you adhere to this idea or not, always be respectful of and grateful for the gift of Fire.