The Fire Element in Nature
“Fire is ignited; from a tight bud a flower head is unfurled and the full splendor of life is there for all to see.”
- Jane Butler Biggs, Feng Shui Fusion
Before I get into the deeper meaning of Fire and how it relates to personality and motivations, I should give you a brief understanding of what the Fire Element represents in nature.
Fire is the most yang of the Five Elements in Eastern philosophy. In nature Fire represents the peak of summer and peak of the day, noontime. The Fire Element symbolizes the South and the fullness of the sun.
The energy of Fire is ascending like flames rising upward toward the heavens. It is the fullest expression of yang, as the Five Element Cycle moves from Water, representing winter and the greatest yin energy, to Wood, the expansion of yang energy and spring bursting forth from the seeds deep underground, before the energy expands fully to Fire (in the summer).
Fire brings us light and warmth of the sun as well as the hearth. It is the magma rising up through the earth, rising to the surface and spilling over onto the earth. It is the natural fire that whips through the forest as it feeds on the undergrowth, freeing up necessary nutrients for a thriving ecosystem.
Ever since the publication of Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine by Beinfeld and Korngold in 1991, we have the insightful archetypical names associated with each element. Fire is known as the Wizard.
The Wizard Archetype
I connected with my Fire energy in my early childhood. I recall my older sister and brother nudging me during family pictures and saying “stop that fake smile!” But what they didn’t realize is that it wasn’t a fake smile. It was my smile – big and toothy – happy to be in the spotlight as the youngest child usually is. A genuine, big smile is a sure sign of Fire.
Fire is a Performer
I got my taste of the stage at an early age. My first experience was representing the first grade at mass one month. I read a short passage from the bible as the microphone cracked and screeched, but my parents were so pleased. And from that point on I entered talent shows and sang in the school chorus and joined every club (yes there were several) that related to singing! I haven’t sung outside my home for many years, but just this February I volunteered to be the first karaoke competitor of the evening at a bar in Milan, Italy.
After practicing feng shui for a few years I was given the opportunity to start a feng shui program at a prestigious design school. I was called to perform again. And if you didn’t think that teaching was like performing, think again! Fire people love to be on a stage.
Fire Needs Connection
After leaving the corporate world and starting out as a feng shui consultant, I knew immediately that one of my challenges would be the lack of community as a solo entrepreneur. So I volunteered to be on the board of directors for the International Feng Shui Guild and have been there since 2008. Fire loves connection and camaraderie.
Fire is Passion & Enthusiasm
Those two words are never short in my vocabulary. They provide the fuel for my career and spiritual path. My passion is to help create “luminous” spaces inside and out. To bring light to our homes and workplaces so that we can access the personal power for spiritual enlightenment – two Fire-driven topics.
And if my Fire energy wasn’t strong enough I had a dream encounter that provided a shocking experience that is said to be part of spiritual initiation: a lightning strike. It was so vivid and real. There wasn’t any pain, thankfully, yet I was suspended in mid air before the dream ended. Some say this was an activation of Fire energy dormant in my soul.
The Fire Element Out of Balance
Every element, however positive, has its shadow side when out of balance.
In my need to connect, I can over commit myself and then burn out. I require space to be alone and contemplate with my work.
To balance my strong passion and enthusiasm for life, I need to go inside and be quiet.
I often wear my heart on my sleeve and can be quite vulnerable to others opinions of me. I get easily derailed and fall out of center. I can question everything I’m doing. So I need to step back and breath. To come back to my center and my mission.
In essence, the strong yang quality of Fire needs the counterbalance of the powerful yin quality of Water. Contemplation, reflection, time to dream, rest and be alone.
How do you recognize the qualities of Fire in yourself and your life?