The four elements—fire, earth, air, and water—nourish, support and sustain life on Planet Earth. We cannot exist without them. Across the world and throughout the ages, these four elements have been worshiped by many cultures, religions and spiritual groups. As we look deeper into the meaning of these four elements, we can appreciate their unique strengths, and how to enhance our connection to them for a more balanced life. This article, third in a series of four, will focus on fire.
Fire for survival
Since the beginning of human existence, we’ve relied on fire to keep us warm, cook our food and provide us with light. Without fire, the human species could not survive.
Fire as the Transformative Spirit of Life
As we watch a fire burn, we see the colors change from red to yellow to orange, constantly transforming as it consumes that which it is absorbing. Though fire may seem like a form of destruction, it also brings new life and creation. For example, the heat from a fire forces a pine cone to open and release its seeds, and after a forest fire the land is a clean slate for new growth to burst forth again.
Spiritual Symbolism of Fire
Fire has been an important symbol in many religions and philosophies throughout the centuries. In many cultures, including Christianity, a lit candle symbolizes light and Spirit. In many Native American traditions fire has an integral role in nearly all of their rituals and ceremonies. They use the flames to cleanse their sacred items, and infuse the smoke with their prayers to be carried back up to the creator. In the Hindu tradition, Diwali is a five day festival of lights. This celebration uses oil lamps and candles to represent the victory of inner light as it radiates love, dispelling darkness. In Greek mythology, the transformative power of fire is symbolized by the phoenix, a bird that continually manifests new life by burning its old body to be re-born out of the fertile ashes.
Fire Signs in Astrology
In astrology, there are three fire signs: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. People born under these signs possess the characteristics of fire to varying degrees and therefore can be incredibly lively and spontaneous. Carrying the flames of passion and ingenuity with them wherever they go, fire signs are often inspiring to others with their strong opinions and zest for life. Of course these signs must also learn how to manage the shadow side of fire, which can be volatile and sometimes burn out of control.
Numerology and Fire
Fire is associated with the number 11, a master number. They both represent insight and illumination. Eleven is the number of spiritual truth and psychic vision. Analogous to fire, it is a powerful creator, as well as a potential destroyer.
Of all the elements, fire is likely the one that fascinates us the most with its beauty, mystery, and dual nature. When used mindfully, fire brings light, warmth, insight, renewal, and creation – and reminds us of our everlasting spirit. We all have an inner nature that is reflected in the outer nature, and vice versa. Try lighting a candle or sitting by a campfire to observe the flames. As you connect with the true nature of fire, you will be developing a more intimate relationship with your own inner light. This kind of illumination will help you align with the magic of self-awareness, and personal transformation that brings new growth.