Copyright held by (Link) Anthony
It is around us every day. We see it, touch it; we are sometimes burned by it. It is the warmth of a comfortable place to sit, and the roaring blaze that devastates an entire village. It burns within every beat of our heart. Fire.
Fire is Change
Fire is around us everywhere. The energy of Fire is often quite obvious, but sometimes can be tricky to spot. Do you have a special piece of jewelry? Most times we look at an object and see its earthy solid form, what it looks like today. But the metals in your jewelry took their present shape by being forged at temperatures higher than we might imagine. And as long as they retain that shape, they retain the impact of Fire. Fire is energy. Energy has the power to change things. In fact, the symbol for Fire (a triangle pointed upwards) is a Greek symbol called Delta - which means change. Think how the energy of events in your own life have "forged" you, changed your life and shaped you into what you are today.
Fire is Light
Much of the work and play we do is aided by Fire. Reading uses Fire, since it requires light, usually either Sunlight or electrical light -- both very Fiery indeed. Next time you read something, give a special "thank you" to the light energy which carried its joy off the page to the gleam in your eye. Take note that whatever change in the world caused by reading - every classroom, every election booth, every love-letter - comes to us via the light of Fire.
Fire is the Sun
What else depends on light? Photosynthesis: the act of turning Sunlight into food. Plants do this everyday. All our food, our incense, our herbal medicines, our wooden homes, all contain the Sunlight stored away over the years by plants. Feel it? Recognize the Sun's stored flame next time you hold an object made of wood. When wood burns it actually releases this solar energy into a fiery glow. Feel the warmth of the sun next time you enjoy a camp fire, fireplace, or simple votive candle. There is something very primal within Fire. From cave-times to today, people huddling around an open flame regard it as something special.
Without question, people notice how Earth's agricultural breadbasket nourishes us. But what nourishes the Earth with enough energy to create such delights? The sun! Mother Earth contains the solid materials, the building-blocks ready to construct this bounty. But Sunlight provides the energy to ignite life, turning the fields green and growing.
Sunlight also charges people with a special glow. Try soaking up the Sun on a hot summer day. Store it within you. Whether you feel it or not, the Sun's energy changes you a bit, like the way a glow-in-the-dark watch shines after you hold it up to the light. Feel the Sun's flame within you. Is there a special part of your body that reacts to the Sun more than others? Maybe after hours of soaking up its energy, you have Sun-hair, Sun-skin, Sun-eyes? Do more intense things happen to you after you've been in the sun? Do people treat you different? Perhaps they sense a little bit more radiance within you.
Fire is Magic
We often recognize the magic of water and herbs when brewing our magical teas, but the heat in our hot steamy cup also contains Fire. Next time you seek healing energies from a cup of hot tea, direct the Fire energy within its heat to work for you as well. Ask it to speed your recovery. You might find working with all the elements within your cup works better than any single one alone.
Your home is well-charged with Fire. I often look to my heater's pilot light as a perpetual candle flame that always stay lit. A home is rarely without Flame. Its lights, its electrical devices all breathe Fire's life throughout your house, transforming it from a cold dark place into a warm happy home.
People often find special magic within color. Fire burns with a variety of colors. Copper burns green; silicon (like sand or glass) burns yellow. If you like working with Fire, and color, try creating a Flame that matches the color of your desires. But be ecologically aware - whatever you burn ends up in the air and the ground where its ashes remain. Try to keep it simple.
People work with Fire in many ways. Ever notice someone trying to start a difficult car? They make facial expressions, utter words of encouragement; they even do some rather interesting rocking motions - anything to crank electricity from the car's battery to the starter and into the engine!
Gotta light? Ever notice the way someone acts when they light a cigarette for someone else, someone they desire? Its like they communicate right through the flame as it is passed from one person to another.
Passing the Flame
Try passing a flame from one place to another, like lighting a candle or incense stick from somewhere special on your altar. I like to pass flames from one candle to another, thinking about how one candle gains the gift of life from another. If you use a candle in magic, when might you want to light its flame from the Goddess candle on your altar? The God candle? Or perhaps the candle of a particular direction? Is there a particular source of flame that might work best for your intent? If you own a car, what type of special work might you do with the flame from your car's dashboard lighter? From your kitchen stove? What fires await within that matchbook you took as a memento of a special place? For some fun, try lighting a Fire with a magnifying glass, starting your flame with nothing but the light of the Sun!
Fire is Divination
Fire can be used for a variety of divination techniques. We've all heard of scrying into tea leaves, but what about scrying into the ashes left behind by a small fire, perhaps in your trusty cauldron, or maybe in that same heat-resistant mug you use for tea. Instead of pouring water on your fragrant leaves, light them aflame! Try burning special woods or herbs, parchment, photos, old pay stubs, the daily news. What might work best to answer your particular question? Besides looking at the ashes, did you notice anything unusual about the flame? Did it peak in any particular direction before going out? What does that direction mean to you? For a new experience, take a blank piece of paper and wave it over a candle flame, close enough to leave black soot marks, but not close enough to ignite. Interpret these sooty shapes and designs the same way you would a cloud in the sky. Do you see a pair of lips? Perhaps a bunny rabbit? What do these shapes and symbols mean to you? ("Faerie Realm," Ted Andrews, Llewellen Publications.)
Fire is Alive
Each flame is a unique life form, a unique spirit unlike any other. It has life and breath, it is born, consumes, grows, then flickers out, leaving behind an empty shell. Ashes to ashes. Are we any different? Try sensing the spirit in the flames you encounter. What makes "this" candle just a little bit different than the other? Try communicating with the engine spark that moves you from one place to another. Acknowledge the energy that warms your bath, rings your phone, gives you a tan or just keeps your heart going one beat to the next. Try whispering softly to even the bathroom nightlight. Some of these flames might just answer you back!
(All recommendations regarding making or using Fire are meant for adults. Firefolk under the age of 18 should do so with adult supervision.)