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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.

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