The Fire Signs of astrology symbolize a particularly dominant cultural force throughout the world. Fire signs are associated with doing rather than with thinking or reflecting. It’s an action oriented element that freely moves out into life to dynamically seize the moment. Think of flames energetically shooting upward and outward. Fire’s burning urge is to experience life adventurously and with full gusto.
Although not particularly organized, logical, or even considerate of others, fire motivates us to take quick, decisive action in the here and now, to strike boldly while the iron is hot and our passions are running high.
Until relatively recently, the archetypal world of fire has been the exclusive domain of traditional male behavior, reinforced by centuries of unquestioned and unbroken social conditioning. Society permits men to do their fire without much penalty. Boys will be boys, at least, until males overdo their fiery expression and become destructively macho. Fire is a fighting element, ready to attack whatever tries to thwart its energy or get in its way. Applied on a mass level, this becomes warfare – a collective drama where men, historically, have released fires potential fury by engaging in largescale violence.
Many men of today also vent their fire by being active in sports, by sexual conquest, by hunting, or by plunging into exciting forms of physical risk. Daredevils are born of the fire element. Abhorring timid, wishy-washy behavior, fire is no coward when it comes to finding ways to satisfy its urges. Women today are also learning firsthand and perhaps cautiously, that it is psychologically and physically beneficial to own and openly express what fire represents – our human ability to move bravely out into the world according to the spontaneous impulses of our desire and self-will.
More and more females are joining the ranks in such fields as boxing, football, soccer, weightlifting, and so on – formerly, all male-dominated activities. More women are also running big businesses in the corporate world, and are taking on high political office, all due to their readiness and willingness to embrace the strengths of fire, and thus break gender-based stereotypes.
Newborn babies come into this world already displaying their raw, untempered fire drives. They’ll cry a decidedly impatient and angry cry as their immediate way of asserting their being, as if claiming, I am alive and I am here. Deal with my needs now! This is a purer, uncultured fire at work, accenting its customary focus on fulfilling me concerns.
Although not exclusively associated with fire symbolism, despite the fact that astrologers relate it primarily to the Sun, the ego knows how to burn this element’s volatile fuel when needing to draw attention to itself. Fire pumps up the ego’s sense of commanding power. Thus, expect fire to be very self-focused and concerned with fulfilling its own desires, first and foremost. The signs Aries and Leo have very much been accused of this, but less so Sagittarius.
Strongly fire-oriented people can spend an entire lifetime acting as if their personal needs require urgent attention. They are not to be postponed or denied. Instant gratification is what fire wants and expects. However, in the process of exuberantly expressing who they are, fire types can deplete the energy of others. They can indulge in too much of a good thing, and in an uncontained manner. We tend to assume that fire people give of themselves in abundance. They warmly and generously radiate their light and heat, but they also need fresh energy sources to refuel themselves.
It’s exhausting to be around people who colorfully flare out all the time, who happily expend themselves, but then consume some of your vitality just to keep their own blaze going. Fire is thus a very demanding, even draining, force to be around for long periods of time. It can wear out other less energetic elements, most so earth and water, who prefer cooler temperatures, anyway. Still, its no wonder that this headstrong, self-assured element has long been associated with natural leadership ability and royal command (especially Leos proud and dignified, if not bossy, display of fire).
Fearlessly moving ahead into the challenging world, to take chances left and right, while leaning on no one for supervision and support, fire will stand tall on its own. Yet again, once it has used up a temporary source of energy, leaving only ashes, fire needs a fresh supply to keep going. Fire can be a very hungry element, due to its huge appetite for living. Give me more of what keeps me vibrant and active, roars fire.
So far, we get a sense that this element can come on strong and will fight to survive. It is willing to do battle to ensure that it will continue to thrive. Our capacity to thrust ourselves bravely out into life, and thereby develop a momentum for vigorous expression, belongs mainly to the fire element. Aries is a dynamic example of this. It’s also a cardinal sign and thus has an advantage when it comes to initiating energized action in the world. Because it’s such a natural self-starter, fiery Aries proves a smart choice as the sign to begin the zodiac (our cosmic Twelve-Step program for living a better, fuller life).
Although fire can foster selfishness, it’s this elements somewhat innocent self-absorption that allows it to retain its streak of independence, which then reinforces its instinct to follow a self-chosen path. Pioneers and trailblazers thus honor the fire principle within them when they show guts by going off in new and even controversial directions. They don’t need permission to go where they wish to in life, nor is gaining the approval of others what determines whether fire types single-handedly embark on a chosen course of action. (Sure,they’d enjoy having such support, but ultimately they don’t need it to initiate a major undertaking of personal interest.) I’m here to please myself, first and foremost, fire honestly admits.
There is a bit of a loner streak in fire. This is not an element that easily attaches itself to others for long periods of time. Fire doesn’t comfortably settle into structured relationships, and even the security of enduring intimacy is not what it wants, especially if that means its freedom to spontaneously move about will be curtailed. (Trap fire in a tiny metal box, and eventually its life-spark will extinguish.) Thus, in matters of close involvement, expect fire to have problems with total commitment. Loyal Leo has more staying power in this area, as long as few restrictions are imposed.
Settled relationships also hint at a shared life of expected behavior and routine habits, something that fire fears will prove too tedious to bear. Where’s all the excitement and pizzazz of living? That’s what fire craves. Since fire isn’t all that deeply absorbed in others, it’s not one to merge or share. It won’t allow itself to get sucked into the complicated worlds of people in need (that’s more water’s dilemma). Fire doesn’t even feel it has to blend with the other elements in order to enhance itself (which is not true). Its too self-centered to even realize the value of exploring other ways of perceiving the world. It’s much too sold on its own way of sizing up reality.
Still, our growth process involves a skillful and conscious integration of many astrological factors that initially appear to have little in common, or that typically clash when combined (the old incompatibility issue). Some of us may be born with a heavy fire emphasis. Besides Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, there are also fire planets to contend with (the Sun, Mars, and Jupiter). Since there are other signs and planets in our chart associated with the three other elements, we need to better combine our fire energies with these other components. This will help us develop a more well-rounded awareness of ourselves and of the world in which we live.
We can’t afford to take an exclusively fired-up approach to living, plus others would soon take issue with such a headstrong manner of behaving. We’d be accused of being arrogant, pushy, conceited, bossy, opinionated, or even too self-righteous. So, when it comes to courageously living the life we were meant to live, unfazed by the attempts of others to censor us or rain on our parade, fire is the element that points us in the right direction. It believes in authentic self-expression and relishes displaying an upfront, spirited sense of self and to heck with what the neighbors think.
Fire has a hard time bowing down to the dictates of others. It won’t blindly follow set rules of conduct, especially when they prove to be stifling. We need fire in our veins to give us the gumption required to take on the world in a lusty, passionate manner. Dramatic fire makes sure that our life won’t be dull and anemic. It’s good to note where our fire-signs are located in our chart, for here is where we will be supported by a more robust and honest approach to people and situations.
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