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Fire in Western Astrology
Fire is one of the four elements of Western astrology. Fire starts off the Zodiac cycle with a bang. This element is usually easy for people to understand: it's loud, it's hot, it's passionate, it's aggressive, it's warm, and it's contagious.
The three sun signs born under the fire element are: Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. These three fire queens symbolize the head, the heart, and . . . the thighs. Of course, Sagittarius had to throw in something unusual.
Fire signs are known as starters and leaders. They like to be in charge, in control, and they like to make decisions.
- Fire is a symbol of free-will.
- Fire is symbolized in Tarot as the House of Clubs or Wands.
- Fire is ruled by Mars in Aries, the Sun in Leo, and Jupiter in Sagittarius. Mars and Jupiter are shared by other signs, but the Sun only belongs to Leo.
- Fires signs are born at the beginning of spring, the middle of summer, and the end of fall. No fire signs belong to winter—an intuitive part on the design of Western astrologers.
- In the spring, the flame brings early buds and blossoms, thunder and rain, an increase in temperature, and color.
- In the summer, the flame brings heat, an abundance of sunshine, more time, drought, dryness, humidity.
- In the fall, the flame arrives along with leaves changing colors to red, orange, and yellow, dryness, less sunshine, sweaters and warmer clothes.
- Aries is seen as the warrior and commander ready to charge into battle, Leo as a king on his throne, and Sagittarius as the centaur or hunter. Sagittarius is also known as one of the scholars of the zodiac, along with Gemini and Virgo.
- Even though fire is all about new starts, beginnings, and putting things into motion, it can also be one of the most destructive elements. It can be catastrophic if there is too much of it or no boundaries.
The Purpose of Fire
Fire came into the universe to set things into motion. It is the spark that started the big bang. Fire is energy and movement. Earth is the physical manifestation of matter. Air is space and time. Water is life—water is emotion.
Energy is necessary for existence. The universe cannot exist without any heat. Fire is the source behind stars, behind the core of a planet, and one of the key ingredients to setting up a foundation for life. A planet that is too cold will struggle to have lifeforms on it. On the other hand, a planet covered in too much heat is too toxic for lifeforms.
A planet needs a balance of fire (free-will) and air (fate). The balance of fire and air allows for earth (physical manifestation) and water (organic life). All of the elements borrow from each other in infinite cycles.
Air is space and time, and with it things have already happened, are happening now, or will happen soon. Events happen simultaneously in the space time continuum—this is fate.
Free-will and fate need to coexist; they need to simultaneously function like a wave and a particle occurring at the same time. Often the mechanics of the universe have cooccurring events and can't be stripped down to a singular variable at play. Looking at societal events as well, there are often multiple factors and not singular factors, nor do things only play on dichotomies or dualistic effects. Opposite poles are meant to help with distinctions, but a transition of energy happens from one end to the other, this is how yin and yang can actually swap places.
Consider the shadows that fall on a mountain and how at different times of the day the shadows fall at different places—this is the shifting of yin and yang energy.
Yin and Yang and Fire
In ancient Chinese philosophy, yin and yang is a concept of dualism, describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world. Each force may give rise to the other as they interrelate back and forth.
In Chinese cosmology, the universe creates itself out of a primary chaos of material energy, organized into the cycles of Yin and Yang and formed into objects and lives. Yin is the receptive (earth + water) and Yang the active principle (fire + air), seen in all forms of change and difference such as the annual seasons, the landscape (north-facing shade and south-facing brightness), gender (male yang) (female yin).
Yin 陰 or 阴
- female principle in nature
- the moon
- shaded orientation
- covert; concealed; hidden
- north side of a hill
- south bank of a river
Yang 陽 or 阳
- male principle in nature
- the sun
- in relief
- open; overt
- south side of a hill
- north bank of a river
Yin and yang are NOT meant as a form to bring about patriarchy. It's actually meant to help understand the dynamics of the universe. It's important to remember that the world does not function alone on binary functions. There are degrees of difference between any two poles—and shifts of power between those poles. Think of it this way, if we abruptly shifted from day to night without sunrise or sunset it would cause panic for living creatures, that's why there are those transitions.
If anything, yin and yang proves that there is more to gender than simply masculine and feminine. It gives possibilities between those two poles giving credit to people who feel they belong to a third gender or otherwise. Both yin and yang borrow from each other, which is why both carry a portion of the other's color.
Forgetting that life is more complex and has more spectrums to it can lead to ideas of strict binaries. This can lead to patriarchy. This can lead also to strict gender roles that are just as traumatic as if we went from night to day without sunrise or sunset.
Yang energy in fire means that those born under that Sun sign (Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius) are not automatically masculine in feature and are actually men, but that fire signs (and air signs) typically like to start and create. They begin projects, but they don't necessarily finish them. Water and earth signs are typically better at managing resources than starting projects. Water and earth are better at seeing a project through.
There are a lot of subtleties here, and each of the 12 signs in Western astrology function in their own unique ways, just as all pairings of the Zodiac function in their own unique relational ways.
Yin and yang also applies to the human body. In traditional Chinese medicine, good health is directly related to the balance between yin and yang qualities within oneself. If yin and yang become unbalanced, one of the qualities is considered deficient or has vacuity.
Fire brings passion, meaning, and hope into the world. Fire is about expressing yourself fully and freely. Heat has the power to add comfort and stability. Heat gives us opportunity. This element is about making dreams come into reality. This isn't someone who sits on the sidelines and observes, this is someone who has the courage to step into the arena, take on demons, and to step up against impossible challenges.
Those born under the fire sign are meant to inspire others. You are meant to ignite motion in others. Our purpose in life overall (for all elements) is to honor the random connections in our lives, to live more humbly, and to give up the Self. You must realize what you owe to others.
The world needs the fire element to get things started. Your passion, vigor, and courage are indispensable. It's usually easy for an Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius to find her path. Aries is the initiator of the whole Zodiac cycle. This is someone who is ready to go into battle, takes the bull by the horns, and full on confront reality. An Aries wants to be in the middle of the action. Aries does not do well to sit to the side and watch others in action.
Leo loves people, even the introverted versions of Leo still care greatly about people. Leo proudly expresses himself. He wants to be king, he wants to be a champion, and he wants to be adored. Leo has all the energy of the sun. This is also someone who boldly wants to get into the heart of the action. Where Aries is guided by the strong impulses of his mind, Leo is guided by the strong impulses of his heart.
Sagittarius is the oddest of the fire signs. Sagittarius is the last flame to appear. With its proximity to winter and the more mature signs, it isn't as bold as Aries and Leo, but it is more cunning. Sagittarius is a wild horse. It is the hunter centaur, and centaurs are also known as scholars. Sagittarius is unpredictable, freedom loving, and prefers to do things their way. It's the most likely of the fire signs to explode in spontaneous combustion. Where Aries and Leo find themselves in traditional romantic relationships, Sagittarius has commitment issues. Sagittarius doesn't immediately settle down like the other two. Sagittarius isn't as focused; it's randomness.
Each of these signs are meant to lead in their own special ways. Aries will head straight into battle as the warrior. Leo will govern from the throne as king. Sagittarius will take the cunning and unpredictable path as the skillful hunter.
The Struggles of the Fire Sign
Those born under a fire sun sign need to pay attention to how the element works in nature. Considering the pros and cons of fire will help you to better understand yourself and how to ultimately make better decisions for yourself and others.
Fire is powerful, it's useful, it's comforting, but it's also disturbing.
The Sagittarius studies under the candlelight flame, Leo leads by the light of the sun, and Aries burns his enemies alive. Fire has a profound amount of different uses. You are potential, great potential for both good and evil.
A steady amount of fire can give comfort to those in the cold. A little bit of heat makes a shower better. The right amount of temperature can make the day better. Fire cooks food and gets rid of bacteria and viruses. Fire is colorful, it's fun to watch, it's great at a camp. We need fire on this planet to survive. You cannot live without heat. There is a reason Antarctica has the lowest population among the continents.
Fire can also be destructive. An erupting volcano can destroy villages and wildfires can plow through forests. A house on fire destroys a family's progress. Too much heat can put the planet into disorder—global warming is one of the greatest threats facing our world at this time. Too much fire can be an extremely bad thing.
Fire can have control issues when it doesn't have its way. Fire is all about getting things started, inspiring others, and setting things into motion. When fire cannot achieve this it can become: domineering, violent, aggressive, egotistical, embellished, chaotic, dangerous, and destructive. Fire must find a balance to add just the right amount of heat to be comforting, caring, and inspiring. You are meant to inspire not to bring horror into the world.
Fire needs to be in balance with the living. Fire is the spark that brings two together, but if the flame gets out of control it could harm the relationship.
This element must learn self-awareness or else it could:
- Put a dangerous amount of smoke into the air, which is harmful to the lungs, eyes, and skin.
- Melt away precious items.
- Char precious landscapes to pieces.
- Blind us with too much energy.
- Harm others around it.
The flame must learn self-control. It must understand that too much willpower and freedom isn't a good thing. It must accept fate. Free-will is in conjunction with destiny. When free-will acts unchecked, it leads to the type of disasters fire should want to avoid. Fire is here to inspire us, to make us come alive, and to bring about positive emotions. Fire has the ability to pull us out of depression and despair.
For Better Mental Health
Fire signs can come into better understandings of themselves with a few practices. Fire should strive to find balance. They don't want to become too hot or too cold.
Ways for Fire Signs to Take Care of Themselves
- Exercise is an important part of the fire element's routine. It is advised to take up some cardio to get all three fire spaces in motion: the brain, the heart, and the thighs. You should try running, biking, swimming, or other workouts to get you moving. It's important for fire signs to get up and move.
- Spend time in nature, especially during the day. Fire signs do well to pick up energy from the sun.
- Set your circadian rhythm to the sun. It's important for this sign to get as much sun as possible. Wake up with the sun and get your day started early with a run. Go to bed at a reasonable time. The sun's energy gives you much needed nutrients.
- Eat foods from the warm color spectrum. Eat foods that are red, orange, and yellow like: strawberries, carrots, squash, apples, mangoes, eggs, meats, cheeses, watermelon, beets, pumpkins, cranberries, peppers, tomatoes, and corn. Eat foods rich in vitamin C and vitamin D.
- Eat foods that are spicy. Fire signs do well to eat food that is well seasoned as it inspires them. Spicy foods help you get in touch with your spiciness.
- Take up dancing, especially if the music has a lot of rhythm. Try Latin based dances.
- Join a drum circle. Fire is about creating tempo, speed, and expression. Learning where to find the beat is good for fire elements. It's also good for the warrior, king, and hunter to get in touch with the rhythms that remind them of battles, ceremonies, and hunts. Percussive music and fast paced tempos help enliven the fire element.
- Find what makes you laugh. You need to spend time daily getting some laughs out. You have a lot of energy, and it's good for you to focus it on positivity. Surround yourself with things that give you a good, healthy sense of humor. The flame weakens with depression.
- Take up skills that enliven your passions: paint for expression, play music for the rhythm, exercise for the cardio, cook for the spice, hike for the sun, learn languages for the zest, woodwork for inspiration, dance for expression, archery for the hunt, fencing for the battle, politics for the king, and pottery for the heat.
- Chakra balancing is an excellent type of meditation for the fire signs. It will help you get in tune with important parts of the body. Chakra balancing focuses on areas that Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius depend upon. It will also help you to visualize your power colors.
- There are some heat-based massages that would do you wonders, including the hot cup therapy.
- Try spending time in a sauna. This can help you relax and come more in tune to your element.
- Travel to warm places whether deserts, tropical areas, or places close to the equator. Fire signs do well to go to places that have more sunlight, so when traveling it may be better to go in the summer time rather than winter.
- Build a campfire and spend time around it. Watch the flames and consider the movement of the smoke. Take up smoke divination.
- Take a shower. Try different temperatures to see what feels better.
- Read up on Feng shui to optimize your home and get better in touch with your element.
- Consider taking up skills and lessons that involve fire: such as fire dancing, pyrotechnics, physics, and different ways to build fires.
Fire in Balance and Dysfunction
Rhythm, tempo, percussion
Lack of rhythm, clashing, too much speed or too slow
The right amount of spice, well-cooked meats, baked items
Too much spice, overpowering, undercooked or charred, disaster bakes
Volcanic explosions, drought
Clear thinking, focus, free-will, charm, charisma
Hot-headed, arrogance, self-righteousness, ego, dominance, violence
Love, passion, empathy, champion of others
Hardened, unresponsive, uncaring, jerk, takes from others, unyielding
Speed, strength, might, courage
Lack of movement, lack of focus, weakened, afraid, fear, constrained
Too much heat
Inspiring, motivated, flexible, diverse, expansive
Out of control, struggling, crushing
Expressive, dynamic, engaging, dance
Stunted, violent, chaotic, abrasive
Champions of people, peaceful, decisive, strong
Militant, oppressive, domineering
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Andrea Lawrence (author) from Chicago on November 27, 2020:
Thank you, I appreciate the comment.
Christofer French from Denver on November 26, 2020:
Wow! Lots of great research. Deep and thorough. You got class.