Elemental Wisdom Part 4: Fire

Elemental Wisdom Part 4: Fire


Fire is the part in all of us that willingly moves towards change. How fierce is your fire?

The study of the four elements—Water, Air, Earth, and Fire—can help you harvest astrology’s powerful ancient wisdom without needing to know the positions of your ten planets or the configuration of your unique natal chart. Fire is the final essay in this four-part series. Read An Introduction to Elemental Wisdom, followed by Water, Air, and Earth to get the most out of this transformative collection.

Fire—the element associated with the zodiac signs Aries, Leo and Sagittarius—is all about life-force energy. According to master astrologer and psychotherapist Debra Silverman, “Fire people approach almost everything with a headfirst, energetic abandon. We all love to be on the receiving end of a Fire person’s love and enthusiastic cheerleading. These folks want to lead, teach, or be the center of attention. They’re usually competitive and don’t like being ignored.”

Silverman explains that Fire is the part in all of us that willingly moves towards change, creating the possibility for something new to emerge. “Fire people are righteous and passionate, equipped with the courage to tell the truth. They say what others are afraid to.”

How Fierce Is Your Fire?

A quick quiz, adapted from Silverman’s book The Missing Element: Inspiring Compassion for the Human Condition will help you determine if your Fire element is weak or strong. Answer yes to statements that feel true for you at least 50 percent of the time and no to those that are true less than half the time:

    1. I have lots of energy, enthusiasm, and passion.
    2. I am outspoken and honest.
    3. I thrive on exercise, athletics, and expending physical energy.
    4. Some people think I can be loud, intense, or opinionated.
    5. It is easy for me to laugh and find the humor in life.
    6. I want to understand the world and the purpose of my life.
    7. I inspire others to take action.
    8. Anger can be an issue in my life, either my own or someone else’s.
    9. I am often the center of attention and can be the life of the party.
    10. I can be competitive and love an enlightening debate.

    If you answered yes to seven or more questions, your Fire element is strong. If you answered no to five or more statements above, your Fire energy is likely low.

    Adding Fuel to a Weak Fire Element

    With too little fire, you may lack confidence, energy, optimism, or a sense of humor. You may also feel lethargic or depressed. To cultivate more healthy Fire, Silverman recommends you:

    • Get more comfortable using your voice. Try singing out loud in the car or shower.
    • Exercise! Run, hike, bike, walk to upbeat music or try yoga, especially Kundalini.
    • Stand up for yourself more. For example, try returning your coffee when it’s not hot enough.
    • Practice saying no, and confront people when necessary.
    • Watch funny shows and laugh with abandon.
    • Pretend you have confidence; walk around as if you own the place.
    • Give yourself permission to feel angry. You can let it out by hitting something soft or screaming into a pillow.
    • Be bold. Try saying yes to something you would usually say no to.
    • Give yourself permission to be sexy. Embrace your carnal desires. Dress outrageously and see what it feels like to turn heads. Let your inner animal out.

    If your Fire element is strong, Silverman says you likely have plenty of enthusiasm and charisma, as well as a joyous disposition that inspires others to listen or follow. “People with healthy Fire are markedly generous, courageous, energetic, and inspirational. Because their optimism is contagious, they lift us up. Many are teachers, coaches, spiritual mentors, and healers with the gift of intuition. Fire people are often equipped with a magnetic force field that attracts people and circumstances that are beneficial.”

    Preventing Strong-Fire Damage

    On the flip side, the low road of Fire can manifest as a hot temper, or as being bossy, pushy, impatient, loud, sarcastic, or prideful. Fire people can also be self-centered and have the proclivity to embellish, exaggerate, or be overly dramatic. Some lack moderation when it comes to food, drink, drugs, or sex. “The low road of Fire means you run the risk of being an overindulgent freedom lover who can’t commit and is always looking for the fun, even at the expense of your own health.”

    [Read: “10 Affirmations for an Alcohol-Free Month.”]

    Silverman encourages Fire personalities to slow down and ask themselves the following questions through the eyes of their objective, compassionate inner observer:

    • Do I know when to stop being domineering? Can I access my “off” button with ease?
    • Am I harnessing my gifts to serve my destiny or am I stuck in drama or boredom?
    • Do I take the time to learn from my mistakes or am I self-righteous, reflectively blaming others?
    • Can I be patient with people and sensitive to their emotions?
    • Am I willing to tell my truth even if it means upsetting somebody?
    • Am I able to be in relationships without feeling like I have to tone down my natural exuberance or sacrifice my freedom?
    • Can I be gentle and powerful at the same time?
    • Can I stand up for myself without being demanding and judgmental?
    • Do I know how to release my pent-up emotions and energy before a trigger makes me pop?

    Throughout her career, Silverman has seen countless Fire people who suffer from insecurities that trace back to their youth when they received messages that they were just too much: too loud, too wild, too outspoken, or too impulsive. “These people need to know they are wonderful just the way they are,” she says, adding that it’s helpful to practice affirmations that can foster self-acceptance and reaffirm self-worth, such as:

    I’m in love with who I am.
    I’m proud of myself. I’m doing a great job.
    I am wonderfully unique. Labels do not define me!

    Lessons for Fire Personalities

    People with a strong Fire element can learn how to stop when asked, and get good at saying they’re sorry. Fire people are used to their own intensity and may not fully recognize their impact. If this is you, Silverman advises asking for what you need instead of demanding, requesting feedback and listening without being defensive, and expanding your ability to see another’s point of view.

    [Read: “Quiz: How Good a Listener Are You?” ]

    “Healthy Fire uses anger as a proactive impulse to create positive change, rather than to destroy,” explains Silverman. “At their best, Fire people stand strong and keep their hearts open when faced with challenges. Nothing will make them turn away from love. Despite the pain of loss or rejection, they still love life.”

    At this moment in history—when things feel hopeless and even irreparable for so many—Silverman affirms that “Fire’s ruthless honesty and optimism can inspire action and profound healing.”

    Enjoy Debra Silverman’s 4-minute guided meditation to tune into and celebrate your Fire energy!

    Curious about the other elements? Explore An Introduction to Elemental Wisdom, followed by Water, Air, and Earth.

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