01-23-13 Lesson 7: Month 2, Week 3: Elements: Fire

Month 2 Week 3 The Elements-FIRE
FIRE
(optional work)…Take a moment to watch a candle burning. See how the wax forms a
puddle at the base of the wick and is drawn up the wick to feed the flame, as the air
feeds it from above. See how this combination of liquid, solid and gas comes
together to make Fire, which transforms its fuel to light and heat. Yet another of
the mysteries of our world…the way that fire can transform anything we feed it to
pure energy, leaving only a small amount of ash…which is itself a nutrient for the
soil…
…whether it is the miracle of a single candle flame, or the raging destruction of a
forest fire, Fire is an element whose power for transformation is immediately
apparent…
Perhaps the greatest source of Fire we know is our Sun. This ball of burning gasses
provides all living things on Earth with warmth and light. Without it, life as we
know it would be impossible. By the miracle known as photosynthesis, our cousins
the plants are able to capture the energy of the Sun in a form that both they and we
can use for nourishment. The sugars made by plants using the light of the Sun form
the basis for all foodstuffs…and when we eat these sugars and starches, we break
them down to release the energy they have stored.
Energy is the currency of life. It is the vibration of the molecules in our cells that
allow those molecules to come together so that our cells can be built. Energy allows
us to move our muscles to go in search of food, to gather and prepare it, and to
consume and digest it. It is the heat that makes us respond to the opposite sex and
the fuel for the acts that reproduce the species. Our brains, hearts, and bodies
require it to function.
As above, so below. The Sun burns above us…and its energy supports life. The
energy we consume we can translate into useful work. That work we can trade for
the things we cannot do for ourselves, and our work supplies the needs of others.
Any energy that is in excess after our basic needs are met, we can burn off in the
pursuit of pleasure.
(optional work)…….Think for a moment about what energy means to you. Most of the
time we think of having energy as being awake enough to keep our minds on
whatever we do for a living. But it takes energy to propel our bodies out of bed and
into clothes and into our cars. We know it takes energy to propel those cars to
where we work. It takes energy to make the buildings we work in, and to light and
heat those buildings, and to run our computers. And it takes energy to heat the
water to make the coffee that gives us the feeling of awakeness that we need to
concentrate on what those computers are showing us….But it’s the sun’s warmth
captured in the molecules of caffeic acid that gives us that sense of energy…
Fire is associated with the South in this hemisphere. Certainly it is easy to think of
the great deserts and tropical jungles to the south of us. Even on the shortest days,
the Sun rises in the South and shines upon us from this direction. Fire is associated
with noon, when the sun is at its zenith in the sky. It is associated with Summer,
that time when the Sun is with us for long days that ripen produce. It is associated
with young adulthood, that time of life when we expend huge amounts of energy
training and making careers for ourselves…the time of life when we expend large
amounts of sexual energy to find the mates we wish to have children with…and to
produce those children.
Sex and passion are definitely associated with Fire.
. (optional work)…..Think for a moment of Summer. The Sun is high and hot. The crops
are planted and ripening…or the lessons are learned and the kids are on summer
break….or the paycheques are in the bank and you are given a holiday. And the
weather is good, so you want to travel. It’s a time for seeing new sights and
traveling in search of pleasure…and oh, what pleasures can be found. Everyone is
dressed as lightly as possible in the heat, and we see displays of flesh that get our
hormones pumping. We can renew our pleasure in our partners or meet new
partners in our travels. We get out of the cities and feed our souls with the beauties
of the natural world…or with the cultures of other civilisations. It’s a time when
everyone is moving, everyone is socialising, and everyone is eating well of the
foods that are ripening to fuel all this activity…
Movement is one of the themes of Fire, and when we build the great bale-fires at
the Sabbats, we often raise energy by dancing around them. Dancing is one of the
most effective ways to raise energy and alter consciousness that we have: it keeps
us in our bodies but makes our circulation of both blood and energy increase
markedly. It is a wonderful way to dislodge blockages by increasing the energy
flowing by them. It also pulls people together, moving to the same rhythm, creating
a movement of bodies around the fire and a movement of energy in harmony.
Magical techniques associated with fire are candle magic, burning of anything,
scrying in flames, and dancing around fires.
(optional work)……Find some music that has a very strong drumbeat. Light a candle
and turn out the lights. Put the music on and let your body start to move with the
rhythm and flow. Feel how your muscles and joints loosen up as you move them.
Feel your connection to the earth and how it is broken and reformed each time you
lift and replace your feet. Feel how you begin to breathe deeper as you move, and
how your breath molds itself to the rhythm. Let yourself dance freely. Dance with
your shadow. Sing along if you can…use a rattle if you have one. Keep dancing for
as long as you have energy and enjoy it…and stop…
…and tune into your body…hear your heart pound…feel the energy in your legs and
arms….feel the depth of your breath and feel how warm you are…you’ve been
burning lots of energy doing this…and feel your energy flowing…feel how
everything is speeded up…feel how it flows…
…and realise how outward movement can make things move in the hidden parts of
your being…and the subtle, energetic parts of your being…
…Do some light exercise while you slow down and drink lots of water…and record
your experience…
Fire heals by getting things moving. It can help one overcome the stagnation of
apathy, the heaviness of depression, or the distant coldness of intellectualisation. It
also heals by transforming one form of energy to another.
Fire corresponds to Will, that force within us that keeps us selecting goals and
moving toward them, dealing with the obstacles and challenges we find in our path.
It’s the spiritual quality of strength of purpose, and it helps us deal with obstacles
and challenges. It motivates us and helps us motivate others to work with us for
common goals. It gives us courage (from coeur, French for “Heart”) when we are
dis-cour-aged or dis-heart-ened.
(optional work)……Think for a moment about a time when you felt discouraged….when
it seemed like you had come up against an insurmountable obstacle. And think
about the different ways you have managed to move beyond obstacles. Sometimes
we attack and try to destroy them or defeat them so they’ll move out of our way.
Sometimes in attacking, we can scare the obstacles off. Sometimes we try to
scramble over them. Sometimes we try to find a way around them, using cleverness
to sneak by. Sometimes we go another way. Sometimes we can take the time to
befriend the obstacle so that it no longer wishes to impede our progress. Sometimes
we try to find out what the person or thing in our way needs and provide it so that
the obstacle can move on.
…Think of times when you have used each of these strategies. Think of other ways
you have been able to proceed in spite of obstacles. Then think of an obstacle you
are facing now. What is your instinctual approach? What are some other
possibilities you could use to be able to continue on your path? Talk about some of
these possibilities with a friend and then try them out. See how they work….perhaps
you now have some new tactics for getting where you know you need to be…
Flexibility and Creativity are among of the gifts of Fire.
The magical tool associated with the South and Fire is the Wand, which conducts
and aims the energy of the practitioner out to his/her goals. Actually, the athame
and sword are often used in much the same way, and sometimes the assignments of
these tools are reversed, with the wand in the East and the athame in the South. I
prefer to place the Wand in the South because the Tarot suit of Wands corresponds
to Fire, the suit of creative work, energy, and overcoming obstacles… Major Arcana
associated with Fire are the Emperor, Strength, the Devil, the Tower, and the Sun.
One of the magical functions of Fire is protection. It is the energy that sets
boundaries and rings alarms when those boundaries are crossed. Many techniques
for self-protection involve surrounding oneself with light. That light might absorb
any negative energy that comes toward you, or it might transform it, burning it in
the way of fire to create a neutral energy. The technique that surrounds one with
purple flame, as described in Basics of Personal Energy Management is particularly
effective this way.
As one progresses on the Wiccan path, the question of will comes up many times.
First one embraces the Rede which commands that we not harm others and that we
learn what our will is and do it. It commands that our actions must be directed by
our own wills…not by the whims of others or by our fears, reflexes, or addictions…
but by what we have consciously chosen as our will. Then comes the realisation
that when we search for our will, this means looking beyond convenience or habit
to look for a higher will or purpose. A Wiccan might not say, as Jesus did, “Thy
Will not mine be done.” But we do learn that there is a higher Will related to a
higher good, and sooner or later we who pledge ourselves in the service of the
God/dess will be looking for ways to bring our own wills into alignment with Her
Will.
(optional work)…….take a moment to sit in silence, and let your mind become very still.
Ground in the way you normally do and feel your body….feel its solidness and its
flows…feel your heartbeat and feel the flows of energy in your body. Center in the
way you normally do, and let your thoughts still as you focus on the light in the
center of your head…
…now let that centered focus drift downward through your being, so that you
become aware of the bright light burning in your heart, and let it drift further down
so that you come to a place in the very center of your being, somewhere between
your solar plexus and your navel. See the light that shines there. Breathe deeply to
feed the flame. Use your breath to draw the energy of the Earth and the energy of
the Heavens into that flame and see it flare brighter. See it burn like a small,
brilliant Sun in the center of your being…
…and think of a question you have been looking for an answer to. Ask this question
and let it burn in this flame of golden light. Let the smoke be carried to the
Goddess…and wait for an answer….
….if the answer doesn’t seem to make sense…or if it seems like something
unattainable, ask how you could proceed if you wanted to bring it about, and wait
for an answer. Keep this light burning as you map out the first steps you would take
to bring this goal about…
…and when you know how to proceed, offer a prayer for the strength, clarity, and
will to succeed in your aim….and let the light in your center flare a thank you for
the guidance you have received….let that light spread through your being for a
moment, to empower you to do what is necessary to meet your goal…and let it fade
into an underlying awareness that you know your Will and how to achieve it….
This light of Will that burns at our core is sometimes called Spirit. People define
Spirit in many different ways, and my own definition is still evolving: for me it has
to do with this process of aligning my will with Divine Will and my light with
Divine Light. Many esoteric traditions put this quality or aspect of being called
Spirit in the South with Fire. Some place Spirit in the Center of the circle, where all
the elements come together.
The angel associated with Fire is Michael, chief of the archangels, known as the
Warrior of God. I don’t see Michael as a Rambo of the heavens; he is an arm of the
God/dess and his flaming sword dispenses justice, balance, and protection to all the
children of the One. He is often depicted in armor, like the ideal chevalier of the
Middle Ages, protector of the weak and helpless. Like a true warrior, he would
rather settle disputes peaceably than with violence. He is dressed in red and scarlet,
the colours of Fire, courage, and honour.
All the elements have a destructive side; hurricanes, floods, and landslides can kill
as surely as fire. But there is something about the consuming hunger of fire that
strikes fear in people. Certainly the virtues of this element…transformation,
protection, and fighting spirit…need to be carefully contained and directed or they
can also be destructive. Certainly the warrior spirit has gone completely out of
control many times in human history.
I also believe that the Catholic church had a stroke of genius when they elected to
use Fire as a tool of execution for those who strayed from their teachings. They
also made fire their symbol of eternal suffering. By creating an almost universal
fear of fire, they also made us afraid of our fighting spirit, our will to communicate
with Divinity in our own way and work toward our own goals, afraid of our very
creativity. It was a wonderful weapon to keep people from expressing individuality
and independent spirit. I think that the witches’ willingness to embrace the Fire in
their being is far closer to the “devil worship” Christians fear in us than is our
gentle horned God.
Fire is about facing fears and overcoming them.
(optional work)…….Sometime around the first quarter moon, think of something that
you have always wanted to do but let fear hold you back. It might be facing up to a
particular type of authority figure. (like your father or boss) It might be acting in a
way that would give you a feeling of freedom (like making love outdoors) It might
be trying a new creative outlet. (Like belly dancing)
….Whatever it is….write it on a piece of paper, and put that paper under a red
candle. Light the candle and watch the flame. Get yourself centered in your power
center as in the exercise above, and envision yourself doing this thing. See the
obstacles you will have to overcome, and make plans to get around them. Feel the
freedom, excitement, and empowerment of doing this thing within that flame of Will
inside. Do this every night until the full moon….and then do whatever it is that you
have been building the courage to do. Once it is done, burn the paper, and offer the
light as a thank you to the Element of Fire…and the ashes to Mother Earth…
The fire elementals are called Salamanders. They are brilliant, ephemeral creatures
that dance in flames. They will help you overcome obstacles, and they like people
who have the courage to act on their truth. They will help you protect yourself
when you must…and have little patience for willing victims. While they enjoy
playing in flames and will come when you light candles or fires, the gift they
appreciate most is an act of courage.
Magical Goals Aided By Fire:
Athletics
Banishing Illness
Competitions and contests
Courage
Creativity
Defense
Loyalty
Protection
Sex
Strength
Success
You might wish to make an altar in the southern part of your house to honour the
Element of Fire and the Salamanders. Drape it and decorate it in red and orange.
Offer candles, snakeskins, sand, desert roses, and red stones. Welcome the Element
and the Salamanders to make this their home. Then light the candles on this altar
when you ask your Higher Will for guidance or work on your fears.
When invoking the Element or elementals of Fire use the symbols offered in the
background of this page. A Fire Invoking Pentagram starts at the top, moves to the
lower right, and continues around to repeat this line. Fire can also be invoked using
the circle with a triangle in the middle, or a red triangle. To release the element,
draw the Air Releasing Pentagram shown in the bottom left corner, which is a
reversal of the Invoking Pentagram. If you use the red triangle or triangle in a
circle, see the flames burning out through it, then see it folding in upon itself and
disappearing.
Psychological Qualities Associated with Fire
Balanced Fire
Courage
Creativity
Idealism
Independence
Intuition
Loyalty
Passion
Power
Strength
Imbalanced Fire
Aggressiveness
Destructive Tendencies
Hatred
Intemperance
Jealousy
Rebellion
Resentment
Vindictiveness
You can ask the Element of Fire or the Salamanders to help you develop any of the
postive traits listed above.
Creatures Associated with Fire
Cats
Lions, Tigers, Cougars, Panthers, Housecats
Desert Dwellers
Snakes, Lizards, Scorpions
Fiery Creatures from Myth
Fire Dragons, the Phoenix
Herbs Associated with Fire
/
Alder Allspice Amaranth Angelica
Asafoetida Ash Basil Bay
Wood Betony Blood Root Cactus Carnation
Carrot Cashew Cat Tail Cedar
Centaury Chili Crysanthemum Cinnamon
Cinquefoil Clove Copal Coriander
Cubeb Cumin Curry Damiana
Dragon’s Blood Frankincense Galangal Garlic
Gentian Ginger Ginseng Goldenseal
Gorse Hawthorn High John the Conqueror Holly
Horse Chestnut Houndstongue Juniper Leek
Lovage Mandrake Marigold Masterwort
May Apple Mullein Mustard Nutmeg
Oak Olive Onion Orange
Pennyroyal Pepper Peppermint Pimento
Pineapple Poke Root Pomegranate Prickly Ash
Radish Rosemary Rowan Rue
Saffron St John’s Wort Sarasparilla Sassafras
Sesame Shallot Snapdragon Sunflower
Tangerine Tea Thistle Milk Thistle
Holy Thistle Ti Toadflax Tobacco
Tormentil Venus Flytrap Walnut Witch Hazel
Woodruff Wormwood Yarrow Yucca
Gems and Stones Associated with Fire
Agate, fire Agate, red Amber Apache Tear
Asbestos Bloodstone Carnelian Citrine
Flint Garnet Hematite Iron
Jaspar, red Lava Red Calcite Ruby
Sardonyx Sulfur Sunstone Tiger’s Eye
Topaz Zircon
Fire Incense
(from Cunningham)
3 parts Frankincense
2 parts Dragon’s Blood
1 part Red Sandalwood
1 pinch Saffron
a few drops of musk oil
Fire Oil
3 drops Ginger
2 drops Rosemary
1 drop Clove
1 drop Petitgrain
1 ounce carrier oil
Other correspondences include the astrological signs of Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius,
and the Sun and Mars.
A Sample Invocation to the South and Fire
Guardian of the South, Mighty Michael:
Hold this corner of our circle and let the flames burn in it.
Send the clever Salamanders to help our healing work.
Bless us with the movement and energy of the flames,
With the passion of the summer heat,
With your own strength and courage,
And the pure clear glow of Will.
We feel you and welcome you.
Blessed Be.
Overview
FIRE
Speaking of energy, we are about to enter the realm of pure energy: fire. Fire is the
element of ‘no limits’. It is pure energy, pure passion, courage, absolute anger, it is
the element of burning up and throwing caution to the wind. No restraints! Its
representation is obviously fire itself, usually as a burning candle. Spend time this
week looking at the flame and feeling what it feels like to live there. If you are lucky
enough, try to sit by a wood burning fire (in a fireplace or a fire pit). Listen to its
sound, smell it, feel your skin burn with its warmth. Really feel Fire.
Fire is represented in the southern quarter
. Its Archangel is Michael, Who uses his flaming sword in protection
Swords and blades are associated with it, as are candles and string instruments. The
animal associated with fire is the salamander. I associate warrior magic with this
element (along with earth, because you always need a healing component when you
fight). Magical applications of fire are to purify (obviously things that won’t get
consumed by the flame, such as space or a blade) It is also used in petition magic.
This consists of writing a request on a piece of paper and letting it burn during a
spell or ritual. It is a symbolic gesture to visualize the request going up with the
smoke all the way to the Divine. I also believe that burning the request is a way of
saying that a paper is no longer necessary since the request will come to pass in
reality. It is a way to strengthen will and to focus our intention. Candle magic is
another form of magic associated with fire.. Essentially, candle magic consists of
charging a candle with an intent (through energy or by writing on it) and to let it
burn down completely to send out that intent. Candles are also used in devotion to
the God and Goddess or to any other deity figure or saint.
HOMEWORK :
Exercises for this week are the following:
1) Journal your experience of fire through all your senses. Feel the courage and
passion and dismeasure that fire can bring.
2) find 5 practical and 5 magical uses for fire
3) Choreograph your fire dance (don’t skip this! It is an integral part of really feeling
Fire)
Journal all this and please share through a post! We have much to learn from each
other!
I also want to add that some people might feel greater kinship to one element than
to another. Experiencing all elements will really give you an understanding of who
you are and what your natural gifts are. When I started on this path, I realized that
air and fire were like a second nature. Earth and water were completely foreign to
me. So, I really focused on feeling and understanding the element of Earth and its
physicality and groundedness. I was so focused on learning more about it, that one
day one of my fellow classmates said: ‘ You’re an earth person, aren’t you?’ I knew
then that I was heading in the right direction. I’m still working on water and feeling
emotions and compassion and so on…. But I’m getting ahead of myself: that’s next
lesson.
Have fun tending the flame!
References :
The Dance
Adelina St-Clair

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