The four elements; Earth, Water, Wind and Fire are the basic building blocks of organic life. As we are creatures of nature, the elements help us understand ourselves, inspire us to create change and living with its flow brings harmony into our lives. As we approach the Summer solstice and the beginning of a new year, new decade, a new 12-year cycle according to the Chinese zodiac, the element of Fire is an important one to explore. Fire was undoubtedly an important element for our ancestors. Fire allowed for rapid transformation as it brought illumination lengthening the productiveness of the days, heat to warm themselves, their hearth and cook their food. Communities were created around fire. Sacred ceremonies conducted in its presence, stories and teachings shared around it.
Fire is the element of Summer. Like the sun it is associated with Yang energy and summer solstice marks the longest day of the year where the energy of the fire element is at its strongest. There are multiple facets to the element Fire as with all elements in nature. In ceremony, Fire is used to cleanse, purify and transform energies. When we reflect on all the bushfires occurring in Australia at the moment, boy is Mother Earth having a good cleanse! Though we as humans see these events as destructive and catastrophic events, for the earth it is self-care. It is a very natural cycle of life. The earth has its own blueprint for healing and these natural events are it’s cleansing energies. By getting rid of what is no longer needed, it creates space for new growth and new opportunities. And what an apt time for us for these energies to be taking place as we move into the new year and cycle. It is a powerful practice to tune in with the energies of the earth. Reflect on a physical level the destructive and purifying energy of fire and apply it to ourselves by releasing what no longer serves us. As things come to an end creating small deaths in our lives, it also creates space for rebirth.
Fire is also creative energy and the element of the Heart. When in balance there is joy and love. Fiery people known to have strong fire elements in their personalities are seen as ambitious, creative and motivated. They are passionate, dynamic, sexy and charismatic people that others are drawn to. When there is an excess of fire energy in a person it can be reflected as being quick to anger, or explosive emotions. When this element is under expressed, it causes depression as the anger goes inward and feeds on our vitality. Nourish this element and direct it towards creative forces and transform negativities. Feed your fire in positive ways.
One way of working with this energy in our lives is in sacred ceremony. It is often used in full or new moon rituals where the veils of the worlds are thinnest. It is also used during solstices and equinoxes to honour the changes and the elements. It allows us to connect with our ancestors and re-remember how we sat around sacred fires through-out time. Just last week I learnt a beautiful ceremonial fire song through a wonderful audio show I have been following called ‘The Shamans Cave’ lead by Renee Baribaeu and Sandra Ingerman. If you would like to have a listen to it, the episode is called ‘Transmuting Anger By Fire: Shamans Cave’. In this episode, Sandra lead a shamanic journey with the transformational power of fire. As I ready myself for the summer solstice coming up in a few days, this song has been in constant play in my head while I reflect on the events in my life, weed out and release the old and hone my focus on the intentions for the coming year. The song goes as below:
Repeat the words over and over as many times as it feels right for you taking you. You can drum, rattle or just simply sing the song itself. For me this was a powerful experience where I journeyed into my inner soul landscape bringing up things that needed releasing or transforming and found serenity and calm when all was done. With such exercises, each person’s experiences are different and there is no right or wrong for what should occur. It never ceases to amazes me to know there is much healing in the power of songs, drumming, sound instruments and nature.
In correspondence with the chakra system, fire is associated with the Solar plexus or Manipura located at the navel centre. This is the seat of your power and transformation. It gives you the momentum to drive forward, actualise your dreams, have good self-esteem and self-love. Therefore, another lovely way to connect with the fire element and help you in the process of letting go of things is through a fire meditation. This can be done with a single candle if you wish to keep things simple or go grander with a bonfire. Use your imagination, creativity and what feels right for you. for those that need a little guidance, here is a wonderful exercise you could practice.
Meditation to release and purify
Fire proof bowl
Have your pen, paper, fire proof bowl set up and light your candle
Sit comfortably on the edge of a cushion or your favourite chair
Place your hands on your navel
Close your eyes and connect to the rise and fall of your breath
With each inhale, visualise the flame growing a little bit brighter
Imagine a warmth spreading from the navel radiating out to your limbs
Filling you from the inside out
Now reflect on things that no longer serve you in life, things you need to let go of or are in the process of bringing to a close
Be gentle with yourself and remember that somethings you may need to come back and let go of a number of times before the work is fully done
But for now, list everything you would like to let go of on the piece of paper or each thing on an individual piece of paper
When you feel ready set fire to it one by one and place it in the fire proof bowl
As it burns turning to ashes, visualise it releasing and moving that energy far away from you
Bring your hands back to your navel, close your eyes and focus on your breath
Now imagine all the love and beauty you want to fill up the space with that has been created by the release
When you feel cocooned with this loving energy radiating warmth and joy from within, sit with it for a few moments
Open your eyes and come back to the room when you feel ready
You can dispose of the ashes in running water or toss it to the wind and let the elements carry it away.