Monday, April 13, 2015

The Omily Tarot: Exploring the Elements–Fire

Don't lose your temper because I've saved this one for last: today is the last in my mini-series of exploring the elements blogposts, and we've finally gotten to Fire! In some ways, I think fire is the easiest element to explain, because we've all felt fiery at one time or another.

Most of us have had that moment of realizing the expression 'so mad I couldn't see straight' isn't a metaphor, or the moment where we watch ourselves explode in a towering rage with a mix of horror and admiration. Perhaps a memorable fire moment for you is when in spite of exhaustion and frustration, you keep right on doing whatever it is that you're doing, because your love for it is its own burning engine in your chest. Maybe you felt fire after many minutes of quiet meditation, or at a religious service of some kind, or perhaps your fire burned in your loins, stoked to a fever pitch by a lover.

These moments tend to stand out for us more than air, water, or earth moments, because they're so bright, so intense, so red hot you aren't always sure if you're being nourished and energized, or destroyed from the inside out. It can be either one, and sometimes it's both.

Those of us with a heavy dose of fire in our constitutions are passionate people, pouring our enthusiasm into people, projects, and ourselves, perhaps a bit indiscriminately if we don't have a dose of other elements to direct us.

People with lots of fire and air might feel very strongly about what they feel is the truth. They will likely have very little patience for people who don't see it this way, and are more likely to look forward (somewhat uncharitably, admittedly) to the day that the older generation, with their prejudiced and hateful ideas, dies off, rather than trying to sit them down and change their minds.

People with lots of fire and water  are a dramatic bunch: they have lots of complicated feelings, and intuitive ideas...and tons of passion behind those feelings! They dive in and plumb the depths of every emotional experience they have. They can sometimes wallow in sorrow, enjoying it on some level, and they aren't the people you want mad at you, but if you're the cause of their happiness, you'll never lack for warmth.

People with fire and earth are an interesting balance: the earth can quiet the fire, leaving the person to just look extra stubborn. Underneath a calm exterior is a determinedly burning heart: nothing can tear them away from the project, person, or whatever it may be that they've lit a candle to.

In the tarot, fire is traditionally represented by the suit of wands, staves, or staffs. This suit represents all matters of passion, which means the suit can represent an incredibly wide variety of issues and activities. The suit can represent shoes for one person, cake decorating for another, and sex for a third, and spiritual growth for another, or of course, all of the above for a single querent! If a lot of fire is showing up in a reading, ask your client what she or he is passionate about. Ask what areas of his or her life make her or his heart beat fast, or his or her temper flare.

It could just be me, of course, but it almost feels like there's nothing about fire that needs explained: we know why it's good (it warms us, nourishes us, drives us forward, lights us up), and we know why it's bad (burns us, burns and drives away those we love, becomes all-consuming...)

But maybe we don't! So let's break those down a little.

Our fire is our reason for doing something. Sure, friends, loved ones, and authority figures might get us to do things or make changes, but if there's no fire behind those actions, they won't last long. On the other hand, when you feel that fire ignite inside you, you become unstoppable!

That can be a very, very good thing if you're trying to do something really hard and worthwhile...but if that fire gets sparked for the wrong reason, it's not so helpful. And if that fire gets out of control, if there is no watery empathy keep you aware of how your actions impact others, if there's no earthy practicality to keep you healthy, if there's no airy objective reflection on what you're doing, fire can be a very dangerous force. Wrongly channeled or over-fed fire can destroy the person wielding it, and everyone who doesn't see the writing on the wall and get out of the way.

Are you a Fiery Fey? Or do you know one? Do you have that one friend who can get you excited to run the most mundane errands with her, but who also drives you nuts because if they're out of the kind of toilet paper she wanted, there just might be a screaming match with the manager?

Are you the friend who gets kidnapped and forced to eat because you'll keep working straight through lunch without even thinking about it?

Where does fire manifest in your life?

Did you enjoy this mini series on the elements? Do you think it will influence how you work with the tarot? Are there other things you'd like to see a mini series on?? You can always ask questions or make suggestions in the comments. :-)

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