Fire Patterns and Lessons
Dominate, submit, I know the right way, no control, surrender, hurt, protection, blame, spontaneous, joyful.
Fire is about how we manifest in the world. What life do we create? It concerns how we let our life unfold. Do we go with the flow? Do we try to control how life unfolds?
Both Fire and Water types have issues about control. Water types in disharmony try to control their environment in order to cope with their fear and to try make it safe. Fire types try to control their lives, and often other people’s lives, in order to make their lives ‘right’. They particularly want to ensure that they are loved and have someone to love. These Fire types will often be very dominant characters convinced that their way is right.
Alternatively Fire types may become overly submissive, ie. Sometimes seeing themselves as the ‘loving doormat’ (everyone steps on them or over them). This behaviour is often driven by their inability to govern themselves, relying instead on other people to control their lives. This surrender can also be a response to a need to protect themselves from hurt, giving in totally to others in order not to have them withdraw their love.
Whether fire types dominate or submit they often end up blaming others for how they feel. The submissive feel their life is someone else’s responsibility. The dominant blame external impediments for affecting their ability to obtain the outcome they desired.
When fire is in balance people are spontaneous and joyful. Life is full of laughter and fun, and there is a real felt instinct for life. You feel in synch with yourself, nature and other people. When you think about life you cannot help but smile and feel blessed.
Take notice of the Fire face. Is it smiling and expressive (notice the eyes) or deadpan. It gives you an understanding of how closed they are. The second thing to watch for is defensiveness. The best way of dealing with that is to energetically back away, call it out and discuss it. “So when I asked ... you responded ..., does that mean that you are unwilling to ...?” You can see the importance of this can’t you? If we are going to ... then we will probably need to look at ... Is that something we should do now or not?”
That usually works well. What does not work is to continue to push them. Another approach is to activate around the scapula region and/or activate scoliosis (if you know that).
In terms of the motivations you need to address either vulnerability style issues, hurt and/or openness. If its vulnerability the essence of this is exposure. You will need to sit them in the feeling of being vulnerable and open. Remember that the opposite is the feeling of closing the heart ie ‘hurt’.
Its very important that people realise that an open heart is a two way door, its not just about giving but also about receiving. If the fire type is a woman then this can also be complicated by yin deficiency issues related to being uncomfortable with the softness and openness of the female. This is particularly true if they have metal in their other numbers.
Usually with a fire type the emotions are just under the surface ready to crack open. Once they let go of the defensiveness then one of these felt senses will come to the fore and you can have them sit in that while you hold points.
The essence of this entire pattern is expression and openness. That is what needs to be addressed if fire is to be in harmony.
The key lesson for fire types is that true control comes from living your truth by surrendering to the heart’s innate wisdom. This surrender involves true love and appreciation for what is in our hearts.
It is by loving ourselves that we set ourselves free and meet our own needs for love. Having met our need for love we feel in control and in tune with the rhythm of life.
When we see inside our hearts and the hearts of others it is easy to feel compassion for ourselves and others. Being in contact with our heart enables us to be self possessed, providing insight into ourselves and an ability to govern ourselves. We feel ‘together’.
Possible Fire Goals
I connect to myself and others. I love all aspects of myself.
I am lovable as I am.
My inner self is lovable.
SI: I listen to my heart. I am understood.
SJ: I am intimate with others as appropriate for me.
Pc: I love my inner self. I connect with my emotions. It’s OK to connect with my emotions.
Moving With the Rhythm of Life
Adapted from “Absorption” in 365 Dao pg13
Crimson light through pine shadows. Setting sun settling in the ocean.
Night follows the setting sun, Day follows the fleeing moon.
All too often, we tend to think of absorption as a static thing: water is absorbed into a sponge and there it stays. But true absorption is a total involvement in the evolution of life without hesitation or contradiction. In nature there is no alienation. Everything belongs.
Only human beings hold themselves aloof from this process. We divorce ourselves from the process and others, even as we yearn for love, companionship, understanding and communion. We constantly defeat ourselves by questioning, asserting ourselves at the wrong times, or letting hatred and pride cloud our perceptions. Our alienation is self- generated.
In the meantime, all of nature continues its constant flow. We need to let ourselves go, enter freely into the process of nature, and become absorbed in it. If we integrate ourselves with that process, we will find success. Then the sequences of things will be as evident as the coming of the sun and the moon, and everything will be as it should be.
Meridians: Heart, Small Intestines, Pericardium, Triple Heater
People with strong Fire energy may be quite charismatic. They excel at commanding others to action. They may love talking and socializing.
When the Fire Qi is weak, a person may be lackluster or bland. They may suffer from anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. They may stutter, talk too much and too rapidly, or laugh nervously. They may be too excitable, easily stimulated to excesses, or they may be emotionally cold and unfeeling.
Common illnesses include palpitations, hypertension, heart problems, and sores on the mouth and tongue. People strongly influenced by the Fire element may be vulnerable in very hot weather, and may be calmed and centered by walking. The bitter flavor favors the Fire Qi. Coffee is a bitter flavor, but its effects may aggravate the Heart Qi. The healthy bitter flavors include dark, green leafy vegetables.
Fire — Summer – the Heart – the Mind
The Fire element represents nature in its most exuberant phase. A metaphor for a plant would be its flower in full bloom. The flower symbolises radiance, attraction and self-fulfilment. While the Water element is the source of will and drive, given direction by Wood, the Fire element provides a “felt sense” of the ideal, a way of recognising what is right for us.
The central organ of the Fire element is the Heart. “The Heart is like an insightful emperor; it is the root of life and causes versatility of spiritual faculties. Within yang, the principle of light and life, the Heart acts as the great yang which permeates the climate of summer” (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine).
The Heart circulates and governs the blood, is the residence of the Mind (Shen), of conscious awareness in all its forms. It directs thinking, feeling, memory and imagination, is the focus of all mental-emotional activity and is the source of self-awareness. When we follow and express what is in our heart we naturally feel joy and act with spontaneity.
Shen is a broad term that may mean “Mind” and “Spirit”. Spirit includes the sum total of all aspects of the psyche. The Spirit of all the other elements is part of the Shen. There is also a narrower meaning of Shen, in terms of the role the Shen of the Fire element plays within spirit – this Shen relates to the mind.
The Shen unites the different aspects of the self and integrates consciousness and perception. The Heart houses the Shen and is the emperor that orchestrates the various “spirits” of the organs. It brings harmony and balance.
Feelings are felt in the heart. It is responsible for emotional harmony. Intimacy, warmth and tenderness are regulated by the heart. It relates to love and affection and is the receiver and giver of emotional warmth.
The Heart and Mind are fundamentally responsible for ensuring a well-integrated and contented emotional life, as well as a balanced mind. Psychological problems involve, at least to some degree, an imbalance within the Fire element.
Enthusiasm and spontaneity are natural expressions of the Heart in harmony. When the Heart is in disharmony we may feel hurt, nervous and agitated. We may become over-sensitive, over-excited and quickly hurt. Nervous exhaustion and insomnia are often a consequence of an unbalanced Heart.
Fire imbalances are more typical of individuals who are hot by nature, often due to excess yang energy. When the Heart is deficient in yang, however, a different picture emerges. Rather than over- excitement and agitation, there is a lack of enthusiasm. The naturally warm and vibrant state of the Mind (Shen) is lost to apathy and despondency.
The highest expression of the Fire element is Propriety and right action. The way we let our life unfold will then be in harmony with our Heart. The key is to love and surrender to the Heart’s innate wisdom so that our life becomes an expression of this truth. In doing so our life will feel right and we will feel in tune with all life.
The flower of a plant is symbolic of fire. It represents the full unfolding of its individual uniqueness.