Flame Ride
Although all elements represent qualities that are equally valuable to our inner growth, the element of fire symbolizes a particularly dominant cultural force throughout the world. Fire is associated with “doing” rather than with “thinking” or “reflecting.” It’s an action-oriented element that freely moves out into life to dynamically seize the moment-think of flames energetically shooting upward and out-ward. Fire’s “burning” urge is to experience life adventurously and with full gusto. Although not particularly organized, logical, or even considerate of others, fire motivates us to take quick, decisive action in the here and now-to strike boldly while the iron is hot and our passions are running high.
Until relatively recently, the archetypal world of fire has been the exclusive domain of traditional male behavior, reinforced by centuries of unquestioned and unbroken social conditioning. Society permits men to “do” their fire without much penalty-“boys will be boys”- that is, at least until males overdo their fiery expression and become destructively “macho.”
Fire is a fighting element, ready to attack whatever tries to thwart its energy or get in its way. Applied on a mass level, this becomes warfare-a collective drama where men, historically, have released fire’s potential fury by engaging in large-scale violence. Many men of today also vent their fire by being active in sport’s, by sexual conquest, by hunting, or by plunging into exciting forms of physical risk-daredeve-ils are born of the fire element. Abhorring timed, wishy-washy behavior, fire is no coward when it comes to finding ways to satisfy its urges.
Women today are also learning firsthand-and perhaps cau-tiously-that it is psychologically and physically beneficial to own and openly express what fire represents: our human ability to move bravely out into the world according to the spontaneous impulses of our desire and self-will. More and more females are joining the ranks in such fields as boxing, football, soccer, weightlifting, and so on-formerly all male-dominated activities. More women are also running big businesses in the corporate world, and are taking on high political office-all due to their readiness and willingness to their readiness and willingness to embrace to strengths of fire, and thus break gender-based stereotypes.
Newborn babies come into this world already displaying their raw, untendered fire drives-they’ll cry a decidedly impatient and angry cry as their immediate way of asserting their being, as if claiming, “I am alive and I am here. Deal with my needs now! Here is a purer, uncultured fire at work, accenting its customary focus on fulfilling “me” concerns. Although not exclusively associated with fire symbolism-despite the fact that astrologers relate it primarily to the sun-the ego knows how to burn this element’s volatile fuel when needing to draw attention to itself. Fire pumps up the ego’s sense of commanding power. Thus, expect fire to be very self-focused and concerned with fulfilling its own desires, first and foremost. The signs Aries and leo have very much been accised of this, but less so Sagittarius (and we’ll analyze why later).
Strongly fire-oriented people can spend an entire lifetime acting as if their personal needs require urgent attention-they are not to be postponed or denied. Instant gratification is what fire wants and expects. However, in the process of exuberantly expressing who they are, fire types can deplete the energy of others. They can indulge in too much of a good thing, and in an uncontained manner. We tend to as sume that fire people give of themselves in abundance-they warmly and generously radiate their light and heat-but they also need fresh energy sources to refuel themselves. It’s exhausting to be around people who colorfully flare out all the time, who happily expend themselves, but then consume some of your vitality just to keep their own blaze going. Fire is thus a very demanding, even draining, force to be around for long periods of time. It can wear out other less-temperatures, anyway.

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