Spark and Flame

Fire Dances
The Dance of Fire

Think back to the last fire you watched burn. Mesmerizing wasn’t it?  Now close your eyes and picture the flames flickering yellow-orange and blue as they move and dance across the wood. Feel the heat of the fire warming your skin. Remember how the fire burned and consumed every twig and log until only a pile of ash and smoldering cinders remained.

Fire is the element of constant motion, passion, and dynamic change. Fire is the element that drives the transformation of matter into raw energy and back again. The element of fire is mutable and more volatile than the elements of earth, air, or water. A single spark can transform into a raging inferno or be snuffed out in an instant.

Fire is wild raw energy — the nuclear fusion reaction at the center of every star.  According to Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire from the Gods and gave it to man.  The power of fire is so immense that it seems to be almost God-like. Wherever it came from, fire’s power is unquestionable. No other element can transform our physical world as quickly and dramatically as fire can.

Outer Fire

Elemental Fire gives us heat, light and energy.  Without the fire of our Sun, Mama Earth would be a cold, dark, inhospitable rock. The miracle of life on  Earth is possible because 93 million miles away, a Sun burns and creates huge amounts of radiant light energy. Sunlight is the energetic catalyst for plant photosynthesis on land and in the sea. Without the fire of Sun, plant life would not exist on Earth. Without fire, our beautiful planet would no longer sustain life as we know it.

The fire of our Sun defines the landscape of planet Earth in many ways; varying amounts of sunlight across the globe create a wide range of landscapes; everything from sun drenched hot African deserts to dark icy cold arctic regions of the far north. The presence or lack of sunlight defines and rules this planet.

And the Sun’s day night cycles provide a rhythmic pattern to life on Earth. The Sun rises, the Sun sets, the Sun rises again.  For generations our ancestors learned to cycle with the Sun, staying awake and active in daylight, resting and quiet when it was dark. Today with electric lights and computers, many people stay awake long past dark. It’s no coincidence that health problems related to lack of sleep have skyrocketed.  Human bodies are literally wired for regular periods of rest in a dark quiet space. Sustained activity without rest is unhealthy for humans.

Our bodies are wired to cycle with the Sun. In so many ways, the fire and passion of the Sun rule our Earth and our lives.

“In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest where no one sees you,
but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.”
~ Rumi

Inner Fire

Your physical body absolutely requires the fiery energy of the Sun to live and grow. Sunlight is essential for the creation of every bite of food you consume to survive. And internally, your body creates smaller “suns” of its own;  the fire of internal metabolism transforms the food you eat back into the raw energy needed to fuel your body and keep you warm blooded. And the electrical firing of nerves move your muscles, drive your thoughts and fuel your passionate emotions. Humans need constant fire within to think, talk, move and create our lives. Without the element of fire within, human movement, growth and change would be impossible.

The fire element within our bodies is constantly in motion, transforming us physically with every muscle twitch and thought.  The fire within give us the fuel we require for all growth and action. Whether in the outer or inner world,  the element of fire is our volatile source of energy for transformation and change.

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Fire Play

Create a small fire in a safe, contained space.  If you don’t have a fireplace, use a deep metal bowl.

Light small bits of paper and watch them burn. Pay attention to the way fire consumes and transforms whatever it touches. Paper becomes ash. Notice how quickly fire shifts and moves.

Meditate with Light and Dark

Find a place outside where you can sit and watch the Sun set. Arrive 10-15 minutes before the Sun will actually go down.  Look around and notice how the place looks when you arrive. Then sit and watch the light shift.  Listen to the birds and other animals prepare for darkness. 

As the Sun sets and the sky darkens, simply breathe and watch. What happens around you as the light leaves? Can you feel your own body shifting? Do you slow down? Or speed up? Feel the temperature drop.

Stay seated for 10-15 minutes after the Sun sets. Listen, watch and feel the coming of darkness. Look up – are any stars out yet?

OR reverse this simple practice at sunrise. Go sit outside 10-15 minutes before the sun comes up. Listen and watch as the world is transformed by sunlight.

Try this practice at different times of the year. Explore the energies of light and dark in spring, summer, fall and winter.

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