Fire of Creation
by Karen Bartlett
The element of Fire, the concept of Fire!!
Fire is a primal element. With Fire came comfort and Life for Man/Women.
Fire is the First force and when Fire was used by humans it opened up a better life for humankind.
Warmth could be had in the cold, food could be cooked cutting back on parasites and disease. Nighttime predators could be fended off by the light and heat of Fire.
Fire in the Zodiac is the first manifestation of Life-force after the watery death of Pisces. Aries represents the first force of Will and consciousness. The burst of Spring. The fiery life forces bursting forth, “I AM”.
Fire is an energetic force. It stirs things up and creates change.
Fire is important in the Alchemical Laboratory, both the physical Fire and the subtle qualities of this volatile element.
“fire is the primary agent, that of the whole Art. It is the first of the four elements.”
Olympiodorus, circa 500 CE
“Fire, notwithstanding the diversities of it in this sub-lunary kitchen of the elements, is but one thing from one root. This of all things both visible and invisible. It is in water, earth and air. It is in minerals, herbs and beasts; it is in men, stars and angels. But originally it is in God Himself; for He is the fountain of heat and fire and from Him it is derived to the rest of the creatures in a certain stream of sunshine.”
-Dr. John Dee, ” The Rosie Crucian Secrets ”
Fire is the pure and idivisible Thing. Energy and Energy=Matter.
To the Alchemist it is the Sun behind the Sun. The Celestial Fire at the center of all things. Through the Fire all the dross is transformed. The body of the substance being worked with after being fermented, dryed and separated from it’s other parts is purified through the calcinations of the Fire. Likewise the Alchemist himself is purified and calcined psychologically and spiritually through the Inner Fire. Arising out of the ashes like the Phoenix the evolved and purified substance.
The initiation into the Great Work of Alchemy involves first the application of heat, and subsequently the addition of water to catalyze the dissolving, melting, and liquefying of the first matter. In his alchemical writings, Carl Jung characterized this period as “breaking down the boundaries of the ego, and allowing the chaotic material of the unconscious to pour forth where it can be inspected by consciousness.” In this sense, the alchemical expression, “Solve,” quite accurately describes the initial interactions with self and others that take place in the early hours of the Fire Circle—interactions that reflect the softening of personal and group boundaries, and the opening of hearts.”
In many mythologies Fire can be good or it can be destructive and dangerous. Creative and cleansing as well as destructive.
There are myths all over the world about Fire. Fire is usually brought as a gift by Gods or God-like beings. It often represents the Sun God and is linked to the Hearth or the Center of the Household. One keeps the sacred Sun throughout the Winter in the Hearth Fires which must never be extinguished.
Some mythologies Tricksters are also associated with destructive aspects of Fire and the End of the World or Apocalypse, such as Loki in the Norse myths.
The Greek Vulcan (Hephaestus), God of Metal Working, (closely associated with Alchemy and Metallurgy as the Egyptian Alchemists were metallurgists originally).
There are many Rituals associated with Fire, based on mythology. Vesta in Rome; her Vestal Virgins kept the Sacred flames. The Olympic torch is still lit and carried from country to country for the games to this day.
The Greek Prometheus stole fire from the Gods and brought it to mankind.
On May Day the bonfires are lit on the Barrows to light the way for the Goddess and herald the Suns return.
Myths abound through all cultures, from Celtic to Greek, to Rome, to Hindu, to Chinese, American Indian.
Firebirds are also prominent in many mythologies. The most commonly known being the Phoenix, (In Egypt in was Benu); recently popularized in the Harry Potter series.
The Phoenix traditionally has a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet and lives for a 1000 years, after which it ignites and from the ashes a new Phoenix is born or phoenix egg. The Romans believed the phoenix lived on frankincense and odiferous gums and it’s scent was wonderful when it burned.
Again in Alchemy, the Phoenix image represents the Alchemist and the substance being worked with purified and perfected after the calcinations of the Fire. The “old self” must die to be born anew.
There are modern day rituals and groups now centered around the Fire. A common yearly event is known as Burning Man and takes place in the desert, the culmination of which is a large effigy burned down in the desert along with a whole “city” that was erected in a few days.
On a more sacred note, the Alchemical Fire Circle has been gaining popularity across the Nation. Originating in Las Vegas, by Jeff McBride a world class stage magician, and his wife, priestess, and magical assistant, Abbi Mcbride, the Fire Circle centers around a bonfire, usually outdoors but sometimes improvised indoors in which there are concentric rings of dancers corresponding to the planets. Mercury being the most active dancers and closer to the fire up to the outer ring of Saturn where dancers can rest or the less agile can support the energy with rattles and singing. This is facilitated by the drummers who ignite the “Fire”. The Circle is likened to an Alchemists flask and the distillation tube leads out to a common area where you can rest and eat and sleep if you like before going back to the Fire. It usually lasts anywhere from one to four days and goes from dusk till dawn. A link to the youtube video can be found on
Since the dawn of time, human beings have gathered around the fire to make music, to dance, and to weave magic in the firelight. Alchemy is a paradigm of transformation, using the “fire of nature” to accelerate growth and change on interior levels. The Alchemical Fire Circle, grounded in this paradigm, is an evolving ritual form that has been in a state of refinement for the past sixteen years. Fire Circle Alchemy’s fundamental components are comprised of voice, music, movement, and service, which correspond to the magical elements of air, fire, water and earth, respectively. The rationale for these correspondences proceeds in a fairly logical fashion. Hence, voice corresponds with air for the reason that breath is essential to the production of human sound; similarly, music corresponds with fire, as it is the music that supplies the circle with its energy. Movement’s correspondence with water is an external reflection of the constant motion of the fluids held within; and service corresponds with earth, given that service is the ever-present foundation upon which all of the other work rests.”
The elements are important in Astrology of Course, and Fire represents the first force of Aries as mentioned earlier. Fire in astrology concerns Intuition generally as well as drive for significance. The Triplicities of Fire are Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius. Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable.
Aries is the Fire of Mars, explosive, creative and random. Bursting forth with tremendous energy like the fire of the Volcano. Leo, one of the Serpent or Kundalini signs is the Fire of Will, The Sun, creativity focused and prolific. Leo represents children of the Mind as well as the Body as Fire creates on many levels. In Sagittarius the Fire becomes softened and philosophical as the soft glow of the Rainbow. Sagittarius becomes more cerebral fire energy in the creative pursuits of the Higher Mind.
Fire in your chart is your basic drive for significance and where you most exercise your Will for good or ill.
And so you can see that Fire is a powerful energy on many levels that has “fired” many mythologies and Arts and Sciences. From Primitive Man to the Great Civilizations of the World. Fire has sparked Creativity throughout the Ages and continues to do so to the present day.