Working with Fire Energy

CandleflameAll my life, fire has been my primary element, which matches my Leo sign perfectly.  If there was a fire anywhere – be it by candle, in the fireplace or BBQ grill, or around a campfire – I was there like a moth to the flame, usually with a hand out to feel its heat or to sit and watch the fire flicker.  One creature associated with fire is a salamander; sometimes, when I sit by a lit fireplace or around a campfire, I would see the elemental salamanders just inside the flames basking in its heat, and sometimes just mischievously moving around sending showers of sparks everywhere.

So, naturally, I like to explore and practice fire magick in many forms from candle magick to pyrography, which is just a fancy word for woodburning.  I’ll bet you thought you just read “pornography” didn’t you?  Tsk tsk tsk.

Fire, however, is the most volatile and fickle element to work with, and It is quick to remind you to respect it fully or suffer the consequences.  When I first worked with the element of Fire, I admit that I was pretty cavalier around candle flame.  After setting up the table with the tools of my trade, and lighting the candles, I danced around to work up energy for a spell that I was doing, and was unaware that my long unbound hair was swinging around precariously close to the flames, until I smelled burnt hair and saw that the ends had caught on fire!  There is nothing quite as noxious as the smell of burnt hair and that odor takes forever to dissipate from the room, believe me.  Blech.  I was very fortunate that only my hair (and nose) paid for my inattention.  Ever since then, I’ve always pulled my hair back in a ponytail or in a bun, and either wore short sleeves or rolled my sleeves up past my elbows for safety.  

It isn’t just wayward body parts that you have to police either; you have to watch those altar tools too!  I like to use those pressed charcoal disks to ignite and smolder dried herbal incenses. Lighting those disks poses a challenge because it takes a very long steady flame to start it smoldering; therefore, using your fingers to hold the disk to the flame isn’t feasible (and painful!).  I like to use a pair of spring-loaded metal tongs, like the ones we used in Chemistry class (remember those?) to hold those disks.

Well, one night, when lighting a disk before beginning a meditation, I was startled to see the smoldering disk slip out of the tongs, and fly over in a high arc to the far corner of the bedroom, where it landed on the beige carpet.  By the end of the fifteen seconds that it took for me to rush over to snatch the disk off the carpet with my bare hands (ouch!), it had already left a nice circular scorch mark.  A handy reminder to always stay alert when handling fire, or else a quarter-sized charcoal disk will take the opportunity to burn your house down.  Those mischievous fire salamanders…gotta stay alert around them.

I still love working with fire – its energy is passionate, playful and powerful.  With proper respect and attention, you can harness its fiery properties to enhance and empower your magickal works without harming yourself or the environment.

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