Campfires and toasted marshmallows. Winter outside and a cozy fire within. The flame of a broiler rising as it sears food. The whoosh of a gas burner just ignited. Fire warms us. Fire helps us eat delicious food. And Fire dances for us, moving in the night and casting shadows beyond its circle. Fire is majickal. We can become transfixed by the leaping of the flames as they skip and twirl around the wood we’ve placed in it.
Fire transforms the landscape, both in beneficial and harmful ways. Without Fire, the great sequoia tree will not reseed. Small fires help rejuvenate forests. But out of control, there is loss and death. We need all the elements for life, but we find death in them when they rage. At this moment, vast areas of the Amazon, Angola, and the Congo are on fire. Experts offer mixed opinions about the long-term effect the fires will have.
At Awen’s Cauldron, we know that Fire transforms us. It is the element associated with creativity, passion, strength, healing, and illumination. Its healing power is found in Fire’s ability to pasteurize, sterilize, and cauterize, the latter being a primary way of healing wounds before modern medicine gave us new methods. We speak of passion as being hot, and Fire creates light for us. In fire’s transformation we find insight, and the creativity to approach old problems in new ways. Just as Fire can refine metals, it can burn away the dross that keeps us from being all that we can and want to be.
Earth and Water are considered feminine signs; Fire and Air (discussed in our next post) are considered masculine signs. As Water’s opposite, Fire is represented by an equilateral triangle with the point up. Fire signs in the zodiac are Ares, Leo, and Sagittarius. Its colors are found in the warm spectrum of yellow, orange, and red, as well as white, and this is reflected in the crystals that represent it—ruby, fire opal, and volcanic rock. Fire is the element of south and is associated with summer. Goddess include Brigid, Pele, and Hestia. Fire is the element that fuels the music of guitars and other stringed instruments; indeed, this blog was written while listening to classical guitar. Herbs and plants associated with Fire include those with a “bite” to them, like cinnamon, red pepper, garlic, and coffee. Burn frankincense, cinnamon, and dragon’s blood (a plant—you don’t have to actually find a dragon) to activate your sense of smell when working with Fire. Real animals associated with Fire include cats, lions, scorpions, and foxes, while fantasy realm creatures are the dragon, phoenix, and salamander.
Cauldrons are a traditional majickal tool for witches. Not only can you mix potions in them over a fire, you can use a cauldron to hold Fire. One way to invoke Fire safely inside is a combination of Epsom Salts and rubbing alcohol in a fireproof dish like a small, cast-iron cauldron. Use a ratio of 2 parts Epson Salts to 1 part rubbing alcohol. Two tablespoons of salt and 1 of alcohol will burn for about 15 minutes. You can adjust the amount according to how long you want the fire to burn.
Other majickal tools associated with Fire include wands and athames (ritual daggers). Use the athame to cast a majickal circle before calling in the elements and spirit and use it again to take the circle down. To cast a circle, start in the east and move clockwise (doesil) toward the south, ending at the north. When taking down a circle, you reverse your movements, starting in the north and moving counterclockwise (widdershins) toward the west and ending at east. A wand is used primarily to focus power and concentration when casting a spell. Holding it as you say the spell can intensify your intention. You can also point it at something that represents the intention of your spell for greater effect.
Candles are an easy way to access the element of fire majickally. The color of the candle should be associated with the spell you wish to cast. White is good for any kind of spell, as it reflects all the colors. People also use candles in these colors according to the spell:
Green (Earth)—healing, abundance, money
Red (Fire)—energy, passion, courage, strength
Yellow (Air)—learning, reason, focus, memory
Blue (Water)—serenity, emotions, communication
White (Spirit)—peace, communication with the divine, purity
Brown—animals, home protection, family
Pink—romance, friendship, nurturing, self-love
Orange—business, success, prosperity
Purple—influence, intuition, divination, hidden knowledge
Silver—dreams, the Moon, the feminine
Gold—power, the Sun, the masculine
Black—banishing, protection, binding
Flash paper can use used to write a spell and then burn it in the fire of the candle after saying the spell. Flash paper, as its name implies, disappears immediately when it touches fire, leaving very little ash. You can make your own flash paper by following the directions found here.
Another way to use Fire majick is to bake something. What did women in old movies do when they want to get a man’s attention? They baked him cookies or a cake—something sweet, created in fire. Whether they knew it or not, the writers of those screenplays were having their characters use Fire majick.
Fire Majick can be used for any number of spells—love, healing, destruction, transformation, and so on. Here is a spell for home protection. You’ll need a brown candle and a fire-proof vessel to use for cauldron fire. You can write the spell on flash paper or on regular paper that you’ll burn in the cauldron.
Write out the spell on the paper of your choice. Light the candle and the cauldron (using the salt/alcohol recipe). If you have an image of Hestia, it would be good to include it. You can find some images here that you could print out for your majickal purposes. Once everything is in place, read this spell and then burn the paper in your candle or cauldron. When you are finished, place the lid on your cauldron to extinguish the fire and use a candle snuffer or your wet fingers to extinguish the candle.
Gracious Hestia, keeper of the hearth
Protector of our homes
One who helps bring order from disorder in our family
Creating harmony and bliss
Hestia, we call on you now
Circle this home with your majick
Guard us against malice caused by fire, air, water, earth, or spirit
Protect us from those who would harm us
Let only love enter through the door
Create in us a spirit of harmony
That this home may be a refuge for us
Loving Hestia, may our hearth be merry
May our fires be warm
May our hospitality be generous
May our food be nourishing
May those who enter as friends leave as family
Hestia, bless us. So mote it be.
If you are in the Northern Hemisphere in this August, it is likely to be warmer than what may be comfortable for a fire indoors. But the fire of a cauldron and the fire of a candle may indeed move you to a more majickal place without adding heat to your space. Blessed be!
Opening image Refiner’s Fire, used with permission of the artist, Ruth Anna Abigail.