I once dreamed a volcano was erupting and lava was pouring down the side of the mountain. Afraid, I ran toward the sea to find safety, but quickly realized there was no escape.
I had to choose between death by fire and death by water. Some choice. I woke up feeling trapped and indecisive.
When I told my shaman teacher my dream, she said, “For you, death by fire.”
But death by fire seemed like a scary path and I didn’t really know what that meant.
I suspected it meant leaping into the unknown and engaging my purpose with a firey passion while living from my most authentic self in a bigger way than I’d ever done before.
I didn’t know how to do that or what it would look like, so I didn’t really choose.
Instead I slipped into a “death by water” life that was a slow and lingering transformation.
That dream happened ten years ago, and although I eventually made it through the transformation, I regret, at least a little, not consciously choosing death by fire. I suspect I would be much further along on my path if I had.
What is Fire Medicine
The sun rising in the eastern sky is a fireball that promises new beginnings. It transforms night into day by radiating light. That’s fire medicine.
In my dream priestessing work, fire is the medicine of springtime, and with it comes the flames of creative visioning and transformation.
Fire medicine is potent stuff. It ignites your creative spark, fueling the passion you need to manifest your desires.
Yet like all medicine, too much can become toxic, and unless you know how to work with fire medicine, you can quickly go from feeling “on fire” to burning out.
So how do you develop your own fire medicine in healthy ways so you can tend the flame of your heart’s desire? That’s what this post is all about.
Understanding Fire Medicine in Your Life
Imagine a campfire. Too much fire and you burn down the entire forest. Not enough fire and you feel lifeless and cold. Just the right amount and you have warmth that can feed you and keep you cozy.
The same is true with fire medicine as it relates to your passion. (Your passion is just one expression of fire medicine.)
“Just Right” Fire…
When you’re like Goldilocks and you’ve discovered the “just right” amounts of fire you feel engaged, enthusiastic, and healthfully committed to your purpose. You have the Divine force you need to maintain momentum and burn through any fear you encounter. Nothing can get in your way, but you’re open-minded enough to explore your options to find the best path for your purpose.
Not Enough Fire…
If you’re feeling lifeless and disconnected from things that interest you, you probably don’t have enough fire in your life to feel enthusiastic. If this is happening, it’s useful to figure out what’s holding back the heat.
Too much water or emotion can drown out passion. Empaths who feel the emotion of the world may be too heavily doused in water for their fire medicine to work properly, leaving them unmotivated or uninspired.
Too much air or mental energy can cause you to “outthink” your passion. People who overthink things or who are too fact oriented may miss opportunities to leap because they are weighing the pros and cons to a fault. (Facts are not the problem. Attachment to them is.)
Too much earth or physical weight can keep you rigid and inflexible. People who are too grounded can become set in their ways, causing them to miss opportunities for growth because they are too comfortable where they are (and likely too afraid to grow). Inertia can set in making movement toward soul growth feel like a hassle.
Too Much Fire…
When you have too much fire, though, you create different kinds of problems.
When you become so passionate about something or someone that you become obsessed you can miss out on other areas of life. It’s like when people fall in love for the first time and they’re all over one another, never doing anything without the other person, and forgetting that there’s a whole world around them. This is a sign of too much fire. If it only lasts a little while it’s fun, but if it lasts too long it can cloud your judgement. If it continues it can lead to obsession and then it becomes unhealthy for you and possibly those around you.
Proselytizing is another sign of too much fire. Believing that your way is the best way, no matter what, denies the unique expression and potential of other people’s authentic connection with their soul path.
People who think everyone should eat a certain diet (e.g. be vegan, paleo, carnivore) and who preach about it in a way that tries to guilt people or convert them to their way of being is an unhealthy form of proselytizing that denies the greater truth that there is no one right way, and this is an expression of too much fire. A person can be enthusiastic, which means “in God” without proselytizing.
Rage is a a form of passion that is rooted in extreme and unrelenting anger. It has the characteristics of an uncontrolled forest fire. Anger is healthy, but rage, left unhealed, can turn everything around it into ash. It destroys health and relationships, and leaves the raging person feeling more disconnected to their purpose (and others) than connected.
How to Work with Fire Medicine When you Don’t have Enough
One of the biggest reasons people lose touch with their fire is that they get caught up in “shoulds” instead of “soul.”
What are you saying “no” to in your life? Are you saying “no” to something because you feel it would cost too much time, money, or resources? Or that if you said “yes” it would cost you a relationship?
Whenever you say “no” to something you long to say “yes” to, you diminish your fire medicine and you start to feel disconnected from your purpose.
The longer you do this, the more likely you are to forget what it was you wanted to say yes to, making it much more difficult to remember what you felt passionate about in the first place.
If this is you, the best place to start is with your dreams. Ask your dreams to help remind you what it is you love and to show you what’s getting in the way.
How to Work with Fire Medicine When you Have Too Much
There is a fine line between “just right” and “proselytizing” or “obsession.”
When you are “just right” you see that what you love is good medicine for you because it empowers you. From this place sharing is magnetic and loving, not just for you, but for the people who are receiving your sharing.
The second you start to believe and/or tell people that your way is the best and only way for everyone, you’ve crossed the line. When you start to “guilt trip” others because they aren’t doing what you think they should be doing you’ve crossed the line. At this point, your fire medicine might get out of control and the object or subject of your recipient may become engulfed in the flames of judgment, causing them to burn and turn into ash. It’s not pretty.
It’s easy to do this when you’re super passionate about something. I’ve done it myself many times, so if you’ve done this you’re not alone. There are at least two of us!
But here’s the thing: it’s only a problem if you stay rooted in that mindset, continue to badger the person on the receiving end, and stop paying attention to the negative consequences of your words and actions.
The key to rebalancing and stepping back into “good medicine” is to take a deep breath and to remind yourself that there is no one right way. That is an illusion fed to you by your ego.
Your “truth” is not necessarily Universal Truth and right for someone else. We each have our own unique relationship with our body, mind, soul, and Spirit, and you can trust that each person’s path is right for them, even if you disagree.
Prescriptions for Beautiful Fire Medicine
When I work with my clients I help address and heal core ancestral wounds that are interfering with balanced fire medicine. Together we usually find a point in the lineage during which a drama or trauma occurred to shift a healthy balance into a “wound” that perpetuates and grows as it’s passed down through the lineage.
As we work together I listen to the words they use as well as the feelings they experience and from these I create a “remedy” or “prescription” that might include dreamwork, flower essences, herbal teas, essential oils, or journal writing, all of which are intended to help them move through their “wound” so they can create permanent transformation.
Here are a few examples of what I might “prescribe” if there is a fire medicine imbalance. (Keep in mind that remedies and prescriptions are tailored to each individual. What’s right for one person is not necessarily right for another.)
Dream incubation is one of my favorite ways to find direction and you can read about it here.
Not enough fire:
Tansy is for people who are suppressing their purpose due to indecision or lethargy.
Too much fire:
Vervain is for people who experience intense enthusiasm and are trying to convert others to their belief system. This flower essence helps instill moderation.
What’s your relationship with fire medicine?
Are you feeling balanced?
Or do you need to realign?
Whatever your situation, spend some time this month feeling grateful for the fire in your life. Greet the sun in the morning. Stand in the warm rays for five minutes. Let the fire fill you with visions and help you transform them into reality.