In Chinese Medicine our 5-element theory associates each season with an element, emotion, organs, life phase...a whole list of other classifications. Summer belongs to the Fire element, with the color red, the emotion of joy, the organs of Heart and Small Intestines, and the growth phase of life. When we say "the spark of life," we are referring to Fire giving life to something or someone. Imagine humans in ancient times, when they saw the first flame of an erupting volcano or the spark of lightning. I imagine they saw great power, a god even. If you grew up like me in the 1970s-80s, watching Disney cartoons, you might remember the movie, The Jungle Book, where Mowgli is kidnapped by the apes and Louis the Orang Utan sings the song, "I Wanna Be Like You." He sings, "What I desire is man's red Fire, to make my dream come true...Give me the power of man's red flower, so I can be like you." It is a very joyful, playful, jazzy number, where Mowgli, Louis, the other apes and Mowgli's friends are all dancing and singing. It embodies the Fire element perfectly, even the themes surrounding the scene; there is joy but there is also greed. Fire in balance is a joyful celebration of life, but Fire out of balance is a forest fire that burns out of control, destroying everything.
One of the things that separates/d humans from animals is fire, which archeologists estimate humans learned to use around 1.7 million years ago. When humans tamed fire, they learned to control light, heat, cook their food and protect themselves from dangerous animals. Through this discovery, came the changes in development of the human body and brain. Amazing, isn't it? The things we take for granted, which are so present in our lives, or is in us and we never really realize how essential it is to our survival or our development. Of course, we humans did not stop at discovering fire, we went further and further, seeking out electricity, oil and natural gas in the earth, which are all manifestations of the sacred Fire. I watched a very good documentary, "Crude: The Incredible Journey of Oil," describing the roots of crude oil, from its development in the time of the dinosaurs quite a few millions of years ago to its use/ abuse in our current times. Our human quest for power and dominance over all life on earth and beyond for the last thousand years have become insatiable. We have begun a forest fire that we are no longer able to control, and it is burning everything in its path.
Is there something we can do to stop this? Yes! This is where the laws of the 5-Elements come into play. The elements are about balance, when one moves in the direction of excess, there is another one before it that will control it to recreate the balance. A Fire out of balance can be stopped by a greater force of Water, to extinguish its inferno. The forces of nature have already begun this, we observe the oceans rise and the rains cascade down on earth, creating floods. These are not coincidences, these are nature's clear intention to recreate the balance that has been disturbed. We can be part of this clear intention for balance, beginning within ourselves. Slow down, listen and become aware of what nature is saying to us. Then act! This can be that we are consciously passive, shutting down our multi-media or not playing along with the consumer game or giving hope where it may seem bleak. Reconnect to nature and to ourselves. This is where we will find the answers. After all, the Fire out there is also within us. If we learn to balance that which is within us, maybe we will learn to balance that which surrounds us too.
Image Fire by Monsterkoi on Pixabay
Diagram 5-Element Control Cycle by Elaine