You wouldn’t know it’s a summer day as I sit here writing this, rain pattering relentlessly against the pavement. The muggy warmth rising up from the busy street, wafting into the cafe where I sit by the rain splattered window. Sipping on a latte, I feel the bitter of the coffee entice my heart, trying to convince it to emerge and play with the day. But today my heart prefers the dark cave of my chest. Grey outside; grey inside. It’s as though the fire is just about out, the coals glowing slightly under their ashy coat.
We’ve all had days like this, but when the days drain into weeks and the weeks into months; we know something more substantial than just having a down and out day is happening. We can look to the fire energy for support. Fire is the third phase of the energetic cycle according to the Chinese elemental theory. It is when yang energy is at its fullest and in nature the days are long, warm and full of ease. Nature bursts into full bloom as eagerly as a first kiss. Our intimacy with ourselves, one another and nature can naturally mature with the support of the warm yang.
The character for summer is Xia, meaning to walk slowly under the fullness of the sun*. Fire energy is managed in our bodies through the functions of the heart, small intestine and pericardium. There is a fourth function – San Jiao, or triple burner, that also serves fire. Though not represented in western medicine San Jiao is very important in Chinese medicine and understood to be our temperature regulator, mediating the circulation and fluids of our body, and tempering our connection between internal and external environments.
Fire can be an easy mask, but when our fire is authentically in balance we can feel a deep sense of joy and ease. We can connect easily with others and let the warmth of our relationships fuel us. Without steady warmth we may feel our sense of joy dominated with sorrow, depression, anxiety or filled with low self-esteem.
Our own Fire energy is more like a camp fire that can be cultivated into a sun. But like a camp fire, it needs to be fueled and tended to until it becomes full and steady. Our fire energy is fueled with passion, compassion, Love, joy, intimacy and trust. When we experience that grey feeling inside we can focus on building up our own fire energy to help support ourselves. The nature of fire is to transform; it reminds us that change is always a possibility.