Solutions For Fire-Gone-Wrong
In my recent post Personality Flaws of the Four Elements I described ways the 4 Elements can go wrong, each according to its own nature.
How To Know If Fire Is Burning You Up
When all you’ve got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Fire is at best a blunt instrument and when abused it becomes destructive quickly. Your Fire has gone wrong when:
- You frequently feel angry, destructive, or aggressive.
- You always need to have the last word.
- Your friends say you habitually squash other people’s self-confidence by dominating them.
- Some say your ways of being make you feel big and others feel small.
- You feel restless and can’t settle down into a job or relationship.
Solution One: Balance Fire With The Other 3 Elements
If your Fire is distorted, the other elements can help restore balance. Some say that anger is a disguise for grief, and for a Fiery individual this can be very true. Are you masking sadness with your Fiery display? Take off the armor, sink into your Watery side and let yourself feel sad. But leave the battle zone first.
Air can also lend a useful perspective. Draw on your Airy side to access your inner Observer, that part of you that can get healthy distance from yourself. Step outside your anger and use logic instead. Debate with yourself before arguing with others.
Earth reminds Fire that dominating others is impractical, because it impedes the very leadership you’re trying to create. Why would people want to follow someone who blows up easily and loses self-control? Earth says, have self-discipline and show them that you take practical action on your promises.
Solution Two: Emphasize Healthy Fire
If you emphasize healthy Fire and fill your life with positive expressions of Fire, there will be no room for unhealthy Fire. This elegant solution gently allows negative Fire traits to fall away as a side-effect of your emphasis on positive Fire. You might call this solution “Fire-Fu.” Here are some examples:
- Have a regular athletic routine that allows you to “blow off steam.” Then you don’t explode unexpectedly.
- Encourage mental self-talk that builds your confidence, instead of undermining it. Then you don’t need to dominate others to get your way or express your needs.
- Enjoy healthy competition with strong people you respect. Then you’ll find the patience you need to get you through the times when you have to tread delicately with people you wouldn’t choose, but have to relate with.
- Assert yourself early and often, so you don’t build up a head of steam and blow.
- Examine the beliefs that make up your philosophy of life—create a world-view that expands (not contracts) you.
See the next post in this thread: Has Earth Grounded You–Permanently?
Human temperament is made from combinations of the four elements, Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Everyone has all four, but in different proportions. Everyone also differs in how well they express each element—whether that element is expressed mostly in a clean and clear way or in a distorted way.
It’s not that some parts of your chart are good and some are bad. All are good and all are bad—it is in how you use them. Some will be easier to have as good and you can express those parts well with little effort. Others are more challenged and prone to distorted expression. But it still comes down to what you do with it. You’re in charge.
And so, as a cautionary study, what follows is a look at what happens when each of the 4 elements goes terribly, terribly wrong.
The Fire side of us is naturally upbeat, cheerful and energetic. When Fire goes wrong, all that drive and energy still needs someplace to go, so the person tends toward irritation, frustration and anger. They can also take cheerfulness to the point of being entirely false and being unwilling to admit to having a down day. When Fire is distorted, a person becomes fierce, a bully, arrogant, entitled, self-centered and even violent. When you meet a person who can’t take feedback without exploding, who has to have their own way and who must dominate every situation, blame Fire. Fire is also at work when an individual is hardheadedly self-determined or naïve to the point of clueless because they simply won’t listen to others. And Fire also brings us the megalomaniac, the self-absorbed, self-centered people for whom it’s “all about me.” Fire can be very uncaring and insensitive to others. Oh, and Fire’s known for being an attention-grabber and a drama queen, insistent on blowing things up bigger than they have to be—and always in public.
Earth’s nature makes it practical, pragmatic, grounded, serious and realistic. When a person expresses Earth in a distorted way they become cold and calculating, holding others (and sometimes themselves) to harsh, overly demanding standards. Earth can be judgmental and critical, nit-picky and a perfectionist, setting the bar too high and valuing achievement over a balanced lifestyle. Earth has also gone wrong when a person is overly security-oriented and abusing food and pleasure for comfort in reaction to excessive restrictions in other times or areas. Binging and purging are Earthy behaviors. Earth can also embrace structure too much, becoming extremely regimented, engaging in ritualistic, obsessive routines and finding themselves unable to relax and let life flow. Earth craves wealth and can become a miserly, money-grubbing, gold-digging Scrooge who is obsessed with the bottom line and cries “show me the money!” And obviously, Earth’s ambition can go very wrong, resulting in a person who will ruthlessly step on anybody necessary to climb to the top of the heap—and then paradoxically, they will spend their time hyper-vigilantly watching the competition, unable to relax and enjoy the fruits of their achievement.
Air represents the mental side of human nature, so Air types tend to be idea people—intellectual and curious types. When Air goes wrong, the person is nervous, twitchy, restless and agitated, too full of nervous energy and has too little tendency to work it off physically, as Fire or Earth might do. Instead, Air will spend time reading or surfing the net or otherwise involved with ideas, theories and virtual things instead of physical reality. Air tends to be attracted to caffeine and stimulants that make one’s mind sharper or help one focus. Distorted Air leads to ADD symptoms, Asperger’s Syndrome, autism and other conditions that make it hard to bond emotionally with others, leaving a person cold, unattached and stiff (both emotionally and physically). An Airy type can be the epitome of a talking head, full of theories and the logical reasons behind why they should work, but disinterested in their application. That Airy intelligence can lead to a tendency to criticize whatever doesn’t fit the theory. At its worst, Air is alienated, unfeeling, cut off from others and amoral, because it lacks compassion.
Water represents the emotional side of human life: Water grants us feelings, intuition, instinct, empathy and compassion. Water-gone-wrong heads in a number of seemingly unconnected directions. One way is that distorted Water becomes whiny, clingy, weepy, hypersensitive, histrionic and emotionally self-indulgent. This leads to codependence and being easily manipulated by others. Other people take distorted Water in a different direction, toward being passive-aggressive, manipulative, controlling and a user, always covertly pushing for one’s way. Water is moody; it can fall into pits of depression, resulting in spending time being lazy, unmotivated, greasy & unwashed. You can just feel the creeping entropy. Even when Water is expressed in a spiritual way, the person can take an attitude of spiritual superiority which is actually not spiritual at all. Did I mention that Water has a sexual side? Water can get sleazy, sluttish, creepy and sexually predatory. And Water can be morbidly sensitive, leading to agoraphobia and misanthropy.
So there they are, the four Elements in all their very worst aspects. And there but for the grace of God go we all.
The Four Elements are a fascinating part of human temperament.
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June’s full moon is also a lunar eclipse, and a complex melting pot of influences it is too. The Capricorn moon likes to keep a lid on all things emotional, while the Cancerian Sun says, “let ‘em rip!” Toss intellectual Mercury and passionate Pluto into the mix and you’ve got a wealth of contradictory arguments. Uranus adds his form of irritation and Jupiter just makes everything bigger. What to do—should we all just stay in bed? No, just be aware from the get-go that this day is a mass of contradictions. Make no plans, stay flexible and be aware that circumstances may change right underneath you.
Details About This Eclipse
Date: June 26, 2010
Time of eclipse: 4:30 AM PST
Type: partial (weak in intensity)
Visible in: eastern Asia, Australasia and most of the Americas.
At: 4 degrees Capricorn
Shadow Agents: Pluto in Capricorn, also Mercury, Uranus and Jupiter
Does It Affect You Personally?
If your birthday is on any of the following dates, you most likely experienced this eclipse:
September 22-October 2
Remember, not every eclipse touches everyone, but when it does, it’s usually noticeable. A lunar eclipse is likely to bring up strong emotions and to be experienced as a subjective event (unlike a solar eclipse, which is likely to be marked by an external, real-world event). The following script is just one possible way it could go.
You hear a knock at the door. You answer it. The Sun and Moon are there and they seem to be fighting over something. Several more deities are standing behind them.
Sun: You can’t have it!
He’s looking relaxed in sweats and a comfortable t-shirt.
Moon: But it needs protecting! And I’m the right one for the job, because I’m in Capricorn.
She’s wearing a gray twin set and a business-length skirt, and trying not to look undignified as she tries to wrest the object away from the Sun.
You: Hey, what is that you’ve got there?
The Sun holds it out of the Moon’s reach and you can see for a moment that it’s your own heart.
You: That belongs to me!!
Sun: Oh, you’re the one who left this lying around?
He begins to hand it to you, but at the last moment, Pluto steps around him and plucks it from his palm. She’s dressed in business casual, much like the Moon, and she gives a wink to the Moon as she grabs your heart. As soon as she does, a rush of previously-unconscious feelings well up into your chest, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and a little faint. Pluto stalks past you and makes herself at home on your sofa. The Moon sits next to her and coos over the heart, which Pluto has cradled in her arms.
You: Whoa. I feel so . . .
Pluto: What you are feeling, my dear, is the rush of pure, unadulterated, undiluted power. If you had three wishes, and you could have absolutely anything, what would you wish for? Money? Fame? Power?
You: I want a better job. I want more money. I want to be respected. I want to be famous. I want to be loved. I want to be safe. I want to never worry again. I want my family to be taken care of.
Mercury pops in the door and occupies the other sofa, next to the spot the Sun has now occupied.
Mercury: You know what always happens at the end of all those “Three Wishes” stories, right? You’ll end up using your third wish to undo the stupid things you wished for with your first and second.
The Sun chuckles. At that moment, Uranus and Jupiter burst through the door and into the room.
Sun: Where’s the fire?
Uranus: We’re here to force a decision–
Jupiter : We’re in a terrible hurry–
Uranus: Places to go–
Jupiter: People to meet–
Uranus: All very important!
Pluto: Ri-i-ight. Terribly important. Have a seat, gentlemen.
Pluto points to the only chair left in the room and Jupiter and Uranus try to claim it simultaneously, then both crash to the floor.
Pluto: They’ve just gotten into Aries and they’re not settled yet. Speed freaks!
In the meanwhile, you’ve sneaked up behind Pluto and are now attempting to grab your heart.
Pluto: No you don’t!
The Moon glares at you.
Pluto: You’re going to feel all of this ambition. All of it. You’re going to feel the desire for power surging through your blood and in your marrow.
Jupiter: (suddenly stands up, looking frantic) What to do? What to do?
Uranus claims the chair but can’t sit still in it.
Pluto: There is absolutely NOTHING to do. Nothing at all. Just feel it.
Moon: That’s right, just feeeel it. Let it move through you and change you.
Sun: Let it make you more aware of yourself and your motives.
Mercury: Let it give you pause.
You stand still for a moment, in the middle of your own living room, just noticing all the sensations, feelings, thoughts in your body. It wells up from inside you, taking over your mind and senses like a drug. You are filled up with dizzying sensations of glory, power, grandeur and greatness. In your mind’s eye you see everyone around you living the way you wish they would, appreciating you the way you wish they would, and doing only what you tell them. Just when it feels like you cannot hold anymore, you panic.
You: It’s too much!
Pluto: Control and power bring responsibility.
You have become very agitated.
You: Make it stop!
Moon: You are the one who can make it stop. Close your eyes again. Slow down. Let go of the need to have everything your own way.
When you slow down and notice, the sensations that were dizzying begin to move again, and then to dissipate. Finally, they have passed. You find you are comfortable again.
Pluto: Congratulations—you have acted as a surge protector.
She hands you your heart.
Pluto: Pay better attention to your desires in future, ok?
Uranus: And try not to get so wound up.
Mercury: Look who’s talking!
You: Um, ok.
Sun: Feeling them is good. Acting on them—not always so good.
You: No kidding!
With that, Pluto sweeps out the front door, followed by the Moon and the rest of the crew. You are left with your heart, none the worse for wear, and all yours again.
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Do you know why Cancer types are so lovable? Emotional intelligence, that’s why. And the root of emotional intelligence is soothing—self-soothing and the soothing of others. This sensitive Water sign quickly learns that life is lived through a feeling-filter (it’s true even for those who claim to not be emotional). Cancers become adept at connecting emotionally with human beings in general. Here’s just some of the great stuff Cancers learn as they swim through life’s waters.
Cancers quickly learn to value love and the ability to love above being right or being strong. They are not usually stoic people. A Cancer would usually rather be connected to someone they love, even if that connection is painful, than be shut out. Cancers are not usually interested in superiority or in dominating (unless they’ve got a Leo streak). Loving, connecting and bonding and feeling-with are high on their value scale.
An emotionally intelligent Cancer is adept at sympathizing and empathizing with the emotions of others. Cancers are naturally supportive and sympathetic, which gives them an edge when it comes to establishing rapport and connecting with others. Being able to feel-with and feel-for others binds them to you. Cancers are great bonders.
Cancer understands how important it is to know what you are feeling. One of the first and best pieces of knowledge that a smart Cancer learns is how to tell the difference between an emotion, an intuition and a mood. An emotion is any feeling you have. An intuition is a feeling you should pay attention to, even if you don’t know why you are having it, because it’s trying to guide you. A mood is a passing feeling that you don’t want to act on, because such impulses lead to bad choices. Smart Cancers know the difference.
Knowing the differences between kinds of emotions leads to knowing how to manage your own emotions. When you know why you feel what you feel, then it’s easy to know what you should do about that (or not). So, suppose you just met someone and you took an instant dislike to him. Is that because there’s something creepy about him or is that because you’re in a sensitive mood or is it because he reminds you of somebody who was mean to you years ago? Each situation calls for a different response and you need to know how to choose.
As a Cancer matures, she becomes able to channel emotions into life in ways that make a difference. As soon as she’s comfortably situated, or at least oriented (and sometimes even before!) she looks around for things that need nurturing and she begins pouring love, care and thoughtfulness into those things. And whether those things include babies, gardens, businesses, projects, people or pets, under the loving gentle rain of Cancerian care, they cannot help but blossom.
It’s not necessary to have your Sun, Moon or Rising in Cancer to develop intuitive ability. Every human being alive has Cancerian emotional intelligence. Cultivate yours and watch your world flower!
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(My dear readers, this post was supposed to go out on June 4, but I just didn’t have what it took to get it out on time. Obviously I was feeling the transit as I was writing about it! 😉 So please mentally transport yourself back to June 4 as you read this. . .)
“Wake up!” says Chiron. “Are you feeling wounded? Recently I brought you a difficult experience. It was also a reminder, an echo of a difficult experience from your past. I have a special message for you about how to heal it once and for all.”
Today (June 4) Is A Pivotal Day
When a planet turns retrograde it makes a pivot in the sky and also creates a metaphorically “pivotal” experience for human beings. Today, that planet is Chiron. It’s as if Chiron is telling us, “You can’t go on avoiding this change forever. Today I’m delivering a wake-up call.” If Chiron is touching a planet in your chart this year, this message is for you and it will have very specific meaning, depending on what planet that is. That planet, and the part of you it represents, is being sent on a healing journey. It’s time for old, wounded places to surface so that real, deep healing can happen. Today is the peak of Chiron’s wake-up call, but it could happen anytime within 5 days surrounding today.
Initiation Leading To An Inner Journey
Sometime between February and now, Chiron showed us an area of life in which we are due for a change. What he delivered was an initiation and it was our first chance to catch a clue about the healing journey to come. That clue may have been obvious or it may have been subtle, but we’ve been shown a way to heal something deep. And the road to that healing may be pretty rocky.
The clue was delivered, but did we notice? It’s human to go into denial. During the spring we may have said to ourselves, “Maybe I don’t have to do anything about this. Maybe it was just a one-time thing. Maybe I can just move on. Maybe I can get away without paying attention to this.”
Or maybe not. Today Chiron turns up the volume and gives us a reminder. “That deep healing you’re going through?” he says, “You’d better get with the program.” Today, Chiron’s retrograde journey begins and with it begins our healing journey. Chiron will continue moving retrograde (i.e. backwards) until the day it turns direct, which is November 5, 2010.
Every Healing Journey Begins With Pain
Have you ever had a medical condition that had to get worse before it could get better? Perhaps you had a broken bone that set wrongly and had to be re-broken and set properly before it could really heal. Perhaps you had a dislocated shoulder that had to be pulled out and dropped back into place. Perhaps you had an abscess that a doctor needed to dig into and clean out before it could finish healing and seal over. All these experiences reflect the fact that real, enduring healing often requires the opening of an old wound. Chiron, the Wounded Healer, is in charge of this process.
Chiron’s process is connected to the homeopathic “doctrine of similars,” which is a principle that a very small dose of exactly the same thing that harmed you will assist your body to heal itself. This principle is also the theory behind vaccination. Similarly, you can have a life experience that delivers a small amount of emotional pain in the present, but that also brings up a whole mass of previously unexamined feelings from the past. This brings us to Chiron’s “healing crisis.”
A “healing crisis” is a moment in which we feel worse, but we’re actually getting better. This is a powerful moment and the way we respond to it determines how things unfold: do we get caught up in the symptoms and mistake them for the reality of the situation, allowing them to propel us into a more difficult future? Or do we recognize the symptoms as an opportunity to heal more than the surface discomfort? It is normal and human to get caught up in the pain of the moment and it usually doesn’t occur to us to question its deeper roots. But amazing things can happen if instead we stop and ask ourselves, “What does this remind me of? What does this connect to in my past? And is there something ancient there which, if healed, would liberate me?”
Is This Story Your Story?
If this feels true for you, it may be that you are personally touched by this transit. Chiron may be triggering a planet in your own chart, thus bringing these themes up for you. This year Chiron is covering the space between 26 degrees of Aquarius and 0 degrees of Pisces. If there is anything in your chart in 26, 27, 28 or 29 degrees of Aquarius, Taurus, Leo or Scorpio, or additionally in 0 degrees of Pisces, Gemini, Virgo or Sagittarius, you will feel this. And knowing it can help a lot if you’ve been feeling smacked down by the universe and you don’t know why. If Chiron has sensitized you this year, this could be the year when you finally let go of all the old baggage and gain access to more of yourself than you’ve ever had before.
What Area Of Your Life Is Being Affected?
Good question. It will have to do with the planet in your chart that’s being triggered by Chiron. If Chiron is affecting your Venus, you may find yourself in a painful situation in a present relationship that brings a larger relationship pattern into focus. Now is your chance to heal this so as to stop unawarely bringing the past into the present. If Chiron is affecting your Mars, you may find yourself feeling wounded about how you express anger or hold boundaries—this is an opportunity to heal this deeply in a new way. And if you are turning 50 this year, then you are having your Chiron return, which is an enormous life passage loaded with healing themes and opportunities to clear the past and create a more powerful future.
A wonderful thing happens when we choose to examine a present pain more deeply. Chiron links the past with the present such that, if we heal the new wound in the present, the healing echoes into our past. Similarly, if we delve into our past and heal the ancient root of the problem, then the present wound can disappear as if by magic. And the very best part is that whatever part of us was caught up or locked into that old wound gets released and we find that Chiron’s healing journey has left us more whole. The part that’s released may be some part of us we haven’t had access to for a long time—we may even have given up on it long ago. It’s funny how it ends up feeling like finding buried treasure, right in your own backyard.
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Jupiter and Uranus are up to something really different this month—the two of them are not only coming into conjunction, but they’re also both moving into Aries. Here’s what it might be like.
Uranus and Jupiter are in a tidepool at the edge of the ocean, sloshing around. Uranus is wearing a hat with lightning bolts coming off it. Jupiter is a big guy with a large trailing cloak.
Jupiter: This has been fun, being in Pisces, sign of the ocean and dreams. I like Pisces—spiritual expansion is natural to me and I’ve been having fun with the dreamlife of humanity since January this year.
Uranus: Speak for yourself. It’s been a little confusing for me, being in Pisces—and I’ve been here for six years, so you bet I’m almost done with it. It’s not exactly my natural territory. I think I’ve been too gentle on humanity.
Jupiter: Sometimes gentle is good.
Uranus: Yeah, but I really like being a force for change. I really like turning people’s heads around. I really like shocking and startling people with paradigm-shifting, new ideas. It’s hard to do that when I have to be gentle and subtle, because I’m in Pisces.
The lightning bolts on his hat keep being attracted to the water’s surface and fizzling. He looks annoyed at this.
Jupiter: You’re going to like Aries a lot.
Uranus: I expect to foment some real action while I’m there.
Jupiter: It will be a relief to be in a fire sign again. Fire signs are my favorite. Let’s get loud. He punches Uranus’ shoulder playfully.
Uranus: Absolutely—let’s really knock them on their ear!
Jupiter: That would be easier if stupid Saturn wasn’t opposing us.
Uranus: Don’t worry about Saturn—I carry more weight than he does. He can’t stop me for long. I’ll be questioning his authority and de-structuring his structures in no time.
Jupiter: Hey, look! He points.
Near to them, beyond the pool they are in, the landscape catches fire.
Uranus: It’s about time!
Together they sweep out of the water and into the flames.
Jupiter: Now this is more like it! He waves his arms and the flames flare up, hotter and higher.
Uranus: Oh this will definitely be fun! The lightning bolts on his hat begin to crackle. Soon his head is a mass of sparks and he’s grinning from ear to ear.
Jupiter: Watch out, humanity! Change is on the way!
And indeed we’d better watch out. These two are a powerful combination and they’ll be together in the sky until January of 2011. Calling all superheroes: be sure to use your powers for good!
Why are Gemini types so smart? How do they hold all those facts in their head? How is it that they slide through school without even appearing to try? Sometimes it looks like magic, the way a Gemini type can finesse those multiple questions tests and even the essay tests and dazzle teachers with their knowledge. Here, in a smashing celebration of Gemini goodness, is how they do it . . .
Dabble. Be the dilettante you are, Gemini, for you are good at many things. You’re an excellent mimic. You develop your own style by trying on the style of others. You are a Renaissance woman—embrace it. Enjoy it. Gemini has a short attention span, but is this really a problem in the modern world? More of a necessity, I’m thinking, because those who can’t think fast get left behind. That very distractibility can be used to your advantage—keep it fresh, keep it light, keep your mind moving.
Love information. It’s true that Gemini types are naturally drawn to facts, data and information. I’m speaking now to Geminis everywhere. You are most likely, of all the signs, to win at Trivial Pursuit and then to modestly proclaim that your knowledge is useless. But you seek it anyway. You can be enthralled—and persuaded—by statistics. Let’s face it: ferreting out, ingesting, remembering and ultimately sharing information is beyond a hobby with you. It’s a way of life.
Engage other minds in conversation. Practice your ability to get ideas across to other minds (with other mental styles) and to hear their ideas. Ask questions that put the attention on the other person. Genuinely want to know the answers. It’s a paradox that half of looking smart is in making others look smart. Don’t pay too much attention to whether you look smart because you probably do without trying.
Don’t linger too long or dig too deeply. Grasp the surface concept quickly and then move on to the next idea. Sure, there’s more there—there always is. But you don’t need to get caught up in it. The Gemini intelligence knows that the main idea is enough—if you can grasp it, remember it, and produce it when you are asked, you can build a wealth of facts that are useful in an everyday way. And you can pass tests.
Be endlessly curious. Dwell in wonder. To be Gemini is like having an eternal child-mind: “What’s that? And what’s that?” and the big one: “Why??” Gemini wants to eat up life-experience with the brain. For Gemini, life is a road made of questions. When a Gemini thinks she has the answers, some part of her deeply curious, extremely mobile brain shuts off. And that’s a shame, because this sign’s sense of wonder is immense and it’s a great gift to have and to share with others.
So the next time you stop to absorb an interesting idea, instead of just filing it away, ask yourself a question about it. Enjoy the mystery, even as you are penetrating it with your understanding. Thanks, Gemini, for eating up information and then offering it to the rest of us in bite-sized pieces.
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