Summer is upon us – nature is at its fullest, the point of the year of greatest yang: outgoing, active energy. Around us nature is packing a punch with vibrant colours in the flowerbeds and extensive growth in the trees, hedgerows and fields that surround us – it never seems to stop! Sunshine brings brilliance, but also a pause after the sowing of spring before the harvest to come.
In acupuncture terms, this is the Fire Element: expansive, social. Summer is the time of year when we pause after the hard work in the garden of Spring, before the harvest. We enjoy the long evenings, the warmth of the weather, the company of friends, with enthusiasm, optimism, spontaneity and joy. Following the drive and direction of Wood, Fire allows us to mature our plans and bring them to reality. We need to use it to build up our supplies of warmth and joy to help us last through the winter.
The Fire Element is enshrined in love: our ability to love others, but also to be loved ourselves. Its warmth and affection helps us to create and maintain friendships, and to nourish relationships. If we can’t love ourselves, then how can we reach out to others for friendship and closer relationships? If we can harness true joy it uplifts us from within, enabling us to get through hard times. Fire gives us maturity: the knowledge of who we are – and the ability to live with that knowledge.
Just as a lack of fire results in feeling without spark, and a lack of “joie de vivre” so an excess of fire can also bring problems: constant search for self-fulfillment, being simply too full-on, or burning out. A healthy balance of fire – in conjunction with the other elements is what we’re after.