Summer: The Season of the Fire Element

“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames”.

– Rumi


Looking into the Fire Element

In Chinese Medicine, the Fire Element is related to the heart and small intestines. With the application of Thai massage and work on the meridians, we work on people with severe ups and downs, emotional disturbances, and traumas – basically calming the internal fire.


Fire is the most masculine of the Five Elements. 

Colors: Red (Yang) and Purple (Yin)
Earthly branches and months: Serpent(May), Horse (June), Sheep (July)
Planet: Mars
Direction: South
Climate: Hot
Season: Summer
Emotion: Happiness
Body organs: Heart (Yin) and Small Intestines (Yang)
Power Animal: Red Phoenix
Meridians: Heart, Small Intestines, Pericardium, Triple Heater

Fire’s planet is Mars, the intense red planet. Fire’s season is summer, the time of heat, growth, warmth, and increased light. Fire corresponds to the three earthly branches of summertime: Serpent (May), Horse (June) and Sheep (July).

Fire’s direction is south. Fire’s position on the Feng Shui Ba-Gua represents fame and illumination. Fire’s symbol is a red Phoenix.

Although Fire is considered a very Yang Element in general, it can exist in either a Yang or a Yin state because in Taoism all things have both a Yin and a Yang expression to create balance. When fire expresses masculine Yang energy, its color is red and is symbolized by burning wood. When fire expresses feminine Yin energy, its color is purple and is symbolized by the flame of a lamp, small and contained, yet helpful.


Photo by Bojan Babic, during OsteoThai for the Lower Back Condition with David Lutt at Sunshine House Greece 2018.


Fire personality traits are love, passion, leadership, spirituality, insight, dynamism, aggression, intuition, reason, and expressiveness. The fire personality is direct-right out front. A fire type succeeds by becoming warm-hearted and generous. Experiences of love, compassion, fun, joy, and pleasure are healing for fire individuals. The challenge for a fire type is to share joy and laughter without thought of reward.


Fire Element & Chinese Medicine

In traditional Chinese medicine, fire’s body organs are the heart and small intestines. Therefore a fire personality may have a disposition for heart problems, such as heart attacks, or may experience minor digestive problems in the small intestines. The Wood Element nurtures the Fire Element; Wood’s body organ is the liver. Fire types must avoid alcoholic beverages that heat (over stimulate) the liver. Liver excess is a false way to empower the heart and causes an imbalance between Fire and Wood. Heart illness and Fire imbalance can often be read in the face: a cleft in the nose or a too red complexion.


The function of the Heart:

The heart governs blood (responsible for blood circulation; It controls blood vessels including pulse strength; It houses the mind & spirit (mental activity, memory, consciousness, thinking & sleep – dreams); It is responsible for happiness & joy; It manifests in the complexion – face color; It opens into the tongue – especially the tip – and affects speech; It controls sweat.


When Fire is in balance

People with strong Fire energy may be quite charismatic. They excel at commanding others to action. They may love talking and socializing. When the inner fire is healthy and bright we have high spirits. Our intuition and enthusiasm for life always guide us in the right place at the right time to meet the right people. We feel joy and a strong sense of purpose in our life.

Positive emotions are: compassionate, joyful, spiritual, hearty, passionate, enthusiastic, respectful, polite, refined, patient, bright, loving, forgiving and happy.


When Fire is out of balance

When the Fire Qi is weak, a person may be bland. They may suffer from anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. They may stutter, talk too much and too rapidly, or laugh nervously. They may be too excitable, easily stimulated to excesses, or they may be emotionally cold and unfeeling.
Common illnesses include palpitations, hypertension, heart problems, and sores on the mouth and tongue. People strongly influenced by the Fire Element may be vulnerable in very hot weather, and may be calmed and centered by walking.

When our Fire Qi is weak we lose faith in ourselves, in others and in life in general. We lack enthusiasm and direction in life. Unable to reach out and connect with others, or communicate our inner feelings, we are helpless and unable to help anyone else. We lose touch and sensitivity, becoming emotionless and often uncaring and cruel.

Physical symptoms of Fire imbalance are high or low blood pressure, pain in the chest, buzzing in the ears, bloodshot eyes, shortness of breath, flushed complexion, hastiness and always hurrying.

Negative emotions are: impatient, hasty, insensitive, cynical, hateful, cruel, vicious, inconsiderate, mocking, thoughtless, tasteless, jealous, frustrated and disappointed.

The Spirit of Fire Element


The Shen is the starlight and sunlight that stream down from the sky. It inhabits the divine fire of the sun and it is said that star seeds are scooped up and poured into the heart of the developing embryo inside the womb. The first sproutings of this Shen seed happen when a baby is three months old and if all goes well, it leads onto feelings of joy, delight, wonder, love and wholeness.

The strong presence of Shen is felt in the light of someone’s eyes and in its purest form, the Shen is Divine Light. The Shen is bright ideas, the spark, the intuition and the electric current of illuminated thoughts and ideas without mass or structure. Faster than sounds; faster than anything we know.

Recognizing the Shen
  • Spirit as infinite cosmic light – outside and beyond the scope of human experience.
  • Yang energy that enlivens the psyche – Shen can be used to refer to all of the five spirits.
  • Activity of thinking, consciousness, insight & memory
  • Luminous vitality – manifested in the radiance that shines from the eyes and a vibrant, flourishing quality of the complexion.
  • Spirit, God, Deity, Divinity

When the Shen is upset we see many signs of an unbalanced fire element and problems on the heart/small intestines.

Common symptoms – Insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep, anxiety, palpations, inability to concentrate, timidity, easily startled, overly talkative, schizophrenic mania, incoherence, hyperactivity, restlessness

Spirit level symptoms – Lack of coherence in life, lack of inspiration and insight, no sense of being a unique person with a unique path (too much ambivalence), too much activity without a center, no ability to know what is truly right for themselves, no self-reflection, inability to distinguish real and true from unreal and false.

Possible causes – Karmic issues, narcissistic injuries from parents who could not see the child and consistently inhibited the expression of true nature, shock, trauma and abuse, anything that upsets the heart upsets the Shen.

When the Shen suddenly goes, the secrets of heaven and earth cannot be whispered inside your heart.

How to help bring back the Shen, balance the fire and nourish the heart?

The Shen needs to be seduced and tempted into coming back to you. This is what the Shen loves:

  • RED – meditating on a red candle, holding a ruby red crystal or wearing a red stone necklace.
  • BODYWORK – gentle foot massage, soft hands around the heart center, reiki.
  • HERBS – Bach flower remedies/rescue remedy for shock and trauma
  • NUTRITION – Summer fruits, raw foods, salads,
  • SETTING – cozy, clean, clutter-free home, soft music, soft lights, peaceful music.

We have right now a collective crisis of the heart – the spirit of the Shen is almost extinguished with the shock and violence of our modern culture with artificial lights, harsh noises & the technological world. The more we rush about from stimulation to stimulation we miss the tranquility that the Shen of the heart longs for. If we take a moment to sit quietly and turn the light of awareness inward to the heart, the Shen shall return to guide us forward on our path.


Click here to listen to the Fire Element Meditation.


May you feel a warm and radiant glow
So that the joy in your heart may show
Compassion, intuition and light
Know you are guided; know that all is right



When the fire in your soul
Burns with longing for the goal
Then I’ll know, in my heart It is you
When the truth is revealed
All my sorrows will be healed
And I’ll know, in my hear it is you
Jai Ma, Jai Ma, Jai Ma, Jai Ma (x2)


Find out more about Chinese Medicine and the 5 Elements here.