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Chinese Five Elements:

The Season of Fire

by Karen Shaw

Fire  Element-LargeThe sun does follow rain, the deepest darkest Winter gives way to Spring and Summer. The same sun cycle shows up in each of us. The Sun—Summer’s Fire—is inside each of us, too, and will show itself after life’s cold seasons and storms. If we tend to ourselves well, our inner Fire will light up even the darkest corners of everyday life.

Fire energy: the energy of culmination, full maturity, everything and everyone becoming their utmost self. There is a spatial aspect to the Fire of Summer, with the sun, the highest above us, allowing that much more time and space for us to be who we are, to become all that we can be. All of Nature is fully flowering, expansive, abundant! There is joy, there is laughter, there is passion! Fire is warmth, brightness, sparkle. It is inviting. The fire in another person draws us in, asking us to connect with one another. There is deep joy, more than just having fun. This joy is the feeling that comes from knowing and expressing our true nature, in deep connection with others. It is living life from our own Heart, deeply connected to our own unique Spirit.

The Fire Element governs the Heart and Small Intestine, Pericardium (Heart Protector) and Triple Warmer. The Heart is both the pump that circulates our blood, and the place within us where we feel love and joy. The Heart stores the Shen or Spirit. It is the Master Coordinator for the entire Bodymindspirit.

The Small Intestine sorts the pure from the impure on the physical level and also on the mental and emotional level. The Small Intestine makes
sure that only the pure substances, thoughts and feelings pass through
to the Heart.

So important is the Heart that it requires the Pericardium and Triple Warmer to support it as well. The Pericardium, physically, is the outer covering of the Heart, aiding the circulatory system, regulating the amount of blood that flows into the Heart. Energetically and emotionally it absorbs the blows and traumas that come our way, so that the Heart itself is never touched. Our Heart Protector, the Pericardium, opens us to what is inside and is our intermediator between the world and our Heart. The Heart Protector is what steadies us and anchors us in a calm rhythm.

The Triple Warmer maintains an even temperature in the organs and the rest of the body. It links all the organs and functions together, allowing coordination and harmony. The Triple Warmer is also the “Avenue of Original Chi. It holds
the energy within it of our own Essential Nature we were born with, and distributes it to all the other organ systems, supporting the Destiny of who we are becoming.

The Triple Warmer helps us to harmonize with other people and groups. It keeps the communication the right temperature both socially and physically, within the body. The Triple Warmer takes the message of the Heart out to a wider perspective.

The Fire Element holds the capacity for all the warmth and loving interactions we may experience. It is consciousness itself, allowing us the qualities of insight, compassion and love. The Fire Element holds also the capacity for the deepest sadness we may feel. It is our felt sense of the depth of Heart Connection and the felt sense of loss of that connection. A truly strong Heart can bear the sadness and poignancy of life and remain soft and open in its vulnerability.

What are some ways we can tend to our inner Fire and be in rhythm with the Now? We can draw on the expansive warmth of Fire when we greet our clients or one another each day. We can remember what makes us smile and do more of it! We can balance activity with solitude and replenish ourselves, so we can be available to others from a full
and nourished Heart. We can acknowledge deep feelings of pain and loss so we may experience the depth of our joy. We can look into the eyes of those we tend to, recognizing and acknowledging the depth of their Spirit within. 

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