The Symbolism of Fire With Examples

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What does fire symbolize? Fire gives off light and heat, but it is also a destructive force and can be quite terrifying. It gives life and produces death, and it serves to heal and to torture.

There are different forms of fire. It is also a source of energy, source of warmth, life force, generative power of light, and a source of inner light.

Fire symbol meaning is associated with stones such as ruby, tiger’s eye, rhodochrosite, agate, and quartz crystals, among others, that will protect, defend, and purify you.

Fire has become one of the fundamental symbols of human groups, a symbol of good and evil, punishment and reward.

What does fire represent? Fire is also a symbol of purification. Without going into other considerations, in the imagination of many Catholics, purgatory is conceived as a purifying fire, unlike hell, which is conceived as a torturing fire.

In the Judeo-Christian culture, the significant element of fire relates to God’s punishment for sin, but also to the Holy Spirit: a rain of fire and brimstone descended on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, while the Holy Spirit descended on the apostles like a tongue of fire.

Fire Symbolism with Examples

Fire in Literature

In many cultures, fire symbolizes a reason for celebration once the New Year comes around.

In addition, every March in the city of Valencia, and in many towns in the region, the Fallas festivals are celebrated.

The falla is a work of art destined for fire. A special work of art, since practically all the fallas allude to current social or political events.

These allusions are full of jokes and irony, criticism, and humor. In fact, one of the awards that are given is called the prize of wit and grace.

The Example

The forms and the presence of fire that the humorous takes on the fallas are very heterogeneous.

In many, there are references to current political figures or events that occurred in recent months. This humorous but very explicit criticism is limited in time.

On the fifth day of its exhibition, the fallas are burned. All criticism disappears and only ashes remain.

One wonders if this substitute fire could be something like a way to overcome the poison that is in all conflicts and that, sometimes, leads to situations of irreversible enmity.

Day of Atonement

According to the book of Leviticus, Israel celebrated a day of atonement each year. On that day, the High Priest symbolically placed all the sins of the people on a male goat, which was then sent to the desert to die there.

For Israel, sins are erased or purified with disappearance, with a death. Falls also seeks symbolically to make corruption or political mismanagement disappear by means of a symbolic fire.

Israel did not achieve its purpose, since sin always returned. Failures did not achieve their purpose, because corruption and bad politics never go away.

However, the symbolism of the fallas fire could point towards a way to solve social problems.


Not by means of a destructive fire, but by means of a purifying fire symbolism,  being aware that it cannot make evil disappear, but it does manage to assume it from good humor, which somehow alleviates the tragedy that nests in every disagreement, in everything, including abuse and in all corruption.

It is a flame symbolism for light produced by combustion. In addition, it alludes to matter lit on a coal or flame; such as charcoal, firewood, among others.

Natural Fire

Fire also refers to the extensive portions that burn in a fortuitous or provoked way, causing the destruction of things that were not intended to be burned.

By extension, the natural fire symbolism meaning is the mode of cooking in which heat burners are used at the temperature desired by the individual.

In a figurative sense, fire is the ardor that some passions of the mind, excite; like love, anger, among others.

For Example: the fire of anger dominates him.

Destructive Fire

Much has been said about the destructive side of fire, but much of its spiritual essence has also been distorted, having lost the thread between traditions and concept. Each element that we know has a particular meaning and symbolism. Here is a short summary of each one:

  • The earth is a symbol of the mother.
  • Water is the symbol of origin and work.
  • Air is the symbol of teaching and communication.
  • The ether or the astral light is a symbol of the higher dimensions.
  • Fire is the symbol of the BEING and the HEART


The symbolic meaning of fire carries a series of negative consequences –the destruction of things through fires-, but in the case of the individual, it can involve serious health problems, such as burners and poisoning by inhaling the fire.

By virtue of the degree of the burn, it can cause the death of the individual. The destructive aspect of fire also has a negative aspect and its control is also a diabolical function.

It is described as a fire that burns without consuming but forever excludes regeneration.

Wildfire is an erratic flame that occurs close to the ground, especially in marshy places and cemeteries, due to the ignition of hydrogen phosphide released from decomposing organic matter.

On the other hand, fireworks, identify rockets and other gunpowder devices, which are made for enjoyment or amusement.

Man and Fire

Symbols for fire were transcendental for man. Formerly, the human being did not have matches, lighters, or matches, so he made a fire through friction and persecution, and it was thanks to this discovery by man, that anthropologists affirm that at this time he felt superiority and differences with respect to other living beings.

An Example

In relation to the above, human beings incorporated the element of fire and the use of fire in their directed tasks such as cooking, lighting, and means of defense of some animals.

Regarding this term, it is important to name the individuals who engage in pyromania, analyzed in the area of psychology, for their need to burn something, and the larger the fire, the more satisfactory for the individual.

Fire in Philosophy

Fire represents the mildest expression, and most active of the four elements (water, earth, air, fire) that various ancient philosophers distinguished in the constitution of the world. The four elements represent the four forms of matter that symbolize the different behaviors of nature.

The theory of the four elements begins in Greek philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus, who stated that fire is the material substrate of the universe. For his part, Empedocles stated that fire is the operating principle of action on the rest of the elements.

Example of Phrases Used To Express Fire

“Slow fire”: it is implied the damage or harm that is being done little by little.

“Cast fire through the eyes”: through the gaze the individual shows anger or rage.

“Playing with fire”: playing with someone or with something that can be dangerous.

“Put your hands in the fire”: blindly trust another person.

The Hindu Representation

What does fire symbolize in the Hindu culture? Most aspects of the symbolism of fire are summarized in Hindu doctrine, which gives it fundamental importance.

Agni, Indra, and Surya are the fires of the earthly, intermediate, and celestial worlds, that is, ordinary fire, lightning, and the sun.

There is also the fire of penetration, or absorption or the eternal flame, Vaishvanara, and that of destruction, another aspect of Agni.

The Divine Spirit

According to the Yi King, the symbol for fire corresponds to the south, the color red, the summer, and the heart.

Also to passions, especially love and anger.

Its supernatural significance extends from wandering souls to the divine Spirit. It is the essential divine symbol of Mazdeism. The custody of the sacred fire extends throughout the ancient world.


The Catholic liturgy of the new fire is celebrated on Easter Eve. There are the tongues of fire of Pentecost as an image of wisdom.

The Taoists enter the fire to get rid of human conditioning, as Elijah did in the chariot of fire. It also evokes the non-burning fire of western hermeticism, an alchemical purification symbolized by the salamander.

Buddha substitutes the sacrificial fire of Hinduism for the inner fire, penetrating knowledge, enlightenment, and destruction of the envelope.

The Transformation

Fire is also a representation of being transformed.

However, this kind of transformation evolved in ancient years and the stories have been told in different cultures.

Some transformations were demonstrated in the rebirth after death. Others were through miracles and spiritual conformity.


In Celtic traditions, the Druids lit large bonfires, through which they made cattle pass to preserve them from epidemics, a ceremony characteristic of agrarian cultures.

In the Popol Vuh, the Hero Twins, gods of corn, die on the pyre lit by their enemies to be reborn later incarnate in the green bud of corn. In the initiatory rites of death and rebirth, it is associated with its antagonistic principle, water.

For the Aztecs, terrestrial fire, chthonic, represents the profound force that allows the union of opposites and the ascent of water to the clouds, that is, the transformation of earthly water into heavenly. Certain ritual cremations have as their origin the meaning of fire as a vehicle from the world of the living to that of the dead.

The Thrones, in the Bible, is fiery, and invokes the etymology of the word “seraphim” to declare that this higher intelligence is incandescent, and reveals the way in which the celestial intelligence conforms to God.

In the Old Testament, there is a story about a burning bush miracle that occurred where it was from divine origins and spiritual realms.

Man’s  Character

Fire is the character, life, desire, passion, intimacy, and love. It lacks feeling or reflection and represents like no other element the will and the entrepreneurial force.


With fire, man purifies and transforms by banishing the negative energies that surround him. Fire allows a man to go beyond the barriers. It is a universal, excitable, and enthusiastic radiant energy that brings color to the world, through the light it radiates.


In case you didn’t know, the zodiac signs are related to one of the four basic elements. If you really believe that your sun sign (your lifetime horoscope) influences your personality and largely determines who you are, this may interest you.


The fire signs Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are FIRE signs. These are MALE signs by nature, and they are impatient, and innovatively looking to the future.

They are impulsive and lively beings; cheerful and optimistic who always seek to satisfy their own needs based on their values and ideas.

They tend to impose their wishes on others and lack the skills to express themselves and reflect on themselves. They are leaders in their work and sentimental field, but they tire quickly once they achieve what they wanted.

Please note: For a man, the exuberance of the fire signs wants to be FREE.

The Body

At the center of the human body is the heart, a muscle of great strength that is a symbol of fire and is a symbol of Atman.

In each cell is the memory of being, the fuel for replication, and in DNA is memory, which is the intimate relationship that exists between fire and the memory of who we are.

An Example

There is also a much more subtle fire, vital energy that has a channel throughout the body, a spiritual fire that runs through our nervous system.

It is the spiritual fire of evolution. It is a powerful and sophisticated system that involves the brain, spinal cord, nervous system, mind, and astral light.

It is more advanced than a million of the most modern computers, it is a nanotechnology impossible to describe. The spiritual fire is also matter and mind.

Spiritual Construction

All the spiritual construction of humanity is carried out with the base of fire.


In Babylon, among the Mayans, in the cult of Aura Mazda, in the stone closures of the Druids and Celts, in the European cathedrals, in the Buddhist temples, and in the sanctuaries of Rínzai Zen and Soto Zen in Japan, fire is present from the heart, whether in physical form or in practice.

It is the original fire of the heart that is replicated in the spiritual discipline of the human species.

Internal Fire

Internal fire is related to the Hindu Shakti system and the Nahuatl teachings of the Mayans.

It is related to the par-column temples of the Egyptians and the central gyres of the sacred Sufis.

It is the science of the altars of the cathedrals, the eternal torches of the inner temples, the flames of the Chaldeans, and the three flames of the temples of Ilion and Carthage six thousand years ago.


It is the teaching of the soul written with fire so that it remains in the memory, of the cells, and of the mind.

It is the fire of our inner change, a new beginning, the fire of the aura, the ascending fire of evolution, and the fire of the inner work in the memory of who must already begin his path of awakening.


If we focus on fire, how can we understand what it is in essence? The origin and seedbed of the cosmos are in fire: a star is fire, a galaxy is fire, its formation is fire and its death is fire.

In the heart center of each living being and of each stellar body there is a flame that communicates with the being in the power of the heart.

The center of the earth is fire, and it is the home of great souls of our planet, there are the great guides of the spiritual currents.

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