Fiery Forecasts (c) Atham Z 2003-10

Fiery Forecasts © Atham Z 2003-10

When man originally discovered fire, he set himself on the path to our modern era. Without tempering, molding and refining, we certainly wouldn't be communicating in this fashion. Because fire has been so crucial to manís well being through the ages, it is natural that all kinds of beliefs arose around flames. Nowadays, we rarely encounter an open fire aside from a pleasing candle flame, and even when we dream of fire, the conflagration can be quite unsettling. The destructive power of this element is also frequently featured by the media in horror stories. The fear of fire can result in greatly misunderstood symbolic interpretation. Let me try to set the representative image straight!

To dream of fire is lucky although it can certainly be disconcerting to envision one's home going up in smoke! Just keep your subconscious self out of the way of getting burned and then the dream means that your home and family life will be very happy. If your business is burning down look out for a rush that generates lots of profit! If you find yourself building a fire you are going to be prosperous! And in dreams, the bigger the fire the better! Meanwhile if you peruse the ashes of your enterprises after a fire, some unexpected good fortune will soon be making you feel less discouraged. If you manage to put out a fire, again unforeseen good is on its way to you. Even lightning augurs a bit of prosperity, and if it hits something close by, that benefit will be accompanied by other people's jealousy.

Many superstitions have evolved around how the fire burns in the hearth or brazier. Fire was considered a gift from the gods, and anyone other than relatives or close family friends, poking at one's hearth is seen as disrespectful and unlucky. Some people believe that if a fire won't light in direct sunlight it is because the sun is angry that man stole his power (remember Prometheus). If a fire lights easily unexpected visitors are coming or your sweetheart is happy and safe. But when it draws badly, evil influences are at work and the poker should be placed at right angles to the grate (to form a cross) and thus drive those elements away. A fire that crackles robustly augurs frost, and should it spit sparks towards you, bad weather is coming. A fire that roars up the chimney forecasts arguments or weather storms. Sparks at the back of the chimney mean important news is on the way, and a fire that only burns on one side of the grate predicts a wedding.

The cinders also are used for divination. They are either oblong and called "coffins"or oval and labeled as "cradles". Whatever shape is wafting upwards from your fire predicts death or birth in your family. Scottish superstition also states never to let children play with the fire just before bedtime, because aside from the obvious dangers, they will wet their beds that night. When aboriginal peoples met amongst themselves, they lit a fire to bring light and warmth to the discussion for all the people present. Fire keepers had the responsibility along with the fire to see that concerns were brought to the fire and discussed openly there.

Pyromancy and Pyroscopy are forms of divination by fire or flame, often assisted by substances thrown onto the flames. Try sitting before a roaring fire with a question in mind. Gaze into the flames while the fire burns down. Within the flames, or in the sparkling, glowing coals below them, images of the future may appear. Interpret this symbolically. It's best to limit gazing time to about five minutes.

Or you can write a question concerning the future on a small piece of paper. Place it face down on a flat, heat-proof surface. Light one corner of the paper with a match. If the entire paper burns, the answer is yes. If only part of the paper is destroyed, the answer is no. Alternatively, in the evening in a draft free room, light a candle and place it in a holder. Search for signs from the flame and its wick. If the flame seems dim, it may be best to hold off on plans for the time being. An extremely bright flame is a sign of good fortune, but if it quickly grows smaller, the luck will be temporary. If the flame waves about, bad weather may be coming, or a great change in circumstances is foretold. A spark visible in the wick indicates the imminent arrival of good news. If the flame turns in a circle or seems to form a spiral, danger is forecast. A halo around the flame indicates an approaching storm.

Another method of interpreting candles involves watching the manner in which the molten wax drips down the candle sides. If the wax drips only on the leftside, the answer is no and opposite if on the right. If wax is equally distributed on both sides, no response is possible. If no wax drips, ask again later.

Another divinatory process is known as "smoke reading". Light a candle. Quickly pass a plain white card through the flames three times while asking a question. Interpret the resulting carbon deposits on the underside of the card with symbolic thought. Or watch the smoke from an outdoors fire. If it rises straight and lightly into the air, a positive answer is indicated. If it hangs heavily around the fire, the reverse is true.

You can collect ashes from a dead fire and then outside in a place where the wind usually blows, scatter the ashes in a rectangular shape on the ground. While asking a question about the future, use a finger to write the word yes in the ashes to the right and no to the left. Leave this undisturbed overnight. In the morning, study the ashes. If both words are clearly legible or gone, no answer has been given. If one word has been erased by animal tracks, the wind or by some other force, the remaining word reveals the answer to your questio n. Scrying by fire can be performed by burning wood outdoors after the sun has set. After the wood is well burned, and the fire begins to die, in the embers one can see scenes of the past, present and future. Sometimes they are actual scenes, but more often they require intuitive interpretation.

In any event, building and enjoying a fire at some point outdoors is pleasurable and informative. Enjoy yourself and be careful!


This page was created September 1, 2003.