Transitions: Fire and Water

Mar 26th, 2014 | By | Category: Nikki Shields

nikkiLast time I wrote about the connecting point between Air and Fire. These transition points, also known as The Borderlands, are full of potential. Through exploring them, we can find ways to use their abundant energies to help us on this Earthly journey. Moving deosil around the circle once more, we now come to the transition between Fire and Water.

Everyone knows that fire and water don’t mix. Or do they? At this corner of The Borderlands, they have made an uneasy truce. The passionate action of Fire begins to die down a bit, and we explore the emotional inner landscapes that Water brings to bear. We wish to finish our creative projects, bringing them to fruition and enjoying the feeling of deep sighing release at their completion. Once we set them free, we can turn to dreams of what comes next, letting our intuition mingle with our desires and point the way. We find time to rest and heal from the busiest part of the cycle.

The intersection of Fire and Water lies in the southwest. The weather features long hot dry spells and sudden downpours. In the desert, water is hidden, but it’s there. As in the southwestern United States, great rushing rivers have carved and sculpted beautiful dreamlike canyons. The animals we encounter are tough and mystical: snake, coyote, hawk, desert fox, wild horses. At night, a myriad of stars fills the wide-open sky. We dream of our heart’s desires, and in our imagination the dry gullies fill with life-giving water once again. The transition between Fire and Water is full of the energy of Lammas, when the first harvest is safely in and we revel in the long hot summer days, yet sunset comes earlier each day and we begin to feel a hint of fall.

Looking at the realm of time, this particular transition point represents the afternoon, stretching out from noon to sunset. Our energies begin to flag a bit, and we may sneak away for a brief catnap or siesta. As we quiet toward dusk, we wrap up the tasks of the day, beginning the transition into evening time. Our activity begins to slow, and we turn inward, exploring our inner landscape. The moon, which was so recently full, now begins to wane. We are able to banish the energies which no longer serve us, using our creative powers for healing and renewal.

The stage of life represented by the intersection of Fire and Water is that of later adulthood, as we approach the passage to crone or sage. We make peace with what we have accomplished in our lives, and seek to share our wisdom with our communities. Feelings which may have been hidden come to the surface. Sometimes the passage can be challenging, as our passionate feelings find expression and we search for our new role. Perhaps we are ready for a quieter lifestyle, yet the demands of family and career still jostle for our attention. Or maybe we seek to keep up the fiery pace we’re used to, only to find our aging bodies unable to sustain our earlier pace. The early-autumn plants are in full harvest mode, with fruits and vegetables ready to be gathered. Yet at the same time, the leaves are beginning to turn toward fall colors, and the earth and her creatures prepare for the colder weather soon to come.

Some of the resources we can use to explore the Fire to Water transition include the following spiritual practices, tools, and symbols:

  • Fire and Water combine to form steam. This transition is the perfect time for a healing sauna or sweat lodge, perhaps followed by a massage or Reiki session. Approach your cleansing in a ritual way, setting      intentions for healing and self-exploration. If you don’t have access to a sauna, a hot tub or bathtub surrounded by candles is a delightful alternative. Sip some hot tea or perhaps a bit of cider, and let yourself drift into daydreams.
  • In the Tarot, the card that represents “Fire of Water” is the King of Cups. This King is the wounded healer, bringing his power to bear in a gentle and imaginative manner. He is a caregiver who uses his intuition to serve, yet he has hidden depths of passion. When this card appears, you are advised to wield your creativity and intuition with calm confidence no matter the situation.
  • The mythical creatures related to this transition are selkies. Also known as silkies or selchies, they have both a seal form and a human form. As seals, they live in the ocean, yet they can remove their seal skins and live with humans on land. Selkies are attractive and seductive, often taking human lovers. Yet they cannot stay on land for long without pining for the sea. Selkies show us how to balance our passion with the need for introspection and solitude.
  • A sample affirmation to use when working with this transition is: “I passionately embrace my dreams and discover creative ways to heal myself.”

Take some time to observe how Fire and Water interact with one another in your experience. Find new ways to integrate this dynamic energy into your daily life. Next month, we’ll complete the series with a look at the transition from Water to Earth.

Nikki Starcat Shields is the author of Starcat’s Corner: Essays on Pagan Living. She blogs at, and is also the co-founder of the Feline Dreamers website.



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