With an Earth sign right around the corner, I'm a little late getting around to this article about Fire and Aries, so please forgive me.
Each of the twelve astrological signs link symbolically with one of the four fundamental elements--Earth, Air, Water, Fire. Aries is a both cardinal and Fire sign; it is ruled by Mars. The element of Fire corresponds with the spiritual plane; it links us with our spiritual selves. Of all the elements, Fire is one of the most dominating, and, because it is an element of change and transformation, it can be both a creator and a destroyer. Fire both saves and destroys.
Fire gives us warmth. It is the element that comes from our Sun. Thus, it is the light, heat, and energy that gives life to all things. We use fire for cooking and for warmth in winter. Without it, life on Earth would be impossible. According a famous Greek myth, in the beginning, Fire was reserved for the gods alone, lest humans might become too powerful. But clever Prometheus deceived Zeus. He stole the fire from heaven and gifted it to man. With Fire, mankind gained power over the natural world and the elements, and, in today's modern society, it gave us the power to travel beyond our world and into the heavens. Indeed, in some ways, Fire has turned each and every one of us into a god.
The mythological story of the Phoenix is powerful and has been transmitted from century to century and from generation to generation. It is the most famous of all rebirth symbols – that of a legendary bird that endlessly renews itself in fire. According to legend, the Phoenix is a mythical bird the size of a huge eagle with a tail of brilliant gold and red and purple plumage. It has a 500 year life cycle, and at the end of its life, the Phoenix constructed a nest of cinnamon twigs in a myrrh tree and set itself on fire. From the ashes of its body and nest arose another Phoenix, perfectly formed. Hence, the Phoenix has been adopted universally as a symbol of immortality.
Then by life-giving death destroyed, its form
Grows hot, the heat itself produces flame,
And from the distant sun conceives a fire;
It burns, and into ashes is dissolved.
The story of this bird is ancient, its pagan roots reaching back into the distant eras of our earliest history. It is attested to by many ancient writers, both Christian and Pagan. The Book of the Dead contains several references to it, and the Phoenix is represented on a number of tombs and coffins of Egyptian origin. The mythologies of many Asian peoples contain the story of the Phoenix in some form or other.
To this day, the Legend of the Phoenix remains a symbol of rebirth and new life. It is a sign that each of us, no matter how troubled, can rise above or out of the ashes of pain, our soul being the ashes from which the Phoenix rises. And, in the same way the mythical Phoenix rose from the ashes, Fire transforms us, and we, just like the Phoenix can rise from the ashes of our old life as we are rebom into a new and better one.