Fired Up: What Does It Really Mean To Be A Fire Sign?

Photo: Getty Images.
Not all fire signs are created equal. Look at the options: a ram, a lion, a centaur on the hunt. Unlike the sea creatures of the water signs, there’s nothing obviously fire-themed about these animals. Where does the flame live inside these creatures and how do they tend to it? 
Let’s begin with Aries since Aries is where it all begins. Widely referred to as the first sign of the zodiac, the stars of Aries once marked the beginning of the Vernal Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and the Autumnal Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere.
To begin something, to kindle, is to recognize the cardinal rule of life: Life is change. And, Aries is our cardinal fire sign, the one who walks into the room like they’ve got a task of Great Importance to accomplish. Which, most of the time, they do. 
While Aries is represented by the horned ram, they’re also ruled by Mars, the fiery planet of war, and when it comes to passion few can do real battle like an Aries can. In astrology, Aries rules the head and so it stands to reason that sometimes they rush in head-first and get hotheaded. They also give great head, it is known. Give them a cause, a great love affair, a pet peeve — an Aries wishes you would! 
Mars isn’t the hottest planetary body in our galaxy, however. That title belongs squarely to the Sun, and the Sun is Leo’s guardian. By the power of the Sun to bring life to Earth, so too is Leo blessed and highly favored. At least, they're born with the potential to be. (Cue the scene where Simba, the lion cub, is marked and hailed as future king.) But, just because one is born to be a king doesn’t mean one always knows how. 
Like Aries, Leo is a hot sign both literally and figuratively. Leo is passionate and rules the heart so it’s not unusual to see a Leo walking around, proud and with their chest puffed out. Possibly, with a distinctive mane flowing behind them, to boot. Even the quieter Leos move heart first, at least when it comes to romance, and certainly when it comes to expressing themselves creatively. A fixed sign, Leo is generous with their energy because they know it to be a renewable resource. Leo doesn’t always want attention, but they know that attention is a kind of love. When they shine, they make sure their loved ones shine, too. When they eat, everyone eats.
Here we arrive at the third and final sign of the fire element: Sagittarius. Sagittarius, like Aries and Leo, roams the Earth on four animal legs. But, unlike the other fire signs, Sagittarius is half human and equipped with a weapon. Perhaps it’s their half-humanness that acts as their great foil, even as it fuels them. Our mutable fire sign, Sagittarius relates and relays information. They are invested in what happens between people, sometimes to the detriment of their own desires. 
After all, Sagittarius is widely known as the philosopher of the Zodiac, the eternal student. Animals like to learn through repetition and reward, sometimes across generations. A centaur like Sagittarius, however, craves the knowledge that exists beyond their experience. Sagittarius rules the legs, the muscular system that helps the horse gallop past its comfort zone. Perhaps the fire lives there, in the heat their muscles generate. But, when you imagine a Sagittarius, it’s useful to imagine an arrow on fire. Fire that travels, that pierces through the air where ideas live. A Sagittarius who’s given freedom to roam will always come home to share what they’ve learned.

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