Back to the Elements
The Impossible Machine
FIRE
Fire often represents passion or
destruction.

It can symbolize lust, or hunger,
or the change in life that may
after all be the greatest need.

In Greek myth, Prometheus stole
fire from the gods, forewarning
that it isn't something to be
messed with.


More than the other elements,
fire is seen as having an
attached responsibility. To know
about fire is to be a "keeper of
the flames", keeping secret the
terrible nature of fire, akin to a
knowledge of good and evil.


Science has given us the image
of dying stars, something science
fiction writers have taken up as a
symbol for corruption, and
especially the corruption of fire,
which might be an allegory for
power.

The power of the individual has
been attributed to a kind of inner
flame, a soul, which might be
seen as having many of the
properties of fire: serving as a
powerhouse, having passion,
and giving necessity to
life.

A powerful soul is then ideally a
special kind of fire: more parts
beauty and magic, and fewer
parts dysfunctional and prone to
error.