We may not ourselves be aware of how far each minute of our life lived amongst other people will be occupied with relationships of one kind of another. I will use an example taken from the brief duration of a typical day’s journey into work to illustrate this. We may be surprised to find how many tiny threads of relationship we knit together on this journey, from the moment we open our front door and turn to wave goodbye to our family, to an encounter with a neighbour, the interaction with a newsvendor and a ticket collector, the avoidance or acknowledgement of eye-contact with all those packed tight with us in the underground or bus, and finally the arrival at work with the greeting of our colleagues. All these involve numerous small or large skeins of new and old relationships being sorted into their different threads. This covers just a few short hours in a 24-hour period at most, and an infinitesmally small part of all the hours of one year in our life, let alone all the hours of all the years in our life.
In each of these encounters with another person, the Fire element’s need to establish a relationship wherever it finds itself with other people will be taxed to the full. Just detailing all this activity is quite tiring, but not nearly as tiring as Fire may feel if, during these few hours between home and office, something occurs which puts excessive strain on this element, such as an argument before leaving home, an unpleasant encounter on the bus or the dread of a meeting with a feared colleague. The constant level of hard work needed to help the Fire element in its task of adjusting to all the demands others make upon us places a particular strain upon Fire people, for of all the elements they are the ones which most ardently (oh, such a Fire word!) desire to make these relationships work. That is, after all, what they regard as the main purpose of their existence.
What, then, are the main ways in which we can help Fire in its relationships? To a Fire person the answer appears so simple; it is by allowing them to make us happy, in other words, allowing them in some way to give us something. Fire wants the recipient of its gifts to be happy to receive them, even when we may not ourselves have asked for them. Fire may not consider how appropriate its gifts are, in fact will only do so in states of great balance, for it may be so intent on the gesture of giving that it does not have time to gauge how its recipient is reacting. Nor is it gratitude that Fire is asking for. Instead it seeks the smile and warmth of eye in another person, and, if denied this, will experience this as a slap in the face, a rejection, something which can scar its heart.