The Opposing Nature of Fire and Water Signs

(click here for the post I wrote on the Earth and Air elements).

Fire and water are elemental opposites in astrology. Fire is pure, transparent, familiar, open, hot. Water is murky, hidden, unknown, segregate, cool.

Fire is easily attainable. The oceans have yet to be explored thoroughly.

Fire ignites passionately, releasing all it has to give into the cosmos, unadulterated. Water seems collected on the outside, but it is turbulent and complicated below its surface.  

Fire is intimidating and scorching, but its burning can be halted by even the smallest amount of water. There’s a subtleness and softness to water that calms the harshness of fire. Yet, water sees fire as a haven, a light place it can reach its drenched arms towards when things become too heavy and saturated.

The fire signs are unassuming in demeanor. Things are straightforward with the fire signs, a tell-it-like-it-is sort of energy. Water signs are calculating and brooding; there’s always an omen, something mysterious, a prophecy to take from every situation in life.

I see Aries as the go-getter, Leo as the creative and Sagittarius as the optimist, while Cancer is the homebody, Scorpio is the silent aggressor, and Pisces is the dreamer. The fire signs have this outward assertiveness that the water signs lack, but the water signs have a way about introspection that fire signs might struggle with.

Although these elements appear to be opposites in description, they each have something they can offer to each other. It is a push-and-pull relationship that is ever so apparent in astrology, and that I think really captures the human condition well; we contain multitudes. We may want opposing things at the same time. We may have conflicting thoughts, wants and needs. But both are necessary.

One Foot in the Door: Technology Edition

Every so often, some variation of a ‘then vs. now” trend pops up somewhere on the internet. A good example was the 10-year challenge that happened some time ago. Basically, you were to post a photo of yourself from 10 years ago next to a photo of yourself currently. That’s it. And funnily enough, typing it out makes me realize how futile and vain “challenges” like these are. But nonetheless, they take the internet by storm, and the more shocking your transformations are, the more attention you’ll receive. I could write a think piece alone on how ridiculously conceited that is, and how our generation (generation z, 1997-present) has such an obsession with “glow-ups,” but that is not today’s topic. These types of challenges always shock me to a certain extent, because I’m mostly surprised people have documentation of what they looked like as a teenager/young adult. That is the topic today.

This should not be a surprise to me. I grew up in the prime time of budding technology. However, this was also an awkward time for regular people consuming technology. Cell phones were being pushed left and right, but most of my peers didn’t own one. YouTube was a brand-new platform (can you believe I remember a time where YouTube ads didn’t exist?) that was mostly for that low-quality footage of your baby brother trying a lemon for the first time and not for the ad-generated, revenue making monster that it is today. Technology was everywhere but in the regular consumer’s hands. And blissfully until I was an adult, I assumed this was the experience for everyone else too.

I learned quickly that this in fact, was not everyone’s experience. I remember one friend in 6th grade having a magenta coloured cell phone, those ones where you’d turn it sideways and push up the screen to reveal the keyboard. No one else in my grade owned a phone. This disparity was not apparent to me as an 11-year old. I just thought it was cool my friend had a cell phone.

I began to learn as a young adult that the kids who had technology from a young age had an advantage over me. The obvious advantage was having more access to resources and such, but the less obvious advantage was having documentation of yourself. I find that an important aspect of life, especially living in this technology driven time. It’s special to have that goofy photo of yourself at your first middle school dance. Its special to have a remembrance of the first time you tried makeup and thought it looked great. To have a visual track record of your life to me, is a distinct privilege that only the kids with early access to technology have.

I have none of this, and I sometimes yearn for visual memorandum of my life.

I was painfully self-aware as a child. My psyche, my thoughts, my intuition, were always the forefront in my mind. I was not a lighthearted child, and I was never interested in most mainstream things (I risk sounding extremely “pick-me,” but I mean it in the most genuine way). Along with this, I didn’t get a cell phone until I was 15. I didn’t have a social media presence until I was 17/18/19. I snuck a twitter account behind my parent’s back at 15 but got that taken away. I didn’t have a phone with a decent camera until I was 18 and consequently didn’t start taking photos of myself until that age. I’m 23 now, and I hardly have photos of my teen years.

It’s a very strange dynamic to have grown up during the peak of new technology, yet not have a part in it to begin with. There’s a metaphor lying here, about privilege, about how fast technology moves; there’s a metaphor here. But honestly, I just feel like I was left out of a pivotal movement in society. That’s it. It’s just my inner child wishing I could have documented myself at a young age. I’m sure I would have felt like my existence had more validity than I thought it did. Don’t we all?

Eggs on a Plate without the Plate

I was at value village with my mom one day, a regular occurrence for us. We were looking through the art section when I came across this super strange hanging egg painting. I was immediately drawn to it. My mom commented and said it looked like a painting from Salvador Dali. I really wanted it, but I gave it some thought and decided it would not go with anything that was on my walls, so I left it. A couple weeks later, I went back on my own, and the painting was still there. Naturally, I picked it up. I brought it home and did a quick google search to see if I could find the artist. To my surprise (or maybe not; my mother is always right), it was a Dali painting. It is called “Ouefs sur le Plat sans le Plat” or “Eggs on a Plate without the Plate.” Dali described his inspiration for the painting as an “intra-uterine memory,” basically describing this exact scene as something he saw while in the womb, down to the warm colour palate and limp, hanging fried egg. I found that so strange, but in the best way. It hangs above my dining table, and I am just itching to have someone over so they can ask about the painting and I get to say the phrase “intra-uterine memory.” Like seriously, how cool is that!

This time spent alone at the thrift store, one I would frequent a lot in my childhood, made me think about how I find comfort in clutter. How I find comfort in things that are not necessarily practical but make me feel something. How I find comfort in things that do not match, in things that seem rough and worn out. How I find comfort in things that are used, that have stories of their own before I bring them home.

Growing up, my mother decorated our small apartments in this kind of fashion. Our furniture was almost always hand-me-downs from her brothers and sisters. Nothing in any of the small spaces we lived in ever matched. The idea of furniture and the general ambience of a house ‘matching’ was a foreign concept to me. Kitchen utensils, plates, bowls, were either thrifted or stolen from restaurants or workplaces. Everything in our home had a story, and it was never, “this was on sale at ikea and I thought it matched our accent chairs well, so I bought it.” It was more like, “I stole this whisk from work one day” or, “a customer read my aura and gave me this moonstone ring because she felt it matched me” or, “I found this mirror in the garbage driving home.” (all real stories from my mother).

Now, as an adult, I find myself decorating the same way. I dreamt about being able to decorate my own apartment as a child. I never saw the specifics in my mind. Just the idea of having autonomy and free will over how my space would look and feel was something I always wanted. I find myself drawn towards the weird art, the chairs with piling, the antique looking forks. I find myself drawn towards things with a backstory, things with character, and I am always able to find these types of things at thrift stores. There is something special about picking up a used item and knowing that someone else owned it, spent the necessary time with it, and decided to part ways with it. And now, in this moment, you have it. It is instances such as these that give me a sliver of insight into the connection we all have as human beings. I hope to keep the strange egg painting for a while. I think it is the first thing I have owned with a funny little backstory. I hope to be able to explain the phrase “intra-uterine memory” to the first person who asks about the painting. I hope my funny little backstory will inspire others to pick up things that have soul in them, that have character, that make them feel something. There is something indescribably comforting about things that have already been owned, and I want everyone to experience it.