fiery people. If you meet them when they are down and out, never mind, it will all come out right one day, somehow. And what is maddening is that it usually does - if they haven't hooked up with some partner who stomps all over their dreams and convinces them that the way to happiness is the regular small salary cheque, their semi in the suburbs, 2.3 children, 1.5 dogs, and the in-laws over for Sunday dinner each week. If you find any fire signs living like that, get out your handkerchief. There is nothing sadder than a noble knight in rusted armour trying to clip the hedges in Neasden.
Ah, they are romantic, these fire signs. They sound almost too perfect, too magical, too heroic. How can you resist them? Not many people can. Have they no vices, then?
Remember what we said about every element having a secret dark side? Well, here it is, then, the secret vices of he element of fire. A little scenario might help to make this clear.
EARTH: Have you remembered to pay the telephone bill, dear?
FIRE: Telephone bill? (Beginning signs of irritation.) Yes, dear. Look, I'm trying to concentrate on this piece of writing. It's not going well.
EARTH: I've asked you at least a dozen times. We'll have the phone disconnected if you don't pay it.
FIRE: (Feeling guilty because he hates being accused of being irresponsible.) If you stop nagging me, I might remember to pay it. (Translation: I can't really cope, don't remind me.)
EARTH: You wouldn't remember. If I don't remind you nothing would ever get done. We'd have no telephone, we'd be thrown out of the house, there'd be nothing to eat, the children would have no clothes…
FIRE: (Losing temper) Will you just for once leave me alone? Now you've ruined my concentration. I can't write any more this evening. Why must you bother me with such petty rubbish? It will get paid.
EARTH: (Taking martyr pose) I'm the only one who does any giving in this relationship. I cook and clean and pay the bills and you just sit there staring out the window dreaming. Why don't you get a proper job?
FIRE: (Later, to his mistress) She just doesn't understand me. She crushes my creativity.
EARTH: (Later, to her solicitor) I want the house, five hundred pounds maintenance per month, and the car. I have to take care of myself, after all.
We can summarize the difficulties of the fiery signs by the following general pronouncement: the element of fire has a problem coping with the everyday world. Despite their wonderful vision, intuition, dash and insight, the world is, unfortunately for fire signs, full of the presence of objects and stubborn, conservative people. The world for many fire sign people, appears to have definite malice aforethought in its tendency to thwart them. They must either conquer it in grand style or withdraw into their strange world of fantasies. These frustrations may take the well-known and beloved form of government structures and red tape, traffic laws, taxes, bills, the necessity of earning an income, and the problem of remembering to feed, clothe and take care of that old incubus, the body - which, after all, is made of the substance of the world.
So our fiery friends, though they may be wonderfully successful in any enterprise which entails speculation and the inauguration of creative ideas rather than routine and bondage to detail, often cannot leave the house without forgetting car keys or wallet or drive down the street without incurring a traffic violation - if the car will start at all, brute beast that it is. It is this kind of experience which forces many fire signs into the 'misunderstood genius' syndrome. But it is not really society which is creating the problem - albeit it is all too frequently too conservative, too stolid, and at least twenty to fifty years behind the leaping intuitive vision of fire. It is the secret, unknown, unconscious world of the senses, of matter itself, which poses fire with his greatest