Dear Five Faces: I’m writing about my partner Lizzie. We’ve run a small auction business for several years and have done really well. I love seeing what comes in and the challenge of understanding it’s history and how it might be used going forward. I think I’m a Water/Metal. Lizzie is definitely a Fire. She runs the auctions and makes it look easy. The problem is that last Christmas our facility burned down. I took it philosophically—that’s what insurance is for—but Lizzie was devastated. I keep trying to get her to see things the way I do, but nothing I’ve said or done has perked her up. Not even going over the plans for the new building. It seems the more I try to help her, the worse she gets. I’m fine doing this alone, but I miss Lizzie’s sunshine. What can I do? Signed, Gloomy in Glendale
Dear Gloomy: I’m so sorry about the fire. It’s interesting that a fire would take down a Fire, but that can happen. If we experience an exaggerated amount of our element in a destructive way, it can cause us to pull back. For example, wind sits in Wood, but too much wind can really wipe out my Wood. I suspect the fire deflated Lizzie’s Fire and she’s having a hard time getting over it. But there are several things you can do to help.
First, this may sound odd, but stop trying to engage her, especially if you’re encouraging her to be philosophic about everything. That’s a Water approach and Water puts out Fire. So in spite of your good intentions, you are probably helping to keep her Fire dim. Lizzie doesn’t need anything suppressing her; she needs something building her. There are several ways to do this.
Wood is the element that feeds Fire. Do you have any Wood friends who could spend time with Lizzie and help get her excited about a grand re-opening party? Do you live near a forest where Lizzie could walk and let the Wood energy work it’s magic? Even time spent in a wood cabin will help.
Another approach is to work directly with Lizzie’s Fire. Don’t sit around a campfire; she doesn’t need to be reminded of burning, but there are many other natural ways to help build Fire. The fragrance of selected essential oils can balance the energies of the Fire element, including rosemary and lavender. Have Lizzie rub a few drops of the oil on her skin so the scent is noticeable. Or place a few drops of the oil on a tissue and have her inhale it. Spicy food will build Fire, too. And my favorite is the simple act of surrounding her in red. Red clothes, red flowers, red walls, whatever appeals to her. Even a red shawl or scarf will help build Lizzie’s Fire.
Most importantly, don’t rehash the fire, be philosophic about it, or in any way keep bringing up the lessons learned from the fire, even though your Water and Metal will probably want to do all of this. Share your important insights with friends other than Lizzie. Instead, if you can do some or all of the things suggested above, I suspect Lizzie will come around fairly soon and hook into the excitement of celebrating the rebuilding and re-opening. Fires love and need connections. Giving her a reason to be excited will really help. Just stay upbeat, not philosophic, and your Water won’t quench her Fire anymore. Good luck!