Fire is sometimes known as the living element. It is perhaps the most ancient symbol of divinity. Fire is a living principle of duality, providing light and heat to aid humankind, while at the same time being a force of death and destruction. The eternal flame is a common theme in ancient Mystery Cults and typically represents the eternal presence of Divinity. Among the ancient Greeks, Hestia symbolized the divine living flame, as did Vesta among the Romans.
The ancients believed that fire could lie hidden in a piece of wood. By rubbing two pieces together the fire could often be coaxed from the wood. Once fire was produced the ancients often transported the flame on the end of a giant fennel stick, a custom that later associated fennel with the forces of light. The connection of fire as the living spirit latent in wood drew worshippers to establish and maintain sanctuaries for their deities within the forests, long after the creation of towns and cities. According to ancient legend, statues of deities were encased in a bundle of branches and transported to a new location when another sacred grove was to be established. In this manner the "fire" of the deities' spirit was conveyed from grove to grove.
In modern Wicca, Fire is one of the four creative elements. It is traditionally linked to the color red, although this does differ among the various traditions. As a magickal agent the element of fire is symbolized by a ritual tool. Some traditions assign elemental Fire to the ritual blade because the blade was forged in Fire. Other traditions assign it to the wand because of the use of wood as a torch. In astrology the zodiac sign Aries, Leo and Sagittarius are associated with Fire.