Oooh. That’s hot! Fiery! Woohoo, so steamy! Boy, that’s going to burn down the place! Jesus, we’re going to need some help in here!
There may have been more than a linear train of mental images for each of the random and borderline cringe phrases mentioned above. It’s plausible that most of what went on in your mind may have been explicit depending on your own usage of the phrase or your exposure to it. Regardless, we’re talking about fire.
The reason why there was a raunchy amount of discomfort and confusion, is one of the foci in this blog post. The element of fire, over the span of evolution and recent years, has come to associate with so much more than just heat, light, sustenance, and destruction. In recent times, both the word and the imagery of fire are synonymous with a lot of things – from bravery to passion. Tons of media platforms translate flames with an expansive and colorful range of metaphorical vocabulary.
But, as we always ask, why though? What’s so feisty about fire? The symbol of fire is often used in contexts of sex and sexual attraction. Talk about sex on fire. Apart from its ravishing reputation, fire is also symbolic of rage, aggression, hustle, and anything hellish too – which, we’re here to talk about. Read on to know everything about the virtual rendition of the fire symbol or emoji as we call it, what it means, and how to use it.
Meaning of 🔥
The 🔥 Fire emoji digitally renders a minute part of the actual element – flame, which is most times, used interchangeably with fire and other similar words as well. This emoji is quite famous amongst young emoji users for its “lit” properties. 🔥 is the virtual companion of fierce textual declaration and response.
On general grounds, the fire emoji is used as a reference to something or someone hot. Many on the face of the planet would talk of magnetism with a fiery metaphor. It’s somehow natural, and that’s digitally applicable too – 🔥 is used in contexts of attraction.
But, attraction, lust, passion, and sexual energy/tension are not everything this emoji is about. There’s a lot more to it than what’s on and rubbed over and over again on the surface.
The Journey of Fire
Primarily, fire is what it is – a powerful, wild, and terrifying element of the earth (and the universe too). It’s the product of specific parameters applied against each other in a particular manner with particular criteria. Fire, back in the day, was a complicated task. It needed precision and well, stones.
Over millennia, this complex element motioned parallelly with the technology of the human mind, and today, fire is as accessible as air. It is condensed and contained in the best ways possible. But, even with all the tech we have, a fire outbreak is still terrifying, not to mention, severely damaging as well. Anything natural is unruly, after all.
From being a discovery to becoming part of new inventions every other year, we’ve successfully, yet superficially controlled fire. We’ve observed it enough to the extent of even designing an inspired emoji. Now, the element is not as life-threatening. But we know better. At least, we better.
With each fiery encounter, we learn something new about the element and add it to our list of fire symbols. Each experience invites a new definition of fire. When the element was a novel part of our realm, it was associated with warmth, life, and safety too. Eventually, it was understood as the provider of delicious and better food, health, taste, and flavor. Once fire became a ‘part’ of us and not something exciting we’d venture out to make each day, it came to be associated with experiences – including the worst.
With hell being the holy grail of fire (yes, we did that on purpose), the element came to be paired with ‘forbidden’ aspects and components of the dark. It began its journey as a ritualistic essential on one hand while merging into a poetic scene on the other. Fire was soon a metaphorical establishment in poetry, stories, music, movies, books, and other genres of entertainment. Today, it’s also a part of our virtual communication, that with a single symbol, we get to say so much. But, surprisingly, we don’t.
Online, the fire emoji 🔥 does not mean as much as fire in real life does and did. Here, things are slightly more animated and voluntarily restricted. It’s more to do with resonance than with actual experience – which is why this emoji symbolizes all that it does in the virtual sphere.
The Symbolism of Fire on Different Platforms
As elaborated in the section above, we’ve had quite a revealing walk with fire. The element has always been as tough and scary as it is today, the reality of it only lacked our awareness. At each stage of enlightenment, we broadened our comprehension of the element and realized it in deeper contexts. Every such stage had certain analogies related to fire, and these analogies came to be the symbols of the element or its symbolism. Today, a person generally has more than a single symbol associated with something as universal as fire. Here are a couple of connotations.
Heaven and Hell
We subtly dropped the ‘H’ word in the intro to give a brief yet hinting clue to fire, in a religious context. Hell is a popular world to many religions. It’s the land of suffering, agony, never-ending pain, and eternal fire – a place so horrid that depictions of the same are deeply red-tinted. Not the valentine red we know of, but the devilish red blazing from fiery pits. Fire, in this framework, is depicted as a torturous place reserved for the abominable
But here’s the yin to the yang of the situation. There’s sacred fire too. This element is a part and most times, the foundational part of many religious rituals. Fire is used to light religious and cultural decorative items like lamps and incense. It is also an active participant in burning specific items with religious significance. Fictionally, fire may also be a source of visions. Especially when things get are dark and full of terrors.
The meaning of fire in religion is honestly very diverse and deeply embedded not only in faith and belief but also in personal convictions of the truth. Fire, in most godly situations, is viewed as an element capable of purifying properties, and that’s how it’s both drawing and repelling.
Eternity and Ephemerality
As said in the previous section, fire is a prominent mark of eternity – both in contexts of hell and the divine. It’s a wrathful element and an emblem of hope, which strengthens and intensifies the longer it burns. Fire is a dual facet in most of its symbolic themes. It signifies contrast and embodies both parts of it. Fire is viewed as both a good and a bad sign. It symbolizes permanence, temporariness, and both of their respective moral grounds.
Fire is a symbol of both eternal hope and eternal punishment. It reassures divine protection while reminding humankind of its religious aftermath if they turn out against the respective code of conduct. While fire is capable of being as expansive as countless lifetimes, it can also be a flicker that can extinguish with the slightest blow. It can go out and go all out. The temporary nature of fire can provide or destroy. It can light up a dark place and burn the same to the ground – all in an instant. As instantaneous as this element is, it is that victorious in every situation. Fire always gets what fire wants, just like every other natural element found on planet earth.
Light and Darkness
Fire is the ground necessity in a real place devoid of any light and it is the metaphorical lamp we, at times, seek to walk out of engulfing darkness that’s invisible to the naked eye. It’s a spiritual journey, this the latter case – an inside-out expedition. The element of fire usually comes across as an element of cliché when we read or hear of its presence in a pitch-black, mysterious, or even troubled place. But truth is, only incandescence can rid darkness – and that too, comes from fire. Nothing less, nothing more.
So, fire is synonymous with light, but how is there a connection between the element and darkness? Well, without fire, it would all be a dark place – this includes the fireball we survive by – the sun. Again, spitting fiery facts, the sun is only warm and life-giving because of the perfect distance. If we were mercurial in any way, the sun would be our worst enemy, and in this case, fire itself. So, fire acts upon darkness by carrying out its light and it reinforces a source of light just by being there.
Purification and Destruction
We mentioned fire being sacred, divine, and holy. The plain reason for this is its metaphorical properties that qualify as a purifying agent – in the spiritual world and not in a literal manner of speaking. Literally and realistically, fire is destructive. It can only burn something to nothing and not resurrect it. Although some things derive strength and endurance from fire, it ends at some point. Fire cannot eternally nourish. That’s just how it works. But, divinely speaking, a corpse that’s burnt is believed to be purified by fire; holy and sacred fire.
If you kept up with us till now, you would find the duality of fire insanely fascinating. In this segment, it is both an element of chaos, loss, destruction, annihilation, and it’s a favored way of ridding something or someone of impurities – mainly after death. Though the positively advocated side of fire is completely spiritual, the practice is as real as it gets. Many cultures embedded in certain religious deeply follow the notion of burning dead bodies in order to purify them.
This may sound ridiculous to someone who does not resonate with the whole act, but it is, in fact, a highly faithed-upon ceremony with the best of spiritual intentions and beliefs wrapping everyone present at the event.
Passion and Aggression
Coming down to the most relatable and widely used and recognizable symbols of fire. Passion has been intertwined with this element for a very long time now. Fire surfaces in various entertainment platforms and communicates a couple of consistent concepts like intensity, desire, lust, love, attraction, sexuality, seduction, eroticism, and other naked things. Fire, in the human realm, is a surging substance, and experience(s) associated with it, are as well. When the flame burns out, the fun too sadly does. The spark is lost.
Fire, to lovers, is an entirely different thing. It signifies excitement, youth, virility, and loads of passionate lovemaking. It’s fiery, steamy, and all the things that gave you this impression of fire at the start of the blog post. Besides, fire is so profound in contexts of love and connection that we’re constantly on the lookout for the possible twin flame. The two flames don’t complement, but they expand and in the process, could potentially burn each other’s authenticity out – thus becoming one, again, creating a fiery union that’s often felt to be intense, spiritual, and out of this world.
But here’s the catch. Alongside the defining highs of love and sex, fire is also a popular element in the arena of rage, anger, aggression, war, ammunition, etc. The emotions that fuel this set of fire symbols are not always destructive and devastating. They can be constructive too. If you have fire in your eyes or your soul, it’s almost factual to you that you will thrive. These are the commonly used phrases, quotes, and references, in such situations/conversations.
Negative emotions such as temper can be protective until they get exceedingly damaging and hostile. These negative emotions in constructive measures are what keep us from losing ourselves to injustice. Fire, in this scenario, is a crowd favorite companion when it comes to struggle, hustle, hard work. To people having a tough time, fire is frequently a sigil of hope and willpower. It’s the master of motivation. But, like everything associated with fire, outrage, aggression, and antagonism have their negative side too, and fire manifests there as well.
Fire – As a Virtual Element
Digitally, the 🔥 fire emoji commonly works itself on grounds of the passionate and aggressive symbolism of fire (as enunciated above). It conveys intense attraction, appreciation, acknowledgment, and acclamation – sexually and otherwise. 🔥 is generally representative of the seductive side of things, but it also means more than that.
🔥 is symbolic of power and badassness as well. It’s the emoji you would use to show that something or someone is supremely influential, awesome, and incredibly cool – as a personal opinion or an imposing one. Like, “Oh, man. That was awesome! Like RESPECT!! 🔥🔥”.
Savagery, online, has a completely different and new look as opposed to what’s seen and defined in real life. It’s not barbaric, but rather, an attribute of being straightforward and brutally honest but with a tint of one’s unique charm. That’s what qualifies a subject to be savage and 🔥 is very often used to punctuate such savagery online.
Being “savage” or “lit” are certified social media slangs that pack the perfect punch in response to something stimulating. Anything impressive, fascinating, fabulous, extraordinary, or just novelle to the user can call for a “lit” response, and with that, the 🔥 fire emoji. For example, “Wow. That’s frikkin lit dude 🔥🔥”. You may also mean the same but with other adjectives, like – “Whoaa. Cray cray 🔥” or “That’s AMAZING!! 🔥🔥”.
On the bare side, 🔥 is a sincere response to anything that’s sexually appealing. It’s a hot emoji in this situation. Many times 🔥 is used to express desire and desirability. But! This emoji is NOT a green signal to getting under the sheets. Sometimes, it is used to just communicate attractiveness and it ends there. The allurement is not pursued.
Nevertheless, when this is not the case, the fire emoji is a symbol of pursuit. It could be for oneself or as an equivocal interpretation. For instance, “Ooooh. Look at you looking all sexy 🔥”, “I can tell that tonight’s going to be a good night 🔥”, “They’ll probably need to call someone to cool the place down! 🔥🔥”. These texts could either suggest direct or indirect sexual cues – all depending on how much you know the person.
In relevant contexts, just the 🔥 emoji can do the job of an expressive text – that is, if you’re replying to something fantastic, just inserting this emoji instead of typing out your response would convey just as much as the message would. This applies to everything this emoji signifies.
What it Means When Someone Sends 🔥?
Virtually, there are two main reasons why someone would send this emoji – they either find the content attractive in any sense or they find it uplifting and stellar. However, the deeper intent why 🔥 would accompany a text can vary depending on the sender and how acquainted y’all are. Here are a few groups of senders you may not know very well and our interpretation of what they could mean to say – without actually saying it.
When a Stranger Sends 🔥
If you find a direct message (DM) with 🔥 from a person you don’t know, haven’t chatted with before, or someone you vaguely remember but are still a stranger to you, it’s not an immediate red flag. Most times it may not be as bad as the assumption. But there are exceptions, of course. Many, with strangers.
If they’re responding to a photo of you, then 🔥 is a clear message that they either find you bomb in an asexual way or the usual way – and this way is generally a hint at a romantic pursuit. Needless to say, it does take some serious guts to send a stranger this emoji with the intent of conveying physical/sexual attraction. The stranger may want to further the conversation but on creepy grounds. Unless you have consented to it, ofc.
If it’s a response to something you captured and not a picture of you, then 🔥 could suggest that they find the picture beautiful, authentic, and extraordinary. However, if the scenario is a text message and not a photo, then 🔥 can be a mark of support and agreement or they just find what you said over chat to be purely admirable or clever and it gave them the chills.
When an Acquaintance Sends 🔥
This can be an awkward encounter, to be honest. The unfamiliarity that comes with a stranger is the accepted norm. It’s the expected. With acquaintances, the situation and the conversation are made to hang in between a sphere of familiarity and professional/familial boundaries – which when pushed, can get super uncomfortable.
Given the steamy side of this emoji, it can be a cause for conflict and overanalysis because 🔥 is not the usual acquaintance behavior unless the relationship is already looking into something more. So, when a person you know formally and not closely sends 🔥, it could be a red flag. The person may have romantic goals in mind or they’re trying to become friends. In both situations, 🔥 can suggest the sender’s attempt to shrink the gap in your detached relationship and pursue something more.
When a Friend Sends 🔥
This is plain support. A familiar person sending this emoji is a sign they vouch for you in every way possible. But, the question still lies in familiarity and how well you know the friend. If they have a romantic inclination and you’re aware of it, then 🔥 may not be as friendly. It could indicate a gradual approach and a way of letting you know that you’re sexually attractive.
If everything about a friend and your friendship together is platonic AF, then 🔥 even with an invasive text message would mean nothing more than pure support, cheer, and validation. In the best friend context or the context of someone slowly qualifying to become a best friend, 🔥 can also be applied in sarcastic and playfully painful ways. Like, “Wow. You’re choice of people is so splendid it gives me heartburn 🔥🔥”.
When to Use 🔥
The fire emoji encompasses one main theme online – attraction. It could be towards someone or a part of them, something someone said, quoted, or typed in a caption, a person’s values and principles, or attraction towards a moving post in any format – audio, video, and/or text. This attraction manifests itself in different ways the 🔥 fire emoji is perceived. The bottom line is attraction, and given our obsession with sex, this emoji too often shifts into a sexually responsive symbol. It’s got the hots.
Based on the ways fire is propagated and used online, you could apply 🔥in the same manner or expand that terribly limited fashion of using this emoji with necessary articulation. For example, “Here’s some burning news! 🔥” or “The burning question is Do YoU HaVe aCiDiTy??? 🔥”.
Here are some instances where you can use the 🔥 fire emoji:
- When responding to something or someone stunning – it could be a post, a song, a video, a song video, a person’s picture, a screenshot, anything that’s stunning in its own way.
- When responding to an intimidating yet creative text message, comment, or post – acknowledging the “badass” quotient.
- When responding to or communicating something “lit” or “savage”.
- When hyping or gassing up something or someone.
- When showing support to something or someone. This is without the hype.
How to Use 🔥 Without Being Creepy
Emojis with a vibrant sexual side be tacky while using them online. Such emojis are easy to misuse and it would take a fraction to catch them for the same. The downside of such emojis, they tend to be understood as an innuendo irrespective of the context – like the 🍆 Eggplant emoji.
Fortunately, 🔥 is not as damned as the poor eggplant emoji, it is more ambiguous and open to suggestion. Nevertheless, the wild side remains. So, with emojis like these; sensitive emojis, it is vital to use the right and precise verbatim along with the emoji and not the emoji alone. This advice doubly applies while conversing with strangers. Use thy words!
If you wish to say exactly what you mean with an ambivalent emoji as 🔥, type exactly what you mean to say. If not, both the emoji and the context is easy to misconstrue. With known folks, this emoji with or without the ‘right’ words would correctly communicate the message because there isn’t space for misinterpretation due to “textual closeness”. But that’s obviously not the case with unknown people. It needn’t be direct messages with strangers, even large conversational platforms like the comments section is a strange place, full of people you don’t know. Hence, it is crucial to express what you mean rightly with words while using the 🔥 fire emoji.
As you can tell, this one’s an extra emoji. It’s extra expressive, extra cliché, and extra cringe (if you’re the kind to be averse to cheesy and mushy ways of expressing love). With that aside, a heart on fire or a burning heart is an age-old symbol of passion and desire.
In fact, ❤️🔥 can render as burning desire, burning passion, or burning love. It’s the emotion that’s blazing with hunger, it’s starving for satisfaction and is thirsty for more. The merge of a ❤️ Red Heart and the 🔥 flame strikes as a flamboyant expression of love and sex. Not to forget, acidity too.
Talking about fire and not mentioning the one that spits it is blasphemous in our opinion. The legendary character of the dragon is not only fearsome but firesome as well. This 🐲 mythical beast is said to breathe the element, evoking a strong and magnificent persona of itself. Nothing on this list contains fire the way a dragon does. Fire is in-built in this dude! The dragon doesn’t fear fire nor does it become it, the dragon is fire.
When we refer to fire, a flame, a spark, or even just light, the most compelling yet basic source of reference is the candle. Tons of inspirational quotes, positive messages, and life lessons too start from the flicker of a candle.
The morbid picture of melting wax seems to be effectively carpeted by the burning wick of a candle. The flame is more powerful and more seen. 🕯️ is a symbol of hope, kindness, and motivation to stay true even in the midst of darkness – the lone candle in the dark.
Fire, in this case, is the igniting result of initiation. Nothing deep in here, just plain rocketscience. Though fire is not an innate part of a rocket, the vehicle is always showcased with a fiery bottom – suggesting the rocket is in motion. Therefore, fire, in this emoji symbolizes a push, motivation, drive, and encouragement, something a rocketman always has.
This emoji is in the same boat as the 🕯️ candle – only here, the container is a cultural object in contrast to the universal candle. Diyas are decorative items most used in religious festivities and ceremonies. They are symbolic of goodwill, prosperity, and a generally accepted mode of creating a positive vibration in cultures and religions in countries like India and Nepal. The symbolism given to the diya is undoubtedly from the fire it holds and sustains, hence adding to our list of fire-based symbols.
Firecrackers are the perfect example of the hazardous side of fire – but on a small and manageable scale, unlike a 🌋 volcanic spate. Firecrackers are both explosive and celebrative, but if things don’t go as planned they can be injurious or lethal too. Although they’re far less dangerous, they are containers of fire, and when that’s the case, things can get out of hand. Thus including another line of interpretations to fire – eruption.
The 🔥 fire emoji is the basis of all fire emojis. It’s representative of the element that makes up anything that can burn. But, online, it’s the symbol of anything hot (in any way), as it should be. The digital significance of the flame is a lot subtler and painless than the spark’s actual potential.
This emoji denotes sexual attraction, magnetism, allurement, and non-sexual exclamation towards anything spectacular, straightforward, has a hustler’s grit, and has a positive spirit of keeping up with the odds. 🔥 is a powerful emoji in both contexts and breathes the air of being diehard.