Salamander Encounters

Salamanders have been seen in the shapes of fiery balls, or tongues of fire running over the fields or appearing in houses.

Paracelsus (1493-1541)

Emblem XXIX from Michael Maier’s Atalanta fugiens, 1617



Summoning Salamanders

Visions by Geoffrey Hodson

Ever Changing Transformation

The Sun Spirit

Omnipresent Fire

Volcanoes and the Fire in the Center of the Earth

The Spiritual Fire of Purification


Traditionally the fire elementals are called Salamanders, maybe because the salamander moves around like a flame that wiggles left and right through the air. Fire spirits do not look like salamanders, they look like moving flames with a vague human resemblance, of which the face is most pronounced. Almost unknown in folktales, fire spirits are difficult to encounter, and contact with them is even rarer than with sylphs. Fire spirits are also not to be messed with and have to be faced with utter honesty and respect. Few magicians will summon fire spirits, because the fire spirits are powerful and contact with them demand a strong mind on the part of the magician. Few visionaries have ever had encounters with them of have been able to willfully see them with their psychic vision.

Manly P. Hall, in his The Secret Teachings of All Ages, describes the salamanders:

“Medieval investigators of the Nature spirits were of the opinion that the most common form of salamander was lizard-like in shape, a foot or more in length, and visible as a glowing Urodela, twisting and crawling in the midst of the fire. Another group was described as huge flaming giants in flowing robes, protected with sheets of fiery armor. Certain medieval authorities, among them the Abbé de Villars, held that Zarathustra (Zoroaster) was the son of Vesta (believed to have been the wife of Noah) and the great salamander Oromasis. Hence, from that time onward, undying fires have been maintained upon the Persian altars in honor of Zarathustra’s flaming father. One most important subdivision of the salamanders was the Acthnici. These creatures appeared only as indistinct globes. They were supposed to float over water at night and occasionally to appear as forks of flame on the masts and rigging of ships (St. Elmo’s fire). The salamanders were the strongest and most powerful of the elementals, and had as their ruler a magnificent flaming spirit called Djin, terrible and awe-inspiring in appearance. The salamanders were dangerous and the sages were warned to keep away from them, as the benefits derived from studying them were often not commensurate with the price paid. As the ancients associated heat with the South, this corner of creation was assigned to the salamanders as their drone, and they exerted special influence over all beings of fiery or tempestuous temperament. In both animals and men, the salamanders work through the emotional nature by means of the body heat, the liver, and the blood stream. Without their assistance there would be no warmth.”

Summoning Salamanders

As it is clear that very few humans have ever come into contact with fire elementals, I have found only a few reliable sources of first-hand experiences. The first is William Mistele, a present day occultist, who is able to contact nature spirits through his mind via the system ofoccultisttFranzFranz Bardon (1909–1958).

A powerful fire spirit, called Pyrhum, relayed to him a story from the time of Atlantis. By the use of a magic mirror, an enlightened Atlantean magician, He’adra, had summoned Pyrhum, who resides deep within the earth.

“Almost without effort, Pyrhum shifted between his world and that of He’adra’s. He’adra’s voice and the energy field he had created had already opened the gate. Pyrhum only needed to step into that space of blazing red light to perceive He’adra face to face. In turn, He’adra perceived Pyrhum coming toward him in the magic mirror which was at one end of his room. A moment later Pyrhum stepped out of the mirror and into the room–the salamander’s body appearing physically in our world by virtue of the energy medium of fire He’adra had created.

He’adra perceived in front of him a being like a man in appearance, but the air around him was blurred as if heat were distorting the image of his body or as if his aura was pulsing within its own internal light. Pyrhum’s eyes were like doorways through which could be seen the fires burning inside the earth. And Pyrhum’s voice, when he spoke, was grating and impatient like the voice of a commander who has just captured a city to which he has laid seize for months. And there was a resonance in his voice, something altogether subterranean and plutonic, like the deep, dim rumbling of the earth’s mantel as it splits and rubs against the edge of a continent.

Very few magicians can summon powerful Salamanders, or fire spirits, without negative consequences, as the magician has to be pure enough within his being to be able to withstand the summoned Fire energy, and he has to be spiritually evolved to attract the attention of the Salamanderin the first the first place.

Among many other things, Pyrhum conveyed to Mistele some enlightening information about humans trying to summon him:

“Less than a handful of mortals have ever walked by my side and survived. And only one or two were willing like you to enter the domain where I reign without having to disguise their fear and trembling. I oversee all fire on earth and I care not much for your race. I am not arrogant. I just have no respect for human beings because they have not sought to discover the power hidden in their hearts. They think power is external to the self, that it is found in the ability to bind matter or subject other living beings to their will.

“Those who sojourn into my domain are enamored with faith– they want something for nothing without offering anything in exchange. They attempt to enchant me by pronouncing fearsome and terrible names of gods, goddesses, and dieties from various religions. What nonsense! Do they think they can badger me when I can command a sea of magma to stretch out its hand in a strand rising two thousand miles until it punctures the surface of the world and forms mountains three miles tall? These magicians can not even command their own body to pump blood to the part of their heart muscle which is suffocating because an artery is clogged.

“Do they expect me to get down on my knees and obey their command? They vainly imagine they are united with God as they babble on raising their voices higher in pitch till it breaks into a shriek. They think by speaking the words of God or by pronouncing His name that somehow their voice is magically transformed into His Voice or their authority into His own. Magicians are often more entertaining than jesters or clowns.

“If I close my eyes and concentrate, I can sense all the seas, lakes, and streams of magma which exist within the earth. Oh, I have tried to share my wonder and the inferno of my exuberance with those who dwell on the surface of the earth. But it is useless. Their minds are too narrow. Their hearts are too closed. “They see the stars at night. The feel the heat of the sun by day. But they are afraid of the fire within the earth. It is too close. They push it out of their minds. They do not allow their feet to reach down like the roots of trees into the silence and the depths lest they discover in the darkness beneath them a passion greater than they can imagine.

“The great bards will not speak of me in a song lest they risk being drowned in an abyss without entrance or exist. And so even at night when your race falls asleep I am unable to appear in your dreams. Even the tongues of flame with which dragons speak in your fairy tales and myths neither hint at nor reveal a trace of my existence. I dwell within a realm well-hidden beyond human reach or belief.”

Visions by Geoffrey Hodson

Geoffrey Hodson (1886-1983), an English theosophist and visionary has written a lot about elementals and other spiritual beings. He describes the Salamanders as follows. Salamanders appear as if built of flames, the form constantly changing but suggestive of a human shape. The chin and ears are sharply pointed and the “hair” frequently streams back from the head, appearing like tongues of flame. Salamanders dive into the flames of physical fires and fly through them. Their forms vary from place to place.

Overall they do not have a fixed form as they consist primarily of streams of fiery energy. When viewed by humans, they display a distinct human face when not veiled by flames. Their eyes are then slanted upwards and strangely lit by fiery power. The head surrounded and outlined by flickering, orange-red little flames. Salamanders vary in height from two or three feet to the great colossi of fire-power who are the Fire Lords associated with the sun.

Salamander as seen by Geoffrey Hodson

Ever Changing Transformation

In order to understand the Salamanders, or fire spirits, it is necessary to understand the Element of Fire. Fire is not so much a physical substance such as earth, water and air. It is a high vibratory energy, released by the transformation of one element into another. As an Element it might be easier to understand it as a high vibratory energy that is ever moving, ever transforming. Fire is also expansive and uninhibited.

Geoffrey Hodson explains it this way:

“The purpose of the universal fire is to regenerate and to transform; to ensure continuity of growth by means of change, and to insure that no part or parts of the universe should become static, resistant and inert. The element of fire is an expression of the divine Will which exerts a ceaseless forward pressure upon all life and manifests in all form as an inward urge towards a more perfect expression of the ensouling life. Fire has the special function of maintaining universal movement and its denizens possess that fiery quality which transforms and regenerates and, when necessary, destroys.”

“This invisible element of fire is at work behind the whole system, as are its agents. In every rock, in every stone, jewel, plant, animal and man, it ceaselessly exerts an influence in the direction of change; because of its presence nothing in Nature can ever stand still; it ensures the growth of the system. Its power is wielded, not only by the nature-spirits who labour instinctively in the cause of change, but by the great fire angels who consciously produce all changes throughout the system, so that the new birth which results may grow ever nearer and nearer to the likeness of its archetype in the mind of God.”

Phoenix Rising by Marina Petro, the phoenix is the symbol of transformation as it dies and gets reborn out of fire

The Sun Spirit

The logos, who dwells in the sun is the ultimate fire spirit in our solar system. As Geoffrey Hodson describes it:

“Between the earthly fire and the heart of the Logos, which is eternally aflame, there is an unbroken chain of fire by means of which He manifests the fire aspect of His nature throughout His system; that manifestation produces a form which somewhat resembles the familiar single sunflower which blooms in earthly gardens. The heart of the blossom is the sun, and each petal is a mighty tongue of flame, playing from the sun out to the farthest confines of the system. From whatever direction this fire flower is seen, the same aspect of widely opened petals appears, for the solar sunflower extends into every dimension of the system and therefore presents a full-face from every point of view. Yet not the gentle beauty of an earthly flower, but a roaring sea of fire is presented to the gaze of him who is able to see the fire aspect of the Logos. Each petal of the fiery flower is a living tongue of flame through which with a mighty roar power is rushing in a steady and continuous stream.”

the fiery sun, salamander at work;
Image from Stanford-Lockheed Institute for Space Research/NASA

About the solar spirits of fire, associated with our Sun, Hodson says:

“In colour golden-yellow and flame-like, they resemble gigantic men built of flame; in the hand of each a spear and on the head a golden crown of living fire. Flames shoot forth from them on every side; every change of consciousness sends forth a tongue of flame; every gesture flings a flood of fire. They form an august body of solar fire-angels who, each at his station where the petal-shaped tongues of flame rush forth, encircle the sun. Through them passes power, to be transformed in passing, lest its naked energy should destroy the system which, by their mediation, it regenerates and transforms. They shield the solar system lest the fiery power should blind the eyes of those to whom it is a source of light, burn those to whom it is a source of heat and shatter those to whom it is a source of power.”

Omnipresent Fire

Hodson also gives an interesting view of Fire asbeinggpresent everywhere in space. His description resembles what is now called the vacuum filled with unlimited energy, although it has also other names like thepresent everywhere in space. His description resembles what is now called the vacuum filled with unlimited energy, although it has also other names like the Dirac Sea, or Zero-Point Energy.

“All manifested life, on every plane, is surrounded and permeated by fire; there is no inter-planetary space; the separation of the globes is but illusion; the sun is not the isolated centre of a ring of planets; there is but one homogeneous whole, fire-filled.
Every atom in the system and all the space between the atoms is filled with fire and all is aflame with fiery power. Centre and circumference are one. Though mighty solar flowers, whose petals touch the orbits of the furthest globes, present themselves full-faced from every point of view,
there is but one flower and one fire, as there is but one solar Logos.”

In a vision Hodson describes it as such:

“I seemed to be standing with him (the angel teacher referred to in the Introduction to the present book) submerged in a sea of fire, which was homogeneous and all-pervasive, yet translucent and transparent. I seemed also to see the sunflower formation of the fire aspect of the Solar Logos and His System, as if the angel and I were standing on one of the petals. Though the distances and dimensions of this fire-world were so colossal as to be physically incomprehensible and beyond measure, yet at this level they were well within my grasp, and the fact that I was standing completely sub­merged in a veritable cataract of flame as it rushed past and swirled about me, did not prevent me from seeing the whole of it and its shape, as if I were also looking down upon it from above. I could trace its source in the sun and see its limits where the tip of a petal touched the Ring-Pass-Not, or edge, of the System. I was not able to discover the relation of the physical sun to the fiery sun, but the relative size and lumino­sity were such that the physical sun would be almost lost in its fiery counterpart. Under the angel’s guidance I moved about within this world of fire but, however great the distance we covered, the same aspect always presented itself. Whether we rose or fell in the sea of fire, or crossed a wide area of flame, the System continued to appear like a sunflower presenting its full face towards us. Contradictory though this may sound, it will be intelligible to those who are familiar with the idea of the fourth dimension. At the fire-level, however, the apparent directions of space, or characteristics revealed by superphysical cognition, are more than four. The appearance of the solar Fire Lords was glorious and awe-inspiring. Their stature must be gigantic. Though they did not approach the size of the main petals themselves, as they stood like an inner corolla round the central fiery heart of the flower they were large enough to be noticeable from points near the outer edge of the System. When we approached the centre, they were seen to be solar colossi, and at one of our resting places a single Fire Lord completely filled the field of vision. Their forms were definitely human, though every cell in their bodies resembled a roaring furnace, while flames leapt and played about them continuously. I was not able to see their faces with any distinctness and their eyes were shaded from my view—perhaps by a merciful providence—but I received the impression of beauty quite as strongly as I received that of power. Their beauty was not so much that of shape and form, though their bodies are in­expressibly beautiful. Rather does it belong to the abstract ideal of beauty which they embody. In the fire-world I perceived beauty in the abstract as a living power, equally potent with fire, and realised that as there is a fire aspect of God, so is there a beauty aspect, equal to that of fire in its regenerating, transforming and destructive effects, equally glorious, equally terrible, equally dangerous to him who gazes upon its naked power. I begin to appreciate the truth of the saying that no man may see God and live. Man may climb the heights of the spiritual mountain and the beauty of God may transfigure him, but unless he is prepared for its resistless power, he may be utterly destroyed. In the world of fire there seems to be a highly organised system whereby such dangers are made as remote as possible. The illimitable power, glory and beauty of the Logos pass through the Angelic Hierarchy, which serves as a transformer to reduce and temper them so that forms are built instead of destroyed and dwellers at lower levels are not blinded by their awful might.”

Fire fills all space in the solar system
image from Dana Berry, Harold Levison, Dan Durda, SwRI

Volcanoes and the Fire in the Center of the Earth

Geoffrey Hodson:

“Volcanoes are centres in which the solar fire is concentrated and where salamanders gather in their various degrees; for wherever their element is active, there the fire-spirits are present. Far below the surface of the earth there burns an unquenchable fire, a veritable portion of the solar fire by which it is still fed, and with which it is in unbroken and direct connection. There dwell mighty members of the salamander’s race; there labour many orders of nature-spirits and of angels, for the interior source of life and power to the planet exists at the centre of the earth. There its vital energies are renewed, jaded matter is re-charged and interstellar atoms are impressed with the special vibratory rate of the planet in order that they may pass into the circulating stream of the planet’s atomic life. The fiery life-force of the Logos arises at the centre of the earth. No earthly channels are required for its passage; it arrives direct through the operation of the higher dimensional mechanism by which the system is ordered. Here are stored and renewed the magnetic energies of the planet, each under the charge of its appropriate nature spirit and angel; each type of force is a physical reflection of an aspect of the central divine energy and is intimately associated with the region of solar fire.”

Pele, the Hawaiian Fire Goddess, is the goddess volcanoes and the creator of the Hawaiian Islands
painting by Herb Kane

The Spiritual Fire of Purification

The element of Fire is also to be understand as psychological or spiritual fire, when one is motivated by “an inner fire” to be creative, to be engaged in some task, to be inspired or to be driven to do something. To be of a fiery nature, so to speak. Or a spiritual seeker whose passion is to attain enlightenment.

Flower Arlene Newhouse (1909–1994) was an American Christian mystic and spiritual teacher. In her book The Kingdom of the Shining Ones she tells us that the highly evolved fire spirits are very interested in flaming the inner fire of aspiration especially in those who are on the spiritual path:

“Expanding further the horizons of consciousness, we now come to beings representing the Fire Kingdom. This world is closely related to the fires of spirituality. From the world or element of fire originate Intelligences which govern, stimulate and regenerate the lives of human beings, of Angels, and of all the forms of creation. Beginning with that Fire Being known as the Amfri (AHM free), we enter into a consideration of the ranks of the Pure Ones who deal most deeply with men.
The Amfri is an Intelligence who stands upon a level of development comparable to a Guardian Angel. This glowing, fiery Presence works through the mental dimension primarily. He may travel as low as the astral world on occasion because He is constantly watching for spiritual fires of aspiration rising from earthians. These beings might justly be called, the “celestial spirituality watchers.” Many human beings are fire-like for only brief periods; yet in those moments, when all the bodies and faculties are united in their ardor, the Amfri have opportunity for entering into more direct contact with man. Through the Divine Source and through the fire of incentives, human beings receive an impregnation and an inciting of inner at-one-ment. These Holy Ones are constantly seeking persons in physical bodies who are strongly desirous of reaching toward Light. They witness the auric fires which momentarily flash from individuals. They hover over such souls with a love, similar to that of the Guardian Angel and endeavor toward the cleansing of all the dross which weighs them down, hardens them, and separates them from God-Light.
Man in his highest moments is spiritually at-one with the great Fire Being who offers him liberation from his imprisonment in matter. After an earthian achieves spiritual steadfastness, his reverence resembles a flamelike aureole burning brightly in his aura. Issues of new stimulus shall brighten the fiery powers of his reception as spiritual worship keeps him constantly in the surveillance of these Eternal Ones.
When initiation is experienced by the human being, that Amfri responsible for the conditioning of the human soul makes a spiritual contact with the next higher order above Him. Members of this group now become the next channels for the flow of electrical baptism. The Firl (furl) are of greater development than the Amfri and are to be found only in the Causal World which is their homeland. Here in the Causal World constructive, advanced Fire Beings manipulate electrical properties which they use for the further unfoldment of third dimensional individuals who are ready and receptive. The Firl’s power comes into active play in man’s regard when his whole being yearns for purity, for dependability, and for fidelity to Light. Amfri Angels condition individuals, both in consciousness and in auric radiation, to stand the super-charging which activates all the major initiations.
It is interesting to note how many minds and lives contribute to one soul’s rebirth. Among human beings there are countless members who have helped prepare an individual for enlightenment. Among a human being’s associates who are in physical bodies, there may be as many as seven or more who are actively interested in this individual’s advancement. On the Angelic side, beginning with the Guardian Angel, there are an equal number of Angelic Intelligences who contribute to a human’s enlightenment. This group consists of Guardian Angels, Karmic Angels, the Amfri, the Firl, and others. Together the Angels make possible, at the proper moment, a grounding of solar beams which change the consciousness and habit patterns of the human they touch.
Whereas an Amfri concentrated on an extinguishment of the dross in His human charge by seeing that it was burned through soulic fires from within him, a Firl’s specific duty is to wield a soulic or electric baptism through the higher bodies for the purpose of initiation.

Aureole of fiery emanations around enlightened humans.
Medieval Persian manuscript depicting Muhammad leading Abraham, Moses and Jesus in prayer.
Image from The Middle Ages. An Illustrated History by Barbara Hanawalt (Oxford University Press, 1998)