Ethiopian Tradition, especially in certain ge’ez books like Sene Fetret and Aximaros, explain us that in the beginning, Egziabhier created before any other thing the 4 elements, by which He would constitute the substance of all His creatures. The are likened to the 4 directions and the first four letters of Ge’ez Alphabet, composing the word “A-BU-GI-DA”. The A-B-C-D we could say, the basic compass of Creation.
Hold on the Torch of Wisdom, His Majesty speaks about. The first creational element, for God as for man, is Fire, what we call in Holy Language (E)ssat እሳት. To create and produce anything, we firstly need a Fire to warm and protect, to cook food as to alterate, mould and manipulate matter. Similarly, the fire of the Sun is the primary energetic source of our life, and that’s why it was worshiped in ancient paganism. In Nyabinghi ritual, we call the central holy fire Fyah-Key, to express that same mystery.
The primacy of fire is manifested by the first letter of its word, that is an Alief እ (E), the first letter of Abughida Alphabeth, whose meaning is 1, and representing the I of God, and the same human image that was shaped in His Likeness. Jah revealed Himself in flames of fire into the eyes of Moses (Exodus 3) and within the fire we can sight the image of God and man. The fire represents the predominant power of the Coscience of God that thought and created all things. That’s why humans are called B(e)(e)si/B(e)(e)sit ብእሲ/ብእሲት Man/Woman from the same root of (E)ssat እሳት, for among the earthly creatures, humans are the only one to have a conscious spirit made of fire, in the image of God.
The second letter of the word is Son ሳ “Sa”, depicted like a candle, meaning physical sound of exalation of fire, its gas-like untangible nature, the burning incense of the temple to glorify God.
The third and last letter of the word is Taw ት “T”, depicted like a cross, meaning the burned wooden substance and its passivity, and spelling the natural crackle of fire.
The ge’ez number for 1 ፩ is basically a flame of fire, geometrically conceived as the idea of center.
The abode of God, the seventh heaven, the so-called Aryam, is made of Fire. Together with “Wind”, it is the main element of the heavenly things, including angels and human spirits. That’s why both Fire and Wind naturally go upward.
Fire is untangible like wind, but differently from wind, it is also visible. So, being untangible but visible, it also reveals its unique power of mediation between the worlds as between the elements. Similarly, it produces carbonized black substance while generating light.
Fire is generally associated to color red/black, that is also the first color, the beginning of the natural spectrum of light.
As it was in the beginning, so shall it be in the end, so everything comes to being from fire, and everything shall be destroyed in the end by a judgement of fire.