I was (re)reading the cosmology chapter in A&A et was thinking about the perception the ancients had of the four elemental spheres . Earth ok Iâ€™ve my feet on it, Water, ok iI see it more or less under or over the earth , Air ok I breathe it and I can see the birds in it above my head. I can even see stars of the celestial sphere. But where is the Fire sphere ? I can see the star, the Sun, but no Fire in the sky, isntâ€™it ?
At this time of my reflexion I had a look at my window where there was magnificient sunshine in the all around the countryside horizon. I saw red lights comming from the backside of the clouds, red-orange light everywhere just above the horizon gradiating to the dark blue at the zenith. The sun was not visible, hidden behind the clouds. This was wonderful. It was the Fire sphere ! Now I understand why the ancients thought the fire sphere was above the Air one.
Phlogiston theory dates from the 17th century, and has little to do with fire, and more to do with burning.
Lightning is a product of the Sphere of Air, not that of Fire, in the Aristotlean Universe. Remember that Air-the-substance is not the same as air-the-element; the former is composed mainly of the latter, but also contains the other three elements. Air is principally hot and moist; the rain comes from the moist part and lightning (and other aerial fires such as St Elmo's Fire) comes from the hot part.
Ars permeates reality. I keep thinking about Te+Fo combos each time I see an advetisement for a new action or terror movie. Last one was the "Push" movie (or something like that) and me thinking "a movie about Rego dudes with low Finesse" straight away.