Join us November 9-11 in Atlanta, Georgia

Editor’s note: The Sacred Fire Community supports this event, a major project of the Sacred Fire Foundation, our sister group. In that spirit, we’re working to help the Foundation get the word out on the event and recruit volunteers for it. Please share this article with your networks and friends.

In June 2007, after the first Ancient Wisdom Rising (then called Interspiritual Conference), Grandfather Fire was asked why he had called for such a gathering of elders and wisdom-keepers. He responded that in these times when materialism and greed have such a strong hold in the world, it is vital for isolated Spirit-centered communities to come together to support each other so that their united voice can be heard in a clear and compelling way. As Chief Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper for the Onondaga and one of the elders attending that first gathering had reminded the audience, one arrow breaks easily but six bound together are much stronger. For the last five years, this energy of relationship-building has been integral to everything that the Ancient Wisdom Rising team has focused on before, during and after each three-day event.

As we move into our fourth Ancient Wisdom Rising event, we are extremely pleased with the groundwork that is being laid toward an inspiring and healing gathering. Our venue, the Lodge at Simpsonwood, is on ancestral Muscogee (Creek) land, land from which these people were forcibly removed in 1826. “The ancestors are still here,”respected Muscogee elder Sam Proctor noted during a visit from Oklahoma. We are honored that Mr. Proctor will host a Muscogee welcoming fire on the evening of Thursday, November 8, and will serve as our liaison with the ancestors of that place.

Some changes have been instituted for this year’s Ancient Wisdom Rising that we hope will encourage the creation of an even stronger container within which those attending will be inspired and renewed. For the first time, we are making space for an elders-only meeting prior to the event. In addition, after the ritual space closes on Sunday at 4:00 p.m., we are inviting elders and attendees to join in a natural continuation of dialogue, contemplation, and integration so that new-found wisdom can be carried back into the world in a good way.  Attendees who would like to participate in this dialogue have the option of spending Sunday night on the property before leaving on Monday.

Ancient Wisdom Rising 2012 promises to deeply engage the hearts and spirits of retreat attendees. Seven highly respected elders from the world’s four corners will offer practical pearls of wisdom through ceremony, teachings, stories and music.

Sobonfu Somé, of the Dagara Peoples in West Africa, was guided from an early age to prepare for her life’s work as a ritualist, as divined by the elders of her village before her birth.  
Larry Merculieff, Aleut Peoples of Alaska, is of the last generation of Aleuts of the Alaskan Pribilof Islands to be fully raised in the traditional way.  
Marcy Vaughn, Bon Tradition of Tibet, is Director of Practice and Study for Ligmincha Institute and is the editor of Tenzin Wangyal’s books Tibetan Sound Healing and Awakening the Sacred Body.  
Ustad Ghulam Farid Nizami, a Sufi from Pakistan, is a 17th generation musician and a descendant of Mian Tan Sen, court musician of the 16th century Emperor Akbar the Great.  
Grandmother Walking Thunder, Dine’ Medicine People (Navajo), is known as a powerful healer, an accomplished sand painter, and an inspirational teacher who will model her immense connection to Mother Earth.  
We are especially honored to have two elders from tribes whose ancestors have lived on these lands in and around Atlanta for thousands of years, to share their stories, language and deep connection with the plants, animals, sky, water and earth of this place:
Sam Proctor, a tribal elder, traditionalist and spiritual leader of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, has a mission to help educate as many people as he can to further the ways of his ancestors for future generations.  
Jerry Wolfe, Cherokee tribal elder, wisdom keeper and master of Cherokee stories, is known for his passion for keeping the traditions and language of his people, also known as the Tsalagi, alive.  

Do you, Sacred Fire Community family member, feel called to help us warmly welcome and care for our guests at Ancient Wisdom Rising? In exchange for 20 hours of on-site help, we are able to offer a $300 reduction in the registration price from $495 to $195. This cost includes attendance and all meals from Thursday evening to Sunday lunch. There is an additional fee for a three night housing package at $75 for quad or $135 for double rooms. If you are interested, please follow this link for more information and to apply.

Ancient Wisdom Rising serves the community of people who are ready to listen, learn and celebrate the change that is stirring in them and in the world. For many it has already led to unexpected and vibrant next steps in their personal spiritual journey. Whether you can attend or not, please open yourself to extending personal invitations to friends and family who are ripe for answering the call of Spirit.

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Discover joy, wisdom and community at our monthly community fires. Find your fire.