This year’s Ritaka (the Sacred Fire Community’s gathering organized and put on by young adults for ourselves) was an extraordinary success!

Among the twelve of us who gathered, we had a wide range of age and experience, and this spectrum of youth held a special and effective space for listening, reflecting and playing with one another.

With Grandfather Fire as our host for the weekend at the Asheville, NC Sacred Fire Community hearth, we consecrated the fire with our attending elders and land stewards: Patrick Hanaway and Lisa Lichtig, and Prema and Scott Sheerin.

A composting toilet, outdoor shower and sink station were all recently built by community members. We received yummy food offerings in addition to cooking our own meals. We were phenomenally well supported by our Asheville hamlet!
During Prema’s Heart’s Intention Ritual, we explored the landscape of our heart’s knowing in relationship with our feelings, thoughts and intuition. With Patrick and Scott, we explored iyari (a Nahuatl word meaning giving to your people for the greater good without thought of receiving anything back) together by building trails to and cleaning up the Ivy River. As our bags filled with trash from the river, our joy, laughter and love filled the air. The cool water provided refreshing relief during our sweltering hot weekend!

Activities facilitated by attendees included a gentle yet activating yoga class, raucous theater games, singing, music and dance.

The last afternoon was spent with the plants on the land. Together we learned traditional medicinal uses and identification. We then individually introduced ourselves and sat with a plant in a simple yet powerful journey.

Our final evening was spent with a topic fire on initiation*. Personal stories were shared from Sacred Fire Community initiates and others alike, witnessing and honoring the unique paths and wisdom that each person brought to the fire.

The weekend closed on Sunday morning with laughter, gratitude and tears – not to mention watermelon and air-conditioning!

In gratitude,

Your Ritaka 2012 organizers, Emily Sullivan and Christianna Buhr

* Sacred Fire Community Lifeways offers initiation into adulthood for women (Sacred Emergence) and men (Sacred Awakening).

Learn more about Ritaka.

Learn more about Lifeways.