A letter from a Sacred Fire Community leader in mid-December in response to the Connecticut tragedy.

Dear Community,

We are at the darkest time of the year, as the long nights look toward their transition to the returning of the sun.

We are in the Holiest time in the Season of the Cycle of Life. Fire is at the center, giving us light in the darkness and warmth in the coldness. Blessed be for the sun’s energy that is always being released into the trees which give their life for these Fires.

Most traditions honor light in the world through their celebrations this time of year. We wait with deep anticipation for Winter Solstice to arrive knowing that the sun will begin to lengthen its arch across the sky until Summer Solstice marking the moment when night begins to prevail again. Birth and Rebirth of Life waits patiently in the wings of our desire.

The jicareros (offering bowl bearers) of the Huichol tradition, one of the lineages held by our Sacred Fire Community, have just returned from their annual pilgrimage to Wiricuta, the birthplace of the Gods of this tradition, and from the birthplace of the Sun. Their journey there is to give offerings to the gods and bring blessings back to the people. This journey is to help restore balance in the world through these tremendous blessings the gods of this tradition offer us. The Huichol people have been doing this for the world since the beginning of time.

This is a true gift. Yet, balance hasn’t been restored everywhere. The killing of children and their charge, teachers dedicated to their well-being and education, that happened this week in a small Connecticut schoolhouse is shocking, as well as all the many other tragedies that continue to happen.

This and all the other many tragedies that continue to happen, a list way too long to extrapolate, can put doubt, hopelessness and even resignation in front of each of us. Our minds can turn and churn on “what’s the point of our efforts for love, heart and blessings” when these tragic things, especially pointed at our children, are happening more and more?

As a marakame, granicera (weather shaman) and jicarera of this community,
I speak to this time of endings, of destruction and calamity knowing that at the very same time is birth and renewal, the natural cycle of life. If I were to list all the devastation in the world, as Grandfather Fire says, we would die from the grief we feel. Those who commit these acts of destruction are very wounded people, a product of our culture. Their cry for help may have gone unnoticed or unfulfilled. We can’t know the motivation of these people; yet we can know that it speaks of a world terribly out of balance, crying for help, and deep suffering.

What do we need, as individuals and as a community, to heal and help others heal? Deep compassion. Just as this time of waning light has to teach us about the Fire which will light our way, we must also accept the darkness we each hold within and bring light a Fire within ourselves. The light will allow our hearts to feel the grief and when we look out over the land and see the beauty simultaneously, Grief with Joy will heal our hearts and souls. Connection to the world is always there; we are never separate and our hearts know this.

We turn this around so our people can truly experience Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men and Women, Children, Plants and Animals, Weather Beings, the Sun, Moon and Stars.

Let us keep our hearts open and allow these tragedies to teach us about how vital it is at this moment in time, to take those blessings given by the jicareros and all the prayers spoken now in the world by our many spiritual traditions, and use the darkness to find what is hidden in each of us that needs to heal. Strike a match on the wood that has given its life to light our lives and to light our world.

Sit at the Fire and let it teach us about love, respect for life, about acceptance and surrender. Let the Earth teach us about its unconditional gifts it provides for our lives, and not take this for granted. Give gratitude for this remarkable wonder. Let us rejoice in our relationships with one another and know we are all healing from the wounds of the past. May we find solace in our hearts and pray for guidance on accepting the cycle we are in at this time of Great Turning.

May the many mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters and sons, aunts and uncles and grandparents be healed by this Light, this Warmth, this Fire. My prayer to all the millions of people suffering from such tragedies that we experienced here this week, to feel a wave of solace from the many prayers of our people around the world.

With deep love and deep appreciation for our Sacred Fire Community and what it stands for,

Deanna Jenne,
marakame, jicarera, granicera, Council of Elders and Initiation
and all around Lover of the World


Who is Deanna Jenne?

Discover ways the Sacred Fire Community connects our people to what’s truly important in the world:

> Find out about community fires.

> Discover Lifeways programs, connecting people to all of the cycles of life.

> Find your fire.