Several days before the Winter Solstice of 2012, the word went out…

…to the Sacred Fire Community hamlets that the most beneficial way to mark what many indigenous cultures had recognized as the ending of one cycle and the beginning of another, was to be together with community, contemplating and celebrating around a Sacred Fire.

This event was to take place over two days, the first event releasing the old, and the second celebrating new beginnings.

The first event began at sundown on Dec 21 as our community gathered around a Sacred Fire.  It was a cold and windy night, but I felt warmed inside and out by the presence of the fire and my friends and family! This night we had an opportunity to release into the fire both planetary and personal injustices and suffering. We all brought our lists, and there was  lively conversation around the fire, as we expressed our desires to release war , injustice and violence of all kinds, and every bit of trauma we could think of. A popular statement was “and anything else I forgot!” Throughout the night, as we vigiled around the fire, cheers went up as one by one we released our lists into the flames. As we drifted off to sleep, I felt the glow of the embers move deeply into and take root in the fire of my own heart.

We arose before dawn and with the sense of witnessing a momentous new beginning, greeted the beautiful Sun of the new cycle.

We came back together that evening in festive celebration , music and dancing around another Sacred Fire. I felt  joy and hope blossom in my heart as I buried deeply into the soil of Mother Earth another list, the positive things I envisioned for our Earth and ALL it’s living inhabitants, and watered it with my tears.

To paraphrase another community member, “My heart is full of something I didn’t even know that I needed!”

Annie Marra is a mother and grandmother, living in Chapel Hill, NC, USA with her Firekeeper husband, Vinny. She has led a colorful life, working for inner and outer harmony as an activist, poet, singer-songwriter, florist, and fiber artist.

Read about the dance of deep community.

Faces around the fire

Fires and ritual space