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HotNews April 2013


How are we adding fuel to the sacred fire across the world? How are we growing, transforming, connecting and bringing warmth to our people? Stay tuned for more updates from the leadership of the international community in this new column called “Feeding the Fire.”


We’re entering a time of dynamic change in the Sacred Fire Community.
Over the past years, we’ve established an organizational structure, and our next challenge as a community is to more fully own it and to come together in a common understanding of the profound gift we’re bringing the world. At a recent Fire, Grandfather said (paraphrasing — who takes perfect notes!?), “You’ve seen firsthand the benefits the Fire as medicine can bring to people’s lives and to those other people in their lives.” At the core of who we are is just this — to bring the medicine of Fire to a world that has lost touch with and actively suppressed Fire — both externally suppressing the naturally needed effects of Fire in the forests for renewal and inwardly suppressing the Fire of emotions and heart.
A big obstacle appears to be that this “mission” can seem so vast and so dear that we shy away from it. Many people we consider members of our community when asked, “Are you a member of the Sacred Fire Community?” say something like, “I never thought of myself that way. Yes, I’m a member of this community, but not of the Sacred Fire Community.” Perhaps this is because we don’t ask people to sign on the dotted line. But there’s something deeper here. How much has each of us really embraced the profound and vast activity Grandfather has inspired us to bring to the world?



Bill Sutton ImageAs of February 2013, the Sacred Fire Community’s leadership has transformed and expanded. We now have four directors (Susan Skinner, Jeff Bartlett, Tim Simon and Karen Aberle) and a single executive director over them, namely Bill Sutton of Denver, Colorado, USA. We asked him to write to the community and introduce himself to those who might not know him, and to share his heart with all of us.  —Editor
Like many of you, when I look back on my life, I realize I’ve always had a relationship with fire.
When I was 12, I almost burned my house down playing with matches and gasoline next to our main gas line. As a college student, I used to study with a candle burning next to me — not that I needed the light or that I was trying to do something “religious.” It was something I just wanted, a doorway that helped me stay connected to a deep sense of home and the mysterious. I’ve sought refuge by the fire at many points over the years, and love having a glowing fire to sit next to and read — or just watch.
After some ominous dreams and occurrences, in 2006 I found myself living in the small village of Tepoztlán, Mexico, where I met and opened a relationship with Grandfather Fire — in person. It took a few Grandfather Fires, but I gradually came to realize that the being speaking through the suit was the same as the being in the candle and the fireplace. Then many questions arose. What does it mean that he has appeared to us at this time? What is the need, the vision behind the myriad projects he is directing us into?



The leadership bodies of the three Sacred Fire organizations (Sacred Fire Community, Sacred Fire Foundation and the Blue Deer Center) recently attended a Leadership Training together in Tepotzlán, Mexico. The facilitators were Thomas Jaggers and Collette Ruoff, and they were excellent at their work.

Jeff Bartlett ImageOver three days, they helped us see ourselves with a critical eye. We saw where each organization currently stood, and we focused on the complexities and challenges facing all of us. Much of this was similar for each organization. From there, they skillfully helped us to give voice to our visions and missions, helped us begin outlining our objectives and assisted in clarifying our form and structures. We had to face our problems in order to move towards process and resolutions.

(Photo of Director Jeff Bartlett).

Each day began with making offerings to the Fire. Grandfather Fire being there at all times to move and support our efforts brought depth and purpose to our days together. For the Sacred Fire Community organization, we felt the presence not just of each other but of all of the people who we represent who weren’t there.




Lifeways: Tending to the Sprouts

The seeds. The sprouts. The buds. The mature plant. The flower. The fruit…

The seeds. The sprouts. The buds. The mature plant. The flower. The fruit. The plant returning to the Earth as food for the seed. Compost, and then it starts again.
What happens to the cycle without the seeds and sprouts?  Is it sustainable?
The spark of joy. Being in the present moment. A simple reminder to be playful. The ability to feel deeply. The full expression of emotion, as well as the ability to move on, to flow. Coming from the heart…


These are all ways that children show up in our lives, in their own lives. These are all things we cherish in this community.

These qualities  are reasons why we love to be around children and young people.  These qualities can also contribute to people feeling uncomfortable around them. Could this be because they are a reminder of our longing to show up in these ways ourselves? Is this because they embody the spontaneous, the unexpected? It seems to me that these are great additions to our community, even if they aren’t always comfortable.The seeds. The sprouts. The buds. The mature plant. The flower. The fruit…


Working with the Sacred Fire Community is an experience that can be life-changing.
If any of these positions calls to your heart, make the leap and help spread fire in the world as you warm up the fire within yourself. Contact SkyFox with the links below.
Events Manager. Do you enjoy being in the middle of the action, building teams and making community gatherings happen?  Well, then, we have the job for you! READ MORE.
Marketplace Events Coordinator. As a child, did you enjoy setting up lemonade stands?  Have you always wanted to run a store without the ongoing responsibilities of the real thing? READ MORE.
Marketplace Online Promoter. Do you love telling everyone about the latest and greatest new things in the world?  Do you enjoy writing about these things? READ MORE.
Graphic Designer. Work with the Speaking Department to craft bold and beautiful designs to spread fire throughout the world. READ MORE.
Speaking Statistics Researcher. Use Google Analytics and other marketing stats tools to evaluate the speaking of our community and the promotion of our events and programs. READ MORE.
Production Coordinator. Are you proficient in the use of Adobe Creative Suite? Are you good at keeping track of details and multiple projects? READ MORE.
Photo Editor. Do you love photography, and spend your spare time on Flickr or Pinterest? READ MORE.

Please contact SkyFox for further information, or to volunteer.



Ancient Wisdom Rising 2013 gathers at Blue Deer Center August 16-18. Plan to be there!

We’re excited that two Haudenosaunee (Iroquois Six Nations) elders will share their words with us this year: Oren Lyons (Onondaga) and Tom Porter (Mohawk). This is such an honor. Tom brings the gathering an ancestral grounding as BDC resides in the Mohawk homelands.
Participate in teachings, stories and ceremonies with four additional wisdom keepers including Sobonfu Some’ of the Dagara tribe of Burkina Faso, Eda Zavala of the Wari people of Peru, and Eliot Cowan of the Huichol tradition and Plant Spirit Medicine. (Join the AWR mailing list for elder updates and announcements.)


Two new sparks from the Fire – Welcome our the newest Sacred Fire Community babies!

Bella Dona and John Ritz are the proud new parents of a boy and girl.

Baby Genevieve ImageGenevieve Zenobia Ritz, Baby Girl

Born: 10-21-2012
Weight: 7.8 lbs.
Length: 20 inches
Baby Jazz ImageJazz Ellio Ritz, Baby Boy
Born: 10-27-2012
Weight: 8.7 lbs.



Sacred Fire Magazine ImageIn these crucial times of change, Sacred Fire shows people what’s cooking. Warm, illuminating, provocative–with a  force of heat and transformation–we shine a brilliant light on the joys and dangers of life. Find out more…


Read more HotNews

To read archives of previous editions of HotNews, please read more by following this link here.




Support the Sacred Fire Community.

The SFC is dedicated to transforming our way of life as we foster deep community, heartfelt expression, and a more balanced relationship with nature. Your financial support brings more heart wisdom into the world. Help us feed the fire!


HotNews call for submissions
Submissions are due the first day of every month by 3 pm CST (USA). These submissions should only be 300 words in length. If you happen to have a picture that goes along with the story, please send it along with your submission, too. Send your submissions to me.  If you have any questions; please send them to me, as well.
Robin Lockwood


Fire Stories: I must embrace the fire in me to truly live harmoniously with the world.

By Jenn Cichlar

Jenn Cichlar ImageWe sat atop the magnificent Mesa, stars shining bright in the heavens above: a small group around the burning logs, welcoming the presence of Grandfather, and each other.
My kids snuggled by the fire and drifted off to sleep after joining us in our offerings. Sharing in that glorious experience with them warmed my heart and I cherished theirs more. It was asked that night, “Where would our lives be if we didn’t have the gift of fire, Grandfather in our lives?” It hit me… I had been consumed these past couple of months with much internal and external conflict. Times had been grueling and unbearable. I had been praying for strength and courage to uphold and maintain my integrity through it all, but the struggle only seemed to swell with intensity. I started questioning every aspect of myself, my beliefs, Grandfather, and the power of prayer. I was letting go of my heart, feeling lost.


By Mary Jo Archuleta
As I sleep with the stars above
I dream of your heavenly body
I am wrapped securely in the arms of love
Held gently against the pillows of stone, listening and feeling the heart of gold


Falling further into a restful slumber
Watching us walk the sands of time
Hearing sounds of joy and happiness
Feeling the warmth of love and not once seeing the clouds of darkness
For our love for one another are the rays of light which breaks through and the bright spectrum that arcs across never showing the end is our time forever
You, my love, will be forever in my heart and in my mind
Even when He calls upon us we will be together for all eternity
My love for you will be for always and true
Mary Jo Archuleta
© Feb. 1994



Sacred Fire Foundation 2013 Youth Initiative Campaign

We are Proud to support the Sacred Fire Foundation 2013 Youth Initiative Campaign.


SFF Youth Initiative ImageContributions made by April 15th will be matched up to $7,500! Help reach the goal of $15,000 by making a donation today!

(Haundenosaunee children – photo courtesy Danny Beaton)


We are honored to offer you this important opportunity to help make a difference by supporting three powerful initiatives.
American Indian Institute’s
36th Annual International Elders and Youth Council.
Gwich’in Youth Leadership Camp – August 19-23, 2013 Arctic Village, Alaska.
Sacred Fire Community Lifeways Mentoring Program.


SFC Events ImageUpcoming Events

May 24-26, 2013

Tepotzlan, Morelos, Mexico

Ukilai Men’s Retreat

May 24-27, 2013
Alice Springs, NT, Australia

June 1-2, 2013

Clophill Centre, Clophill Bedfordshire

Ukalai Women’s Retreat

June 5-9, 2013

Blue Deer Centre, Margaretville, NY, USA

July 13-20, 2013

Ukalai Women’s Retreat

August 28-September 1, 2013

Portland Hamlet, Portland, Oregon, USA



Blue Deer Center LogoEvents at the Blue Deer Center


for Teachers and Serious Students, with Andrei Ram

April 5 – 10, 2013


Plant Spirit Medicine: Discovering the Wisdom of the Natural World

April 6-7, 2013

in Ashland, Oregon, USA

Journey with Plant Spirits – Doorways to Timeless Wisdom

April 13, 2013
April 25-May 2, 2013
May 3-5, 2013
June 22, 2013

Plant Spirit Medicine Association Annual Conference

June 28-July 1, 2013
July 2-5, 2013
July 27-August 1, 2013

Ancient Wisdom Rising

August 16–18, 2013

September 27-29, 2013

Plant Spirit Medicine Healer Training, Session One

October 28- November 4, 2013

at Gayles Retreat, East Sussex, UK


Copyright © 2013 The Sacred Fire Community LLC, All rights reserved.