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HotNews July 2013

CNN’s recent blog Who hears #PrayersForOklahoma? points to the many thousands of tweeted prayers sent to Twitter’s ‘hashtag’ address on behalf of those affected by the tornado in Oklahoma early last week; including those from pop stars, pastors and politicians (among them, President Obama).

There were strong reactions by some suggesting, for instance, that prayer is worthless if it is all people are doing; action and money are what is needed. Some questioned the validity of prayer. Others wondered if people were simply moving their hands across a keyboard or were actually praying.
Few people would dispute the efficacy of direct help: showing up to care for the injured, providing food and accommodation, clearing up and rebuilding – or in sending money to support these efforts.
More controversial is whether prayer is effective… and in this case whether tweeted prayers are effective. While tweeted prayers may have people feel they’re doing something are they really prayers? They may well be showing they care. Are they offering a form of support they feel comfortable with in a small sacrifice of time?
In the 16 years I have participated in the Sacred Fire Community, I have been taught and shown that aspects of the world are living, sentient beings, many of whom are waiting for an invitation to offer their help. Interacting with this divine, living world is what I call prayer. I have learned there are factors that have prayer be more or less effective, including:


  • the extent of relatedness we have with the aspect of the divine living world we are engaging in prayer conversation with.
  • the nature of help that aspect of divine is able to affect.
  • the experience of connection we feel with the aspect we’re engaging in prayer with.
  • the emotional connection we have with the actual petition.
  • the alignment of the prayer we are offering with the one/s being prayed for.

From this perspective a tweeted prayer doesn’t hold a lot of clout.

Hello, Fiery Ones!Those of us working with the international Sacred Fire Community are undertaking a deep re-evaluation of how all of us — you, us and everyone who goes to fires — exist and work as community together. Publishing HotNews over several months, we’ve learned a lot about its value to the community, and about what the community needs from a news bulletin and from an online sharing mechanism.

Now we’re looking at how HotNews could be re-tooled in a way that would make news and event announcements more timely, the sharing of stories, opinions, poems, art, photos and Heart more community-based, and the production burden carried by our small volunteer staff more sustainable.

During this period of inner work, HotNews as we know it will vanish. We’ll maintain a pared-down newsletter for events and other critical announcements, but will focus most of our energies on creating a system that will be a better response to what we’re hearing the community needs.  Wish us luck as we plan and make changes, and please offer your help if you’re feeling called to be of assistance. We could particularly use the help of inspired people with WordPress, LAMP, and other technical skills.

We welcome your suggestions, and appreciate your patience and support!


Many Helping Hands!

Our Grandmothers taught us that many helping hands make for light work, and how right they were! It is not only the sharing of the load, but maybe more so, it is the joy of the connection and companionship that comes with that sharing that lightens the load. It is with great joy that we welcome our new helpers.

We are pleased to welcome Mai Duong as our new Events Support Mistress! Mai is now our “go to support person” with the template, structure, key ingredients, (magic!) needed to set up Sacred Fire Community events such Grandfather Fires. Mai brings a commitment to serve along with her 20 plus years as an entrepreneur, professional dancer and business owner to her new role as the Logistics Mistress of Events. READ MORE

We warmly welcome Karen Smith Fernandez as our new Director of Development. In this newly created position, Karen will provide best management practices towards raising contributed income from individuals and foundations needed for operational and program support of the Sacred Fire Community as well as providing strategic direction for the organization as a member of the Leadership Group. Karen graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia and with an MS in child-clinical psychology from the University of Washington. After working as a mental health therapist in Seattle, she moved to North Carolina where she has spent her career in non-profits raising money to support operations and programs. She also obtained certification in non-profit management from Duke University. READ MORE

It is with great pleasure that we announce that Chris Griffin has humbly agreed to fill the new Sacred Fire Community position of Community Economic Network Instigator. In this newly created position, Chris will work on developing Economic Networks to support the international Sacred Fire Community as well as local hamlets. READ MORE

By Joshua Cowan, Ritaka organizer for 2013

It is time to join together and share our views of the world. It is time to hear each other. It is time to emerge and shine. It is time to gather around the fire. It is time for Ritaka
Ritaka is an annual weekend gathering organized by young adults for young adults (ages 17-30). Young adulthood can be a very mysterious, uncertain and powerful time in our lives. We are trying to find our role within the world while juggling school, finding jobs, starting families and discovering who we are. Ritaka provides the time and space to experience the power of coming together. It is a time for us to deepen our connection to each other as young adults…a time to freely express ourselves and deeply hear each other. It’s a time to tap into that inner spark of our life’s purpose.
We will join together August 23-25 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA. This year, we have the great blessing of having tsaurirrikame (fully initiated senior shaman in the Huichol tradition) Eliot Cowan join us to share his teachings.
Feel the urge to join? Check out the Ritaka page for more information about registration.

As young adults, we are still building our financial status, and greatly appreciate donations. Check out the Ritaka webpage for information about donations.

We hope to See you at Ritaka 2013 – August 23-25, 2013 in Chapel Hill, NC.



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.)


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

Come Join Our Team!

These are exciting times to participate in the Sacred Fire Community organization. We are re-dreaming, re-structuring, working to provide as much support as possible to local hamlets. Here is a wonderful opportunity to do all of that!!
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? In collaboration with the Sacred Fire Community Marketplace Manager, the Events Coordinator gets to set up, or arrange for the setup of, a mini-store at various community events, staff it, stock it and track its sales. This project provides ongoing income and support for all Sacred Fire Community projects.
If you are interested in this position, or have other ways you would like to offer your skills and talents to the Sacred Fire Community, please contact SkyFox.
Read more about Fire Work



SFC Events ImageUpcoming Events

July 12-19, 2013

July 27, 2013

Grand Valley Hamlet, Mesa CO

August 10, 2013
Pepperell, Massachusetts, Pepperell

Ukalai Women’s Retreat

August 28-September 1, 2013

Portland Hamlet, Portland, Oregon, USA

August 31, 2013
Greensboro NC, Greensboro NC


Ukalai Women’s Retreat
October 3-7, 2013
Alice Springs, NT, Australia


Blue Deer Center LogoEvents at the Blue Deer Center

July 2-5, 2013

Plant Spirit Medicine Healer Training

July 18-25, 2013

July 27-August 1, 2013

Ancient Wisdom Rising

August 16–18, 2013

September 1, 2013

September 27-29, 2013

Plant Spirit Medicine Healer Training, Session One

October 28- November 4, 2013

at Gayles Retreat, East Sussex, UK


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

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