He appears in many countries worldwide and across the USA, touring from city to city. His wise words regularly inspire people to travel across oceans or drive for 10 or more hours just to listen. Who is this mysterious force of Nature?

After being in the presence of a living, conversing divine being whose words and presence have touched and changed us, how do we share the experience with others?

Many of us who have attended Fire Speaks have the same reaction: the world needs to hear more from Grandfather Fire! And yet, how do we go about inviting our friends to this mysterious event that has the potential not only to blow their minds, but also to open their hearts to the possibility that the world around us actually is living, breathing, sacred and filled with vision and meaning?

Perhaps the best way to invite friends or loved ones to this extraordinary event is to share our stories of how we have been moved by being in Grandfather’s presence. Here are some stories we’ve collected from a few people who have attended Fire Speaks—some many times and some just once—that convey the impact on their lives of an in-person audience with Grandfather Fire, that timeless supporter and advisor of human beings throughout the world and across the ages.

 

T odd Gorham shares his take on the Sacred Fire event Fire Speaks, where he experienced an audience with Grandfather Fire.
H uichol mara’akame Deanna Jenné talks about Fire Speaks: An Audience with Grandfather Fire.

I am generally an introvert and not very sociable by nature, but I feel like every time I come to one of these events, everyone is so nice and welcoming. Fire Speaks is hard to put into words: it’s an emotional journey. Yesterday was full of engagement and connection for me. I think I was so engaged for the entire evening, I didn’t get out of my chair once. I somehow managed to write four pages, in the dark, of beautiful messages from Grandfather Fire. The connection that Grandfather has talked about a lot—the present-mindedness—I try to incorporate into my life every day. The connectedness, not only with people around me, but everything around me: the weather, the plants, all of the creatures. It brings me considerably more joy to live my life with these things in mind! I feel so humbled and almost so small, in a sense, to be in Grandfather Fire’s presence.

— Heather Poole, Asheville, NC, USA

I I recently attended a Sacred Fire Community event in New Freedom, Pennsylvania (USA) where Grandfather Fire shared an ancient sacred story of Corn that applies directly to our times and our lives today.

I learned many things from that story. Because the story has just been planted in me, it’s like a kernel in the soil, germinating and growing. Most of my learning is not quite ready to emerge, but one thing that affected me strongly then and still brings emotions of grief and awe rising up in me right now is this:

What does it mean to sacrifice my short-term motivations so that I can build a good life for the people?

To plant something now that will only come to fruition in the future takes not only vision, but also patience and self-sacrifice. I can catch a fish or collect some cress that appeared this week by the creekside and have food for today, but if I join with my now-settled community, work out our differences as people who live together must do, and cultivate the fields, not only I, but also my family and my community will be nourished for this season and future seasons. The renewing nature of Corn, and its dependency on human communities in order to grow, is striking.

It is a fact that Corn needs human beings to grow. There is no way for it to come to fruition without our concern and care. Could it also be true that, without Corn and its teachings of self-sacrifice for the good of all, human beings will cease our own ability to grow?

As I continue to engage with the Sacred Fire Community as a fire-goer and volunteer, I feel myself, sometimes kicking and screaming, becoming humbler. I can feel the medicine of Corn and settled community working my soil. I stand out less. I work more, doing things that aren’t all about me…in fact, often they don’t seem to be about me at all.

Somehow I’m changing, becoming the opposite of a super-star in my own life. Somehow I’m being cultivated by something larger than I am. And I’m grateful, nourished and in love with this way of living. Now that I’ve been introduced to Her in a new way through the sacred story, I thank the Corn Mother for Her help and lessons, which are changing my life. I start each day in hope that She will render me and my efforts beneficial, perhaps even nourishing, to those around me, giving me the satisfaction of a life lived very well.

— Erin Everett, Asheville, NC, USA

I don’t usually stray from my beloved Borikén, Puerto Rico’s main island. But just after Hurricane María, in September 2017, while contemplating my school with no roof and my medicinal herbs buried under fallen trees, my cell phone rang for the first time since the storm. It was my good friend Erin and her husband Adam calling from the United States, checking on me. They also invited me to join them in Tepoztlán, Mexico to participate in their Nahua Weather Work spring ceremonies to pray for and welcome beneficial rains. Thanks to the hurricane, 2018 looked entirely unpredictable; my plans for the next few months had already gone up in smoke. So I closed my eyes, asked my heart, and . . . said yes!

Once gathered in Mexico, our group was gifted an evening of wisdom teachings by Grandfather Fire. I dared to ask for advice: “I need perspective about a crisis we are living in Puerto Rico. Since the hurricane, we are seeing an exodus of thousands of families, as well as an economic siege. Our political leaders are taking advantage of the crisis to cut pensions, close schools and dismantle our unions, cultural organizations and even our public university. They are using repression, violence and other methods of extreme capitalism.” I started to cry. OMG. Had I gone too far with my words? Was this an appropriate place to ask a sociological question?

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Fire Speaks: An Audience with Grandfather Fire

Grandfather Fire didn’t wait long to respond. He described how hurricanes clean the environment . . . eliminating the weak trees, leaving only the strongest, while creating conditions ripe for new life. He compared the people who have decided to stay on our island to the “strong trees.” He compassionately reminded us that the role of our governors is to implant order and stability, and that they are desperate because the system they represent is disintegrating. He closed by suggesting that for us strong trees, this could be the best moment for creating – from our deep, underground roots – the new Puerto Rico that we visualize for all, and then those who have left will come home.

I was thankful to receive that answer because the future of my adopted country looks painfully hopeless. Grandfather’s words helped me to see I must nourish my vision that another Puerto Rico is possible, and that now, as an educator and as a leader, it’s clearly my job to keep on co-creating – without being distracted by the bad news – the transformed Borikén we will thrive in.

— María Benedetti, Puerto Rico

María Benedetti is an ethnobotanical author and educator living since 1989 in her mother’s family’s homeland, Puerto Rico. She can be contacted through her website, www.botanicultura.com.