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In the center, always, the dancing flames — mesmerizing, mysteriously renewing, inspiring and recalibrating the lives of the humans who are sharing their stories, successes and concerns; their laughter, tears and anger too. Slowly but surely, those gathered are remembering what it is to be in right relationship –- with each other, and with the other-than-human too.
See what Robin, Mark, Debbie, Carlos, Jenny, and Sally have to say about their experience attending Sacred Fire community fires. And if you have a Fire Story of your own, we’d love for you to share it with us.Read More
Part 2: Firekeepers, I Love You for Giving Voice to the Voiceless
If you spend time around the Sacred Fire, you’ve experienced the specialized work of a trained Firekeeper. In her second Love Letter to Firekeepers, Erin Everett speaks for many of us when she offers appreciation to these dedicated volunteer space-holders who hold fires every month in their 50 communities in 7 countries. They make this sacrifice so that we can gather to share, laugh, and be transformed by the medicine of Fire like human beings have always done.After you listen to Love Letter 2, please take a moment to listen to Erin’s first Love Letter, which is about how much Sacred Fire Firekeepers value relationships. Read More
Are you looking for great purpose, meaning and transformation in your life, while producing spiritual connection, community and help for others? Would you like to see conflict and polarity in people’s lives changed to heart and dialogue? If so, we invite you to explore stepping into the role of Sacred Fire Firekeeper.
In premodern cultures around the world, people recognized the otherworldly effect of sitting with Fire and its influence to open people in a way not easily understood. Beyond heat and light, the presence of Fire was revered for the way that it could produce emotional, mental and spiritual health for communities and individuals, when facilitated by someone who could see and work with Fire’s special gift. This ability, held by those in the role known as “firekeeper,” was cultivated and passed on through generations to particular people. Firekeepers would then be a common presence at gatherings, council and ceremony. Nowadays, this skill, which has been lost in our society, is being reintroduced with the help of Grandfather Fire, and through his relationship to traditions that are still familiar with this spiritual endowment given for humanity’s benefit.Read More
Part 1: Firekeepers, I love you for valuing relationships...
This Valentine’s Day was the perfect day to express our love for the most important people in our lives. For those of us who spend time around the sacred Fire in lands near and far, our local Firekeeper is often at the top of that list! Where would we be without the supportive nest of community? Somehow our lives are mysteriously enriched and deepened by the dance with other people and the sacred world at our local Sacred Fire community fires, men’s fires and women’s fires. This is only possible because of our Firekeepers: they hold the space so well.
How do they do this monumental task, month after month? How can we possibly thank them enough?
In this podcast, Fire veteran Erin Everett, who has been attending Fires and observing Firekeepers since she was in her 20s, shares the Firekeeper-love in this first of nine “love letters” to the 62 Firekeepers (and growing) who have dedicated their lives, time and learning to holding space for the fears, hopes, grief, love, laughter and transformation of their communities.
To learn more about Sacred Fire’s Firekeepers or to learn how to become a Firekeeper, visit sacredfire.org.Read More
The Center for Disease Control just released a report noting that life expectancy for Americans actually declined 0.1 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, which translates to 70,000 more deaths. This was chiefly due to an increase in suicides and a dramatic increase in deaths due to synthetic opioid overdoses. This statistic is another sign that loneliness and alienation are taking a toll on our societal and individual wellbeing.
Gathering around Fire is the original form of ‘social networking.’ In this setting, we can get in touch with our essential human nature, and begin to experience the joy and sense of meaning that have sustained people for thousands of years. We can work things out, face-to-face, regarding issues that affect us close to home, in our own neighborhoods and cities.
Sacred Fire invites you to join us around the hearth to experience the warmth of relationships built and strengthened over time. Our monthly community fires are happening in 7 countries on 4 continents, and our mission is to grow this number exponentially. Sacred Fire: it is the medicine for our time. We hope you will join us!
Don David Wiley recently shared his perspective on the importance of men coming together in the presence of an elder or elders, those who have important, embodied wisdom to share for the benefit of future generations. Here is what he had to say:
The problem in the masculine is that when we, as men, get nervous, we tend to hide out. We have this sense that we are going to figure it all out by ourselves because we want to feel capable in the eyes of others and don’t want to show this vulnerability in public. Yet if you are not able to see what is in the way, then how can you effectively change it? Most times what’s not being seen isn’t obvious. As an example, your mind has unseen blindness to its own nature much less being able to see the nature of situations confronting you. Therefore in order to be effective in the face of this condition, which can drive you further into your head, you need to reverse directions and come out rather than going in. Yes, you can read some articles, book or web posting, but that’s just information. What you need is real human interaction with others, particularly other men, who are successful problem solvers in the area you’re trying to work through.
So why is this? Why can’t we just go look something up and “know it” whenever we need to “know it”? This idea of “knowing”, or at least being seen as “smart” is important to men since the nature of the masculine drives a desire to create effective action. This prioritizes mind-cognitive perception over emotional perception. In contrast the feminine prioritizes emotional perception, which many people tend not to associate with perception. (As a side note, it actually is and arguably can be more valuable than thinking.) We need to connect both thinking and emotional perception in order to “know” or “learn” about what’s important in life and how it works in 3D. Generating this requires more than just being in your head. You need a setting and the right situation for this to work. Indigenous Peoples with intact, longstanding cultural traditions understand this reality. That has been the role for elders whose wisdom, coming from years of cumulatively learned and earned life experience, is modeled and thereby transferred. If it isn’t transferred, it gets lost and needs to be regained through years of struggle and study. Therefore there is a need to pass these powerful insights on to others for the benefit of future generations.
In order to produce this capacity to live well and walk in the world in a soul-connected way, a social process is required. Like the wise indigenous cultures that have been around for quite some time have learned, it requires being with each other, as men, exploring, deepening and reinforcing this growth in perception and perspective through the support of an elder or elders. You gain something in that setting, then you move back into daily life as your classroom. You go through your challenges – societal, interpersonal, internal challenges – you engage with them and then you cycle back to this experience with other men, again led by an elder or elders who can help take things apart and continue establishing effective life approaches. It’s something that requires help. This is natural. There is nothing wrong; you are not defective or bad. This is just the way it’s done. So, taught by my elders and path and the way of Spirit, I offer it because it works and I want to see men strong and successful. That’s what Ukilái is about.
Ukilái, a Gathering of Men led by Don David Wiley is sponsored by the Sacred Fire Community. The next one is coming up January 17-21, 2019.Read More
An interview with Sherry Morgan.
Cedar trees don’t wonder if they ought to shed their leaves in winter. The fox doesn’t wonder if it should be a beaver. The clouds don’t wonder whether they should let the wind carry them. But we humans question everything…Prayer can help a lot in discovering that we’re not alone and that there is much help for us to access our authentic expression and the unique gifts we came here to learn about and to offer.Read More
We live in an age when the outlook of materialism has gripped our culture, robbing us of right relationship with the living world. So few people remain who can remember and speak to the vital wisdom our ancestors held. In times when humanity stumbles, the Spirit of Fire, sometimes lovingly referred to as Grandfather Fire, will seek a human form as a conduit to transmit the guidance that is needed to restore balance. When the call to serve this purpose is accepted, it is a blessing for all. Here is a glimpse into one such story.
The moment when Fire comes to speak can be dramatic.
A sudden hush has fallen on those gathered around the hearth. Whereas just seconds before the circle was filled with a crescendo of drumming, percussion instruments and voices raised in song, now there is respectful stillness. It is a stillness fueled by an air of expectancy. The activities of the afternoon and evening have led up to this moment, warming hearts and minds. Conversations with other attendees, both well known and newly welcomed, were enjoyed over a shared meal. Participation in the consecration of the hearth fire created a ritual container set apart from everyday life. Personal stories, jokes, poetry, laughter and song all helped build the flames of relationship, human to human, even among those who had been strangers at the beginning of the day.Read More
by Prema Sheerin, Sacred Fire Asheville, NC, USA
In this fourth article in a series of five, traditional healer and Sacred Fire Community Lifeways provider Prema Sheerin continues her exploration of the five “elemental” emotions that are a natural part of the human experience.
Like the rain that comes to cool the heat of summer, grief (which is associated with the season of autumn) provides nourishing moisture that allows us to process and heal the losses we will inevitably encounter. In our modern western culture we have become obsessed with happiness and we have shunned the emotion of grief, believing that it is ‘negative’ and ‘depressing’. We apologize for our tears and sadness, thinking that we are ‘bringing everyone down’. A vast polarity has been created between sadness and happiness and we see happiness as being the desired outcome, a place to arrive and stay. We have forgotten that happiness, like all elemental emotions, will arise and then subside to make way for the next feeling that will swell in response to the circumstances of our lives.Read More
What is a true adult?
Bill Plotkin, who has worked with the transition of youth into adulthood for many years, says that a true adult is someone who understands themselves as a member of the earth community; has had a revelatory experience of her/his place in this world; and embodies their unique place as a gift to their people.
One of the crises of the times we are living through is that true adulthood, what has been called “soulful psychological maturity,” is actually uncommon. Too often, people reach their adult years having missed the development into a fully human adult as nature has designed it. As a result, they may end up arrested adolescents at fifty, never maturing into the elders they were meant to become. They find themselves hindered in their contribution to their families and society. Relationships, child-rearing, education, business, politics, and even spiritual connection suffer the consequences.
We all know we are in a time of great transformation on this earth, a time of danger and opportunity.Read More
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Around the Fire
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