We’re surrounded by media telling us that times are grim, and the future looks bleak. But a quick look at history shows us this is nothing new. Human beings have always been tested, individually and in community, by tragedy and challenge.
We so easily get lost or confused. Keeping our connection to our purpose and our vision can be difficult as we navigate the landscapes of our lives.
Throughout time, human communities have turned to Fire for heat, connection, light, enlightenment and guidance.
Fire Speaks offers a unique opportunity specially designed for us and the times in which we live. We are living through times of great change. As has happened in the past in cultures around the world, the Spirit of Fire has selected a person to serve an oracle, so that the people of our culture can reconnect and find guidance. This is truly a rare and precious phenomenon, and it’s available to us right now.
Learn more about Fire Speaks and the journey of Don David Wiley, who serves as the oracle for the Spirit of Fire, in our new video.Read More
Fire, whether in its elemental form or in electricity and fuel, warms us in the cold and cooks our food. Fire, as candles and flames or as electric light bulbs, illuminates our nights. Human beings are the only animals who work with fire in this way, but our relationship with Fire doesn’t stop there. Some have even said that it is Fire that makes human beings human.
In our new video, Sacred Fire Chairman Don David Wiley explains how our ancestors understood the profound role that Fire plays in guiding our lives as human beings with the wisdom and perspective of the divine natural world. Ancestral people everywhere gather around Fire, releasing their fears, drawing inspiration and receiving guidance, and then they go back into their communities to live life in a good way together. Today, is it possible that we need this ancient and timeless guidance of Fire more than ever?
During these particularly turbulent times all around the world, the Spirit of Fire is coming to our assistance by speaking to us, following an ancient phenomenon common to many original traditions. You can hear this guidance first-hand when you attend
Fire Speaks: An Audience with Grandfather Fire. To date, we have held Fire Speaks events in the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada, Mexico and throughout the United States. Watch this video to learn more about why people are finding not only wonder and solace, but also practical, real personal transformation and other tangible benefits for their lives when they listen to the always-relevant guidance of that ancient ally of all human individuals and communities, Fire.
Kyle Steele interviews Patrick Hanaway
In a recent conversation, young adult Kyle Steele sought counsel from Asheville NC (USA) Sacred Fire Firekeeper, Patrick Hanaway. The two spoke about many things, including how the courage to learn from mistakes helps to foster wisdom, and how this wisdom can be passed on to future generations.
Kyle: Patrick, what is the most important thing that you have learned at your age?
Patrick: The most important thing that I’ve learned is that everything is in relationship and connection. And when I say that, I don’t just mean between us as human beings; I mean us as human beings in relationship to all of the other-than-human beings also. Everything that is here: this beautiful tree, the air, the frogs that we hear in the background, the air, the weather, everything…we are meant to be in conscious relationship to it. We are, in fact, intimately connected to the world and it is so easy to forget that. I think that we know this when we are really young and then it gets taught out of us, and we forget by the time we are 2 or 3 years old. And yet this kind of relationship holds the seeds of our healing as humans.Read More
An interview with Sacred Fire attendee Olivia Woodford.
We asked Olivia Woodford to share some words of wisdom about the human journey, as it relates in particular to finding purpose and direction in life. In this interview, Olivia also speaks to her relationship with the Sacred Fire community, and how this helps her stay on the path of Heart.
Olivia, can you share with our readers, what is your compass in life?
I think my compass in life is, “Do I feel good?” And feeling good doesn’t necessarily mean being happy or even necessarily being relaxed, but I can feel when I am aligned. When I’m aligned, it’s like everything begins to move, or I feel like I am getting carried or being held, and so when I am aligned, I feel I am moving in relationship with life. And so I look for that alignment.
Sacred initiation is a doorway for a young person to become an adult, plain and simple. If done in a good way, a person participating in this ritual will be truly transformed; they will never go back to being the same person they were before. What is it like for an initiate, moving forward into the world as an adult? In 2017, Cassandra Starks of Grand Junction, Colorado, USA stepped through the doorway of Sacred Fire Community’s young women’s initiation, called Sacred Emergence. She is now entering yet another phase of life: she is recently married and is becoming a mother! We caught up with her to ask a few questions.
Sacred Fire: Cassandra, who were you before initiation and what have you become because of it?
Cassandra: I don’t think much changed visibly on the outside after Sacred Emergence. I wore the same clothes, my hair, eyes and skin color were still the same. I didn’t lose or gain any weight. I looked the same. And yet I felt completely different. Something drastic within myself had shifted. I finally felt connected to myself in a way that I never was before. I had gained greater understanding of my values, gifts and passions, an incredible appreciation of what it truly means to be a woman, and was empowered by my emotions and feelings, rather than simply trying to avoid them. Showered with the love, support, wisdom and guidance of women, I began to grow a new understanding of myself and how to be in relationship with others and with the world as a human being.Read More
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
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
By Keith Baughman
Healing has at its core an aspect of accepting yourself. Acceptance at this level is layered and complex. Many weeks ago a phrase skipped across my thoughts: the difficulty of being human. Not only does it invert and energize the identifier of “human being,” it also undermines the deeply embedded notion in me that life should be easy and I’m just doing it wrong. As I continue to look through the lens of this phrase, my path to self-acceptance becomes clearer, and I begin to see that human difficulty is part of the natural order. It’s how we’re made, and we’re made this way for a reason.
Writing poetry is the mode or field where these internal conversations often get their first articulation. The difficulty of being human spilled onto a journal page one day without much to suggest its timely relevant weight. But as the days passed, and as I continued to journal, this phrase preoccupied my thoughts and ways of seeing the world within and around me. The following poem is an articulation of the permission, purpose and support this phrase has offered to my struggle to heal and accept myself.Read More
In the past year, many stories of women disclosing their experiences of being abused and ill-treated have emerged, unleashing a flood of emotions and a call for right action. At the recent Voices of Wisdom Asheville (USA) gathering, Canadian wisdomkeeper Pahan Pte San Win (Cree, Lakota and Metis) spoke of her time working with abused women, learning of their deep suffering and paralyzing fear. Later, Pahan’s life path took her to work with incarcerated men, perpetrators of the very crimes, horrible ones, that her women clients had been victims of. And then Pahan learned something crucial: she came to see the troubled, broken family life that had fostered the anger and the hunger for false power in the male inmates.
How many of today’s terrorists have been born out of shocking, unjust and highly destructive use of force that stripped them of family, home and a simple, honest life? How many who use “power over” have never experienced the gift of belonging to a community and the joy of being in service and protecting the defenseless? Women have an innate capacity to bring forward life and thereby lean toward respecting and cherishing it. Strengthening women, empowering them to embody matriarchal wisdom and feminine leadership, can be seen as a vital step in bringing healing and balance back to human society.
Sacred Fire offers an Annual Gathering of Women, where women dedicated to restoring balance in the world can receive invaluable inspiration and mutual support. The next one is coming up March 14-18, 2019.Read More
On October 6, 2018, the Olympia, WA (USA) Sacred Fire community hosted a Fire Speaks event. Here is what Sharon Brown, Olympia Firekeeper along with her husband Peter, had to say:
I’ve heard from many of you since our time together. Words like “WOW,” “amazing,” “inspired,” “unexpected,” “magical,” ” beautiful,” “unforgettable”…
As Grandfather Fire said, it was “a wonderful night for a fire.” Calm and dry held for us between days of rain. The weather beings kept us comfortable, while Raven (whose totem was ritually installed this past winter) felt our “warm up” time was particularly special. While we were sharing so many playful and profound songs, poems, and stories, we suddenly heard what sounded like fireworks off in the forest and then the crash of a tree. Grandfather told a small group later that Raven had been powerfully attracted by our laughter. His spirit’s presence had so much weight it crushed the tree beneath him. (Several of us explored the forest at the edge of the property Sunday morning, to find the 60-foot living alder that had snapped.)
During our time with Grandfather Fire, He spoke of many things…about relating with the ancestors, dealing with roadblocks and conflict, finding the meaning behind accidents, getting beyond logic to our intuition, why humans were created, how to move when horrific things happen, finding the source of ‘human craziness,’ dealing with bullies, and forgiving ourselves. It was a rich time indeed and there is much wisdom to unpack and put into action in the months ahead.
Sacred Fire Firekeepers offer monthly fire circles, which are a wonderful place to learn, grow, and build relationships with human as well as other-than-human Beings of the natural world.Read More
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
by Jen Collins, Sacred Fire New Freedom, PA
Yes, of course they are! That is my first answer. GPS can get me anywhere. It’s a modern day miracle. It has successfully navigated me all through Scotland, and to new doctors’ offices, restaurants, stores…you get the picture.
If I then close up my car windows on the way to all these new places and turn on my air conditioning…well, it makes me feel like I really am doing something. I’ve got direction (ha-ha!), climate control, sound reduction, and time to myself. I’m all self-contained in my little metal box with a cozy chair, a tasty beverage and an audio experience of my choosing.Read More
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