Category: Features

The Spirit of Fire

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.

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The Role of Fire in Our Lives as Humans

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.

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He’s So Hot!

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. And here are some stories we’ve collected from people who were deeply moved by their encounter with Grandfather Fire at Fire Speaks.

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Passing on Wisdom: Sharing Lessons Learned

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.

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Becoming an Adult in Today’s World

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.

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Standing in the Mystery, Bringing Forth New Life

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.

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The Doorway to Adulthood: Sacred Initiation in Our Twenty-first Century World

by the Sacred Fire editorial team

In our modern cultures that seem to worship eternal youth—that state of being that gives us permission to be in constant pursuit of our individual pleasure and enjoyment—what will it take to help us grow up?

In today’s world, becoming an adult might seem to be about hitting a well-recognized milestone like receiving a driver’s license, voting for the first time, or reaching legal age for drinking alcohol. For others, the moment of stepping into the workforce, becoming a parent, or making a major investment in home or career might seem the significant step. However, for traditional cultures (and that includes most of the villages of our great-great- or great-great-great-grandparents), becoming an adult was a sacred matter. Initiation into adulthood was a universal human practice, common to most societies, and it is still practiced by intact traditional cultures to this day.

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The Gift of Community Fires

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.

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The Path to Firekeeping

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.

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The Difficulty of Being Human

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.

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Women and Men in a World of Growing Conflict

by Sherry Boatright, Sacred Fire Carrollton, Georgia (USA)

Over the last two years, I’ve been glued to online news media. It has become altogether a questionable habit as I find myself moving from one unsettling story to the next. I’m working to get a grip. The upside, though, is that I’ve also discovered great writers and compelling studies about what’s going on in the world, from climate change to local and global politics, from women’s and men’s issues to health and family life.

Take kids for instance. Years ago, Carol Gilligan showed that girls up until age 9 or 10 are confident and expressive of their feelings. But as they move into adolescence, they begin to hide their feelings for fear of not fitting in.

Now my newsfeed tells me that boys are also born with a great talent for emotional openness, but that in adolescence they begin developing their manhood and differentiate themselves from girls.

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The Gift of Grief: Honoring Loss, Opening to Peace

by Prema Sheerin, Sacred Fire Asheville, North Carolina

A well-tended garden has a balance of the essential elements: fire, earth, water, air and growth. In this, the fourth in a series of five articles, traditional healer Prema Sheerin continues to reveal the vital energies and gifts of each of the ‘elemental emotions’ that, similarly, are meant to provide for a healthy ecosystem in every human being. These elemental emotions are happiness, fear, anger, sympathy and grief. This article addresses grief, which is traditionally associated with the season of autumn.

As we enter the season of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, we feel the poignancy of the fading light, the waning warmth and brilliance of summer. It is a good time to explore the emotion of grief, the energy that supports us in letting go and navigating the many losses and transitions of life. Like the rain that comes to cool the heat of summer, grief provides the nourishing moisture that allows us to process and heal the losses we inevitably encounter.

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Sparks: Coming Soon

Around the Fire

Around the Fire is the newsletter of the Sacred Fire Community and is published once or twice a month as needed.

If you’re new to Sacred Fire, here are three ways to learn more:

  1. Find a local Fire and experience it first hand.
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Around the Fire is published by the Sacred Fire Outreach team:

Director
Bill Sutton

Strategic Direction
Karen Fernandez
Lawrence Messerman
Bill Sutton

Editorial Team
Erin Everett
Christine Staub
Linda Azar

Web Publishing
Sally Casper
Britt Espinosa

Graphic Design
Malowany Creative
Leticia Gamboa
Sylvia Law

Social Media
Erin Everett
Abigail Murray-Nikkel

Database Administrator
Linda Felch

Event Support
Heidi Griswold

Web Design and Development
Malowany Creative
Living Magic LLP

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