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Category: Around the Fire

2019 Sacred Fire is warming up: Come join us!

Mark your calendars, extend invitations to family and friends, make your travel plans! Fire Speaks and Light up Your Heart events are coming to Santa Monica and Mt. Tamalpais (CA, USA) in March, Asheville (NC, USA) in May and County Galway (Ireland) in June. In addition, Sacred Fire is hosting a Lifecycle Living exploration in Alice Springs (Australia) and a Ukalai Gathering for Women at the Blue Deer Center (NY, USA), both in March. Two more opportunities for Ukilái Annual Gathering of Men are also on the horizon: in Scotland in April and Utah in May. Do you feel called? We hope you will join us.

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Awakening Heart Through Technology

With so many technological tools at our fingertips, we have an unprecedented ability to reach thousands, millions and billions of people. And I guess you could say Sacred Fire is ambitious. We have taken on a really big project—to help the peoples of today’s world rediscover and return to fundamentals of life that are increasingly being forgotten: Our connection to each other and the Divine natural world. An appreciation of and respect for the cycles of life. The magic of gathering around the Sacred Fire to find balance and heal our alienation and stuck places.

Are you looking for something really meaningful to do with your life right now? Would you like to join us? We are assembling a team of passionate, technically skilled people to do really cool, effective things online. We’re currently looking for a system administrator to help with setting up and debugging Linux-based server systems, a PHP/MySQL programmer to help with deep website coding, and a database administrator to help configure and administrate our growing database of contacts and event records. We have a great team of volunteers, and this is fun, exciting, and very important work.

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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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With Gratitude for Abundance

Executive Director Larry Messerman stood for the Sacred Fire Community at the December 22, 2018 Prosperity Ritual corn harvest, joining representatives from the Blue Deer Center, Sacred Fire Foundation, traditional Huichol medicine and Nahua Weather Work groups, and the local Tepoztlán (Mexico) Sacred Fire community.

The corn was planted on June 13 with a humble petition for ongoing abundance of resources, wisdom, courage, creativity and joy “so that we may feed the great spiritual hunger of our people.” The harvest was abundant indeed. In addition, those present felt blessed by the presence of a brown scorpion (which is associated with corn) that appeared right by the fire as those present began de-graining. A special thanks goes also to local corn maestro Don Rupert.

Four of the best ears were kept for seed for next year’s planting, and then two of these were exchanged with ears from the other groups. The rest of the good corn was de-grained. Some was roasted immediately and eaten by those present, a happy circle of about 40 people. The rest will be further dried for future eating.

We are extremely grateful for the resources we have been provided, including many talented and passionate individuals who have joined our volunteer staff this past year, and all our generous donors. Thank you!

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Let the Women Gather: The World Depends on It

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.

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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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Tepoztlán Protection Ritual: Divine Help, Community Action

by Erica Cohen and Ana Cortés

Communities around the world are facing challenges related to imbalance and misuse of power, including economic, racial and gender discrimination. This is leading to destruction of the environment, of cultural traditions and of peaceful ways of life. Grandfather Fire has often told us that His presence is both good and bad news. Good because He’s here to help us; bad because when He shows up, it is because that help is urgently needed.

Here in Tepoztlán (Mexico) we have had the privilege over the past decade of receiving extra help in the form of a Protection Ritual that is included as part of our annual year-end Grandfather Fire audience. This offering arose in response to the local community’s request for protection as Mexico, and specifically the state of Morelos where we live, had become a more dangerous place to live. Violent crime, including robberies and kidnappings, had skyrocketed. Because we live in a sacred valley where the local mountains and divine protectors still have a strong presence, the ritual calls on them to watch over us.

While crime continues to be a serious issue, and drug cartels are strengthening everywhere in Mexico, our town has recently organized to protect itself better through neighborhood watches and other grassroots responses. Also, this year, a huge, well-financed development project that would have had many detrimental effects on our town was strongly and effectively opposed and cancelled. Many of us feel a sense of trust that Grandfather Fire’s protection is helping us, even as we are also accepting responsibility and putting in the work to do our part.

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Solstice Fires: Honoring the Rhythm of Nature in Community

For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, the natural rhythm of the seasons is leading toward the Winter Solstice, the longest night, on December 21. On the same day, those residing in the Southern Hemisphere will experience the Summer Solstice, the longest day. The world over, humans have used these seasonal milestones as an opportunity to reflect on how the rhythms of nature also live within people. The darkness marks a time for slowing down, for stillness and introspection, for assessing and for mending things. Gradually, with the movement toward the Spring Equinox, new seeds (physical and metaphorical) are planted and then, at Summer Solstice, there is a celebration of what has and is coming to fruition in our lives. At the Fall Equinox the harvest is celebrated and the process of letting go begins as humans once again move toward a period of rest. What is the season where you live and how you will you both align with and celebrate it?

Many Sacred Fire communities around the world will be marking this time of the year with a special Solstice Fire. If you can’t find a fire near you, invite a group of family and friends to participate in a thoughtful way to honor the rhythm of your lives.

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Visualizing Heart

In the coming year, we’ll be rolling out a fresh new look for Sacred Fire. We’re developing a new web site, brochure, and other materials with a fresh content and approach. In doing so, we’ve articulated guidelines for visual and written style to help us bring forth an expression we hope will better meet the world where it is and make the gifts of Fire we have been given accessible to a larger audience.

We’re looking for someone with graphic design skills who will help us draw out this direction into the many materials we create to support Community Fires, Fire Speaks events, Lifeways programs, Around the Fire articles, and more. All we ask for is a vision for elegance and beauty, familiarity with image editing tools, and a willingness to work and learn with others.

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Discover Your Inner Strength in Challenging Times

In today’s complex, ever quickening world that promotes superficial ideals and is quick to discard authentic relationship, how can a woman or a man navigate the minefields that threaten their most vulnerable selves?

What IS it to be a good man in today’s world? How can a man’s innate action-oriented nature be expressed in a way that serves himself, his family, his community, and ultimately, humanity as a whole? What IS it to be a woman in today’s world? How can a woman honor her creative capacity and nurturing qualities and still have a career path or seek a position of leadership? If she elects to be a stay-at-home mother, providing a safe harbor for her loved ones in the storms of life, will she feel respected…by herself and by others?

Gatherings of men among men and women among women, guided by elders who offer embodied life experience as well as timeless ancestral wisdom teachings, provide an important container for exploring these questions. Sacred Fire has a strong track record in offering these opportunities, with Men’s and Women’s Retreats available again in early 2019. Is it time to gather and deepen your wisdom of who you are? Give yourself the gift; healing and inspiration await.

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Voices of Wisdom returns to Asheville, NC

The Asheville, NC (USA) Sacred Fire community is delighted to once again host Voices of Wisdom, a special wisdom-sharing event sponsored by the Sacred Fire Foundation. Coming up November 15-16, this promises to be a particularly valuable opportunity to observe the engagement between Wanbdi Wakita and Pahan Pte San Win, a couple that is committed to helping humans return to right relationship with each other and with the natural world.

Enjoy this brief wisdom sharing by Wanbdi.

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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.
  2. Visit our web site.
  3. Subscribe to Around the Fire and discover more about our deep community.
  4. Follow us on social media (see footer of page)

Around the Fire is published by the Sacred Fire Outreach team:

Director
Bill Sutton

Editorial Team
Christine Staub, lead
Erin Everett
Jonathan Merritt

Web Publisher
Britt Espinosa

Social Media
Erin Everett, lead
Abigail Murray-Nikkel

Database Administrator
Kathy German

Event Support
Heidi Griswold

Infrastructure Manager
Chris Griffin

Web Design and Development
Primordial
Elegant Themes

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