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Category: Around the Fire

Let’s Get Together!

So many of us are starved for the warmth and movement of community. Registration is now open for these upcoming community events, and it’s not too late to join in!

Events featuring an audience with Grandfather Fire:

Restore your spirit at an annual gathering of men or women!

Ukalai: Annual Gathering of Women

Ukilái: Annual Gathering of Men

And there are several other Lifeways events coming up in Australia, Canada, and Oregon: Life Cycle Living, Exploring the Phenomenon of Prayer, Navigating the Challenging Waves of Transition. Please see the last section of this newsletter for a complete listing.

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Support This Summer’s Initiation into Adulthood for Young Women

Momentum is growing for this summer’s Sacred Emergence: Initiation into Adulthood for Young Women, which will take place July 6-15, 2019. The Initiation Council invites women and men to participate by being on staff.

Many gifts come from creating and living in a “village” that serves this important life transition ritual. Previous volunteers have found the experience to be humbling, enriching and full of heart. You can read some Sacred Emergence staff stories below in the Fire Stories section of this newsletter.

To apply to serve on the women’s staff, please contact Jessica De la O by March 31, 2019.

To apply to serve on the men’s staff, please email Gary Weidner or call 970-241-7256 by April 7.

If you are not able to join the Sacred Emergence staff, we invite you to make a financial contribution to help us cover expenses and provide partial scholarships for candidates and staff.

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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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Firekeepers, I Love You: Part 1 of 9

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.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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

Graphic Design
Malowany Creative
Sylvia Law
Sally Casper

Social Media
Erin Everett, lead
Abigail Murray-Nikkel

Database Administrator
Linda Felch

Event Support
Heidi Griswold

Infrastructure Manager
Chris Griffin

Web Design and Development
Primordial
Elegant Themes

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